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Gift from Diane F.

 In Dedication to the Great Nelson Eddy

Our Tribute to a Golden Voice

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Gift from Diane F.& Mary F.

Nelson's Words

Gene Raymond is a

 L U C K Y G U Y!
By Nelson Eddy

Diane F. Collection

Photo Gifts

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NEAS Riverside Inn

 June 24-30, 2003

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Diane Flaherty's Update

 Nelson's Dedication Sep 27, 2003

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Diane Flaherty's Update 8-21-2k3  Nelson's Dedication Sep 27, 2003

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Diane Flaherty's Update 8-26-2k3  Nelson's Dedication Sep 27, 2003

Nelson's Street Dedication

Diane Flaherty Update

 Nelson Eddy's Dedication

Dedication Map of Nelson's Street Name Sep. 27, 2003

Gift from Sharon A.K

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Gift from Sharon A.K


Nelson Eddy Drive Dedication at Hollywood Forever Cemetery

Update by Diane Flaherty

September 27, 2003 



Gift From Diane F.

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Nelson's Home

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Fans arriving

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Frank Laric, NWO

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Frank Speaking   

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Sharon Rich speaking

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Diane and Kathryn

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Elia,  Dodona

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Annette Lloyd

Hollywood Roosevelt


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Ranchee far Right

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Kathryn & Bern

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Diane and Helen

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MaryJo - Helen

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Front left Joan Leighton

left rear Ranachee Clovis

right rear Bernadette

right front Dorothy

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Cathi, Barbara,


Gift From Diane F.




Hello friends,

Now that I am back from California and this entire event is behind me, I still have to pinch myself that it actually really happened!  I must preface by saying that the hard work and determination of ALL contributed to a special memorial for our beloved Nelson Eddy that went beyond my fondest hopes and dreams.

I will get right to the weekend, but please know that my host and hostess, Jack and Helen Crawford, were so generous and welcoming to me.  I love them both!  It was a sheer delight and honor to stay at their lovely home among Helen’s precious mementos of Nelson.  Thursday had us at a lovely luncheon at Helen’s home, hosted by Barbara Courson.  We had the pleasure of getting to know Cathi Smith of Scotland and Dorothy Riches from the UK.  Such lovely ladies and devoted Eddy fans!  We only wished that Elia Wansard-Bonora of Belgium could have arrived a day earlier and joined our European group.

On Friday, 9/26, we moved to the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.  There we had a three-room suite which overlooked Hollywood Blvd. and Mann’s Theater (formerly Grauman’s).  We had reservations for Michael Feinstein’s Cinegrill that night.  We put on our “posh frocks” (a bit of England from the day before!), and headed downstairs to the nightclub.  Waiting at the entrance were many of our good friends.  What a pleasure to see everyone again!  Among the Nelson group was Rachanee Clovis, our guest for the evening.  She looked lovely as usual.  Introductions and love were spread all around.  We were then seated.  Our group were well placed at the “power table.”  We were front and center for the live show.  Our meals were simply divine and the presentation was beyond anything I had ever experienced before.  (Toto, I don’t think we are in Kansas anymore!!).  Our compliments go to the chef. 

The show began with Jane Monheit, a young beauty with long brown locks, wearing a shimmering black gown, singing selections from MGM movies.  Her leanings were toward Judy Garland numbers.  She was backed by a talented jazz-type band of bass, drums, saxophone and piano.  She performed one “Nelson and Jeanette song”, Lover Come Back To Me.  It was barely recognizable in its jazzed up, modern rendition, but they did an excellent job.  I was delighted to hear how this lovely love song could be transformed into an edgy modern number.  Die-hard N&J fans would probably disagree!

We all retired rather early so we would be lovely for the BIG day.  Helen and I were up at 7am.  We got all dressed up for the day’s events.  Waiting down in the old lobby, were my videographer, Paul Wood and his assistant, Jason Hashimoto.  Also fans were lining up to give us all some insight into the depth of their devotion to Nelson Eddy.  We interviewed 16 people of all ages and backgrounds.  It was obvious that the love of Nelson and Jeanette was tangible.  The young men doing the taping, were moved to truly believe that Nelson had to have been a wonderful man to garner this devotion after all of these years.  They were right!

