Archive for August 23rd, 2010

83rd Annual Rudolph Valentino Memorial

Monday, August 23rd, 2010


Today’s 83rd Annual Rudolph Valentino Memorial



 By Allan R. Ellenberger


Once again, this year’s highly attended, 83rd Annual Rudolph Valentino Memorial Service was a complete success. Held at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, in the foyer of the Cathedral Mausoleum, today’s service had something for everyone. The life and career of Rudolph Valentino was lovingly remembered in word and song.


It was a warm August day, not at all like most of this summer which has been unseasonably cool. Summer is back! Hollywood Forever Cemetery owner, Tyler Cassity welcomed the audience this year before turning the service over to Tracy Ryan Terhune, the emcee for the day.


Yours truly provided a history of the “Aspiration” statue that stands in De Longpre Park that this year is celebrating its  80th anniversary. Following that, a short video that documented the early history of “Aspiration” was shown. Next the audience was treated to a recitation of three poems from Valentino’s book, Daydreams by Allison Francis, the mother of the 2030 Lady in Black.


The crowd was serenaded to two songs by Frank Labrador: “Candlelight” and “The Angels Above Needed Someone To Love” – the lyrics were reportedly written by Valentino for future Lady in Black, Ditra Flame, who wrote the music. Frank was accompanied on the piano by Garrett Bryant.


The current Lady in Black, Kari Bible, treated everyone to a history of Ditra Flame, the original Lady in Black. Following was a short clip from Art Linkletter’s House Party from the 1950s of Ditra being interviewed about her devotion to Valentino. It was the first public showing of this clip in more than 50 years.


Tracy then read excerpts from an unpublished manuscript by Paul Ivano who was a close friend of Valentino. Special guest, Donna Hill, the author of the just published Rudolph Valentino: The Silent Idol spoke about her book and showed a video of rare Valentino photos from her book.


Perennial favorites, Ian and Regina Whitcomb once again entertained the crowd with the songs, “There’s a New Star in Heaven Tonight” and “Sheik of Araby.” Valentino Memorial Committee icon, Stella Grace led the audience in a reading of the 23rd Psalm to end the service.


Once again, many thanks to this year’s committee members: Channell O’Farrill, Tracy Ryan Terhune, Stella Grace and Marvin Paige. And thank you to everyone behind the scenes — you all did a great job as usual.


Following are some photos from todays events:


Rudolph Valentino’s crypt




Donna Hill (left), Kari Bible and Garrett Bryant



Frank Labrador sings “The Angels Above Needed Someone to Love”



 Donna Hill, Tracy Ryan Terhune and Ian Whitcomb



 Allison Francis reads poems from Valentino’s Daydreams



Visitors explore the Cathedral Mausoleum 



Visitors peruse Valentino memorabilia 



 Allan Ellenberger holds the  future Lady in Black-2030, Olivia Francis



 Tracy Ryan Terhune and Stella Grace



Valentino is home today…

Monday, August 23rd, 2010


“Valentino Home Today”




The following poem was published in the Independent Daily News on the day that Valentino’s body was returned to Hollywood.  





By Oliver Allstorm


Valentino is home today

In a casket gray

From far away.

His hands are folded on his breast,

In sweet repose

And peaceful rest,

While mourners pray.


He sleeps like one a-wearied sleeps,

Nor shall he wake –

For Pola’s sake –

Nor shall the winds upon the shore

Where waters crash

And billows roar

His slumbers break.


He loved, his art was always love,

His love an art

That gripped the heart.

And now, tho’ buried from our view,

He lingers still –

The lover true –

Loath to depart.


The sheik shall move across the screen,

On desert sands –

In many lands –

And press a kiss on Sapho’s lip.

But O we miss

The fervent grip

Of his warm hands.


The living voice of him we loved

The laughing bell –

We knew so well –

Is stilled and silenced with his clay.

Nor can he see

Our tears that say –

Farewell! Farewell!


Here in the vale of golden dreams –

Here in the “west”

He lies at rest.

An Abelard, whose tomb shall be

Love’s trysting place

While souls agree

That love is best.


He lies and feigns that he is dead,

Who can not die

While lovers sigh.

‘Tis only man’s “location” ends.

This scene is best

To be with friends

While eons fly.


At home today with those he loved.

And he shall keep –

His slumbers deep –

Like one wrapped in immortal dust.

We leave him thus

Alone to sleep –

Because we must.


SOURCE: Independent Daily News, Los Angeles, September 6, 1926