Today is the 30th anniversary of John Wayne's death so I thought I would show some of my older pictures of his gravesite. For quite some time after his death his gravesite was unmarked. I do not remember how long ago it was before they put a plaque at his site.
I had thought I had been to this cemetery since I took these old pictures, but I was wrong. I do remember the day very clearly though. I was a bit annoyed how it worked out. I got there very early since I wanted to visit the site and then head off to the nearby beach. When I drove close to the area I noticed two men messing around some of the gravesites. One guy was on his knees holding down something over a gravesite and another guy started watching me right away. I did not park where this picture below was taken, but further down the road. I believe this is a "378" and it is on the highest road in the cemetery in the back. If my memory is correct there were some vaults behind me from where I took this picture.
Wayne's gravesite is right next to this tree in the picture below. Back to my annoying story...this guy kept watching me from where my car was parked. If I took a direct path to where I thought the gravesite was I would have to pass right by these guys. I do not know about most people, but I do not come to places like this to have casual conversations with the living. So, I decided to "fake" my way around to the location. I dropped down the road below and looked at various gravesites before moving up to where this tree was.
I had passed around them enough that I was in the clear in that I would probably not have to deal with them. I had no idea what they were doing and did not care. I was moving around in circles near the big tree. FINALLY! I saw the name. Just as I had stopped to have my private moment with John Wayne I hear this, "Is that John Wayne's Gravesite?" I replied it was, and he came over and started talking to me.
Basically, this guy and his friend were making some sort of "imprints" of gravesites of famous people. He came right out and admitted they were doing it for money. He was trying to get information out of me of other celebrity type of people sites I knew of. I told him that he would have to go to Forest Lawn in Glendale, and he said he already was planning to do that. After about 10 minutes or so he left. I turned back to the gravesite and felt like the moment had been totally ruined by that guy. I took two pictures and left.
Here is a zoom in of the inscription. You can double click the picture of you want to see a bigger version.
John Wayne on Find a Grave
So much for my "quiet time" with John Wayne. Even though I live about 20 minutes away from this cemetery I still think it is much more fun to visit old movie locations over something like this. I will show a few more of his movie sites this month.