Monday, July 04, 2011

It's Always Better on Holiday VII, pt. 1: Forest Lawn

My second day in Pawnee started off with breakfast with April and Andy.

Okay, listen.  I'm not really in Pawnee, Indiana.  There is no Pawnee, Indiana—it's just a very authentic-sounding name for a town.  I'm actually in San Marino.

Anyway, Grandma asked me if I'd like to go look around Forest Lawn that morning and I said YES as I've just recently read this book called the Loved One that was a satire of sorts of the LA funeral business and Forest Lawn itself.  I'd been to Forest Lawn before when I was six or seven, it was time for another visit.

There are lots of chapels at Forest Lawn.  For either weddings or funerals.  This is the Wee Kirch chapel or something like that.

They've got a Cristus there at that wee chapel.  But I did not go up on to that lawn to look at it, I remained on the Vestry Walk.  Why?

Because I respect the wishes of the Board of Trustees.

Deeper within the cemetery we found a replica of the David.  Because of  course there'd be a replica of the David at the cemetery where people also come to get married.

This was the first time I noticed that David is holding his sling, this is a statue of him sizing up Goliath.  Never realized that before.

Nearby David: More statues.

This one is called the Mystery of Life.  It is full of all sorts of people dealing with the mystery of life.  My favorite person would probably be the atheist on the far left who is smiling because, as the inscription of the statue explains, he is a fool.

Whatcha lookin' at, Dave?

See that big building way over there?  Inside of it they have a 195' by 40' painting of the crucifixion.  We had to come by three times before they'd finally let us see it.  Long story.  I won't tell it.

Again, there's a lot of "romantic" stuff at Forest Lawn.  Like this chair where you sit facing your beloved and are supposed to clasp hands through the ring and recite this one recitation . . .

This one.  This recitation.

I'm looking into buying these Taylors out of their tomb and taking it over for my family.

This is the main mausoleum, inside of there there's a stain glass of the last supper and lots and lots of crypts. 

Here's something we need to take a closer look at.

Just like these statue kids are.

It's the Builder's Creed, the mission statement of the man that built Forest Lawn.

As you can see, he signed his work "The Builder" which made a light go off in my head as in the Loved One they are always talking about the Creator, being the fellow that founded the main cemetery in that book.

Get a good look, kids.

You too, weird puppy toy.

There is also a very patriotic corner of Forest Lawn.

I spotted this sign from a distance.  It deceived me.

See that chain beneath Washington?  It's a segment from a mighty chain that was stretched across the Hudson to hold back the British.  Never heard of that chain before.

Another deceptive sign.  There weren't even backrubs in that sanctuary.

As we were about to leave the cemetery Grandma very nonchalantly mentioned that Michael Jackson was buried at Forest Lawn.  I demanded to see him!  Turns out this door is as close as you can get, but that woman on the left told us where to look within the Holly Terrace to kind of see where he was.  I got the impression that that woman was no stranger to paying visits to the doors to MJ's final resting place.

The anniversary of Michael's death was just the week before so there were lots of flower displays and notes to him all around.  Or maybe it's always like that there?

Here's a notebook of laminated messages from his Italian Fanclub.

After Forest Lawn we went up the road to the Hollywood Hills Forest Lawn (turns out there's lots of Forest Lawns) to see the replica of the Paul Revere church place in Boston.  This I remember seeing when I was 6 or 7 and now I realize I'd never been to Forest Lawn proper, just Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills.

They've got this giant mosaic of American history there.

Many famous paintings of famous scenes expressed now in tile.

Always wondered why an Elderly Abraham Lincoln played the drum in the Revolutionary army.

Okay, goodbye you grand green and white Los Angeles cemeteries.  You sure are very different from the cemeteries I know from Chicago.  You are not very scary at all, that's for sure.

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