I’m trying valiantly to resume blogging after my housing disaster last year. If all goes well, I’ll write more in the coming weeks and months, depending upon the rebuilding of my home and moving. The worst part is going through what’s left of my belongings. The remaining contents of my house reside in a storage facility stacked in boxes up to the ceiling. 

My entry on October 25, 2023, noted the passing of Dark Shadows veteran actress Lara Parker (Lamar Rickey Hawkins). Her family had previously considered a memorial service solely for fans, and that has come to fruition. Kathryn Leigh Scott, now the de facto spokesperson for Dark Shadows fandom, announced the event on her Facebook page. The memorial weekend is now July 5 and 6, 2024, in Burbank, CA. More information will follow as guests are confirmed. 

Fans should be over the moon and appreciative of a memorial service given just for them. Thankfully, most are showing appreciation. Unfortunately, as I immortalized in a previous post, one segment of fans is causing a fuss. Proper behavior just doesn’t happen in DS fandom. As usual, there were bizarre posts on Ms. Scott’s pages and Mary O’Leary’s Jonathan Frid Documentary page. I will not Facebook shame people by showing screencaps, but here are some of the more strange posts I have come across:

“Yay! So glad there is a show on the West Coast.”

“I hope you bring this to Tarrytown.”

“Waah! The East Coast is left out.”

“I’m so stoked about this festival! Can’t wait to have fun.”

“This is so awesome! What a fun thing.”

“Can’t you move this to the East Coast?”

“About time you had a festival here!”

“I hope there are a lot of others soon!”

“Why aren’t the other stars being honored?”

And the pièce de résistance : 

“Will Lara Parker be signing autographs, too?”

My head hurt! 

I assume people are just glancing at the post, not reading this is a memorial gathering, and are blurting the first thing that comes to mind.  

Call me fussy. Let me explain this a bit more. This Dark Shadows gathering is different from the regular ones; it is a memorial event celebrating the life and career of the late actress Lara Parker. A memorial is a way for fans to come together, mourn, remember, and pay their respects to an actress we all loved. Organizers added Jonathan Frid’s centenary to the event as a second day. This is a wise move, as we do not know when the remaining actors will be able to gather in one place again. Many cast members have passed away; the rest are getting on in years. Fans should be grateful that the family is including them in this memorial and that the remaining cast is also participating. It is not common for celebrities’ families to involve fans in such events, which makes this memorial all the more considerate and heartfelt.

While Dark Shadows fans are known for their passionate complaints, some of the responses to the announcement were cringeworthy and bordered on being rude. It is not appropriate to ask for a funeral or memorial service to move for personal convenience. Nor is it acceptable to wish for a future memorial closer to one’s location. That would mean another person’s death. The gathering is reasonably set in Burbank, as Lara’s family and most remaining cast members reside in California. Instead of complaining, fans should show empathy and respect. When someone can’t attend a funeral or memorial, behave as the norm by sending a memorial donation. The usual Festivals will proceed as planned, but this remains a separate, special event.

And, NO! Lara Parker will not be signing autographs! She died in October!


The schedule of events and a list of guests are finalized. Currently, all the remaining cast members are to appear. Marie Wallace is in a play in NYC and will join via Zoom. Lara Parker’s memorial service on Friday is still free and open to all. However, the following day is planned as a paid event because the organizers need to cover the cost of renting the hotel facilities for the memorial.