Saturday, February 27, 2010

Stay - cation = A local Vacation

Friday was our mini outing to Los Angeles. I've been going through old family photos and historic documents. I came across the Forest Lawn Glendale papers for the burials of my grandparents and decided that since we were headed to L.A. we might as well stop by the Cemetery and visit the Great Mausoleum.

Here is a picture from the Forest Lawn Website of the Great Mausoleum where just about every famous movie star and famous personalities of the past are buried. Some noteables are Walt Disney, Errol Flynn, Clark Gable, Jimmy Stewart, Mary Pickford (I know by now all of you young people are saying "Who the Hell are They??") W.C. Fields, Sammy Davis, jr., Sid Grauman, Carole Lombard, Jean Harlow, Nat King Cole, Billy Barty (my favorite midget who I happened to meet as a kid), L. Frank Baum (wrote The Wizard of Oz) and many more, Including Roy T. Fjastad and Helen M. Fjastad (my grandparents).

It turns out that this is also the building where Michael Jackson's crypt is. We had to have security escort us into the building so that none of the MJ fans would sneak inside. We had the proper papers so they let us in and we searched for the grave marker on the white marble walls. Carl finally located my grandparents wall crypt in the Columbarium of Adoration. I put my hand on the bronze marker with their names engraved on it and the whole damned front of the Niche (wall crypt) moved like it was going to fall off or open up. Freaked me out, I squeaked and jumped, which really scared Carl. So I wiped the creepies off of my hand onto him, not a good move. He immediately went to wash it off in the bathroom. Not that anything was actually on us, but just in case.

After visiting the folks, we (I) started the search for MJ's crypt. Turns out he is located on the next columbarium right behind theirs. So they are actually neighbors; ghost neighbors. My grandpa was the head of the music department at Paramount Studios, so they have music in common. Enough of that. I did, however, respect the signs that said "NO PHOTOS" and left my camera in the car. So I went online and found this photo of Michael Jackson's grave, which I can verify that this is the actual crypt. It was surrounded by flowers and balloons that were left outside by fans for Valentines Day. The caretakers bring in the flowers to the site when the fans leave. It was a very interesting visit, the Great Mausoleum is so beautiful and it reminds me of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

Then we drove around the grounds and stopped at the little church, "Wee Kirk o' the Heather". My grandparents were married in this church, so were Ronald Reagan and Jane Wyman.

The church is a replica of a church in Scotland.

Me again.

Then we drove to Los Angeles and the CBS Studios to watch the filming of the Wanda Sykes Show. We knew that Ray Romano was a guest, but when we got inside they surprised us with additional guests, Chris Rock, Colin Quinn, Cheryl Hines. (Watch it at 11:00 Tonight!).
Again, I was not allowed to bring my camera inside.

Before the show taping we walked to the Farmer's Market and had dinner at the Wood Ranch Grill. Great Beef! Got home around 12:30, late for us old folks.

Today was the "Big Storm". It poured rain most of the day and hailed at least 5 times.

Tomorrow is our next big adventure where we take a Charles Phoenix tour of Los Angeles . We are taking the Disneyland tour of Downtown Los Angeles on the yellow schoolbus.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Lunch with the Girls

I met up today with the girls, Lacey, Kristen, Amanda and Kathleen. And the boys, Ryder and Dean. We had lunch at Knott's Berry Farm's Chicken Kitchen, including the cherry pie for dessert.
These little guys are getting so big.

Lacey, Dean, Ryder, Amanda and Kristen.

Dean just wants to hug Ryder all the time. Ryder just wants to take Dean's Lightning McQueen car.

Ryder is sporting a huge knot on his forehead, I hear he hit the tile floor with his face.

Here's a little video of Dean eating Jello for the first time. He was enjoying it and didn't want anyone to interrupt the savoring process.
It it always so good to see everyone, just missing one girl from the bunch... Shannon.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Winternationals - Sunday - Part III

Today is Sunday and the Final Eliminations of the 2010 NHRA Winternationals. I arrived at the track at around 10:30, before first round. Carl was busy signing autographs along with at least 25 others. We could hear first round starting promptly at 11:00, but the line was still at least a hundred people long, and they were waiting there for at least an hour. Finally Joe Amato had to leave, so he got up and walked the line and signed everyones posters, hats and books.

A recently restored car, one that my dad had built back in the old days of SPE.

Here it is and really looking good.

I took pictures of the cars that dad had built. You can tell his cars by the front axle, how it forms a smile =).

Another one.

I believe this was also a car my dad had built, but maybe a Chassis Research car?

I just love the color of this Willys

Reath Automotive car.

