Jewish Book: Saving Myself, a Los Angeles Childhood
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In Marilyn Monroe's Footsteps, A Los Angeles Childhood
Thursday, 14 April 2011 10:30
I'm on the ground at Grauman's Chinese Theater, placing my hands and feet where Marilyn Monroe pressed hers. She and Jane Russell. Have you been there, to Hollywood? Who was your favorite star memorialized? There are 246 celebrity hand and foot prints, 4.5 million visitors and on March 17, 2011, St. Patrick's Day, I was one of them. What began as an accident in 1927 when Norma Talmidge stepped in wet cement, began what Sid Grauman must have known was a great marketing scheme. And so it continued.
It could have been a quiet day at the beginning of summer, a day when I was still at school. Perhaps in French class in 1951 with Mrs. Ament. And Marilyn Monroe pressed her hands and feet in the cement, thinking of how she had changed her life, a young girl who had always wanted to be a movie star.
Further down the street on Hollywood Boulevard near Highland, the wax figure from Madam Tussauds where I stopped to take a photo with Marilyn.
I think about my Rock Hudson scrapbook, pages taken from Photoplay and Modern Screen carefully scotch taped into the scrapbook and suddenly there he was, his hands and feet not that far from Marilyn. At the age of twelve I decided to trade in Rock for Marilyn. No one knew. None of my school friends knew that I changed my loyalty. I remember this now as I sit in a bar at the Hollywood Renaissance Hotel where I stayed next to the Kodak Theater, "Indie Thursdays, so very indie, so very Hollywood."
I was in Los Angeles where only Sunday before I read from my memoir for some of these same school friends from that age as they sat in the audience at Temple Beth Israel of Highland Park and Eagle Rock. I came home to honor and bear witness to my life as a small child in the 1940s and 50s Los Angeles. My childhood spoken out into air. There sat Darlene, Lori, Marie Duffy, and seven others, my family, the Goldenbergs and Simonoffs, Zagers, my friends and many neighbors all there to bear witness to this young child who was me, who became the teenager with the scrapbooks with Monroe and Hudson, and now the adult who just this afternoon placed her hands in the hands of Marilyn Monroe and then Elizabeth Taylor. Stood and looked at Rock Hudson, Monroe, Cary Grant, all of them from Star Trek.
Here this March 17, 2011, Hollywood, the city of my birth,
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