In less than 12 days, generations of fans of the great silent film legend Rudolph Valentino will come from parts all over to the Cathedral Mausoleum, Hollywood Forever Cemetery to celebrate and mourn the life of a talent that lives on in our minds, hearts and celluloid.
The memorial service comes to serve us all as a reminder to pause and remember that he has never been forgotten. The purpose of this blog has always been to give the viewer a glimpse into a yester-year. A bygone era of photos, newspaper headlines, articles that give us something new and different to savor and perhaps bring us all a little closer as a community should. But its important to know there are dedicated and humble people who work behind the scenes each year to ensure the Annual Rudolph Valentino Memorial Service is done in a fitting and respectful manner in tribute to one we all come together and celebrate and mourn the passing of a wonderful silent star whose light will never dim. To Mr. Tracy Terhune, Ms. Stella Grace and others, I wanted to take a moment to thank you for the hard work all that you have done and continue to do. On 23 Aug, 1315 PST, Los Angeles California, Hollywood Forever Cemetery 92nd Memorial Service physically and virtually the Valentino Community will once again come together.
The 92nd Valentino Memorial Service
So I always wanted to spend time in Los Angeles or Valentino’s Hollywood. In times past, I drove through, I stopped off to see relatives, but I never got to see those tourist places that I always wanted to see. So, I took the trip of a lifetime and simply went. I wanted to be a traditional tourist, I wanted to attend the Rudolph Valentino Memorial Service, I wanted to meet several people who I had been corresponding with via Facebook, I wanted to walk where he did, I wanted to see where he lived, and I needed to spend some time researching for a book I intend to write one day. So in five days, I was able to accomplish that and more. I drove, I walked, I got lost, I picked up souvenirs, and I wrote post cards home. One of the things I did was visit Hollywood Forever Cemetery and had a private tour with Kari Bible who is passionate about what she does and shares her wealth of knowledge about Hollywood and the stars buried there. I took a tour of Hollywood courtesy of TMZ and I was not impressed. I walked on Hollywood Blvd, Sunset Blvd, Griffith Park, Griffith Observatory, I ate at Musso & Franks Restaurant, I toured the Hollywood Heritage Museum and the people there are truly nice and take time to tell you about what is in the Museum.
Then I went to the Valentino Memorial Service and I got to see Rudolph Valentino’s grave, I spent a little time there, I met some wonderful people at the service, and my final day I spent Valentino sightseeing. My gracious tour guide took me to see where Valentino Productions was located we even went inside the opened door and walked quietly upstairs taking in all of the original features still there. I was shown where Rudy asked Jean Acker to marry him and also seen the church which was the site of the first Valentino Memorial Service. Then there was Natacha and Rudy’s spot on Sunset Blvd, Pola Negri’s house and George Ullman’s house in Beverly Hills, we even drove through Whitley Heights and I even seen the foundation of Rudy’s former home. The best part was going to see Falcon Lair. How can I describe the place where he called home just to pull up and see that black gate, those white columns and the name Falcon Lair was indescribable in how I felt. I got out and of course took photos and videos and was pointed out what was original and what was torn down. To see that wonderful man’s home torn down like that was simply sad. That is Hollywood history that is gone forever except what is on a photograph or a post card is incomprehensible. My tour guide talked to me and I gained more insight into this person who I never personally knew but in my heart I did. Although it’s only been a few days since I left I look over the videos and the photographs I took and am simply grateful that I went. Because now, I will go back year after year and know there are more memories to create, acquaintances to renew, and more knowledge to gain. I want to acknowledge two people who made me feel right at home. My tour guide Tracy Terhune and the gracious Stella Grace.