Roses for Celia & the Greats

I was blessed to have a quick historic landmark tour of Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx. I'd always heard about its beauty and that it was the resting place of many notable people from all walks of history. Woodlawn and Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn, often pop up on my radar for their guided tours and special events. I'm not a Cemetery kind of person, but I love history, art, architecture and beautiful landscapes. When I had this opportunity to have a tourism meeting and a tour of Woodlawn, I was there.

I didn't take many pictures. I was overwhelmed by the grand scale of the grounds and of the memorials. Ironically, many of the mausoleums seemed larger than life. But some of the grave stones were dynamic.

I'm a music lover and my husband is a musician, so I jumped out the car when we got to what seemed like Jazz Alley. Duke Ellington on one corner, Miles Davis on the other corner.

Lionel Hampton's stone resonated in my spirit. "Flying Home" was inscribed on his stone. I don't know his music, perhaps that was the title of one of his famous recordings. But, for me it reminded me of a musician spending his career crisscrossing the globe. His final leg of the tour, heaven bound.

I saw Max Roach and thought of the signed photo of him in my husband's studio. And Jackie McLean, stone was literally his work of art. My guide said he sketched the drawing on a cocktail napkin.

When we got to Celia Cruz, her mausoleum was like peeking into a sacred spaces memorialized in the love that she and her husband shared. The roses on the door seem fitting on so many levels.
I imagined coming on a beautiful fall day and sitting amongst these legendary music greats and listening to their music. Oh the stories they could tell.


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