The crew and I wander about the Roosevelt Hotel to add color and commentary to the presentation.  We wanted those who never saw the Roosevelt to get a feeling of its beauty and history. 

Then we were off to the cemetery.  Upon arriving, fans were already at both the sign post and the grave.  Tents and chairs were set up at both locations.  The sign post was covered up with a veil when the breeze cooperated!  Ceremonies began a bit late because we were awaiting the arrival of Ms. Helen Brown, whose vision of some type of memorial for Nelson started the ball rolling toward this very day.  Ms. Brown’s driver was caught up in LA traffic.  Helen is in frail health, but we were all so happy that she was still able to attend the dedication.

Mr. Tyler Cassity and Mr. Martinez introduced Sharon Rich to unveil the sign post.  Mayor Johnny Grant was advised by his doctor not to attend any public functions for several days due to an illness.  Just as the sign was being unveiled, a car pulled up with Miss Kathryn Grayson and her secretary, Sally Sherman.  I and others went to help Miss Grayson to a shaded chair under the tent.  It was very warm in the sunshine with temperatures in the high eighties and the clearest blue sky one could imagine.  God was shining down on us.  Miss Grayson was a lovely sight in her bright red jacket and shell and slim black slacks.  She WAS Kathryn Grayson from the movies.  She wore a large pair of sun glasses, but even upon removing them, her face and skin were smooth and youthful.  An aura of stardom surrounded her, even though she was gracious and generous to everyone with her time.

The entire group them moved on to the grave side, down the street.  There a tent and chairs awaited.  Miss Grayson was taken to the location by golf cart and helped to a seat of honor.  At grave side a gentleman who sang in the American GI Chorus that appeared in Northwest Outpost spoke of having worked with Nelson.  A woman spoke of having known Nelson and gave her praise of all the hard work done over the years by Sharon Rich.  Then a lovely poem was read.

We all moved on by cart and car to the chapel where the room was transformed into a respectful, yet joyous dining room.  Tables were covered with white linens and each had a beautiful flower centerpiece.  The front of the chapel featured two large and breathtakingly beautiful flower easels with two huge photos of Nelson.  One “standard” publicity pose and another more casual pose.  One easel arrangement was a rush of fall colors and its sash revealed it to be from the Mac/Eddy Club.  The other easel was a lovely combination of white flowers with a sash reading “Loving Remembrance from NEAS.”  Several other colorful baskets and arrangements were on the floor and at the entrance of the chapel.

Once all were seated, (extra chairs had to be set up to contain the huge turnout of people, over 150 would be my guess), Mr. Cassity welcomed us and introduced the speakers.  Among the speakers were Professor John Paton of USC a voice teacher.  He gave a lovely speech on Nelson’s concert and war years.  We were all spellbound to hear his knowledgeable insights.  The text of this speech is available. 

Miss Grayson was introduced and presented by Rachanee Clovis with two dozen red roses.  She spoke with love and affections of her memories of working on the MGM lot with Nelson and Jeanette. 

Linda Foster of the cemetery spoke lovingly and tearfully of her association with Ms. Helen Brown.  Linda worked very hard to bring everything together to create this idyllic day for all.  Thank you Linda!

Next Mr. Cassity presented the awards for Perry Pickering, Co-President of NEAS, Rachanee Clovis, the benefactor of the event, and Sharon Rich of Mac/Eddy Club.  As Perry and Lucy were unable to attend, I accepted his lifetime achievement award given by the cemetery for his years of work in Nelson’s name.  I announced that Perry is stepping down as Co-President and leaving NEAS in the capable hands of present Co-President, Anna Michalik and new Co-President, Nevella Kiter.  Perry will continue as USA/Canada Representative.  I also read the loving words Perry sent for the occasion.

Rachanee received her plaque with grace and charm.  She was truly moved at the love and appreciation in the room. 

Sharon was presented with a plaque for her many years of work in writing books and running Mac/Eddy and her website.  All energies helping keep Nelson and Jeanette’s name in the forefront of the music scene.  She made a brief statement and thanked everyone for having this event be representative of all fans from all clubs and from the world over. 

