Here’s a photo my mom and I at Marilyn Monroe’s grave in 2000. My died of breast cancer four years later. Today would’ve been her 60th birthday. (I told her we needed to look serious for the photo)
𝚂𝚑𝚊𝚛𝚘𝚗 𝚃𝚊𝚝𝚎'𝚜 𝙲𝚑𝚛𝚒𝚜𝚝𝚒𝚊𝚗 𝙳𝚒𝚘𝚛 𝚍𝚛𝚎𝚜𝚜 𝚜𝚑𝚎 𝚠𝚎𝚊𝚛𝚜 𝚝𝚘 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝙻𝚘𝚗𝚍𝚘𝚗 𝚙𝚛𝚎𝚖𝚒𝚎𝚛𝚎 𝚘𝚏 𝚁𝚘𝚖𝚊𝚗 𝙿𝚘𝚕𝚊𝚗𝚜𝚔𝚒'𝚜 𝟷𝟿𝟼𝟼 𝚏𝚒𝚕𝚖 "𝙲𝚞𝚕-𝚍𝚎-𝚂𝚊𝚌" 𝚒𝚜 𝚋𝚎𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚊𝚞𝚌𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗𝚎𝚍 𝚘𝚏𝚏 𝚝𝚑𝚒𝚜 𝚠𝚎𝚎𝚔𝚎𝚗𝚍 𝚊𝚝 𝙹𝚞𝚕𝚒𝚎𝚗'𝚜 𝙰𝚞𝚌𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗 𝙷𝚘𝚞𝚜𝚎 𝚒𝚗 𝙱𝚎𝚟𝚎𝚛𝚕𝚢 𝙷𝚒𝚕𝚕𝚜. 𝙸𝚝'𝚜 𝚎𝚜𝚝𝚒𝚖𝚊𝚝𝚎𝚍 𝚝𝚘 𝚏𝚎𝚝𝚌𝚑 $𝟷𝟻,𝟶𝟶𝟶 - $𝟹𝟶,𝟶𝟶𝟶. 𝙹𝚞𝚕𝚒𝚎𝚗𝚜 𝚑𝚊𝚜 𝚜𝚘𝚖𝚎 𝚒𝚗𝚜𝚊𝚗𝚎 𝚘𝚕𝚍 𝙷𝚘𝚕𝚕𝚢𝚠𝚘𝚘𝚍 𝚖𝚎𝚖𝚘𝚛𝚊𝚋𝚒𝚕𝚒𝚊 𝚘𝚗 𝚍𝚒𝚜𝚙𝚕𝚊𝚢 𝚊𝚝 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚖𝚘𝚖𝚎𝚗𝚝 - 𝙼𝚊𝚛𝚒𝚕𝚢𝚗 𝙼𝚘𝚗𝚛𝚘𝚎'𝚜 𝚌𝚊𝚛, 𝚒𝚌𝚘𝚗𝚒𝚌 𝙱𝚘𝚋 𝙼𝚊𝚌𝚔𝚒𝚎 𝚐𝚘𝚠𝚗𝚜, 𝚑𝚊𝚗𝚍-𝚠𝚛𝚒𝚝𝚝𝚎𝚗 𝚕𝚎𝚝𝚝𝚎𝚛𝚜 𝚏𝚛𝚘𝚖 𝙿𝚛𝚒𝚗𝚌𝚎𝚜𝚜 𝙳𝚒𝚊𝚗𝚊, 𝚂𝚑𝚊𝚛𝚘𝚗 𝚃𝚊𝚝𝚎'𝚜 𝚠𝚎𝚍𝚍𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚍𝚛𝚎𝚜𝚜! 𝙸𝚝 𝚠𝚊𝚜 𝚊𝚗 𝚘𝚞𝚝 𝚘𝚏 𝚋𝚘𝚍𝚢 𝚎𝚡𝚙𝚎𝚛𝚒𝚎𝚗𝚌𝚎. 𝚂𝚘𝚖𝚎𝚘𝚗𝚎 𝚠𝚊𝚗𝚝 𝚝𝚘 𝚕𝚎𝚗𝚍 𝚖𝚎 $𝟹𝟶,𝟶𝟶𝟶?
Before she was Marilyn Monroe, she was Norma Jeane Daughtry. At 16, Norma Jeane has two options: Ship off to yet another orphanage, or marry the boy-next-door and set sail for Catalina - an island off the coast of Southern California. Norma Jeane is no dumb blonde - she isn’t even a blonde. According to Norma Jeane's soon-to-be-husband, James Daughtry, the island paradise is where Marilyn Monroe is born. In an interview, Dougherty says: “I would marvel at how she’d ‘turn on’ when she was walking and knew men were looking at her. She’d do ‘the walk’ seen later in millions of her films, but back then, she was just learning to do it, and she was very, very good at it!”
There's a heatwave in LA right now and I am in desperate need of that Catalina breeze.
...pretend you're Marilyn Monroe.
"I didn't feel like a married woman. The most important thing my marriage did for me was to end forever my status as orphan," Marilyn says in her autobiography, "My Story.” "Jim was a nice husband. He never hurt me or upset me - except on one subject. He wanted a baby." The thought of having a baby makes the hairs on Norma Jeane's arm stand on end. Can you blame a child bride for not wanting to bring a kid into this world? Daughtry - who she calls either Jimmie or Daddy - never truly ‘gets’ Norma Jeane. "She was just a housewife," remembers Jimmie/Daddy, "We used to go down to the beach and have luaus on Saturday nights." The couple's favorite song is Glen Miller's "Moonlight Serenade." They listen to it together on the beach in Avalon and dreamily hold each other in their arms. If you haven’t held someone in your arms on Catalina, what are you doing with your life?
Last summer, my sister found a box of home movies from our childhood. Here is a video of me in 1996 opening my Christmas present: A Marilyn Monroe calendar. And what about that "I Love Lucy" tucked tee?!?!
In 1942, a 16-year-old Norma Jeane Baker avoids being shunted to yet another foster home by marrying her 21-year-old neighbor, James Dougherty - a merchant marine soon to be stationed on Catalina Island. Dougherty moves his young bride to an apartment overlooking Avalon Harbor. The future Miss Marilyn Monroe spends the next year and a half living as a housewife, 22 miles off the coast of California. To be continued...