This blog is about the story of my family here in America. We arrived in the 1630s as Puritans, and became the common folk of the New World.

Hollywood, and Forest Lawn Cemetery

If you're familiar with Los Angeles, you know that describing Forest Lawn Cemetery as in "Hollywood" isn't really quite true. But hey, that's Hollywood!

Forest Lawn Cemetery is on the other side of the Hollywood Hills, facing Burbank, that is, the San Fernando Valley. A subtle point, but still, Burbank isn't Hollywood. At least not really. But historically, the whole area, and the whole movie-making businesses has been referred to as "Hollywood", so I guess it is.

Isabelle and George Howe - at right.
That's my grandmother Marcellaine Scinto at front left
My personal connection to Hollywood is that my great-grandmother and step-great-grandfather are at Forest Lawn. And since I lived in the San Fernando Valley, and had a fair amount of spare time while I was looking for a job, I paid my respects one day.

Of course I just drove over there, somehow thinking that it would be easy to find their markers. It's a gigantic space, and luckily there was someone there at the entrance with a map to show me exactly where to go. It's absolutely amazing how much real estate is used by this cemetery. Must drive the real estate people crazy. I'm sure it was way out in the middle of nowhere originally, but it has been prime land for a long time.

By the way, they mean what they say about "lawn". This cemetery is mostly markers laid flat on the ground. And from the distance all you see is a beautiful green lawn, and trees, not headstones.

I didn't go visit Marilyn Monroe, although a lot of people do. I visited Isabelle (Steele) and George Howe. They had lived in North Hollywood from 1945 to 1964. I stood there and looked out at the valley and imagined what their world had looked like. It must have been beautiful. It still is, and if you go there now, you will see.
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