Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Old Postcard Wednesday--Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale, California


This week you get a twofer-plus: two postcards plus an old brochure from Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California. Click on any image to enlarge.

When my mother's 15-year-old brother was killed in a car accident in 1927, my grandparents had his remains placed in a crypt in the mausoleum at Forest Lawn. He is the only family member buried there. I've never been to Forest Lawn but my mother spoke reverently about the place and I thought about the postcards and brochure today while watching the Michael Jackson memorial service.....

The media showed the family coming out of the place at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills Cemetery, where they held a private family funeral prior to the public one at Staples Center. According to a Daily News article "Hollywood Hills (cemetery) is 10 minutes away from Forest Lawn's Glendale Cemetery [the one featured in today's postcards], the largest of the chain's properties. Buried on those grounds are Humphrey Bogart, George Burns, Nat King Cole, Sammy Davis Jr., Walt Disney, Clark Gable and baseball legend Casey Stengel."


When my grandmother picked up these two postcards and the brochure there was probably only one Forest Lawn property, that being the one in Glendale, and all of the stars listed in the paragraph above were still alive. The postcards date back to 1929, based on the letters (that I found fascinating) reproduced in the brochure for The Wee Kirk o' the Heather. My grandmother was Scot-Irish, a Marshall by name, and this wee kirk must have been special to her as she mourned for her youngest son.

Note in the first letter the wee kirk is described as a reconstruction . . . of Annie Laurie's church, the ruins of which are at Glencairn, Scotland. The history of Annie Laurie's life is the history of Scotland in that day and age. Her song has for generations thrilled the hearts of Britons and Americans alike. . .






















For more information about Annie Laurie -- the person and the song (including lyrics) -- click here.

In keeping with the importance that Michael Jackson's funeral on Tuesday had around the world, I selected two international versions of the sweet song to close this post.....

The first, an animation video, features the Swedish group Radio Dept. in their 2002 version of Annie Laurie.






The second video is sung in English but by whom is a mystery, because the person who posted it at YouTube has only the title of the song and the composer noted in English. As you can see, the rest of the description is in Japanese.




『アニーローリー』のモデルは、マクスウェルトン家の長女Ann ie Laurie(アニーローリー)。  1682年生まれの実在の人物で、評判のレディーで遠方からも求 婚を受けるほどの美人だったという。  そんな彼女には親にも打ち明けられない恋しい人がいた。、フィン ランド家出身の詩人ウイリアム・ダグラス(William Douglas of Fingland)がいた。  アニーローリーとダグ...

.


21 comments:

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

So many things to think about as usual.

I wonder why they produced postcards - hard to understand why you might send one from there.

A beautiful little building. Thanks for sharing

PS: i don't think its him, but you might want to check out a scottish musician called Ralph McTell - he plays this kind of music as well as his own songs: most famous for the busker's classic "Streets Of London"

La Belette Rouge said...

I love old cemeteries, nothing like a visit to a cemetery to make one aware of the fleeting nature of life. That said, I am sort of surprised at myself that I live so close to Forest Lawn, at either location. You have inspired me to visit these historic cites.

If I get there, and I think I will( the Little Church of the Flowers looks so un-L.A. that I feel drawn to visit it) I will take pictures and post them on my blog.

Thanks for the inspiration

the watercats said...

That song is beautiful.. and I can't help but wonder if Paul Simon didn't listen to it a few times around when he wrote Bridge over troubled water.. there is a sililarity there...
There is a such a lovely thing about old 'kirkyards'... The place looks like somewhere I'd be happy resting my bones...

Erin Davis said...

Lovely versions of the song. Tom Paxton had a slightly different take on Forest Lawn. Ever heard it? Here are the lyrics: http://www.mydfz.com/Paxton/lyrics/fl.htm
Not trying to be disrespectful, it just popped into my head when I saw the postcards. :0)

Looking to the Stars said...

Lydia, I love this! I found everything so fascinating. Thank you for sharing, it was a delight to my soul :)

Ben said...

Wow, that's amazing to have postcards from the 1920's. What cool heirlooms. It's a shame that they had to be bought at the cost of such a tragedy though. That first postcard is amazing. I wish I had things like that from the past.

Hattie said...

I visited Forest Lawn in the late 50's. I wonder if they still have the world's largest oil painting (The Sermon on the Mount, I think the subject was), the Last Supper rendered in stained glass, the chapel where Carrie Jacob's Bond's remains are resting (She was author of the song, "End of a Perfect Day." Do they still have those highway billboard signs that proclaim, "Beauty that Comforts." ?
And of course Evelyn Waugh poked fun at Forest Lawn in his Tnovel, "The Loved One," which was made into a movie.

Lydia said...

