My dream was realised on June 30th with my visit to Carrollton to pay my respects to a lady who has been a part of my life for 56 years. I don't need to extoll the virtues of Susan Hayward to anyone who visits this site as it has all been said before but I believe she was the most beautiful and talented actress ever with exceptional courage and I feel privileged to be one of her many admirers.
My visit coincided (by choice) with what would have been Susan's 89th birthday and it was a very emotional but happy day for me. I left her a bouquet of yellow roses and spent some time at the gravesite. I met a lady there, who with her husband, visits Susan's grave every year on her birthday to leave flowers in remembrance.
I thanked Susan for the pleasure she has given me and every one of her fans by enabling us to view her films although she has long passed away. She certainly made her mark on this world and we will always remember her.
While in the town, I spoke with numerous people who had lived there at the same time as Susan and Eaton and they all spoke lovingly of her. One young lady told me her uncle used to shoe the Chalkleys' horses and she herself had attended the funeral in 1975 when she was a child.
I am especially indebted to Father Paul Williams, his Secretary Pat Dixon and other ladies at the church of Our Lady of Perpetual Help who were most kind and helpful to myself and my friend. Father Paul's grandmother was Mary Williams, a lady who was friendly with Susan and I believe was very proud of that friendship as he showed me a portrait of her taken in a suit Susan had given her.
Pat was pleased to talk about Susan and show me a Scrapbook which had been compiled and also a set of presentation cards from when she had given talks on Susan. She was also kind enough to allow me to photo-copy some information and pictures of Susan for my ever-growing collection. Pat still shows Susan's films from time to time and in answer to my query re visiting her home across from the church, thought it would be alright to see if the present owner, Mrs. Jackson was at home.
Unfortunately, there was no answer but I was actually ringing the doorbell at Susan's old home in Carrollton which she and Eaton had built so I took some pictures and also of their lake and felt quite ecstatic to be there.
Johnathon, at the Visitor's Bureau was more than helpful and told us a lovely story of how when the house was being built, there was a kind of utility area for washing and Susan put her feet in the cement and wrote "Susan was here" (shades of Grauman's Chinese Theatre in August, 1951!). As far as he knew, it could still be seen in the house as Mrs. Jackson had kept the home pretty much the same as it had been.
The visit was a culmination of something I had been longing to achieve and as we were journeying to Los Angeles also, I had planned on trying to see Susan's last home at Laurel Way in Beverly Hills. My friend Barby made this possible for me too, as I don't drive and, with the help of maps, we drove along Sunset Boulevard and then up a winding hill right to the top.
It was with mixed feelings I approached the house as I believe that was where dear Susan passed away. Unfortunately, there were workmen there with a truck outside and there was major renovations taking place as they were bringing out boards, rubble etc. So, as the door was open, I followed the workmen in and asked to speak to the owner. He must have thought I was totally crazy standing there with my camera and surrounded by rubble, but "nothing ventured, nothing gained" and I was at least in the middle of the room where Susan had lived. I wasn't allowed to go any further, naturally, for insurance purposes.
The owner told me he knew nothing about Susan Hayward having lived there. I was at 1460 Laurel Way and I have seen that address on numerous occasions as being Susan's last home. I remember her son Tim writing about it being at the top of the hill so I am pretty sure I was in the right place.
That was quite an experience for me so I have now visited three of Susan's homes, the other being 3737 Longridge Avenue (I only stood in the driveway there). Ginger already has a picture of it on her site.
I thought you would all be interested to hear of my visit and if any of you would like me to send any of the pictures I took via e.mail, please get in touch and I will be happy to forward some on to you.
To all of you Susan fans, Trish's trip was not only memorable for her but for those of us who also loved Susan. Trish took many wonderful pictures that she was kind enough to share with me. I know you all will want to see them, too. I felt, in looking at them, as if I was there. My thanks to Trish for all the wonderful new memories she is sharing with us.
Trish, thank you for your fabulous photos and your report about your trip. I think it is so wonderful that you got to make the visit to Carrollton and Laurel Way. I want to get those photos up on the website. I'm so terribly slow at getting things done on the site, but I'll really try to make those photos on the site a reality by the end of summer. Thank you again for sharing!
I also thank you Trish, for your highly interesting report from your trip. You certainly did not waste any time during your visit and managed to see and discover a lot. I can only imagine how moving and ultimately gratifying it would have been for you to actually be in those locations.
My thanks to you Trish for sharing your "once in a lifetime experience" I can't imagine the feeling you must have felt standing in Susan's home on Laurel Way where she once walked around, cooked or just watching television.
Thanks tremendously for the great photos you e-mailed me. Ray
HI Trish...I am so behind because of not being very well this year, but I thank you for sharing these wonderful once-in-a-liftime moments with us.
I would be so happy if you would send me any pictures you have that you might want to share of your trip.
I must say you are one real devoted fan of our dear Susan..and what a time of year to do this trek, in her honor...on her birthday..and beyond.
May God bless you for caring..and sharing...Errol
I'd love to see all of those pictures..
Rick, some of those photos are at Trish Sharp's "If You Knew Susie" which is online. You can get to the link from www.facebook.com/susanhaywardclassicfilmstar and click the profile photo..
Also, since this is a reponse to an older post, I'm not sure Trish has seen it, so, I will write to her and tell her that you have replied.