I had such a lovely day yesterday in Los Angeles with an old friend.
Back in my days at Universal, after the tour guiding was over, I was picking up photos at a one-hour deal before heading to eat dinner with my family, including two out of town brothers. I ran into one of my former supervisors, who asked me if I was ready to get back to the classroom now that summer was over. I told her I was going back to school to finish clearing my credential and was without a job. She suggested I come work for her at the VIP office at Universal. I interviewed with the higher-ups and within a week, I was sitting in a cubicle with this guy.
That’s Dan and me in our little cubicle at Universal Studios, above the VIP lounge. We worked in guides for 2 years, and then shared the cubicle in the VIP office for a year before I went back to teaching. After that, we didn’t keep in good touch, until the wonders of social networking. Once we reconnected, we talked of having coffee, but we both kept having to cancel – kids, illnesses, appointments, and other things always got in the way. Until yesterday. We met in Toluca Lake and he whisked me away for a day away from responsibilities.
Our first stop was a charming little place in West Hollywood for a delicious breakfast. I had a positively yummy breakfast burrito that sustained me for the rest of the day. After great food and better conversation, we got in the car and started heading West. I had no idea where we were going, and he wouldn’t tell me.
While on the way, somehow the subject of Marilyn Monroe came up. I told Dan how I’d had posters of her up on my walls in college, and one of my favorite movies was “Some Like It Hot.” He smiled slyly at me and said, “Well, that’s interesting.”
About 10 minutes later, we pull into a little teeny, hidden cemetary hidden amongst tall buildings in Westwood.
And thus started our celebrity sightings.
By the way, some of the most clever headstones ever.
So, one of the big stars of “Some Like It Hot” and the writer/director. This space was small, but very quaint and beautiful.
There’s different “neighborhoods” if you will. First, there’s the nice, big granite stones like Jack Lemmon, with a little yard, almost. Some have gates around them, some don’t. There’s also an area with concrete, a nice water feature, and sort of patio area.
Right in the center is what I think of when I hear “cemetary” – a nice, grassy area with headstones on it.
There were several recognizable names, but one headstone in particular caught my eye. I’ve never quite seen anything like it.
Once you pass the grassy yards, you’ll find the apartments. Well, that’s what they seem like, but I suppose the right word is Mausoleum.
Some of the residents are…
Fresh, gorgeous flowers for Dean Martin.
One single flower for Truman Capote.
And the one I was most excited to see.
Your eyes don’t deceive you. Her crypt is darker than anyone’s, because people put on red lipstick and kiss it. Over the years, despite it being cleaned, it’s taken on an orangey-pink hue. Notice, also, the fresh flowers. I have no idea if someone comes every day to put fresh flowers in there, or if we just happened to come on a day when she had a visitor. Either way, it was fitting and made me feel better to see someone taking care of her.
Thanks, Dan, for the lovely day! We must do it again!!