Posts Tagged ‘Hollywood High School’

A living memorial… at Hollywood High School

Monday, August 3rd, 2015


A living memorial to those who made the supreme sacrifice…



Hollywood High School (1922)


By Allan R. Ellenberger


Armistice Day (now known as Veterans Day) was started in 1919 by President Wilson to celebrate the end of World War I on November 11, 1918. In 1922, Hollywood decided to celebrate the new holiday with a parade, a ceremony at the Hollywood American Legion Stadium, and a tree planting ceremony at Hollywood High School.

On November 22, 1922, the parade, led by mounted police officers from the Hollywood Division, began at the corner of Hollywood and Highland, marched its way east, weaving through the streets of Hollywood before arriving at the American Legion Stadium on El Centro.

At the stadium, the legionnaires and guests of the day were met by actor Walter Long, who was also commander of Hollywood Post 43. Long introduced fellow actor Bert Lytell, who served as Master of Ceremonies. Several war heroes were introduced, and their stories told to rounds of applause and the dispersion of gold medals.


Before this all occurred, though, a tree was planted and dedicated on the grounds of Hollywood High School as a living memorial to those who made the supreme sacrifice. On the northwest corner of Sunset and Highland, people gathered as Dr. Frank Roudenbush, rector of St. Thomas Episcopal, delivered the dedicatory talk and invocation. On behalf of the school, A. B. Forster, acting principal, responded. The Hollywood Post band played, followed by a few words from Leonard Wilson, vice commander of the Post.

It was a simple ceremony, which probably took no more than twenty minutes. But today, after almost a century, there is still evidence of that brief dedication service. There on that corner, just a few steps up from the busy sidewalk is a dedication plaque and a tree:









However, there’s no way to know if this is the original dedication spot or the original tree. Hollywood High School has gone through many changes over the past one-hundred years including the 1933 earthquake that destroyed several of the original 1903 buildings including the one next to the tree. Could it have survived in its original spot for 92-plus years? Also, I’m not a tree expert, but does that tree look as if it could be that old? I’m not sure. Regardless of whether it’s the original spot or tree, it’s amazing—it’s a miracle—that the plaque survived all those years when there are several historical markers in Hollywood that have disappeared.



Harold H. Sayre at Hollywood Forever

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012


Harold H. Sayre; no desire but to serve




The following was edited from the book, Memorial Volume of the American Field Service in France, “Friends of France” 1914—1917, published in 1921 by James William Davenport Seymour.



Lieutenant Harold Holden Sayre possessed in no small degree the finest qualities of young American manhood. Clean-cut and manly are perhaps the adjectives which best describe his personality, and underneath an attractive exterior was a sturdy would upheld by the highest of principles. As one of intimate friends has said: “He had principles and stuck to them regardless of all and I loved him for his straightforward ways.”


Harold Sayre was born on February 7, 1895, in Hutchinson, Minnesota, the son of A. Judson and Harriet H. Sayre. Sayre lived in Harvey, North Dakota; Calgary, Alberta, Canada; and Hollywood, California. He was educated at Western Canada College, Calgary, Harvard Military School, Los Angeles, California; Hollywood High School, and Leland Stanford University, Class of 1919.


A student of Leland Stanford, Jr., University, he enlisted toward the end of his sophomore year, in the American Field Service (June 9, 1917), and with the second Stanford Unit landed at Bordeaux on June 28, 1917. From July to October he was with Section ten in the Balkans, and under the particularly trying conditions of the eastern front he received his initiation into active warfare. The summer of 1917 was spent carrying wounded over the difficult passes and rough roads of the Albanian mountains and in September the Section took part in the successful Albanian offensive.


Returning to Paris on November 18, 1917, he resigned from the Field Service, then being taken over by the American Army, and on December 5th enlisted in aviation. He was trained at Clermont-Ferrand in various schools in southern France, received his commission (June 1, 1918), and was attached to the 11th Aero Bombing Squadron. It was while attending the bombing school at Clermont-Ferrand that he first met Lieutenant Shidler, later his pilot and friend, who has written of him:


“It was not hard after arriving at this field to pick out the most efficient bombers. All records were accessible and Lieutenant Sayre’s was easily among the best. His strong personal character, his clean mode of living, and the high code he set as a standard to live by, make him a prominent figure among the officers at that place, and his good sense of humor made companionship with him most agreeable. He was fond of outdoor exercise and I shall never forget the long walks through the vineyards of southern France and the swimming in the warm rivers while he and I were together. While visiting the cities and resorts he found his pleasure rather in the ancient architecture and the beautiful drives than in the bright lights of the town. His constant desire to learn and his devotion to duty were such that he would often sit under the most adverse circumstances and finish a map of some particular objective, when it was a common habit to let such things slip by as easily as possible and let the responsibility rest upon the one in command.”