Annette Lloyd, the biographer for the cemetery, introduced the biographical video and we sat with rapt attention as Nelson’s life unfolded.  It was such a treat to see segments of Maytime and photos of Nelson from little baby through to maturity.  We also got to hear his story in his own words.  It was truly touching and many eyes were moist at the conclusion of the presentation.

A champagne and sandwiches social hour followed the formalities.  Everyone mingled and mixed and the line started to form to greet Kathryn Grayson.  She warmly visited with each fan and signed photos and programs graciously.  She was tireless in her efforts to meet each and every one of us.  She had a few copies of a lovely photo of she and Nelson reviewing the music from Bittersweet.  Nelson was in costume for the film.  As one might expect, copies of the photo soon ran out, but Sally Sherman assured me that she will be sending me additional copies and I will let all know when they become available. 

Once the throng of fans lessened and Miss Grayson was able to get a bite of food, Paul and Jason “miked” her and I suggested topics she might reminisce about regarding her duet of  I Told Every Little Star with Nelson on 10/21/45.  I also asked her if she ever wished she would have been able to make a movie with Nelson.  Plus she added her heartfelt conviction that Nelson was a total gentleman and wonderful human being.  This interview and all events from the morning at the hotel through the interview with Miss Grayson will be available in the near future on video for sale.  We hope to include the cemetery’s bio in the footage as well.  Once I get the rough cut, I can tell you more about the video, its cost and available formats.  We  will try to be able to supply VHS, DVD and Pal formats.

We left Miss Grayson and Miss Sherman at the end of the ceremonies.  Both promised to keep in touch.  Miss Grayson took my hand and pressed it to her cheek so tenderly.  I was moved beyond words.  She was such a dear and full of love for Nelson and Jeanette.  Due to her failed knee surgery, which requires more surgery in the near future, and her diabetes, Miss Grayson graciously declined our offer of dinner that evening.  Rachanee Clovis had invited her to Yamashiro’s an exquisite replica of a Japanese palace overlooking LA and Hollywood.  We certainly could understand the stresses of the long day which had to begin early for Miss Grayson in order to get to the cemetery from Santa Monica, CA.  The heat and demands made upon her would have wilted the heartiest person, yet she received us so warmly well after 4pm.

Helen and I returned to our suite to set up our cocktail party.  Must admit we both took a short nap to recover from the afternoons events.  Between 5 and 7pm our suite was abuzz with friends and fans who relived the day’s events with joy and almost disbelief.  The general feeling was that the day was far beyond all hope and aspirations.  I and others truly felt Nelson was smiling down on this Dedication and was pleased. 

As Miss Grayson and Miss Sherman and Mr. Cassity had to bow out for dinner, Rachanee extended invitations to fans without dinner plans to fill our merry group of 12.  Among the guests that Rachanee hosted were Linda Foster and two others from the cemetery, our three lovely ladies from Europe, my son, Mike and his boyfriend, Greg, Helen Crawford, Barbara Courson.

We were seated a bit back from the lovely vista from our hilltop location, but one could still see the lights of Hollywood below.  It was a rather foggy evening, but it did not lessen our enjoyment of this fine establishment.  Dinner began with drinks and appetizers.  The food was of the highest quality and presentation.  Some of us more timid eaters were tempted into trying delicacies we usually would never experience.  Dinner was some of the most delicious food I have ever experienced.  And dessert was a treat for the senses, both in taste and presentation.  Lively conversation added to the evening to make this a very memorable occasion.  We returned to our rooms well satisfied that we had experienced the time of our lives!

When the realization of a job well done set in, Helen and I found we were too exhausted to face another day of busy events.  We decided to do the prudent thing and decline the tour of houses.  Drivers were plentiful, so all wanting to see Nelson-owned homes were accommodate.  I must admit that I did not set a clock and awoke 10:20am!  I was shocked, but realized it was rest that I needed.  As Helen and I made our way back to the cemetery for more photos, the merry group of fans, headed by Sharon Rich, caravanned through Brentwood, Malibu and Beverly Hills, stopping for lunch at the Paradise Cove Beach Café.  It was reported to me that all had a wonderful time.

