Visitors spent time at gravesites during the August 10 opening at Grand View.
For the second time this month, Grand View Memorial Park cemetery will be open to the public today from noon until 4 p.m. I dropped by during the Sunday, August 10 opening and was surprised by the small turnout and the bleak appearance of the Glendale cemetery.
I have heard some relatives say it is too depressing, too sad a place to visit now. Some of the visitors I met at the August 10 visitation wished for better days. “It was gorgeous… little hills and trees.” Deirdre Rosato from Canoga Park remembers what Grand View looked like back in the 70s and 80s.
“It was beautiful… fish ponds … fountains… angels… benches …flower beds.” Jerile Travis, a native of Glendale, described the Grand View of the past to me as well. Travis has a slew of relatives resting at Grand View and started coming to the cemetery in 1948 when she was only 4-years-old.
Grand View on Sunday, August 10, 2008
There seemed to be fewer trees than the last time I visited Grand View in May. The grounds looked pretty much the same; dry, mostly brown with weeds and wild grasses still hiding many of the grave markers. I had hoped for some improvement.
David Baum, lawyer for the owner Moshe Goldsman insists, after months of neglect, the cemetery is now being watered regularly with an above ground system that has , “…hit the whole park already.” Baum brushes off complaints about the grim condition of the cemetery saying it is merely the difference between, “… brown grass and green grass.” As for the trees, Baum says out of 350 only 40 have been cut down and that was because of disease not lack of water.
At 124-years-old Grand View has served the community long enough to be allowed to age gracefully, quietly, and with dignity. Sadly, that is not the case. After the discovery by a state investigator of some human remains that had been improperly handled in 2005, Grand View has been tangled up in confusion, lawsuits, court hearings, and controversy. Its fate is still uncertain.