As a member of the 11th Aero Bombing Squad, Lieutenant Sayre took part in the Battle of Saint-Mihiel early in September, 1918, and on the morning of September 14th was sent out with his pilot, Lieutenant Shidler, in company with a formation of several planes, to bomb certain objectives near the city of Conflans. The mission accomplished, they were attacked by a superior number of German planes and in the ensuing combat Lieutenant Sayre was killed, although he kept his guns going until life left his body. His pilot, who was severely wounded, was able to land the plane at Rezonville in the German lines, where he was taken prisoner. It was here that Lieutenant Sayre was first buried, but his body was later removed to the American Cemetery at Thiaucourt, Meurthe-et-Moselle, ultimately to be buried in Hollywood, California.


He met death as bravely and squarely as he had faced life, with no thought but for the cause stake and no desire but to serve this cause with the best which he had, even to the final sacrifice.




Harold Sayre’s grave is located in Section 8 not far from the grave of Janet Gayner and near the pond. For a landmark, there is a six-foot flag pole erected on his grave.



Rudolph Valentino’s 113th Birthday…

Sunday, May 4th, 2008

Rudolph Valentino


 Rudolph Valentino and his wife, Natacha Rambova


BORN: May 6, 1895, Castellaneta, Italy
DIED: August 23, 1926, New York, New York


TUESDAY, May 6, is Rudolph Valentino’s 113th birthday. To celebrate you may want to pay homage to your idol this week at the following five Valentino places of interest.



1. Walk of Fame Star, 6164 Hollywood Boulevard, south side between Argyle and El Centro Avenue.



Rudolph Valentino’s star on the “Walk of Fame” was one of the original 1,500 installed in 1959. The spot where his Star is located was at one time the front entrance to the Hastings Hotel (formerly the Regent), built in 1925 by producer Al Christie on land where, many years earlier, he had filmed one of the first movies made in Hollywood. The hotel was badly damaged in the 1994 Northridge Earthquake and was demolished. The site is now a parking lot used for the Pantages Theatre and nearby subway.




 2. Hollywood High School Mural, southeast corner of Orange Street and Hawthorn Avenue.




Located on the west side of Hollywood High School (1521 North Highland Avenue) is a large mural of Valentino in profile as The Sheik in full headdress blowing in the wind. Until the 1930s, the Hollywood High School athletic teams were known as The Crimson (in emulation of Harvard). It was around this time that a newspaper journalist wrote an article about one of the school’s teams and nicknamed them The Sheiks after “the brave warrior-lover hero in the Rodolf [sic] Valentino film classic of the 1920s.” After the article was printed, the school adopted the name, and they have remained “the Sheiks of Hollywood High” ever since. To view the mural travel south on Orange Street from Hollywood Boulevard. The mural is just past Hawthorn Avenue and overlooks the school’s football field.




 3. De Longpre Park, south side of De Longpre Avenue between Cherokee Avenue and June Street.


Statue of Aspiration at De Longpre Park


Developed in 1924 for $66,000, De Longpre Park is named after painter Paul De Longpre, whose celebrated home at Hollywood Boulevard and Cahuenga Avenue was the first tourist attraction in Hollywood. On May 5, 1930 (Valentino’s 35th birthday), at twelve o’clock in De Longpre Park, actress Dolores del Rio drew back a velvet curtain to reveal the bronze figure of a man with face uplifted. The statue, entitled “Aspiration,” was designed by sculptor Roger Noble Burham and was paid for with contributions from fans and admirers. The inscription reads: “Erected in the Memory of Rudolph Valentino 1895 – 1926. Presented by his friends and admirers from every walk of life — in all parts of the world, in appreciation of the happiness brought to them by his cinema portrayals.”



 4. Lasky-De Mille Barn, 2100 Highland Avenue (across from the Hollywood Bowl).



The Lasky-De Mille Barn is presently home to the Hollywood Heritage Museum. At one time this simple wood-frame structure was part of Famous Players-Lasky’s studio, and stood on the southeast corner of Vine Street and Selma Avenue. Built in 1895, the barn was where The Squaw Man (1914), the first full-length motion picture filmed in Hollywood by Cecil B. De Mille, was shot. Valentino would certainly have used this building at different times during his tenure at the studio. There are also Valentino artifacts on display in the museum courtesy of Valentino collectors, Tracy Ryan Terhune and Stella Grace. For information on visiting the barn and museum, call (323) 874-2276 or (323) 874-4005.



5. Hollywood Forever Cemetery, 6000 Santa Monica Boulevard, south side between Gower Street and Van Ness Avenue.


Rudolph Valentino\'s crypt


Founded in 1899, the former Hollywood Memorial Park Cemetery is the final resting place of Rudolph Valentino. It is also the site of the annual Rudolph Valentino Memorial Service held each year on August 23 at 12:10 P.M., the time of his death in New York. Valentino’s crypt, borrowed from his friend June Mathis who is lying in the crypt next to his, is located in the Cathedral Mausoleum, Crypt 1205. As you enter the mausoleum, walk to the back and take the last corridor to the left. Follow that to the end and make a right and walk toward the stained glass window. Valentino’s crypt is the last one on the left at eye level.