Monday, April 25, 2011

Spring Break--or--Time for Graves!

I just finished a whole week of Spring Break, and overall, it was fairly satisfying. My stepson had the same Spring Break and he's been sick, but my mother-in-law was nice enough to watch him for a couple of days during my break so I could relax. I guess I'm just not one of those stepmoms who loves to babysit my stepson on my days off. I wish I was, but having time to myself during my days off is one of the reasons I chose not to have my own kids. My husband is very understanding and never expects me to take care of his son. Sometimes I help out when I can or want to, but he never just assumes I'll do it.

Let me just state that I just wrote and deleted a huge chunk of writing here about how frustrating 50/50 child custody schedules can be. It just plain sucks to change your schedule around for other people's vacations. That's all I'm going to say because I don't want to sound bitchy. (I know--a big step for me!)

Anyways, let's get to the graves. During Spring Break I decided to walk more. When I was in college, I walked everywhere, and that helped me come up with some of my best writing. And, since a friend of mine--Rosemary--so generously suggested that we write some poems together, I decided that walking again might be a good remedy for my writer's block.

My walk lately has consisted of the giant hills of Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City. It's about a mile from my home. I like it because it has some of the best views of Los Angeles once you get to the top of the hill, and it has some celebrity graves that I like to visit. So, once I get there, here's my loop: First, I walk up to the grotto, and once I catch my breath, I visit Rita Hayworth. Then, I go just a few rows in front of her to catch up with Bing Crosby ("Harry Lillis" on his grave) and Bela Lugosi. There's usually some strange artifact on Lugosi's grave. And, I am proud to say that I have confirmed that Bela Lugosi is, indeed, dead. Next, I walk inside the Grotto. It's kind of creepy, to tell you the truth. There are always lit candles, rosaries, and a lot of flowers. The funny thing is that people have obviously gone to a lot of trouble to place those things there, but they don't always go the extra mile. Come on, people! If you're going to hike all the way up here, at least take the flowers out of the super market wrap that says "Ralphs" all over it. And, are flowers in a McDonald's cup or Powerade bottle really the tribute you want to send to Jesus? Just asking.

So, after the Grotto, I look at the little stream with the turtles before saying hello to Sharon Tate. I don't like to stay there too long because I start thinking about her violent end, but I don't want to leave her out. Next, I mosey around the other side of the Grotto to bid good tidings to the Schnozzola himself--Jimmy Durante (Loving husband, father--that's what I read, anyways). Finally, my favorite part of the walk--I go all the way down the huge hill and go to Evelyn Nesbit's grave. It's almost always dirty--since it's at the bottom of the hill, stuff blows down and sticks there all the time. So, I clean her grave off eachtime I go. The other day, it was an Oreos wrapper. A couple of days before that, it was a Walgreen's receipt for a six-pack of Bud Light. What on earth are people doing at the cemetery?!?! Having a cookout? Geesh. Clean up after yourselves!

Do you know Evelyn Nesbit? If you don't (well, and even if you do) I highly recommend the book American Eve about her and the "crime of the century." It's funny that this version of the "crime of the century" took place in 1906. I find it amusing that those who dubbed it thus must have thought that no crime bigger than this (one guy, albeit a famous one, gets murdered at Madison Square Garden) could happen in, say, the next 94 years. Ha! Think about all the other "crimes of the century" we've had since then. Hitler? Manson? OJ? R. Kelly peeing on that pre-teen? Sigh.

Evelyn was known as the "girl in the red velvet swing." That's her picture at the top of the page. Her story is fascinating. That woman suffered, and even though most people have probably forgotten all about who she was, she was one of the most famous women in the world at one point. So, I dust her headstone off and then I walk away until the next day when some new piece of garbage surely finds its place there for me.

1 comment:

Churlita said...

That sounds like an awesome walk. And your husband is cool for not expecting you to watch his kid.