Bob Hope (1903-2003) was an American comedian, actor, and entertainer. With a career spanning almost 80 years, he's well remembered for his six decades of entertaining US Troops serving overseas. There's even a local regional airport - Hollywood Burbank AIrport - that until recently was named after him.
That said, it felt a bit odd to learn that Bob Hope was buried in a special garden at Mission San Fernando, next to his wife Dolores.
Bob Hope was initially buried adjacent to the Mission at the San Fernando Cemetery. In 2005, his remains were moved to the mission grounds itself. There, a special garden was created next to the Mission's main chapel.
Bob Hope was an outstanding entertainer and citizen. He easily could have been buried at Arlington National Cemetery. Based on his decades of service to the US armed forces around the world, he should have been buried in Arlington.
I'm unaware of another celebrity buried on any California mission.
While the garden on the Mission property where Bob and his wife Dolores are are buried is nice enough, it honestly felt a little strange having such a large part of the mission focused solely on one individual (and their spouse).
Inside the Mission, there are a couple of display cabinets featuring images of Bob Hope through the years. Bob Hope was a great American. As a college student, I had the chance to see him preform live at UCLA - which was great.
That said, this display would seem more appropriate to have this display at a Hollywood themed museum, or at the Hollywood Burbank airport.
Other parts of the Mission featured historical displays of Mission life in the early 1800's, which made a whole lot more sense.
Blacksmith area (above) and farming tools (below).
In its peak year, in 1819, San Fernando had 12,800 head of cattle, which were a major source of food and revenue. The mission also had a large number of sheep, (an average of 5,000 in its peak years). Between 1811-1821, over one thousand Tongva Native Americans converts lived and worked at the Mission.
While the impact of Spanish missionaries on the Native population is beyond the scope of this blog post, it was certainly better than their interaction with secular secular Spanish or Mexican authorities - or with the Anglo Americans settlers who followed.
Outside at the fountain.
Massive azalea plant. The azalea's I planted at my home are tiny in comparison. Helps to have years of growth, and the hot summers of the San Fernando Valley.
Another view of the large outdoor quad (quadrangle). It certainly didn't have this beautiful, manicured lawn back in the 1800's.
Inside, more historic displays. Father Serra, who's remains are buried at Mission San Carlos Borroméo del río Carmelo - in Carmel, California.
Spanish military uniforms of the period.
Kitchen. During the Mission years, contact with the outside world was very limited. Almost everything had made or created on site.
Mission San Fernando had an incredible 32,000 grape vines.
Love what it says on the bottom: "Sorry! No samples today." Seriously? They give out samples?
Downstairs in the small cellar - examples of wine barrels.
Back upstairs, in image of Jesus and his twelve apostles.
A final view of the interior, featuring Baroque style artwork on the walls.
And a map of the 21 California Missions, stretching from San Diego in the south to Sonoma, north of San Francisco.
Here's a link to Part I from last week. More next week in a third (and final) post on the Mission.
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