Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Visiting Celebrities at Home
I had the pleasure of going out with a good friend from work and her husband and go visit a galaxy full of Movie Stars and celebrities on saturday. They picked me up at home and we hit the road. Destination: Hollywood Forever and Pierce Brothers Cemetery in Westwood.
Hollywood Forever is an amazing garden of many cultures and time periods. When you walk in to the right, a bright and sparkly yard is filled with far eastern mini-pagodas brightly painted and decorated with small cut mirrors. Several families have erected their own pagodas, and as members no longer have use for their bodies, they are cremated and ashes placed inside the structures.
Next to the large, echoing crematoriums, was an area dedicated for the burial of the Jewish faith. In profound contrast to the older, more traditional yet flashy monuments on the other side of the park, The Plains of Moses were chalkablock with very large, very modern, very striking monuments. Some were very tasteful and works of art, some were not so lucky. Almost all included laser etched portraits of the deceased, again with mixed results. The different types of stone were fascinating and very beautiful. I hope that Mr Rozman never saw his finished stone...I dont believe that in real life he looked quite that much like Uncle Fester. The three-quarter portrait of one lady was a favorite, as was the carved stone blob with two black laser portraits inserted.
It was so interesting to see what people had chosen, or had chosen for them as the last remembrance of their time on earth. I like that this cemetery lets family and friends decorate the monuments, including their own plants, and pots.
A really good example of this was the row of tiny graves against the far wall. This area is saved for the final rest of small infants and toddlers. Each is elaborately decorated by parents and family with favorite toys, flowers and other tokens of their sorrow and love.
The Pierce Brothers Cemetery feels like an island, literally, cut away and isolated from the rest of the world. Here Natalie Woods, Burt Lancaster, Brian Keith, and others, rest under a lush green lawn and a few shade trees. They all have flat markers of varying degrees of ornamentation and prose. The lawn is surprisingly uneven, and you could twist your ankle easily if not paying attention where you are walking. Two sides of the cemetery are filled with elegant white marble mausoleums that are home to Marilyn Monroe, Dean Martin, Georgia Frontiere, and their buddies. Almost all have either fresh flowers or (horror!) artifical flowers set in a little vase that is attached to their marble doors; some with special followings like Deano and Marilyn have rows of pennies and dimes lined up on the edge of their bronze nameplates.
The newest residents in the highest rent district have special little garden-ettes with beautiful landscaping, warm brown granite, and fresh flowers. It is very difficult to describe these beautiful plots in their cozy little landscaping, but you can find Jack Lemmon, and other recent resident superstars here.
a fascinating afternoon with great traveling companions and quiet non complaining hosts at our destinations.