Visit to LA, 2016 Edition

Hi all,

I recently returned from a -very- intense few days in LA. Hopefully we are well on the way to being able to officially bring you some new and extremely important information. This has been brewing for months, but protocol must be observed in rolling it out. So for those of you kind people who have been waiting for me to blog, please know that it is coming.

Additionally, in the near future I will be doing an unrelated-to-the-LA-information post about Jeanette’s hard-fought battle to get onto the stage of the Metropolitan opera. Thanks to Angela, who is now the owner of some awesome papers and is kindly letting me use them for this blog, we have some very interesting things to highlight with regard to our girl’s foray into Grand Opera, how the Met essentially blew her off, and how doggedly determined she was to realize this dream–and the lengths (regression?) she would go to in her quest. The fact that she never appeared with the Met remained a sore subject for her. Also fascinatingly documented in these papers is her relationship with and subsequent firing of her manager, Charles Wagner. I will be able to tie this in with a post I made a long time ago, as I am now very familiar with the tone of this relationship based on primary source material. Exciting stuff!

We did, of course, go and visit Jeanette at Forest Lawn the first morning we were in LA. I had ordered her floral arrangements in advance and picked them up to deliver to the Freedom Mausoleum last Saturday. Though I really would prefer not to speak of this tacky display, I am bemused to point out that yet again, I have been to Forest Lawn a week after Jeanette’s June 18 birthday and yet again have had the dubious joy of removing the once-gaudy, now-dead, wilted flowers left behind by the APPRECIATING JEANETTE MACDONALD CLUB – SUE GARLAND, PRESIDENT. I say the name in very shouty all capitals because this group is apparently very very very interested in having their brand plastered all over literally everything, so hey, go nuts right? FREE PUBLICITY YOU ARE WELCOME. I know nothing about this group except that they are saints and their taste in flowers leaves something to be desired, but I think they are mighty …..something….. in needing to have their name literally taped. to. the. vase. as well as stuck in the flowers themselves. Why not tape a tag to each individual stem? Who are they doing this for? “ADMIRE US, WE GAVE THIS PERSON SOME FLUORESCENT DAISIES.”

No, but really:


And not even real cards… though I must say this beats the wrinkled envelope that looked like it came from the bottom of somebody’s purse, stuck to the $4 plastic and cellophane potted flower!plant left on the floor, last year. There was another one of those on the floor this year, an Anniversary Gift from the Same Important Group. 

I mean, I really don’t want to be that person, like I think it’s nice that Jeanette gets remembered with flowers and it’s NOT a competition and it’s a free country, please send all your favorite people flowers and take care of their resting places with love. But I dunno man, not once in the now, what, five times that I’ve ordered flowers at Forest Lawn either for hand delivery by myself or placement by an employee — not once have I ever felt the need to smear my name or our names or the Mac/Eddy Club’s name all over it. There has never been a card or a name attached, period. I have this funny idea that they’re for Jeanette and she knows damn well who they’re from and that’s good enough for me and my friends. I’ll provide a picture for interested parties and be satisfied that I feel like a nice thing has been done for someone about whom we care deeply.

Speaking of which, here are the arrangements that Forest Lawn’s lovely flower shop made up this year. I just gave them color choices, this time, and they did the rest. I loved how they turned out. Side Note: I have never had trouble with any staff member at FL, despite the reputation the place has for being hard-nosed and strict. I love it there and have found ALL the staff to be pleasant and awesome.




See, I have to feel like that looks like it was actually chosen as a gift for this particular recipient. Sorry I’m not sorry. I know that bringing up that other group’s stuff was petty and icky but their hypocrisy is thick and their desire to be advertised is garishly evident, so why not?

Lawd have mercy.

Forest Lawn was pretty emotional this year, in light of what is about to come to the fore. I know Angela and I both felt that, when we were there. Sniff. With us was our dear dear Mary Lynn and a woman named Margaret, who is in her eighties and making her first California voyage. She was so moved to be there and she thinks so much of our sweet songbird that it made the whole thing more special for the rest of us. Please feel loved, Jeanette. You ARE loved by so many, even if we can’t manage to get along.

We also went to see our man Mr. Eddy.


Hollywood Forever’s flower shop was also ON POINT—they had just gotten a beautiful shipment when we were there and everything was fresh and gorgeous. I am always impressed with how cheap flowers are in LA! (All the more reason to get nice ones, amirite?)

Saturday evening we ate at Miceli’s and had the fun of Hollywood/Highland at night. Never gets old! Margaret and the rest of us hoofed it from Miceli’s all the way to Grauman’s — there was no way she could leave LA without visiting the hand and footprints! Oh, speaking of which, I had Miss Mac’s gloves in my bag the entire trip, everywhere we went, so at Grauman’s, I took this picture of the baby-sized gloves and the baby-sized hands that used to wear them. So cute. (Rest assured they were NOT put on the ground!!! My hand is underneath them!)


Sunday was the meeting. Monday was an adventure unto itself, but one of those things that I’m going to wait a little while longer before blogging about it. I will be free to use more complete information very soon and it will make the post better as a result. Tuesday we spent at USC doing research, and of course we dropped by the Jeanette MacDonald Recital Hall to see the Pretty Pretty Pink Lady. The pictures do NOT do the thing justice. It is absolutely stunning. If you have the opportunity to get there, GO SEE IT. I wish it wasn’t up so high, but it’s probably safer that way. I stood on a stack of 4 chairs to get this picture.


Still in the original frame. Here it is, with its most gorgeous subject, in 1962. This photo is one of my latest acquisitions and I am happy to provide an un-watermarked copy of this to most people, please just leave me a comment and I’ll make sure you get it! Just sick of finding my scans on ebay, etc.


And that’s about all the non-news news I have for you!

8 thoughts on “Visit to LA, 2016 Edition

  1. katie,
    what a beautiful picture of jeanette. thank you for posting. you are a super sleuth. keep up the good work. will be anxious to read your next blog.

  2. A mystery solved! I have a regular sized b/w snapshot of this portrait and
    have been wondering who painted it because it’s breath-taking.
    Even in b/w it is stunning! I couldn’t believe the beautiful work. Who did
    this portrait? I’d really appreciate receiving a color one and would it be
    permisable or possible to get a larger size that can be framed? I’m
    more than happy to pay whatever necessary. I wish this heavenly artist would have done one of Nelson too.


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