Maggie’s Hollywood ! !

Hollywood Sign

I recently returned from a 2-week vacation to the west coast.  One week was spent in California and the second week was spent in Las Vegas with a friend.  When I was in California I had the opportunity to do only  a very little star searching as I only spent a few hours in Los Angeles and Hollywood.  Hardly significant time to get the full effect.

I spent over an hour pacing up and down the sidewalk taking pictures of the stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. This is a list of all the starts I took.  The most important to me were of course The Monkees, Kermit, Jim Henson and the Muppets.  It was also neat to find all the stars for the cast of The Dick Van Dyke show (one of my all time favorites).

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Here is a full list of Walk of  Fame Stars that I took pictures of:

Hollywood Walk of Fame Stars

Halle Berry
Steven Spielberg
Harrison Ford
Donald Trump
Jerry Lewis
Jackie Chan
Gilda Radner
Edgar Bergen
Tony Curtis
Telly Savalas
Bert Lancaster
Jan & Mickey Rooney
Vivien Leigh
Ray Charles
BB King
Lindsay Wagner
Bing Crosby
Sally Field
Will Ferrell
Sammy Kaye
Eddie Cantor
Ingrid Bergman
Mellisa Etheridge
William Shatner
Glenn Miller
The Munchkins
Zsa Zsa Gabor
Elton John
Jack Nicholson
Micky Mouse
Herb Alpert
Hugh Jackman
Paul Williams
Pen & Teller
Phyllis Diller
Bugs Bunny
Alfred Hitchcock
Dick Van Dyke
Randy Travis
Nicolas Cage
James Doohan
Charlie Sheen
Brooks & Dunn
Ricardo Montalban
Bob Hope
Big Bird
Patrick Stewart
Richard Dreyfuss
DeForest Kelley
Kelsey Grammer
Cindy Williams
Penny Marshall
Michael J. Fox
Mary Tyler Moore
The Simpsons
Charles M. Schulz
Walt Disney
John Denver
Ray Parker Jr.
Sidney Poitier
Rose Marie
Don Knotts
George & Ira Gershwin
Irving Berlin
Spanky McFarland
The Beatles
Clint Black
Etta James
Charles Champlin
New Kids On The Block
Stan Lee
Ethel Merman
Tom Hanks
Vivian Vance
Jerry Stiller & Anne Mera
Woody Woodpecker
Chuck Norris
Tony Danza
Lionel Hampton
Ted Turner
Alice Cooper
The Mills Brothers
Jean Harlow
Hans Zimmer
Burgess Meredith
Morey Amsterdam
Rod Serling
Ron Howard
The Muppets
Garry Marshall
Linda Evans
Ray Bolger
Steve McQueen
Danny Kaye
Winnie the Pooh
The Andrew Sisters
Spencer Tracy
Claudette Colbert
Ozzy Osboure
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Judy Garland
Adam West
Fred Astaire
Ella Fitzgerald
George M Cohan
Bob Barker
Ed Harris
Sylvester Stallone
James Cameron
Bob Eubanks
Herb Jeffries
George Burns
Gracie Allen
John Lithgow
Guy Lombardo
Boris Karloff
Raymond Bur
Peter Falk
Errol Flynn
Jack Benny
Rip Taylor
Al Jolson
Frank Capra
Will Rogers
Jamie Lee Curtis
Mister Rogers
Dr. Seuss
Pee-Wee Herman
Orson Wells
Frank Sinatra
Alfred Hitchcock
James Cagney
Jim Henson
Perry Como
Nichelle Nichols
Tommy Dorsey
The Monkees
George Takei
Gene Roddenberry
Harry James
George Reeves
Betty White
Allen Ludden

I did visit Grouman’s Chinese Theater (now known as TCL Chinese Theather).  If given the opportunity I would have photographed all the prints and autographs in cement, but there were tons of other tourists milling about and their feet were covering much of what I wanted to photograph.  I felt kind of naive in that the first cement slab I wanted to find was John Wayne because of the famous I Love Lucy episode where she stole it and then tried several times to replace it.  To my slight disappointment…. John Wayne’s slab did not look like the one on Lucy.  I don’t know what I was thinking  🙂  Here’s a slide show of a sampling of stars


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The other bit of star gazing I did was actually in a cemetery.  I have visited cemeteries in the past as a vacation destination for Presidents (Washington, Lincoln, Fillmore, Wilson, Kennedy) and for historical figures (some local history, some general American history), but I had never been to a “celebrity” grave site before.  While Forest Lawn is the place most associated with Hollywood, I had no plans for that plot of land.  I wanted to “see”  and pay my respects to 2 pretty significant people in my life; and those being Richard Dawson and Bob Crane.  How fitting that they were both buried in the same place.  I’m a big planner when I go on vacation so I had a list of internment’s and a general idea of where they were located.

