So I dragged Elaine to another cemetery this weekend. Elaine says I’m turning her into a ghoul. That wasn’t really my intention. I find graveyards sort of fascinating, but then I write about vampires so I guess that kind of follows.
Holy Cross Cemetery does not have the eerie vibe that Hollywood Forever has. Beautiful place on a hill, like a fancy park with dead people buried in the lawn. The celebrities here are of a more recent vintage than most of the spirits we visited last week. People who were actually alive while I was alive.
Which apparently makes all the difference.
Rudolph Valentino and Charlie Chaplin’s mother Hannah have been gone so long that they have almost passed into legend, as if they never were living beings at all. Dead when I was born, dead now, no difference. But John Candy? I remember watching John Candy on TV, waiting impatiently for his movies, laughing at his guest spots. Now he’s up there in the wall above Fred MacMurray.
And suddenly looking for dead celebrities isn’t so fun anymore. It’s as if the cold wind of mortality had brushed against the back of my neck, raising the hairs, chilling the soul. Because Rudolph Valentino is so dead, he’s in black and white.
But John Candy wasn’t.
And the walls of the mausoleum, stacked with row after row of bodies in tiny claustrophobic cubicles, seems cold and forbidding. I’m eager to get back outside into the sun, back to the rolling green lawns with the gorgeous view of the city, away from John Candy lying silent in his tomb.
That was when Elaine told me that she didn’t want to go to any more cemeteries.
Neither do I.