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The Catalina Islander
Avalon, California
November 14, 2014     The Catalina Islander
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November 14, 2014

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November P.L.A.Y. Pre hool Annual Craft Auction--Nov,14 Come support Avalon's youth at the annual Craft & Silent Auction to benefit Preschool Learning for Avalon Youth. Door prizes, great food & desserts, spirits and a Grand Prize drawing. Doors at the Catalina Island Yacht Club will open at 5pm. Questions? Contact PLAY Preschool at 310-510-2324. Catalina Film Institute-- Nov. 28-Nov. 30 Students and industry profes- sionals immerse themselves in a workshop setting surrounded by the spectacular beauty of Catalina Island. Take advantage of different pro- grams and be creatively inspired by the enchanting scenery of his- toric and beautiful Catalina Island. Participation in this event supports the Catalina Island Conservancy and their work to keep Catalina's wildlands wild. Catalina Film :Institute. 818.787-1946, www. CatalinaFEorg. - Commerce. 310-510-1520, www. December 21st Annual 'Shop At Homo, Night-- Dec.6 A one-night shopping extrav- aganza with holiday discounts, strolling carolers and prize draw- ings. Shop At Home Night kicks off with a holiday tree lighting ceremony on Wrigley Stage at 5pm. Have your picture taken with Santa at E1 Galleon from 6-8:30 p.m. Catalina Island Chamber of Catalina Island Museum Holiday Concert--- Dec.12 A Holiday Symphony Concert featuring the Stanford Symphony Orchestra. 7pm in the Avalon Casino Theatre. Catalina Island Museum. 310-510-2414, www. Annual New Year's Eve Parties at El Galleon and Antonio's-- Dec.31 Dual Party - tickets good for both restaurants! 8:30pm to lam. For tickets and dinner reservations call E1 _Galleon. 310-510-1188, 42nd Annual New Year's Eve Celebration, Casino Ballroomm Dec. 31 Celebrate the New Year at this elegant black-tie optional dinner and dancing event in the world famous Casino Ballroom. Reservations go on sale July 2014. Catalina Island Chamber of Commerce. 310-510-1520, www. From page 1 Tuna Club's excellent centennial history book, "The History of the Tuna Club, 1898-1998" (The Tuna Club Foundation, 2004). "Sea Monster Stories Tally," announced the headline from the June 8, 1953, edition of the Los Angeles Examiner. "Many Ac- counts Tabulated of That Huge Clemente 'Thing'," continues the sub-head- ing. The "Clemente Mon- ster" (named after San Clemente Island, not the town of San Clemente) first made headlines shortly after the turn of the century with reported sightings reaching their zenith in the 1920s. The idea that such tales might come out of the Roar- ing Twenties is not unexpected, I suppose. But to see a headline in the post-war, jet-age 1950s--such as the article featured in the Tuna Club book---is quite another story. In the article, a fisherman iden- tified as Sam Randazzo reports seeing the creature "within 15 feet" of his purse seiner. Randazzo and the members of his eight-man crew remained si- lent for nearly two weeks out of "fear of unbelief" before finally filing an official report with the U.S. Coast Guard. The article points out that this fear of ridicule "has been the com- mon reaction of those who have seen this frightening beast and the tales of these usually reliable men gradually are silencing the scoff- ers." &B Jim Watson Columnist Though Native American lore has a smattering of references to "sea monsters," the first published account of the Clemente Monster is most likely the account of attor- ney Ralph Bandini. "It had a great columnar neck or body," claimed Bandini on a fateful fishing trip off Catalina in 1916. "Surmount this neck or body with a flat-topped, blunt rep- tilian head?' Bandini went on to describe the eyes as "two huge, round, bulging" ones. "Two things stood out above all others," con- tinued Bandini. "Those enormous eyes and its unbelievably huge bulk. I never want to look at such eyes again." Even famed local fisherman George Farn- sworth, after whom Farnsworth Bank is named, got in on the ac- tion. His first account comes from a trip in either 1920 or 1921 to San Clemente Island. "I saw what looked like a boat with a sail on it," he wrote. "We started out in its general direction...when it dis- appeared." While he was scratching his head and wondering how a small sailing boat could completely dis- appear, the vision appeared again in a different place in the dis- tance. "We started towards it," said Farnsworth, "but again, halfway there it vanished. Whatever it was stood 15 to 20 feet out of the wa- ter." As it turned out, the third time was the charm: "The next time, I saw it off the east end of Cata- lina. I seized the glasses and had a perfect view because we were run- ning towards it?' Farnsworth described the beast as having eyes that were "12 inch- es in diameter, not set on the side like an ordinary fish, but more central. It had a big mange of hair, about two feet long," he said. "I saw it afterwards several times," he continued. "Lots of people said it was a sea elephant. Well, I know a sea elephant...This was no sea el- ephant?' Was this Mr. Farnsworth's sneaky way of keeping others out of his fishing grounds? If so, he apparently enlisted the help of several others over the years. One of the Tuna Club's most famous early members, George C. Thomas III, described as "not given to tall tales or exaggeration" reported a sighting in the mid- 1920s. "What the hell was that?," asked Thomas of his fisfiing partner upon seeing "a big black form, like the sail of a Japanese albacore boat." As they approached the creature, it submerged and disappeared. The 1953 sighting related in the Tuna Club history book article appears to be the most recent re- ported sighting of our monstrous friend. Now, in the 21st Centu- ry-whether from our waters or from our minds--the Clemen'te Monster seems to have moved on. li2S crPJcent ilvenud Catalina Island Medical Center's new radiology unit opens a world of opportunities for our patients. State-of-the-aft digital radiology unit Available for patients whose physician is on the mainland Images interpreted by a board-certified radiologist Images can be sent directly to your physician via CD Convenient appointments available, call (310} 510-0700. Island Medical Center (51o) 51o-o7oo loo Falls Canyon Road THE CATALINA ISLANDER Friday, November 14, 2014 ', 9