I had one more partial day with Helen and we made the most of our time together discussing possible future events to join fans together again and work toward keeping Nelson and Jeanette “alive” in musical Americana.
I parted California with memories that will live my lifetime.  This long-sought after dream had become a reality through the work and determination of many.  Nelson, we will and DO remember.



September 26, 2003

Hi All,

I am here in Covina, moving this afternoon to the Hollywood Roosevelt.  Helen and I inspected the premises they reserved for our group and everything seems to be set and in order.  We stopped by the Cemetery and saw the sign post!  Also order some lovely flowers for the event!!  I will be sure to take photos of the arrangements.

Spent a wonderful afternoon with luncheon at Helen's, Barbarba Couzon was hostess.  Two lovely ladies who just arrived from the UK joined us, Dorothy and Kathi.  What a grand time we had visiting.

So this morning, Helen and I plan to stock up for out cocktail party tomorrow evening and move into our suite.  Some attendees have already arrived and we expect many more coming in today.  Tonight is our outing at the Cinegrill.


Tomorrow is THE BIG DAY.  I am so excited and thrilled to be here.  I'll be getting back in touch in the near future.  Keep those good thoughts coming our way, dears!




September 22, 2003

Hi Everyone,

Can you believe that THIS weekend is the Dedication?  Many of you have told me how you will stop and play Nelson's music, offer a prayer, or make a toast to Nelson at the approximate time of the dedication.  How lovely.  I know I will be thinking of all of you and will be sure to get my newsletter done as quickly as possible after I return from the event.

I leave tomorrow morning for LA in order to get some last-minute errands done and make sure that the flower money donated is well spent
If you are attending, there will be Agendas available at the desk and one will be posted in the lobby as well.  Programs will be available at the dedication or if you see me wondering the halls! 

Helen wants attendees to know that we are planning to have a luncheon on Friday afternoon.  I am not sure of the place she has in mind, but if you are in town and want to join us, please let that be known to either Helen or I.  I will be reading my email now and then while I am in CA, so you could email that information to me.

On Saturday, you may want to make sure you are not hungry or that you have a snack available since the Dedication starts at noon and will run over 3 hours.  Champagne and sandwiches will be served, but it will be at the close of the ceremonies.

Also, don't forget that Sunday morning, we will all meet for breakfast at the Roosevelt dining room and those wanting to attend the Nelson houses  tour should be there and have eaten breakfast before 10am.

The videographer will be interviewing fans in the lobby on Saturday morning.  So if you want to be part of the video, please drop by and share your thoughts with us. Since the video/DVD will be professionally produced, it will take a bit of time before all the editing is done and the final is available.  I will advise as soon as it is ready.  Price has not been determined as yet until we know approximately how many will be produced and which version, either DVD or video you may want.  I think the final product will be a keepsake worth adding to your Nelson memorabilia.

Just a reminder, if you are looking for a neat restaurant Saturday night that is just walking distance from the Roosevelt you may want to make your reservations for either Musso and Franks or the Pig n' Whistle.  Both are on Hollywood Blvd and are popular Hollywood hangouts. 

Well, say a little prayer that all goes smoothly!  I just hope Nelson will be pleased!  Thank you for your support and feedback during the planning stages.

Luv, Diane


The Sweetheart Fans Rally for a very worthy Cause for Nelson Eddy!

Update by Diane

July 5, 2003

Hello Gio and group,

An effort is being made to help Hollywood Forever Cemetery raise extra funds to restore the grounds to their former beauty.  The original owners misused funds and allowed the property to fall into bankruptcy.  As recent as 1998, when I first visited Nelson's gravesite, the place was full of weeds, headstones were knocked over in some cases and sinking into the ground.  The fountains were shut down and green with slim.  The grass was long and weedy.  My son and I were the only people we could see in the unattended cemetery.  Nelson's grave, one of the nicer spots, thanks to the work of several devoted fans, was cover ed in old grass clippings and had dried up flowers staining the headstones of Nelson and his mom and wife.  I cleaned up the area a bit and left.  Since the place went bankrupt, there were no funds available for perpetual care as arranged by the families of those interred.

