The longer you live in Avalon the more you become aware of the unique and wonderful people that are your friends and neighbors. Some of these individuals are especially unique for you know that they must have wings or a halo somewhere, for they truly are angels on earth.
Rosie Cadman is such an individual. Her sunny and positive disposition shines through even in the gloomiest of times. Always ready to lend support and comfort, Rosie is a beacon of faith and love that has blessed us for the past seventy years of her living on the island.
Rosie was born in Boston and moved out to the west coast with her family when she was three. She went to school in Santa Monica where she met and married the love of her life, Earl. The two of them moved to Avalon in 1945. Earl was a fisherman and to keep herself busy while he was gone, Rosie asked the owner of a local café if she would teach her to be a waitress. Rosie went to work the very next day.
In 1967 Rosie and Earl were asked by the City to take over the fish market at the end of the Pleasure Pier and for the next thirty-seven years ran the best fish market in town. After ordering 100 lbs. of fish for their opening day, they were sold out in three hours. Having built long time friendships in the fishing community, Rosie was able to call a friend who was a supplier on the mainland. Within hours a seaplane pulled up to the pier with enough fish to save the day.
Serving fish and chips, abalone burgers, shrimp and other locally caught fish, Rosie made her own batter and hand made all the tartar and cocktail sauce – recipes she had created by combining the best from five different cook books. The market also sold fresh local swordfish, halibut, albacore, abalone and other freshly caught fish, to take home and cook. Rosie always had great suggestions on the best way to prepare the fish and a trip to the end of the pier became a daily tradition for many island families.
Years ago, when the Women’s Club from the Community Church needed a fundraiser, Rosie volunteered to cook the entire dinner. Serving 100 people at 50 cents each, Rosie served a deep fried lobster dinner that included a vegetable and roll. Her generosity did not bode well for fundraising but she had the whole community asking when the next one would be.
She continued to cook for others whenever she could, once serving dinner to everyone that worked on the pier and the entire staff of the Santa Catalina Island Company. Much loved and treasured by those around her, Rosie was the adoptive “mom” for all the summer kids who worked on the seaplanes, shore boats and excursion vessels. She not only fed them, she was their friend that nourished their hearts and souls as well.
Rosie and Earl raised five children and ran a lively household with all their friends and family. Rosie lost her beloved Earl in 2002 and after two years of continuing to run the fish market without him, she sold the market in 2004. Still staying busy, Rosie is out and about everyday and enjoying her 22 grandchildren, 24 great grandchildren and waiting for her 25th great grandchild.
How lucky we all are to have Rosie, our island angel, as a friend.