The Howard's Cams Special

Don Garlits and Sonny Messner preparing for the Cacklefest.

Mike Kuhl and Greg Sharp going at it.
Something about flipping someone off on the freeway. Ha Ha.

The 82nd Airborn Unit Chorus. Awesome.
These guys rock!

Mr. Olson and Mrs. Kuhl.

Then I finally met up with Roy and Lisa. Roy is my brother for those of you who don't know.

We immediately hit the staging lanes and walked passed all security to take our places along the fence at the starting line to watch the cacklefest.
Here is the Marcellus and Borsh Winged Express making a pass.
A few of the Cacklefest Cars, including Kuhl and Olson. There was a mishap after this group of cars got to the end of the return road. Still need more information before posting about it.
This final video is of John Force winning the 50th Winternationals. The crowd went wild. It ended on a good note.

I had a great weekend at the drags. What will we do for fun next weekend???

Thanks for reading, Kathy

Saturday, February 13, 2010

50th Winternationals - Part II

It's Saturday at Pomona Raceway. I went directly to the Golden 50 Corral where they parked all of the nostalgia racecars. Each day between 11:00 am and around 1:00 pm drivers from the early days signed posters for the fans. People lined up starting at 9:00 am and as soon as they started the signature session at 11:00 the end of the line was established. Anyone who showed up after 11:00 attempting to get to the back of the line was turned away. There had to be at least 30 drivers signing autographs for 2 hours straight. The likes of Joe Amato, Joe Mondello, Shirley Muldowney, Carl, Tommy Ivo, Gary Beck, Roland Leong, Don Garlits, and many more.
Hopefully tomorrow I can get a poster signed too.

This is Teresa, National Dragster Photo Editor and Photographer and also our neighbor and walking buddy.

Here I am, getting in the way, as usual.


I went walking around the "Golden Corral" to see some of the restored and original race cars.

If you click on any of these pictures, you will see everything up close and personal. Then back arrow to go where you were.

Don Prudhomme's restored rig and car.

On stage was an Acapella group from the military.


Carl with his good friend Shirley Muldowney.

Carl and Roland Leong busy at work signing autographs.

Cynthia and John, it is his birthday today.
The pro session was starting right away so Carl and I hurried over to the stands to watch. I even videod one run.

The Kuhl and Olson car from the rear. That is Kjell Pettersson talking on the phone to Sweden.

I finally had enough, it was really hot, around 85 which is a shock to the system after having such cold weather. I started melting around 3:00 and decided to go home. On my way out of the track I took some pictures of the John Force cars. This is Ashley Force's car.

This is John Force's car.

Here is Robert Height's car.

Tomorrow I will be heading out to the track again for more fun, this time I'm wearing a big sunhat. Stay tuned for part III.

2010 Winternationals

This is Race Weekend. The NHRA Winternationals are taking place right down the street from where we live. The weather is perfect, in the high 70's. The storm from the beginning of the week has passed and left us with some clean air and a beautiful view of snow covered mountains. This is part one of a two, or maybe three part race coverage blog.

On Friday night, the NHRA Museum hosts the Night of Champions after the final qualifying round at the track. Since this is the 50th Anniversary of the Winternationals at Pomona, lots of historical racing personalities have gathered to reminisce about the good old days.

Stalking the famous.

Carl was part of the book signing for the new book about British Drag Racing "Crazy Horses".

I am the racing paparazzi.

Tom McEwen.

Tommy Ivo

Dick Wells passed away, here is a memorial to him.

Inside the museum.

The Kookie car built by Norm Grabowski.

The Night of Champions culminates with a discussion panel, talking about drag racing in the old days, and opens up to audience questions. This evening was pretty funny, especially with Tommy Ivo up there. It sounds like he was quite the mischief maker in his younger years.
Joe-Joe A MA TO! Standing room only.
Al "Mousie" Marcellus is one of the California Hot Rod Reunion Honorees for 2010, of the Winged Express fame.

Bob Muravez (aka Floyd Lippincot Jr.), Gas Rhonda, Tom 'The Mongoose" McEwen, TV Tommy Ivo, and Chuck Griffith, the original track operator of Pomona Raceway. On the left is Dave McClelland, master of ceremonies.

OH look! Shannon's art is for sale at the Museum Store.
Sherry Watson is in charge of the museum store, and has since the beginning of the museum.

Sherry and her two favorite guys, Kuhl and Olson.

Stay tuned.... I'll take lots of pictures at the track today. I understand there's a "Golden Corral" where all of the restored front motor dragster are hanging out. I'll post tonight or tomorrow morning, or maybe Monday if I don't have time.
Thanks for looking.