Saying Goodbye to Celia

A journey to Hollywood to honor a multi-faceted woman

By Dena Burroughs
Published on LatinoLA: July 21, 2003

Saying Goodbye to Celia

Celia and I never had a conversation. I only got to see her two or three times in concert, yet her death is a loss to me. Celia was there since I was a child. The sound of her voice accompanies fond memories, and her music sparks flashbacks to many happy moments.

The morning after her death, I wanted to pay my respects to the life of this woman who contributed to my happiness without her even knowing it. I wanted to make a statement of my admiration for her life, for her accomplishments, for her evident success at making the voyage of life significant.

I wanted to applaud her ability to be loved as a wife, respected as a public figure, and capable of leaving an outstanding legacy. I wanted to say it somehow, for no other benefit than my own satisfaction.

I decided to visit Celia? star at the Walk of Fame in Hollywood. I figured I would leave a flower, look at her name on the star, and in a little way, say goodbye.
I was glad to see that others felt like me.

Celia? star was already surrounded by flowers and candles, pictures and handwritten notes. People stood around and took pictures, and listened to ?La Negra tiene tumba?o? played from a recorder left behind. Folks of all accents paid her tribute, a testament that Celia touched us all.

One more flower stayed on the ground, standing in for my admiration at the fantastic life of an amazing woman, with a card that reads, from my heart: ?Azucar Celia! Gracias por tu musica!?

About Dena Burroughs:
Celia Cruz? star is located at the intersection of Argyle and Hollywood Blvd, diagonal to the Pantages Theater

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