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People & Places

Best Cemetery for Departed Carnies Los Angeles 2011 

Evergreen Memorial Park and Crematory

Evergreen Memorial Park and Crematory is the final resting place for more than 300,000 Angelenos, from L.A. mayors and City Council members to Chinese immigrants, Japanese Issei pioneers and, yes, even carnival workers. Also buried at this Boyle Heights landmark are the likes of Matthew Beard, aka Stymie from Our Gang; Charles Price Jones, founder of the Church of Christ; Bridget "Biddy" Mason, former slave–turned–real estate mogul; and Bobby Nunn, original member of the Coasters. But in the midst of all the dead politicians, preachers and performers lie players of a different kind, memorialized within an unassuming minicemetery of their own, affectionately dubbed "Showmen's Rest." In 1922, the Pacific Coast Showmen's Association was established to help out-of-work and retired carnival employees, even after they died. Later, the Vatican appointed "carnie priest" Monsignor Robert McCarthy to look after the circus folk, including candy peddlers, toy makers, carnival barkers, thrill-ride operators and pretty much anyone who made a living at the circus. Now, more than 400 departed carnies rest in peace at the Pacific Coast Showmen's Association Plot, including Emily Bailey, a 300-pound "fat lady," and Hugo Zacchini, the first human cannonball. 204 N. Evergreen Ave., Boyle Heights. (323) 268-6714.

—Tanja M. Laden

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