We took a drive there this week to see where my great-grandparents, Edna and Orra Stutzman, were laid to rest.
Edna and Orra were my mom's grandparents. When I was in 9th grade, we lived in Nevada for a while, and my family took a trip to Southern California to go to Disneyland and visit my dad's Uncle Herb (Marshall) and Aunt Edna who lived just a block or two from the Magic Kingdom. We also visited some of my other Marshall relatives in the area. Then we went North Hollywood to see my great-grandparents. I remember them living in an apartment on Riverside Drive. When we got there, my great grandma had waffles made for us--she sure knew the way to our hearts!
I never knew my great-grandparents really well, but my Grandma Stutzman was really good about sending me a birthday card and a $5 bill for my birthday every year practically until the year she died. Three years in a row she sent me the same birthday card which I thought was hilariously funny! I was a little disappointed when she broke the pattern the fourth year. She always had a nice note written to me inside the cards she sent.
I asked my mom how her grandparents ended up in North Hollywood of all places. My mom said that they had lived in Michigan and had saved up money during their working years. They dreamt of moving to California when they retired, so they did. They bought a four-plex apartment complex, and happily spent the remainder of their years living in the sunshine of SoCal.
|This is the row of graves where my great-grandparents are buried. Their headstones are at the forefront of the picture.|
We also visited some amazing bookstores the same day we went to the cemetery. We were about ready to head home, but the traffic was horrific as it usually is in California every weekday from 3 p.m.-9 p.m., so we decided to visit one more bookstore which just happened to be located a short distance away in Venice Beach. We discovered that the address of the bookstore was located in a venue right on the beach itself. Venice Beach has a reputation for being an extremely immodest beach--more than usual, but the temperature was only about 60 degrees, so people were dressed (otherwise we wouldn't have gone). Venice Beach was one of the weirdest places I have ever been.
Being that I don't want to end on a downer note, I'll end with this: We did have a great day together as a family. I enjoyed being able to explore some family history, some great bookstores, and some interesting places with my favorite people.