Schlitzie's Day - a recollection by Verne Langdon
On February 20, 2009, a group of friends from Findadeath.com got together to hold a memorial service for Schlitzie the Pinhead, who's earthly remains
lay in an unmarked grave for nearly 40 years. Nearly four hundred dollars
was raised - to get Schlitzie his marker.
Early Friday morning (20th) they enjoyed breakfast at Dupar's (Farmers Market location in Hollywood, California)
then it was off to the cemetery in Scott Michaels' Dearly Departed special funeral tours van. In addition to being the creator of Findadeath, Scott runs one of the most successful tour services in Southern California.
Following a beautiful journey to Queen Of Heaven Cemetery in Rowland Heights, California where Schlitze's remains are interred in a now-marked grave (see photo), those in attendance dressed the gravesite in beautiful floral arrangements, and the Reverend Bryan Moore -
himself an enormous Schlitze fan and historian - magnificently delivered an extremely well-constructed eulogy accompanied by a brief, emotional tribute to Schlitze by writer-composer-musician-producer Verne Langdon, who actually met, observed and knew Schlitzie.
(L-R) Bryan Moore, Joel Malmen, Shelly Lichoff, Scott Michaels, Verne Langdon, and Philip De Croocq.
Following nearly an hour attending the service and enjoying photo ops at the Schlitze gravesite, the group of nearly 30 Schlitzephiles from all over the United States proceeded to world-famous downtown Los Angeles's local eatery Philippe's, home of the mouth-watering double-dipped beef sandwich as well as other fantastic food fare.
Philippe's was a part of Schlitze's life in that he - along with other members of the legendary Paul Eagles Circus & Carnival Club - dined there often when wintering in Southern California. Following Philippe's it was on to hallowed haunts of Schlitze, including MacArthur Park in downtown Los Angeles where Schlitze
would chase the ducks and his caretakers would sell his never-ending supply of souvenir photos from Schlitze's glory days on the various carnival
midways. Then Schlitze's last known residence as verified on his Official Certificate Of Death, and of course the county care facility -Fountain View - in Hollywood, California, where Schlitze spent 48 hours or so before expiring on September 24, 1971, of Broncho Pneumonia brought on by Medullary Depression.
The day was memorable for so many reasons, and may turn into an annual event, held on the 20th of February each and every year, the day we have come to know and love as
Scott Michaels' thoughts:
It was an unusual chain of events leading up to
this event. Several people were integral, and yet most of us have never
met before. The power of the internet and human compassion made this chain of
events almost effortlessly happen. Well, not for Shelly Lichoff - she did
most of the work here. Shelly, you should be proud. I know I
am. I'm exceptionally proud to have been a small part of this huge