Our last day... we began with a Starline "Movie Stars' Homes Tour" and then, after lunch, headed to the Hollywood Forever for a 2:00 Cemetery Tour with Karie Bible, who hosts the Hollywood Forever Cemetery Tour. The Cemetery was suffering from a hangover, as Karie put it, with clean-up crews still working on dismantling all the Day of the Dead stages, decorations and picking up garbage.
We began the tour talking about the Hollywood sign. The what? Yes, the famous Hollywood sign could clearly be seen through the arching ironwork of the Cemetery's main gate, still partially decorated. Was that sign there yesterday? We never noticed!
Karie then took us to the mausoleum now sadly empty of all the extravagant and brilliantly beautiful artworks... sigh. What remained were the gorgeous stained glass windows and the final resting places of such notables as Rudolph Valentino and Peter Lorre.
Karie carried with her a very thoughtfully put together binder including photos of those she would speak of so we could put a face to some of the less familiar names.
No one had any trouble recognizing our next celebrity: Toto! Well, not Toto but the female dog "Terry" who played him. Sadly her real resting place is now under a freeway but this cenotaph is in her honor and I'm sure, as any self-respecting dog would, she's happy to visit this place instead for the Day of the Dead!
Although she died penniless, Maila Nurmi has a beautiful headstone here, erected from the moneys collected by her ever-adoring fans! Love never dies, if you're Vampira!
And there were sad tales as well, worthy of the Museum of Death. Virginia Rappe was raped and died of a torn bladder, but her killer, actor "Fatty" Arbuckle, got away free, slandering her name and forcing three trials to have his name cleared. Perhaps Karie's inclusion of Virginia in our tour gives poor Virginia a little bit of peace.
Do you love anyone so much that you would have your marriage and forever resting place erected while you're both still alive? Mr. Puccio and Mr. Kennedy did just that to commemorate their wedding. A bold move! I hope it works out!
And when Mel Blanc died, the characters he voiced were "speechless", a beautiful statement on the life of a voice actor who was inseparable from his creations... until death did them part.
Unlike the day before, we had the opportunity to see the Cemetery for the beautiful place it is, peaceful and balanced in its natural tranquility.
If you want to see more of the Cemetery and who else is buried there, please visit the Hollywood Forever website.
And that was our vacation in Los Angeles! One final word: a nod of appreciation and gratitude to the Coral Sands Motel and the staff there!
This motel was the perfect place for us, close to the metro, the Cemetery and everything else we needed. A big grocery store (Ralph's) is literally next door and our mini fridge was perfect, along with the microwave in the common room, for making our own meals. There was also a computer available to check email or get a bus schedule, extremely convenient! And the staff was so friendly and helpful, I can't say enough! Brian was AWESOME, giving us metro taps cards to load, directions, advice... and, when we needed to cut the "Trick 'r Treat" poster tube to fit it into our suitcase, the manager used a carpet knife to cut off the necessary 7 inches (the poster is a lot smaller than the tube). Wow! Thank you! Bravo!
The inner courtyard is entirely enclosed with someone at the main desk 24 hours. We could relax with our wine down in the garden, resting our tired feet, and enjoy the mild evenings in perfect peace.
Thank you for taking the time to share our vacation review with us and I'd love to hear any comments!
So, what in the world shall we do for Hallowe'en and the Day of the Dead 2014?
Put together by Karen Waschinski, woosel[at]wildmail.com All photos are the property of Karen unless otherwise noted.
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