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Only in L.A.

April 23, 1993|Steve Harvey

Don't make us laugh: The L.A. Funeral Society's newsletter contains these moving words about the group's get-together in Pasadena Saturday:

"This meeting is a good opportunity to meet other 'live' members and find out we are not a morbid organization. People passing a room full of laughing members can't believe it when told, 'That? Oh, that's a funeral society!' They shake their heads and, so to speak, pass on."

So to speak.

Let's see the funeral society laugh at this one: When last we heard from Long Beach's No. 1 character, Ski Demski, he was going to ask the City Council to rezone his property so he could have his flagpole designated a cemetery. That way, Demski could someday have his ashes entombed at the base of the 132-foot-tall pole.

The council reacted unenthusiastically, even after Demski showed a five-minute videotape of a 1990 funeral service in which the ashes of a friend, Clem Maloney, an ex-Air Force colonel, were interred at the pole.

Demski admits he's nervous the city might make him dig up the ashes, though he doesn't expect any trouble over the two parrots also buried in there.

But he has since perused the state Cemetery Board page-turner, "A Guide to Cemetery Purchases and Cremation Services." And he's discovered that cremated remains may be buried at another type of location.

"I have a friend who's a lawyer," Demski said, "and he knows a priest, and we're going to see if we can work something out to make the pole a religious shrine."

You have our blessing, Ski.

More dark humor? Teresa Thompson, who snapped the accompanying photo in the San Gabriel Valley, wonders if the sign-maker shouldn't have also mentioned that the lot was for a seminar.

Who says no one walks in L.A.? In "Falling Down," nasty-tempered DE FENS (Michael Douglas) takes one of the year's most improbable hikes. Leaving his car on the Hollywood Freeway, he walks downtown, then east to Boyle Heights, west to MacArthur Park, north to Hollywood, south to the Century Freeway and then east (about 20 miles or so) to the Industry Hills Golf Course before winding up in . . . Venice.

All before nightfall.

Supporting player: Douglas' destination in the movie is also improbable: the Venice Pier, which is depicted as a crowded attraction.

Actually, the weathered cement structure has been shut down since it was declared a safety hazard more than six years ago.

But the pier may be making a real-life comeback. The city says the passage of Proposition A in November should provide funding to repair and reopen it, perhaps in two years.

For now, though, signs warn beach-goers to steer clear of the eroding pier because of the danger of chunks of concrete breaking loose. Maybe it belongs in a movie called "Falling Down" after all.


While the city of L.A. has a Recreation and Parks Department, the county equivalent is called the Parks and Recreation Department. Or maybe it's the other way around.

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