Float decoration is hard work, long hours on your feet, concentrating on fine detailed work. We were feeling a little fatigued and needed a little rest from our manual labor of the past couple of days, so we took the day off from float prep to do what Downtown Dad and I do best on vacation – look up dead relatives, and old addresses from our past!
The first stop was Mountain View Cemetery in Altadena. A peaceful place where three out of five members of my mother’s family are buried.
Here’s my grandfather, the one who invented the drill that matches your grip for bowling balls.
Here’s my mother’s mother.
Here’s my mother’s twin brother who died of Leukemia at 16 years old.
A couple of years ago, my sister and I scattered my mother’s ashes in and around our home town of Goleta, California. I also scattered some in Sioux City, Iowa where she was born. Turns out both my sister Vicki and I still have some ashes left, and we both think the rest of them should be interred with a headstone next to her twin brother. I’m currently working with a counselor at the cemetery to see if we can do that.
Our next stop was Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale. We went there to find the graves of two of Dave’s shirt-tail relatives, but I knew there were more stars from the golden age of Hollywood buried there than any other cemetery – so, while he searched the hillside for familiar names, I searched Google on my phone to see if there was any way to find out where these celebrities’ final resting places were.
Turns out there is a list of people buried there, but there is a catch. There are privacy laws, and the office can’t give out crypt or plot locations unless you are a relative. ….unless… you can find and follow the secret instructions to locate your fave dead celeb… which I did.
There are really only two celebs that I really even care about, and both happen to be buried there at Glendale Forest Lawn. Humphrey Bogart, and Walt Disney. Bogie is buried in a private garden, behind a locked door which can only be opened with a golden key issued at the time of burial to the surviving family member. Walt Disney, on the other hand is a classic example of hiding in plain sight.
At the top of the hill is a building called the Freedom Mausoleum. You can’t miss it, there is a 13 foot high statue of George Washington at the front door. Just to the left of the front entrance is a small private garden with a gate. I have to admit I was quite amazed that I was able to stand inside this private enclosure, alone, not three feet from the plaque that bears his name.
To the right of the plaque is a small statue of the original Little Mermaid which as strewn with flowers, and several tickets from Disneyland. What an awesome experience! I have to admit, I’m still feeling the weight of it.
Check back tomorrow to hear about our further adventures in float decoration!