Saturday’s going to be such a lovely day in New York City that I’ve decided to take the IRT all the way up to the Bronx and spend the day at the boneyard.
Yes, it’ll be my first excursion to beautiful Woodlawn Cemetery since the famous Straight Dope constitutional of Fall 2003, during which we visited many, many famous stiffs, including Irving Berlin, Duke Ellington, Fiorello LaGuardia, Herman Melville, Isador Straus, George M. Cohan, and George McManus, creator of “Bringing Up Father.” But, since Woodlawn is roughly half the size of Central Park, we missed quite a few, too. Here’s a list of luminaries I hope to unearth tomorrow:
Harry Carey – superstar Western actor of the silent era; also appeared in *Red River * and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
Ricardo Cortez – film actor who played Sam Spade in the original *Maltese Falcon * (1931)
Diana Barrymore – John’s wayward “actress” daughter; first of a great line of drunken, doping “Barrymore Brats”
Vernon Castle – dancing instructor and WWI pilot; with wife Irene introduced the Turkey Trot to Parisians. Nifty naked statue on grave supposed to be based on Irene.
Coleman Hawkins – first great tenor saxophonist of jazz
Lionel Hampton – first great vibraphonist of jazz
Jackie McLean – hard-bop era jazz alto saxophonist
**Illinois Jacquet ** – another excellent tenorman
Ruth Snyder – murderess; one of the first women to die in the electric chair; inspiration for the great Expressionist play *Machinal * by Sophie Treadwell
Thomas Nast – father of American political cartooning; nemesis of Boss Tweed
Bud Fisher – cartoonist; creator of “Mutt and Jeff”
Frank Belknap Long – dark fantasy writer; author of “The Hounds of Tindalos;” buddy of H.P. Lovecraft
Clarence Day – author of Life with Father
John William Sterling – gave pots of money to Yale University, much of which went into the Sterling Memorial Library where I spent loads of pleasurable time during my college days
Anybody want me to lay a posy on someone, in their name? Or take a leak on the plot?