Over the weekend, I took a day trip to Ferncliff Cemetery to pay my respects to Joan Crawford and Judy Garland. It took a while.
Both are interred in Ferncliff Mausoluem, which is a giant marble maze. You know the saying “cold as a crypt”? It is no joke. It was freezing. And confusing. Even with the information we gleaned from website Find a Grave (Joan is Unit 8, Alcove E), both women were impossible to find. And both women required separate visits to the main office for assistance.
The first trip found me trying to be clever. When one of two employees asked who I was looking for, I stuttered a bit and then said, “Alfred Steele?” thinking that asking after Joan’s late husband would be less embarrassing than asking for Joan. Of course, I fooled no one, which was immediately apparent when another employee rolled his eyes (verbally, at least) and said, “He means Joan Crawford.”
Ooops. But the end result was worth it, right?
Thinking I knew my way around, I set out for Judy Garland (Unit 9, Alcove HH). No dice. So back to the office, where I found someone I had not yet embarrassed myself in front of. “Are you looking for someone?” she asked, ready to be of assistance. “Judy Garland,” I said. No stuttering this time! She seemed oddly disappointed, as if she’d expected to be challenged. “Oh, that’s easy,” she said, before turning to a computer to print out directions.
Turns out, we weren’t the only ones looking for Judy recently. There were multiples offerings left in front of her stone celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, I guess because once she sang a song called “It’s a Great Day for the Irish.” (At least, that’s what all of the cards referenced.) But it was good to spend some time with her.