Monday, April 27, 2015

Maybelline diaries 1940, "Catalina Island," Tom Lyle Williams niece's visit the Villa Valentino

Tuesday June 18, 1940

Up at 7:30, so had very little sleep. Catalina today, and what a day we had. The Premiere was the grandest affair I have ever attended, and will probably ever attend, but for real fun, I believe Catalina was the best. The four of us, Annette, arnold, Tom Lyle and I I just rested on the way over. The boat was quite large and ample seating capacity. The boat took two and a half hours to make the trip. Santa Catalina Island presented a beautiful picture from the boat. The mountains extended right to the water's edge with few beaches. The water was a very deep blue, almost a sate blue with the sunlight making it glisten like silver. The flying fist darted in and out of the water, resembling birds made of silver. As we neared the shore two speed boats filled with passengers raced out to welcome our boat. The picture of Santa Catalina from the boat was lovely.

 We could get a good view of the Pavilion and St. Catherine Hotel. Higher up on the mountain side were home's of Mrs. William Wrigley, P.E. Wrigley and the former Zane Grey. To the right of the Sane Grey home we could see the small chapel housing the chimes that ring every fifteen minutes and heard all over the Island. After the boat landed, we immediately took a but to the St. Catherine Hotel for lunch. Such a beautiful hotel, and such a gorgeous setting. It reminds you of the Edgewater Beach Marine dining room, perhaps because the lawn goes right down to the water's edge, and you sit and look right out on the water. Our table was close to the windows and the view from there was wonderful. The lawn was like green velvet with all colors and varieties of flowers making a lovely frame for Avalon Bay. If we had ordered a day, we couldn't have asked for a better one. The sun was warm enough, and yet it was cool in the shade. Had to rush lunch a bit to made the tours.

 As we were coming out of the hotel we saw Ruth Hussey.

The first tour we took was in a glass bottom boat to see the submarine gardens. The boat sailed close to shore, and the various flowers, plants, etc.only grow among the rocks. The iodine plant was pretty. Also saw other varieties of flowers, fish and lots of unusual rock formations. The diver put on an exhibition before we landed. He swam under the boat, staying under for three minutes. We could watch him through the glass. Had just time to get off this boat and on another for the Seal Rock Tour. This boat was different in that it was open and we could see all around. Kept close to shore again, and around the rocks to see the seals. The boat stopped so we could get a good look at the seals, took a picture , then the captain blew a whistle to bring the seals into the water. After this tour, we had time to look over the town of Avalon. Avalon is a resort town, a la Ritz. We walked up and down the main street, took some pictures and started looking for the Chi Chi Bar. This bar and cocktail lounge is south seas island style, but not as cute as the bar in the Villa Valentino. Had one drink, listened to the orchestra and danced. Tom Lyle is certainly getting good about dancing. He suggested a dance with only Neppie and Arnold on the floor. Tom Lyle knew the manager from Palm Springs, as he has a cocktail lounge there too. The manager came over for a chat and bought a round of drinks.

 Our time was slipping and we hadn't seen the Cubs Ball Park. Couldn't go back to Chicago without seeing the Cubs training ground, so up the hill we marched and took a picture for evidance.

Now for the great big thrill, our ride back to Long Beach on a plane. We watched the plane land in the water and coast to shore. My first ride in an amphibian plane. It was lots of fun. The view from the plane, of the water, mountains, ships and different cities was wonderful. The ride was only fifteen minutes compared with two and a half hours by boat. The plane hardly seemed to move and yet we were traveling over a hundred miles per hour. After landing we drove to Hollywood and the Villa Valentino for dinner. Emery has been rehearsing for a play “Lady Windermere's Fan,” since we arrived. Annette, Arnold, Tom Lyle and I went over to the theatre for dress rehearsal. Emery was good, and we all thought the play clever. 

  After the play we stopped at the Pig 'n Whistle for a bite to eat.  Saw Delores del Rio in the Pig 'n Whistle and saw her car and chauffeur waiting outside for her. Drove home to end a perfect day. 

Tom Lyle Williams, Emery and Arnold lived together at the Villa Valentino.  When Tom Lyle's niece's Annette Williams and Jane Allen, visited them in June of 1940, Tom Lyle rolled out the red carpet.  He gave the girls a 10 day extravaganza birds eye view, of Hollywood and Southern California.  This is an excerpt of Jane's diary.  If you'd like to read more, check my archives on the right column of my blog, under Jane Allen.

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