Los Angeles: A bookshop and a cemetery

Just a few more photos from last weekend, taken after I wrote my blog post on Monday.

First of all, a nice fannish moment in the hotel lobby with Daniel Anthony, who played Clyde in the Sarah Jane Adventures, and does not appear to have aged in the last ten years.

Also, fashionable slippers that I envied a little.

Then we went up to Hollywood with a bunch of Doctor Who writers, first stop the Mystery Pier Bookshop, owned by former actress Pamela Franklin and her husband. (She was out shopping.)

They specialise in first editions, including signed copies of Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman, and of Queen Victoria’s Leaves from the Journal of Our Life in the Highlands.

Then it was on to the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, which has a tremendous setting.

We were there to pay our respects to Tony Beckley, who played Harrison Chase in The Seeds of Doom (1976) and was one of the first prominent British actors to die of AIDS, in 1980.

We held a little commemoration.

Other interesting graves there include Mel Blanc, the voice of Bugs Bunny, with the epitaph “That’s All, Folks!”

This extraordinary grave belongs to Mike Szymanski, who is still alive:

Another striking monument to Romanian film director Mihai Iacob:

I had no idea that there were so many Armenians in the film industry, or in Hollywood at least:

And the cemetery has peacocks, though we are advised not to feed them.

Finally, H and I had a good long chat with Kenny Smith of Big Finish on our way home as he too was flying to Heathrow. He grumbled that I didn’t mention that in my previous post, but in fairness that was written first thing Monday morning, hours before we flew together!

The easternmost dead president

So I came across this interesting article yesterday, listing the gravesites of all of the presidents of the United States (apart from those who are still alive). It is illustrated by this lovely map:

The westernmost tomb is that of Ronald Reagan in California; the southernmost is Lyndon B Johnson in Texas; the northernmost is Calvin Coolidge in Vermont. But who is easternmost? Both John Adams and John Quincy Adams rest in the crypt of the United First Parish Church in Quincy, Massachusetts. It must be one of them.

This charming news piece has CBS reporter Levan Reid exploring the crypt and inspecting the dead presidents for himself. As seen from the entrance to the burial chamber, John Adams is on the left, followed by his wife Abigail, their son John Quincy, and finally John Quincy Adams’ wife Louisa (the only First Lady born outside the United States, apart from Melania Trump).

It’s not completely clear from this film which way round they are with respect to the rest of the church. But Openstreetmaps suggests that the crypt is at the eastern end of the church, with John Adams’s tomb the northernmost of the four and a little to the west, and John Quincy Adams therefore the easternmost of the dead presidents.

But next time I am in that part of the world, I think I will go have a look for myself.

Edited to add, 28 August 2022: I was wrong, as I discovered when I visited Quincy today. In fact the crypt is located below the portico at the western end of the church, accessed by a staircase from the interior. John Quincy Adams and Louisa are in the northern end, slightly west of John and Abigail. John Adams père is therefore the easternmost of the dead presidents.