By now it is must be evident that I derive a certain amount of pleasure from visiting cemeteries. They are places of grief, of celebration, of remembrance, and of peace. It is interesting and sobering to see the slice-of-life happenings at a cemetery; on a recent visit to Holy Cross Mortuary in Culver City, CA, I saw preparations for a Navy funeral, family picnics, the tending of grave sites, and hikers taking advantage of the quiet surroundings and sloping terrain.
I will admit that it felt slightly capricious and mildly irreverent to be hunting for celebrity graves whilst "Taps" was being played. After a quick assessment of my intentions, I determined that my motives were not entirely dishonorable so, with consideration for the mourners, I made my way around the park.
|The mid-Century chapel and mausoleum were stunning.|
I love the art, architecture, and the stained glass!
As much as I respect the architecture, I was on a mission to pay my real respects to some of Hollywood's brightest stars and some of wacky tacky's biggest inspirations.
|June Haver & Fred MacMurray play tandem guitar.|
I have a feeling that these two made great music together!
"What's My Line?" - Fred & June as mystery challengers
One of my favorite Hollywood couples on one of my favorite television shows!
"Cocktails for Two" - Spike Jones & His City Slickers
"Ain't She Sweet" - Ray Bolger & Verna Felton
|Most of the headstones at Holy Cross are rather humble affairs - flat stones flush with the surrounding turf.|
You get one guess as to whom the landscaped, stony-based, giant crucifix belongs.
Auntie Mame kind of deserves a ostentatious marker, don't you think?
After all, this is a Catholic cemetery and she did play
Mother Superior in The Trouble With Angels.
But where are the bathing beauties?
A legend, a hero, a benefactor of wacky tacky
"Keep a song in your heart."
|A feature common among graveyards is the waste receptacles;|
I must say that I love a faux bois trash can!
He may have been in The Girl Next Door with June
Haver (above). He might and one of Jack Benny's
regular players. To me, he will always be Johnny Appleseed.
"Johnny Appleseed" - Dennis Day
|ZaSu Pitts was a marvelous actress and just happens to be|
the grandmother of one the best Southern California musicians,
whistlers, and regular Parlor Boy to Janet Klein, John Reynolds!
One of my most favorite female vocalists from the big band era
"Green Eyes" - Helen O'Connell & Bob Eberly
"Rubber Dolly" - Helen O'Connell
|Scale replicas of Michelangelo's La Pieta abound|
"Inka Dinka Doo" - Jimmy Durante with Harry James
We've already expressed our adoration for the much beloved Bing Crosby .
|Is there a bad picture of this woman??? PERFECTION!!!|
"The Shorty George" - Rita Hayworth & Fred Astaire
from You Were Never Lovelier
Word has it that Rita was Fred's favorite dance partner.
Can you blame him?
Other notable residents of Holy Cross include Loretta Young, Jackie Coogan, John Ford, Pat O'Brien, Sharon Tate, Charles Boyer, MacDonald Carey, Louella Parsons, Richard Arlen, Edmond O'Brien, Joan Davis, Mary Fran, Vince Edwards, Richard Arlen, and Mario Lanza.
|I have no idea who Louis Lookadoo, Jr. is but that is a killer name.|
I'm thinking about changing mine to Mr. Tiny "Wackadoo."
Holy Cross is a beautiful cemetery and it is located right off the freeway. If you have a free afternoon to roam its rolling acres, you should take my suggestion and visit. I'm sure that I'll be back because it is adjacent to another cemetery with residents of renown. I always feel a bit conspicuous with my street clothes and poised camera; next time, I might wear black.
Holy Cross Mortuary
5835 W Slauson Ave
Culver City, CA