I started out at the top of the cemetery and began walking up and down the rows one by one.  The first gravestone I saw was for Don Knotts.  His had so many engraved pictures from his most memorable roles.  It read, “He saw the poignancy in people’s pride and pain and turned it into something hilarious and endearing.  He will always be Deptuy Fife to me.  ❤

I walked further and saw Mel Torme, Eva Gabor, Natalie Wood and Louis Jourdan before I found Bob Crane’s grave.  I had seen what the stone looked like on the internet before, but when it sneaks up on you like that, I was surely taken by surprise.  It was if I had actually been standing before him because just like other celebrities I got real nervous and quickly took a picture and moved on before I started crying.  His had a nice poem at the bottom. The stone was divided in two sections, his on the left and his last wife Sigrid Valdis on the right.

I found other memorials for Karl Malden, Walter Matthau, Merv Griffin, Rodney Dangerfield, Jack Lemmon, Carroll O’Connor (A favorite of mine), Peter Falk, Jim Backus (Mr. Howell !!!!) , Marilyn Monroe (fans kiss her grave stone leaving lipstick marks) and Jack Klugman (another one of my favorites).  I stood there perplexed that I couldn’t find what I was looking for.  I stepped under a tree and pulled out my phone to connect to the internet to try and figure out where Richard was placed.

All I had to work off of was a picture.  I could see a white building in the background, a sideways facing bench and 2 planted pots.  I felt like I was looking at a treasure map.  With those clues in hand I was about ready to put my phone in my pocket when I got a text message….. I’m sure I’ve mentioned (if you haven’t already heard it) that my text tone is Richard Dawson calling my name 3 times.

The entire time I was in the cemetery, there was a woman sitting next (and talking) to a grave at the very edge of the park so I had been courteous not to go over in that area.  (This cemetery has both regular and Hollywood graves)  I took my clues and headed in that near direction.  I found the bench, I saw the pots not far ahead.  And then two steps in front of me I found what I was looking for.

I knelt down in shock and before I knew it, my head was in my hands and I was sobbing.  It was like the reality of him not being here anymore had sunk in.  There was no one there to give me a kiss, hold my hand to  make me feel calm.  After a few minutes and leaving my own memorial, I stood up and did what I could to wipe my eyes and nose with my shirt.  I could see Bob from where I was standing and that made me smile so I walked back over there again with more confidence.  It was getting late in the morning, as I had a reservation to go horseback riding in the Hollywood hills so I had to leave.

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It wasn’t my intention, but on the last day of my vacation, a week later, I decided I had to come back one more time.  Not so much to find the other celebrities that I didn’t see the first time such as Dean Martin, but to say goodbye one more time.  This time I was able to walk directly over to Richard’s grave.  Bob’s was a bit more challenging as the sprinkler was on and despite my attempt to dodge it, I got soaked.

Here is a short montage of the photos I took at the cemetery


California Saga

I wanted to post a few things from my vacation, which was my 2nd trip to California.  To kick off the next few posts, here is a song by The Beach Boys called California Saga.  As always, you can play the video below while reading the lyrics. 

“California Saga: California”

Written by Al Jardine

On my way to sunny California
On my way to spend another sunny day

Water, water get yourself in the cool, clear, water
The sun shines brightly down on Penny’s place
The sun shines brightly down on the bay
The air’s so clean it’ll just take your mind away
Take your mind away
Take your mind away

Have you ever been south of Monterey
Barrancas carve the coast line and the chaparral flows to the sea
‘Neath waves of golden sunshine
And have you ever been north of Morro Bay
The south coast plows the sea
And the people there are of the breed
They don’t need electricity
Water, water, cool cascades of clear, clear water
The sun dance final scene sets the hills ablaze.
Horizon edges quick up the mountain’s way.

Have you ever been down Salinas way?
Where Steinbeck found the valley
And he wrote about it the way it was in his travelin’s with Charley
And have you ever walked down through the sycamores
Where the farmhouse used to be
There the monarch’s autumn journey ends
On a windswept cyprus tree

Water get water get yourself in that
Get yourself in that get yourself in that cool, clear, water
The sun shines brightly down on Penny’s place
Get yourself in that water
The air’s so clean that it just takes your mind away
Take your mind away
Take your mind away

Have you ever been to a festival, the Big Sur congregation?
Where Country Joe will do his show
And he’d sing about liberty
And the people there in the open air, one big family.
Yeah the people there love to sing and share
Their new found liberty


How I Love Thee, Let Me Count The Ways….

I was getting ready to start a new post based on a link the store Hobby Lobby posted on facebook.  They like to have Show-And-Tell Sundays where fans post the current projects they are working on (& for them, hopefully with supplies from the store !).

At any given time I have a dozen or more projects going that range from unassembled quilt pieces, barely started cross-stitch pieces, a scattered mess of rubber stamps, a bag full of old photos that haven’t been attended to in decades and on and on and on.

But currently, I am working on a project that is also nearly a year old.  I have been trying to put together a scrapbook for my vacations- the crafty kind that has puffy stickers, and stamps and colorful paper.  Thinking about posting this project for Hobby Lobby is what led to what eventually came out as a completely different blog post.  Why I fell in love with California. 

In the past, when someone said California to me my first keyword thoughts would have been

  1.        Beaches
  2.        Bikinis
  3.        Crime/Smog
  4.        Hollywood
  5.        Sequoias
  6.       Arnold Schwarzenegger

Nothing which is exceptionally attractive to make me want to travel that far.  (Wisconsin to California approximately 2,500 miles).  That was until last August, I vacationed on the West Coast for the first time.  In the past I would never have thought I would be attracted to California in any way.  In fact, the only reason that I wanted to set foot in that state was because of the two Soviet submarines that are on display in San Diego and Long Beach.  The quote, “You don’t know what you’re missing,” surely applied to me up to that point in my life!

I fell in love with California like I never thought I would have !  I’m not the sort of person who likes to lie out in the sun on the beach in near nakedness.  However, to see and touch the Pacific Ocean with my own hands on Laguna Beach was like taking some sort of magical elixir that absorbed though my skin and into my very soul. 

The first time I saw the Ocean was actually in San Diego, but I keep thinking it was Lake Michigan.  It wasn’t until I saw the cliffs and protruding rock formations that I realized the white capped waves were rolling up on shore in front of me from places as far away as Japan & Siberia. 

I wanted to stop at every beach on the Pacific Coast Highway, but sadly we didn’t.  I took 3,270 pictures total on my trip which also included Oregon and Seattle. 

What made California so beautiful is how the beaches melted into the slope of mountain sides.  I’ve seen the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia in early Fall, and the Superstition Mountains in Arizona.  It’s hard because they are both so different to choose which one I like the best.  California has a bit of both.  I saw cacti on the sides sometimes as well as trees and vineyards.

(This is just outside of San Simeon- no color correction or photoshop- this is how the camera took the picture. Looks almost fake)

One part of the trip that I call my favorite was horseback riding in Carmel at the Holman Ranch.  Particularly special about this ranch is that their trail horses are actually rescued horses.  These animals that have outlasted their usefulness and were green lighted for the grave were bought and nurtured by the staff at the Holman Ranch.  Now the horses are star tour guides taking tourists to such picturesque settings like up mountain sides, though the vineyards and along the rolling foothills.

These photos show the elevation of how high we were on the mountain side.



Riding on the rim in order to get back down.

This is one of my most favorite pictures on the trip. I wish the resolution was better when posted here.

This beach is just north of San Francisco, but sadly I can't remember the name



Progressing farther north we came across the giant redwood trees.  We didn’t hit Sequoia National Forest, but there were plenty of similar giant Red Wood locations.  We stopped at the Trees of Mystery park.  These huge trees are about 250 feet tall or equal to a 25 story building and can be 30 feet around.  I could have easily spent days and days among these trees.  Even growing up in the Midwest and being used to trees this is something to see that can’t be imagined. 



The  progression of beaches, mountains and trees felt like a vacation that was three for the price of one.  I wish I could have had a video camera strapped to my arm so I could re-live the entire journey.  I’m glad that my first experience with California was along the coast where I could keep in touch with nature.  I suppose that further inland is just as nice, such as the capital, Disneyland, Hollywood, the Pez museum, etc.

Next time Chris takes me to California I want to go horseback riding on the beach, go to the Santa Monica Pier, sleep on the Queen Mary (with a window overlooking the Scorpion submarine), go whale watching and maybe go to Hollywood.  I’m sure we could find many other things to do over and over and always keep it new each time.