To those of you who have been waiting with baited breath to hear about my trip to California, hold it no more. I'm back, quasi-settled and ready to give you a quick overview.
The day my plane landed, (aside from a quick lunch) I headed directly over to Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City. I once again visited Bela Lugosi (which I HAVE to do) and then found other stars I had on my list of photos to get. Zasu Pitts and Evelyn Nesbitt, among others. Special thanks to Jayne and her cousin Cynthia! I met these lovely ladies near Rita Hayworth and was pointed in some great directions.
I spent a lot of time in Holy Cross, so by the time I was ready to leave (the gates were going to close), I was ready to head to my hotel for the night to get myself organized for the week and settled in. This, alas, was not to be.
When I was about a mile away from the hotel, I got into a nasty car accident. It seems everyone was generally okay (I got a concussion and felt pretty beaten up by the seat belt). No emergency/ambulance-needed injuries. Thank goodness. The rental car, on the other hand, was crunched. I'm guessing it was totaled since it looked like it to me, but I was in shock and am probably not the best at gauging things like that anyway. All I know is that the impact came hard, and then the car was spinning. It was terrifying. I don't recommend it. I also don't recommend a tiny/economy car such as this Chevy Sonic in a traffic-inflamed city like Los Angeles.
Moral of the story? Avoid intersections in LA. Get a pilot's license instead.
The other cemeteries I visited were Hollywood Forever and Forest Lawn in Glendale. I got to see things at both of them that I hadn't before. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to visit any others because my schedule was very busy most days, and the day I didn't have much going on, I felt so sick that I went to the Hollywood Walk-in Clinic. That's when I was diagnosed with the concussion. To tell you the truth, I haven't felt right since. Hopefully they will subside soon. It's been two weeks.
Since I haven't been feeling great, I've been frustrated. I haven't been able to focus on my book since I've been home. I know I pushed myself too hard in LA, but I didn't really have a choice. The two most important days were good days, but I would have liked to have visited more cemeteries.
BUT ... I'm getting back into research mode. I've been able to focus a lot better today, and my neck and head didn't start hurting until this evening. Progress!
I am currently researching the Talmadge sisters--Norma, Constance and Natalie. And their mother, Peg. Can't forget her role.
Be careful out there!
I'm the author of a number of cemetery books and am now writing one about the graves of silent film stars, starting with the ladies. Who would you like to see included?
More Silent Film Resources
• Silentology blog