Monday, November 10, 2008

Hollywood Forever Cemetery

Finally I got to the Hollywood Forever Cemetery! For so long I wanted to go. I took my parents because I thought they would like it. Many old time movie stars are buried there, including Douglas Fairbanks Sr. and Jr., Jane Mansfield, Mel Blanc and Rudolph Valentino. As we wandered around consulting a map (I had to pay $5 for it) I kept thinking that in one more generation these movie stars that were once so well known won't be known. My son, who is 22, has no idea who these folks are. And my parents, well, the names brought back so many memories. My mom mentioned several times that her mother just loved Tyrone Power and thought he was the cat's meow. And how Charlie Chaplin make them laugh so much.
The cemetery was so much more than I thought. So many nooks and alleys to follow!! It was very crowded with "silent citizens". There is a very large Russian section, a larger Jewish section. They are so much fun to wander through and see all the names that are odd to my ears.
Of course it is the history I like best. It is what I call a "rescue cemetery." For a time the cemetery was not cared for, the endowment money wasted. Some families actually paid to have their loved ones moved, one family being Max Factor's. By 1996 the property was bankrupt. In 1998 a fellow named Tyler Cassity save it from a uncertain future. He bought the property, invested millions, and made it desirable place to visit and rest forever.
It is free ,just like any other cemetery, to wander through, but it took a $5 map, a kind lady, and a $15.00 guide book to find our way around. Worth every penny!!!!!!!!!

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