When Tyler Cassity bought the cemetery, he had a grand vision of not only restoring it to beauty and safety, but vitalizing the grounds so people would celebrate life along with their dearly departed in summer concerts and occasions such as the one we plan.  You can see a small couple of paragraphs in this week's Time magazine on page 89 about Hollywood Forever and Mr. Cassity. Part of his plan was to make a video library of those buried there so that visitors could see and hear their loved ones, making a living memorial.  A video has been made of Nelson and is at the cemetery and available online, although I have never been able to download it personally.

Anyway, like the example I gave earlier today, similar to "buying a brick" to help build a library, funds are raised through the selling and dedicating of street signs to honor the person the group or family represents.  All Nelson fans from all clubs, groups, and chatlines were asked to contribute to make this a reality.  The actual streets have been in place since the cemetery opened many moons ago.  Your donation goes to beautify the cemetery and 20% goes to replace the perpetual care fund for Nelson's family site.  The sign for Nelson and others are being made by Paramount Studio's art department.  Paramount is located right next door to the cemetery and their work would be very appropriate for honoring a movie star.  Neither the sign nor the street, of course, cost $20,000-$30,000.  It is the charity that gets the money to help restore this place to honor the memory of those buried there.

Regarding Tyrone Power, he is buried very near Nelson and his fan club was also interested in the same stretch of road running in front of the old mausoleum.  Since we were not the only group interested in this area, there was no discount available and in order to reserve the road while we tried to collect the needed funds, Sharon Rich signed a contract with the cemetery.  She informed members of her group about the fundraising and I found out through other means, as I don't belong to Sharon's group.  This was meant for ALL fans of Nelson, as mentioned, to help and feel a part of this honor.  No single person or group gets any of the money to my knowledge as funds are to be written to Hollywood Forever Cemetery, Attention:  Linda Foster. 

Linda is a grief counselor at Hollywood Forever Cemetery and is the contact person for matters of this nature.  We speak and email frequently and she will continue to help with final arrangements for the dedication ceremony.  I have met with her at Hollywood  Forever on two occasions.

This entire issued came to a head this past week because the contract to reserve the stretch of road was to expire on June 30, and go into default for lack of funding.  I forgot to mention, since this is just off the top of my head, that since funds were not forthcoming, when I was in Hollywood last February, we asked for a smaller stretch of road which commanded less charitable funds be reserved instead.  This area runs in front of the new mausoleum and adjacent to the visiting gardens, so having a street named for Nelson would get high visibility in this high traffic area and cost the fans less.

A dear lady, whom I met last year at NEAS in Cambridge Springs, was also alerted to the contract going into default and made it her business to get to Sharon's meeting in LA last Sunday were Linda Foster was going to attend.  Rachanee Clovis did this all at her own expense and while at the MacEddy meeting, volunteered to pay the difference needed to make this a reality, over $15,000. This money was handed directly to Linda, as were funds that Sharon raised at her meeting and through her auction. 

It is now set up that donations  received from now until the end of July will be used to reimburse Rachanee's total outlay, which is only fair, I and many others think.  Rachanee also told me that depending on the amount collected this month, she may opt to keep the larger stretch of road nearer to Nelson's grave.  Either site would be lovely and I can keep all informed on details as I receive them.

This event will be advertised in the media and famous people are expected to attend, like musical stars and those that have stated an admiration for Nelson and his work.  Not only will this publicity bring attention to Nelson and the Sweethearts, but the lovely signpost will be a lasting monument.  Those who see it and are curious for generations to come, need only to visit the video library at Hollywood Forever to learn more about Nelson.  Since Nelson and Jeanette are nearly always thought of as a team, this will also go a long way to bring attention to Jeanette.  I also hear that a building is being dedicated in the name of Jeanette at USC I believe.  So our Sweethearts are not being forgotten.

I am happy to answer any of your questions. 

Please let me know if any of you are planning to attend as we are trying to reserve a block of rooms at a discounted rate at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel for this event.


Thank you Diane for a wonder report for a very worthy cause I know all Sweetheart Fans would love to participate in. 




 Diane Page 2


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