Life of Storyteller, 100, Is Quite a Tale

Photo courtesy Battison family
Cy Battison, seated, with daughters Terry Oelrich, left, and Gayle Landstrom at his drive-by 100th birthday party on July 19. Battison served in several capacities for a remarkable 63 years at the YMCA of Glendale’s Camp Fox on Catalina Island.

Even by current coronavirus-era standards, it’s rare that a 100th birthday party is acknowledged with a drive-thru ceremony and a Zoom meeting, but the term “rare” certainly applies to Cy Battison.
Scores drove their cars past Battison’s home on July 19 and, later in the evening, visited his living room virtually to pay homage to a man who has positively affected the lives of thousands during his century on Earth. Hundreds more have responded to Battison on a Facebook page dedicated to “Growing Up in Glendale in the 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and 70’s.”
For it is that generation which is especially fond of Battison, who invested a remarkable 63 years in one capacity or another at the YMCA of Glendale and its idyllic camping facility on Catalina Island, Camp Fox, before stepping away a decade ago.
Battison, who long served as an educator, spent literally hundreds of weeks at Camp Fox, which teems with young people eager to get away from the city for a few days of hiking in the hills, splashing in the ocean and meeting new friends. The camp holds about 400 campers, counselors and fellow directors per session, and Battison was renowned for doing his best to meet each of them.

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