Catalina Island, CA
I served as a ranger for the Catalina Cove and Camp Agency at Two Harbors, Catalina Island, for the spring and Summer of 1982 (and, off and on, during summer 1983.)
I apply the term “ranger” with great liberty. My job was primarily involved checking to see if people had paid a landing fee, registering campers, and patrolling the beach for people who had not paid to land. But it was an unbelievable way to spend the summer between graduating high school and starting college.
We had spent most of our summers tied up at our mooring, D-8, in Isthmus Harbor, so the place was familiar to me. But living onshore gave a different perspective. It was pretty much an isolated resort, supplied by thrice-weekly trucks brought to the island by a landing craft and the occasional cargo on the Catalina Express, the high-speed ferry owned by the CCCA folks – the Bombard and Wrigley families.
I lived in one of four bedrooms in a trailer on the west side of the Isthmus, sharing with a roommate who was headed for the Air Force after the summer was over. We shared a bathroom with a couple of shoreboat pilots.
It was an incredible summer, and I learned more about myself than I care at the moment to admit. Maybe soon.