'amongst the immortals'

by William. September. 29, 2009 2308 views

it has been a taxing time of late, and i am unable to post as much as i would like… although, the lack of decent photos to share is also a reason for my absence. it also doesn't help that i am still bombarded with multiple e.mails and hits to this blog by photography students worldwide; along with their professors, all of whom seem unable to understand that i cannot come and speak to the class. besides, my general greatness cannot be taught!

as you know, i am joking, and nothing i am going to share is groundbreaking or technical… rather, here are some glimpses from my ridiculous travels. no need to thank me.

While in California, one of the places that fascinated me to visit was the legendary Forest Lawn Memorial Cemetery, located in Glendale. I'm aware many travellers/photographers frequent cemeteries, particularly older ones, but if you don't know about Forest Lawn, you must understand it was constructed to be a sort of 'Memorial Park', and the visual can often be awe inspiring, and more often, surreal. Of course, this picture does not bear out its apparent majesty and meloncholy, (and even a hint of kitsch), but, I liked this picture alot, so..

From the un-killable Wikipedia.org: “Eaton was a firm believer in a joyous life after death. He was convinced that most cemeteries were ”unsightly, depressing stoneyards“ and pledged to create one that would reflect his optimistic beliefs, ”as unlike other cemeteries as sunshine is unlike darkness.“ He envisioned Forest Lawn to be ”a great park devoid of misshapen monuments and other signs of earthly death, but filled with towering trees, sweeping lawns, splashing fountains, beautiful statuary, and … memorial architecture"

Forest Lawn inspired the satire “The Loved One” by Evelyn Waugh, and is the final resting place for many famous names, such as Michael Jackson, Humphrey Bogart, Irving Thalberg, Harold Lloyd, Chico Marx, Jean Harlow, Clark Gable, Errol Flynn, Sam Cooke, Sammy Davis Jr., Lon Chaney Sr., Clara Bow, and many, many, many others.. some of whom I attempted to see, some of which I never would have had the time to see, and nearly all of which you aren't allowed to see. More on that later.

On the day we explored Forest Lawn, it was 100 degrees exactly.. by contrast, it was 62 degrees on the East Coast. Not that any of the statues noticed.

This shot was taken, and, due to the happy little cherub there, seemed rather jovial. Only in retrospect did I see it was the guardian for the ‘Babyland’ section of Forest Lawn, which, as the title infers, is the final resting place for infants and toddlers. The jovial feeling immediately left, and I'm now very somber to look at this, but I kept it the same. From Wikipedia.org: “Forest Lawn's 300 acres (1.2 km2) of intensely landscaped grounds and thematic sculptures were the inspiration for the biting commentary of Evelyn Waugh's satirical novel The Loved One and Jessica Mitford's acerbic The American Way of Death. Many commentators have considered Forest Lawn to be a unique American creation, and perhaps a uniquely maudlin Los Angeles creation, with its ”theme park“ approach to death.”

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William. 11 years, 6 months ago

p.s- the title of this post isn't some pretentious thing i made up. it came from reading about Forest Lawn, where it was suggested some influencial people can be 'voted in amongst the immortals'... i thought that sounded funny, hence the useage of it.

11 years, 6 months ago Edited
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