I hope you have great success with this fundraiser. I go way back to the 50's with the isle. I'm a 3rd generation that went and worked at Camp Fox (under Jon Hardy), my father was the lifeguard at the St. Catherine in the 40's and early 50's and I paid for my movie tickets at the casino by diving for half dollars when the steamer came in each day. Even have pictures of me in diapers sitting in the wading pool on Front St.
Looking forward to seeing the Chimes Tower restored to its iconic look so famous through the years anchoring, together with the Casino, every Avalon view to the north; and of course, for those of us in Avalon to hear both time and music....
My father was very fond of the chimes, he used to tell us that he loved sitting on his lifeguard tower and really listen for the chimes to tell him the time during the day. At night when we would be walking around town we would always stop when we heard the melodic tones coming from the hill.
I've been thinking about chimes tower memories......it was so long ago, but I do remember this:
I began playing the Avalon chimes before I could drive. My dad was usually in the Easter Sunrise Service at Mt. Ada, so he would drive me, dressed in his Easter costume, to the chimes tower around 4:00 AM in the morning when it was pitch dark. I remember him dressed in a loose, brown robe that resembled a toga, and he had a fake beard and a shepherd’s staff!
He left me alone in the dark chimes tower room to play Easter hymns before the service while he went to the plaza to transport people up to Mt. Ada. As I played, I felt guilty because I knew I was waking up the whole town so early, however, no one complained and I guess hearing the chimes was better than having alarm clocks going off all over town. I also knew that everyone going up to Mt. Ada on the buses was eating free donuts and I was missing the treat! Such sacrifices!
ust before the service started at the top of the hill, my father would show up at the chimes to take me to Mt. Ada. In one production, I remember being an angel blowing a horn at the very beginning of the performance, so I had to rush from the chimes tower to the stage to play my part. Most years, though, I would carry the Community Church's small pump-organ-in-a-suitcase from dad's car to the deck, which served as a choir loft, and accompany the choir and church-goers as they sang hymns to worship and greet the sunrise. Humm.....I wonder what happened to that little organ-in-a-box. Like the chimes, it was so much fun to play!
I’ve read ravens are unusually intelligent. Many of the stories I’ve read about their antics are quite amazing. But, personally, I often find ravens just plain annoying. A few years ago one pair was on my
“you’re really annoying me now” list. I was on my way to play the chimes one day when I was abruptly intercepted by Charlie Canby (the chimes technician for quite a few years now – and doing a fine job if I may say so). He told me that he had found a raven’s nest with eggs in it on top of the chimes. He had told Packy Offield (then President of the Island Company) about it and Packy said to turn off the chime clock and not play the chimes until the eggs had hatched and the birds had fledged. Packy had a much more compassionate heart than I. The young ravens fledge between 35-42 days and incubation is about 20 days so the chimes were turned off about 2 months. So I guess ravens are intelligent, at least this pair, was because they found inexpensive housing in a secure, protected site!
Ravens + Chimes = Silence