Letters: Kudos for less-traveled destinations, cemetery finds, more
Thank you so much for your “A Fab Five” [June 28] articles on desirable destinations that are not yet overrun.
I had the privilege of growing up in a missionary family in the 1950s who managed to take me on exciting travels when cruise lines carried passengers in the hundreds instead of thousands, and when people on airlines were well-dressed and treated like royalty.
Much of the joy of travel has gone for me since the experience has so drastically changed, and after suffering the indignities of being herded like cattle to a beautiful destination only to find hordes of people. I hope the Travel section will feature many more such finds.
The Travel section’s original article on notable cemeteries, “Monuments to Life” [May 24], unleashed a torrent of interest and travel memories from your readers.
Fifty years ago, as a college student on my way to Europe from California, I made a pilgrimage to Rock Creek Cemetery in Washington, D.C. Ringed by sheltering trees is the Adams Memorial, with a shrouded, contemplative figure by American sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens.
It was erected in 1891 by author/historian Henry Adams at the gravesite of his wife. Saint-Gaudens titled the figure “The Mystery of the Hereafter,” but it is more popularly known as “Grief.” It was unforgettable and is as moving as Saint-Gaudens’ best-known work, the Robert Gould Shaw Memorial on Boston Common.
Its haunting beauty has never left me.
Janice Johnson Barnum
Tucked among the lush, rolling hills of Calabasas are the 10 landscaped acres of the Los Angeles Pet Memorial Park. It is one of the oldest facilities of its kind on the West Coast and is said to be the second-largest pet cemetery, after a park in New York, in the country. The park is incorporated as SOPHIE Inc. (Save our Pets’ History in Eternity), which is a nonprofit public benefit corporation dedicated to the preservation and perpetuity of the park.
I have attended three dignified burial services there and found the staff helpful and compassionate. The park is well-maintained, and a large number of sites are adorned with tributes and decorations, especially during the holidays. There are many four-legged celebrities among the 40,000 pets throughout the park, including Hopalong Cassidy’s horse Topper, Rudolph Valentino’s Doberman Kabar and Charlie Chaplin’s cat Scout. It’s always been one of my favorite local spots to visit.
The ultimate epitaph has to be that on the marker of Mel Blanc, who voiced many cartoon characters, including Porky Pig: “That’s All Folks” at Hollywood Forever Cemetery.
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