@Pixies- They probably produced postcards because of the acclaimed buildings, and the famous people buried there? One of my weird jobs was auditing pre-arranged funeral plans in Oregon. I visited numerous cemeteries and never saw a postcard for sale!

@La Belette Rouge- I also love old cemeteries (my husband and I even visited one on our honeymoon!). That would be exciting for me if you'd post about it on your blog. I was going to respond to your comment with remarks that there are copies of famous art there that are quite famous (The Last Supper window). I have a brochure about that aspect of Forest Lawn, but decided not to lengthen the post with it. See Hattie's comments below.

@the watercats- That song really stayed with me today. Your observation is sure a good one; I never would have connected the two but I think you are right.

@Erin- Nope, never heard the Tom Paxton take on Forest Lawn! Thank You for telling me/us about it and for providing the link. Those are wry lyrics and I got a real kick out of reading them. :)

@Looking to the Stars- Music to my ears that it was a delight to your soul. :)

@Ben- Thanks for your appreciation of the old postcards. Where most of mine were indeed saved by my grandmother and then mother, I have actually added to the collection at ebay. Even if you aren't in the market to buy it really is fascinating looking at the variety of old postcards.

@Hattie- See my reply above to La Belette Rouge...
I didn't research further to confirm whether or not The Last Supper window is still there. But I cannot imagine they would have removed it. The old brochure I have describes a real wonder!
Maybe a reader in California knows about those billboards; I never heard of them or saw one!
So interesting that Waugh poked fun at Forest Lawn, and Tom Paxton also in song (did you see the link provided by Erin above?)

Kim said...

Very interesting stuff you have up here. This is the reason I hang on to things despite people telling me I'm a packrat. These things WILL be interesting in the future.

Lydia said...

@Kim- For those who like old things, students of history...they especially will find those things interesting in the future.

Kate said...

People with a sense of history do all of us a favor by saving photos, newsclips, documents, brochures, etc. Aren't you glad that you have these artifacts of your family history? Very complete post with lots of great info.

Debby said...

This is fascinating. Thanks for sharing such a great post.
debby

Mandala Michelle said...

I wish I hadn't been so quick to toss things out because now that I'm older I can appreciate things your post so much more.

Margo said...

My parents have written and photographed books on a couple of old cemeteries (as well as county courthouses in Virginia)- and truly, they are fascinating. So many amazing stories in ever little detail. Happy PFF, Lydia!

maryt/theteach said...

Love the Forest Lawn postcard and I too wonder why they would have postcards available from a cemetery. I love photographing cemetery statuary and often post such pix on my blogs...This is my first time posting for Postcard Friendly Friday. :)

Lydia said...

@Kate- Thanks for visiting my blog and for easing my mind about having so many possessions from the past. My other blog deals with clutter, etc., and I'm trying to find the balance needed to organize the things I want and love!

@Debby- I love that party picture in your avatar! Glad you enjoyed the post.

@Mandala Michelle- See my comment above to Kate. Don't be so hard on yourself. I went the other direction when I inherited all this from my mother, as passed down from her folks. Now I'm trying to figure out the balance.

@Margo- Happy PFF! Your parents sound like interesting people! Are their books available online? My favorite cemetery is Boot Hill at Virginia City, Nevada. Gives me goosebumps just thinking about the history there.

@Maryt/theteach- I like to photograph cemetery statuary, but haven't done so for a long time. Since we share this interest I'm sure I'm going to enjoy your blog! Happy first PFF to you! Marie Reed started something that has really grown; it's great.

Terry said...

Howdy
Happy PFF.
Oh what wonderful treasures.
Thank you for sharing these
sweet tidbits today.
I wish my ancestors had been savers of stuff .
I guess thats part of the reason I am
because I cherish every little family item I come across when working on family history.
Have a fantastic weekend.
Happy Trails

Postcardy said...

Thanks for the interesting post. I never heard of Annie Laurie before.

Lydia said...

@Terry- Howdy back. Interesting to think that you can now be the saver of family stuff to pass down. Hope your weekend's going great.

@Postcardy- I hadn't heard of her either. I think I may have heard the song but I'm not even sure of that. In any case, I really like it and am glad to know about it now!

Beth Niquette said...

What a poignant story!

I'm sorry I am coming by so late for Postcard Friendship Friday. My parents were involved in a roll-over accident on the freeway last Monday. Miraculously both of my dear parents survived and are recovering, leaving little time for blogging. I had a few minutes just now, though, so here I am.

Happy PFF!

Lydia said...

@Beth- Good heavens! What a scare for your parents and the whole family. Miraculously sounds like the right word for their being ok. I can't imagine where your imagination has taken you since the accident, Beth. Take care of you, too. And of course happy PFF!

ShareThis

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails