TW and I headed over to the 17th Annual Historical Cemetery Tour being held at Sunnyside Cemetery and the Long Beach Municipal Cemetery which are located next door to each other, on E. Willow St. (near the airport) in Long Beach, CA.
This is one of my least favorite cemeteries as
it is small and unkempt, with few impressive monuments. But, it has a rich history including an Ansel
Adams image of it’s “Angel of Sorrow” which I photographed in 2009: (Link to Sunnyside Cemetery - 2009)
The $18.00 price of
admission was a little high but I spent three hours and got to see eight
10-minute dramas that were well written and beautifully preformed by local actors
in period cloths.
Darthula V. Bouggess portrayed
by Zadie M. Cannon
Co-founded a scholarship (which
still exists today) to help African American youth attend college.
Mary Timney portrayed by Mary
Tells the story of her mother, Ramona
V. Linares who in widowhood, supported her eight children by starting the first Mexican
restaurant in Long Beach, which was family owned for 55 years.
James Buttlerfield (Will
Proctor) and Roland Swaffield (Denis Kortheuer)
These men, told the story of entrapment for
profit when in 1941 the Long Beach Police Department conducted a sting to catch
“social vagrants” (code for gay men). Innocent or guilty, the city made money
because most defendants would pay a hefty fine rather than have the arrest publicize.
Tod and Edna Faulkner portrayed
by Steve Dean and Elizabeth Waite
The Faulkners, a former boxer turned bingo parlor
owner and his much younger wife, who died while still young.
Hisa Fuji Ishi portrayed by
Part of the Nisei generation, Hisa Fuji Ishi, was the daughter of a picture bride and survivor of a Japanese interment camp during
World War II.
Spencer (David Narloch) and Lillie Decker (Melelani Satsuma)
The Deckers were the first
mangers of SunnysideCemetery.
Dr. and Mrs. Price portrayed by
Kevin Spaeth and Vanessa Rose Parker
A Hypnotic healer and his estranged
wife…guess she got upset with the “holy kiss” he would bestowed on the women
members of his 1905 psychology cult.
William Willmore (Scott
Ringwelski) and Ida Crowe (Mary Hinds)
was originally named WillmoreCity
for the man who tried to start the city by the sea but was in the real estate
business too early and left too soon. Ida Crowe was a well-to-do benefactor who
took him in when he was homeless and nearly senseless.
All of the scripts were well researched
using Historical Society of Long Beach achieves, newspaper accounts and other
sources. This bi-plane was not part of the event, but just another ghost from the past that paid a visit.
Above, my tour guide points out one of the interesting
symbols to be found on the different headstones. This one was the Order of the
Eastern Star which was the female order of Freemasons.