The Catalina Jet, a high speed catamaran, was followed by a pod of frolicking dolphins; we viewed a lone sea lion diving for his morning snack of abalone. Once on land, I rented a six passenger golf cart to tour the 76 square mile Island. On a hill, a buffalo roamed freely, its ancestors brought to Santa Catalina Island in 1924 for a movie. One hundred fifty bison now call Catalina home and have become the island’s mascot.
My goal was to tour the home of author Zane Grey, now known as the Pueblo Hotel, a small bed and breakfast in need of much renovation. Grey built the home in 1926 and spent his last years there pursuing his passions; writing, beautiful women and fishing.
What a view the famous author had of the azure blue waters. From his study, it would have been hard to work with such pleasant surroundings below. My interest in Zane Grey was kindled during a conversation with my editor, Lillie Ammann. When I expressed my concerns of writing historical fiction about family, she suggested I research a doctor by the name of Pearl Zane Grey.
Research revealed the dentist dropped his first name and authored more than ninety published books; hundreds of his works were adapted for film and later television. The Lone Ranger and Zane Grey Theater are among the most recognized. He formed his own motion picture company that became part of Paramount Pictures. Zane Grey sold over forty million books using the stories of his ancestors.
I learned a lot about this famous author while vacationing with my children and grandchildren on Catalina Island.