When I first started this blog, I have always wanted to attend an Annual Memorial Service for Rudolph Valentino, Hollywood Forever Cemetery. For me, I personally felt it important to read about the historical significance of this special event before attending and there were two must reads for me “Valentino the Unforgotten” by Roger Peterson and “Valentino Forever: The History of the Valentino Memorial Services” by Tracy Terhune. I strongly recommend reading both books they were wonderfully informative.
The year was 2014, and I was finally going to make my personal dream a reality and spend 8 days filled with fun and exciting activities during my time in the Los Angeles area. I created a daily calendar of famous historical Hollywood sites I had always wanted to visit. By planning my time carefully, I wanted to ensure my time in L.A. was meaningful.
The day finally arrived and it was time, catching the first flight out. I arrived into L.A. in the very early hours of the morning immediately I hit the ground running. My first stop was Hollywood Forever Cemetery to visit my very favourite silent film actor Rudolph Valentino. When I first entered the Cathedral Mausoleum it felt surreal and having never been here before I instinctively knew where Valentino’s crypt was. I spent time just gazing at a place that was very sacred and special. I took time and quietly spoke to him how he was a wonderful actor, still beloved by many people globally, and how much I adored him. Then I started to look at the other famous people that are laid to rest there and was in awe. After an hour, I went outside and toured more of the cemetery grounds. There was so much more I wanted to see, and made sure to book Karie Bible as my cemetery guide during my stay and it was worth my time and I highly encourage others to contact and make a tour with her.
The day I had been anxiously waiting for finally arrived. It was 23rd August, and I was going to Hollywood Forever Cemetery. I was an early arrival so I could find a good seat to take it all in. I made sure to grab a program and take my seat. I was in awe of how wonderful everything looked from the displays to the flowers it was simply beautiful and tasteful. I introduced myself to Mr. Tracy Terhune and congratulated him on how everything looked. I met Ms. Stella Grace, Christopher Riordan, and many other fellow attendees. From the music selections to the readings and the guest speaker, I was mesmerized by the whole service. Here I was personally mourning someone who meant a great deal to me surrounded by other fans all like-minded and it was what made this first visit special. After the reading of the 23rd Psalm the service ended all too soon and I felt sad. But I knew I was going to come back time and time again.
During my time in L.A. I was privileged to meet some incredible people who have become quite special to me. One person in particular became a close friend during my first visit to the city. Whenever I came back to L.A. in August each year thereafter, we would meet up and have a mini reunion spending the best time together during my visits. We had so much in common and she was such a wonderful friend to many. Last year when plans were being made to attend the memorial service did we find our friend Pam passed away quite unexpectedly. Life may go on but she is always with us.
I dedicate this article to Pam Colt who died on 10 Aug 2021. I miss you very much my friend.