Cemetery Walk: Angelus Rosedale's Local Tales

Learn about early Angelenos at one of our oldest graveyards.

Cemeteries will be more active in the weeks ahead, thanks to seasonal concerts and Dia de los Muertos gatherings and remembrances and a host of autumnal events.

But there's one happening upon hallowed ground that takes a different tack among the tombstones. Rather than plugging into the traditions of Halloween and the ghost sightings that are said to be common to graveyards, history-loving locals venture into Angelus Rosedale to learn about early Angelenos.

The West Adams Heritage Association organizes a story-filled stroll through the historic Angelus Rosedale Cemetery each year, not to summon the spirits but rather the spirited tales of yore, tales very much a part of the legacy of those whose names are on the headstones.

The 2015 tour, which is set for Saturday, Sept. 26, will focus on over a half dozen Angelenos who are now at rest in the cemetery, from aviatrix Josephine Callaghan to silent film actress Alice Browning to Jackie Kelso, a jazz wonder who performed with Lionel Hampton, Benny Goodman, and other greats.

There is a twist in how these tales are brought to life, and it is this: Costumed actors stand before the stones and reveal some highlights and anecdotes from each real person's time on earth.

It can be moving, and at times humorous, and it fills out a cemetery visit in a way that isn't always possibly. If you've strolled among the stones, you likely didn't know the background of the names and dates that you passed by. This cemetery day changes that and makes these SoCalers seem as though they're still among us today.

And they are, as long as their stories are still told and their films still seen and the music they made is still on LP, on some record player, somewhere.

Eager to have an autumn-atmospheric experience that is more personal than ghostly? Tickets are forty dollars and help support West Adams Heritage.

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