I am "Bạc Hà"

"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams" – Eleanor Roosevelt

Forest Lawn

It was such a morose day when my businesses hit the hard wall. So many unsolvable problems, so much debt and depression. We intended to stop by Glendale city before driving home. On the way to a small cellular phone store, we passed a tempting memorial park with vitage gates and structures inside. At that very moment, I told my friend: Why not get in when we drive back. It came to decision right then.

Very charming gate that caught my eyes. Source: ForestLawn.com

At the gate graved a small board which we could only see a word like “private property”. Almost made a U-turn, but we tried to ask the man in Information booth just to make sure. Surprisingly, it was a public park and it was so huge that we even had to drive in spite of strolling around. Not only that, we stepped from astonishment to astonishment to know that it was, actually, a cemetary with a lovely name: Forest Lawn!

The man then handled us a map [wow] and instructed us to drive to the museum, where we could get more information about places for sightseeing [another wow] Though 250,000 ever buried there, the hill that looked down over the crowded city seemed to be a very peaceful and hermitic. There were very little noise or air pollution. Everythings was mild, quiet, a bit cold. We drove uphill for a while with a thrillingly chilling feeling when passing graves and copper plate in almost every square-foot of the hill.

An artwork for anti Vienam war purpose. Art-for-a-change.com

At the hilltop stood a museum, a very large church and some corridors which were full of very fine art statues. We slowly walked into the museum and realized ourselves saturated by a sea of artworks. Painting in many kinds of paints and materials like oil, hot wax, acrylic, pastel, … filled up the entrance room wall. Some are religious, some are very social, about many cultures whole over the world. The second room was a small shop with booklets and brochures. A soft and very polite African American who sat there gave me some information about the painting and the park as well. The third room was dedicated for antique coins, armors, stained glasses, some are a couple thousands years old. And the last room contained nearly a hundred of statues, wax, bronze, silver, plaster, … All of them looked very lively, very detailed in unique positions.

Later, we drove along the small drive way to the mausoleum. There was almost nobody, and was very echoing. Every step, every word reflexed spookily. All of the structure were made from marble. It looked very luxurious but a bit sad. Only flowers and cold tombstones. The path was like a labyrinth with straights and crosses and so many rooms, some with bench, some with renaissance statue.

Eva renaissance statue from a postcard. museumsanfernandovalley.blogspot.com

We then exited the mausoleum and started driving home when the dusk covered the street gradually. It’s really an uncanny experience. What a pity that I didn’t bring any camera to snap some illustrations.

At night, I did some research about that interesting semetery and found many surprising information about it.

Founded in 1917, it was one of a chain of semetery named Forest Lawn Memorial Park in SoCal. The idea was from Mr. Eaton who desired to make semetery an joyful and artistic place instead of unsightly, depressing stoneyard. That’s why he put a lot of fine art statues and painting and structures in it. The burial sections were named evocatively like: Inspiration Slope, Babyland, Eventide, Sweet Memory, Dawn of Tomorrow, … to name a few.

One of the church and some famous faces that lie here. Recycler.com

There are thousand of famous people, especially ones in entertainment industry, were buried there [wished I had known earlier] like: Michael Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor, Walt Disney,  …

They do have website for it and other ones in the chain [at least 6 of them around here :-ss] with very affordable price. Glendale ones start from $2,300 – $2,600. Why not reserve, folks.


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