Catalina Caper


I'm not necessarily referring to the movie featuring Tommy Kirk in little swim trunks – I'm referring in all actuality to how I'll be celebrating New Year's Eve. We'll be 26 miles across the sea, in the city of Avalon, partying in the ballroom of the art deco casino.

We went last year, and simply wanted some more of that black and silver decor, the Expansive collection of noisemakers at each table, the big band music, and the gigantic net of balloons hung over the ballroom like the Damocles' Sword of New Year's Eve.  That and the buffet, complimentary bottle of wine (engraved with an image of the casino) and the photograph taken of each couple attending.

Also, when you're drunk and giddy from a party, it's nice to be able to walk home without feeling that you should have a tommy gun slung over your shoulder.  Catalina is safe and small like that, while big cities can be most tediously dangerous. 

'Catalina Caper' can also refer to something else.  I'll just come right out and say it:  in the late '40's, with the war over and all, my father was able to take the boat to Catalina with his friends, dance to the big bands, and act most profoundly goofy:

Can you pick him out, by the way?  In another photo, the blonde fellow – George – was wearing swim trunks and a necktie.  I'm enjoying the rolled down socks in this one.

And I may ask myself:  who are these ladies?

These pictures were taken in front of the Hermosa Hotel & Cottages (motto:  "sleep cheap"), which is still up and running.

The photo of dad on the beach is strangely evocative – sometimes all you need is the sand and a pail.  Perhaps he was feeling meditative.  Or maybe the bars weren't open yet.




This year boyfriend and I will be going with his brother and wife, their son and his wife and I have convinced my parents to come along, too.  It will have been nearly 60 years since dad went dancing in that ballroom.

I just hope the outside of his door won't look the same as it did in 1948:



Read and post comments | Send to a friend


8 responses to “Catalina Caper

  1. How fun! A whole family new year's blow out.

  2. This will be a New Year's to remember, Aubrey. Have a fabulous time!!One of my favorite flower vases has the original "Catalina" pottery label on the bottom. It's a lovely, low, narrow oval shape of cream paste, embossed with basketweave and pink dogwood blossoms on it. My guess is its from the '40s. Very unusual.

  3. How sweet! I hope your dad has a wonderful time reminiscing. I hope you all have fun!

  4. Redz: We love Catalina. We're hoping to take a drive to the other side of the island and see if we can stumble on to some buffalo.
    JP: Hold onto that stuff! $$$$, my dear!
    Suga': When we're there, I'll take a hit of vodka, keeping you in mind.

  5. This sounds like so much fun. And those leftovers are impressive.

  6. [this will be FABULOUS]

    The whole fam damily out for a high-class holiday. We MUST see pictures, esp. of Mom and Dad.

    You have the coolest, bestest-looking parents EVAR.

  7. heh, I never even use it. Afraid of getting the label wet! Viewing room only.

  8. Oooh, these pics are amazing. What a treat to get to peek into your family photo albums. Lurke is right, your parents are gorgeous, and sure seem to know how to have a good time. And, Catalina–Mr. IG always longed to take me while we lived in California, but with so many other wonderful places to explore, we never found time. Now it may never happen. *sniff* Please post lots of pics when you get back!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s