Saturday, August 05, 2006
The Guardian Angel of Pomona
A few weeks back when I was researching the history of our house, Mr. Big and I visited the Pomona Cemetery on Towne Avenue and Franklin, about a mile above the 60 freeway. Established in the late 1800s, this one of the oldest in the area. The original owners and the second owners of our house are all interred there. I had called ahead of time and the staff informed me they were all in crypts inside the mausoleum.
Once we arrived at the cemetery, we were left on our own to go into the mausoleum. It was over 105 degrees that day. Even the marble felt warm.
I was having trouble finding the crypts of the original owners of our home, when from out of nowhere, a tough looking guy in uniform came towards us. We were the only three people in the whole mausoleum. The guy asked if he could help us, at which point I noticed he was missing his front teeth, was heavily tatooed, wore a thick gold chain and had the word "Angel" written on his uniform. I told Angel what I was looking for and he helped me look. Eventually he radioed to the office and another woman came out to further assist. Together we decided that the crypts weren't where they should be. The woman recommended we try the old mausoleum (turns out we were in the new one). She said they have a lot of trouble finding the older crypts because the numbering was often not arranged chronologically.
Angel took Mr. Big and I over to the old building. At this point, Mr. Big was willing to go anywhere with Angel. As he unlocked the old mausoleum, Angel explained that that door is always kept locked and he'd never opened it for a visitor before. Inside, the lighting and the seafoam green wicker furniture looked straight out of the 40's. The crypts of the original owners of our house had a prime location right next to stained glass windows. There were no flowers in any of their vases. The man died in 1938 and his wife in 1940.
The cemetery staff said that being buried in the mausoleum was a cheaper alternative to being buried in the ground outside, which was in keeping with the frugalness displayed by the original owners of our house, who never built a fireplace in our 3300 square foot house.
Angel told me that his mother-in-law works in the cemetery's front office, which is how he got the job. He said that he's one of two groundsmen and he switches between working for a week on the outside, to working for a week on the inside. He said that the cemetery is not haunted, and nothing strange has ever happened while he's been working there. So apparently the Pomona dead are all happily at rest. And who wouldn't be when your plots and crypts are so nicely taken care of by Angel, who turned out to be a sweetheart of a guy. Oh and Angel said that his name had nothing to do with his getting the job there. Guess he doesn't believe in destiny.
If you're interested in more information, the Pomona Cemetery's website is at www.pomonacemetery.com.
If you go to the Pomona Cemetery and are told there has never been anyone named Angel working there, well then I guess that Pomona really does have a guardian angel. I'm proud to say that I've met him.
Anyone know about the very oldest cemetery in Pomona?