So…I finally had a day off on Friday. Roger and I booked a studio tour at Paramount and headed to Hollywood Forever Cemetery to find the last few people on our morbid check list before we had to meet up for our tour.
The last time we were at that cemetery we didn’t notice any peacocks (they are one of my favorite animals, so I wouldn’t have missed them!) It must have been their lunch time because there were TONS of them strutting about. I even got super close to one of the boys.
We headed over to visit Cecil B. DeMille because a few on our list were near him. While looking for Jane Mansfield, I told Roger what I knew about her death. I looked up and saw a goose hissing at us, seeing that I only had 2 pennies and a camera to protect myself I said, “Oh sh*t,” and bolted. Roger ran the opposite way. I ran as fast as I could while trying not to run into headstones or trip in any holes. I was almost to the street when I heard Roger yell and eat it on the grass. I thought the goose had gotten him but he had actually tripped over his pants. I never thought I would be running through a cemetery and I figured if I ever did, it would be away from a ghost…not a goose! It was like an ‘I Love Lucy’ episode!
Anyone we wanted to see near the pond was ignored for the security of the mausoleums. We found Bugsy Siegel and left one penny each on his crypt–it’s supposed to be good luck, I don’t know how since the man was murdered, but we left two cents just the same. FUN FACT: My Great-Great-Uncle was employed by Bugsy as a Pit Boss at the Flamingo Casino in Las Vegas.
It was getting hot and we had to make our way behind the wall to Paramount (the cemetery sold some of their land to Paramount in the early 1900′s so they are divided by one of the mausoleums.) But before we left I came across this guy’s tomb which I found hilarious.
“The flag is up” is a term my friend Cassie used whenever she would fart. Seeing that on some guy’s headstone makes me wonder if he farted a lot too.
The tour consisted of 3 people from Canada, 2 people from Missouri, one dude from LA and Roger and I. Our tour guide Amanda was super nice and indulged my nerdiness with tales of old movie stars.
We got to see STAGE 19, where Citizen Kane was filmed. (A cousin of mine, Gregg Toland, was Orson Welles’ favorite cinematographer, so it was extra neat to see that—Gregg is also buried at Hollywood Forever and NO,we couldn’t find him!!)
We also got to see Lucille Ball’s dressing room (video above), her office and “park.” Everyone got off the cart to go walk around a set of some Nickelodeon kids’ show. The parents from Missouri kept saying how much their kids would love this…then why didn’t you bring them, you crappy parents?!
When we got to the back of Hollywood Forever I asked if there were any good ghost stories. Amanda said that ALL the security guards hate working that area at night because people have seen ghosts walk through that wall. NEAT!!!
After that we drove around the city sections; Chicago and parts of New York. Our guide showed us how they did “movie magic” when the woman is tall and the man is not, they use different sized doors.
This parking lot is where they shot the parting of the Red Sea in the ‘Ten Commandments.’
As we neared the famous Bronson Street Gates Roger and I started getting antsy knowing we were about it be sitting next to where part of ‘Sunset Blvd.’ was filmed. First we saw the offices Bill Holden worked in as a writer. Then we saw STAGE 18.
STAGE 18 is where Norma Desmond goes to meet Cecil B. DeMille.
Amanda drove us over to the real Writers’ Offices and let me take pictures in front of it. NEAT-O!
After this photo was taken our guide told us it was good luck to touch the Gate if you wanted to be in Show Business. I would like to take this time to formally apologize for molesting the gate.
Yea, that’s right, that little head next to the Palm leaf is William Shatner. Since laying eyes on the Shat I can now recite poetry with a Shatner-like speech pattern. I have the gift.
After the tour, Roger and I were in the gift/coffee shop waiting to get a frozen lemonade & I noticed a red streak on his arm & asked him where he got that. He said, “The funniest thing happened, I got chased by a goose in a cemetery!” Still hilarious. Then I walked into a locked turnstile. Hello Bruise-town, population, ME.
For dinner we made our way over to the Dresden Room in Hollywood. We were the first ones there and since a.) I had a horrible night at work the previous evening and b.) I wasn’t driving (Thanks again Roger) I decided I was going to get a little tight and had a Lemon Drop. The bartender put a lime in the glass and I thought, “Oh no, this is going to taste like crap.” I was SO wrong, it tasted like a Lime Aide from Sonic…and went down just as easy.
We both got steak but I had French Onion Soup (sadly, without the cheese) and he had a salad. We also got dessert afterward; I had a Lemon Cake (lemon butter cream frosting, YUM!! And yes I have 2 new zits because of it, WORTH IT!) and Roger had some sort of chocolate cake monstrosity.
I look forward to going back to the Dresden Room, so clearly I was not a casualty of a hangover because of my adventure there. I can’t say that I’ll be returning to the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, at least not without a bat!