On January 25, 2002 the Marilyn Remembered Fan Club met at the Greg Schreiner's house for another amazing meeting!
**PLEASE BE SURE TO CLICK on any picture to make larger and on the links provided.
ITEM #1: First item was a round of applause for Jack Allen! This was in special thanks for hosting the Annual Marilyn Remembered Holiday Party at his house! It was grand event and we all had a tremendous amount of fun. Please CLICK HERE for more on the Holiday party complete with photos!
ITEM #2: Another big THANK YOU was in order for Dorothy Cisler-Kelley for her wonderful work on getting a emailing list going for Marilyn Remembered. The club now has the ability to send email reminders of upcoming meetings.
Are you an LA member and have email access? If so, please email Dorothy here and let her know you wish to be put on the list!
ITEM #3: A reminder was made that the 40th Anniversary of Marilyn's passing and the 20th Year Celebration of the Club's existence will be coming up this year. Expectations are high that this will be a huge event. Greg asks each member to perhaps think of some activities to plan around the first weekend of August to help mark this as a historic event. Ideas floating around are making club pins or tee-shirts and perhaps even planning a tour or a dinner celebration.
ITEM #4: In addition 2002 also marks the 10th Anniversary of the Marilyn Monroe Car Rally and also another Look-a-Like Contest is scheduled at the Roosevelt Hotel! More information will be posted on the The Marilyn News Page as it becomes available.
ITEM #5: A new Japanese book featuring rare photos of Marilyn has been released. Unfortunately no one at the meeting could read Japanese so we are unsure of the title or the author. However if any further information is found out I will be sure to post it here.
Also another book on Marilyn collectibles is already in stores! The book is by Clark Kidder and is called Marilyn Memorabilia : Putting a Price on the Priceless Performer. This book should be available for purchase in most retail book stores or you can buy it online at WWW.AMAZON.COM
ITEM #6: TERRIFIC NEWS!
Greg happily announced his honorary membership with the German based Marilyn Monroe Fan club called SOME LIKE IT HOT. This wonderful fan club was founded by Martina Muller and is currently run by Ralf U. Beeskow. Ralf puts out a monthly newsletter based on news about Marilyn Monroe and it is written in both English and German. Greg was featured with an exclusive interview in December/January's issue! Another member of Marilyn Remembered, Valerie Weich, is also a contributor to this wonderful magazine and each month she updates the newsletter on the Marilyn Remembered meetings! If you'd like more information about this club and how to get a subscription to this fabulous newsletter please feel free to write Ralf at:
Ralf U. Beeskow
Or email him here:
ITEM #7:Special Club News: Long standing Marilyn Remembered member Eric Woodward, who flew in from Florida to attended the nights meeting, will be publishing a book on Marilyn called Hometown Girl, Los Angeles Addresses of Marilyn Monroe. Eric brought a sample of his book and it was very impressive, full of rare and wonderful information. As the book gets closer to print we will be sure to post updates on The Marilyn News Page! Eric will soon be moving back to LA sometime in July---We welcome his return! ITEM #8:MORE Special Club News: Greg Schreiner has recently finished a musical CD called HOLLYWOOD REVISITED. This CD features musical greats from famous films! It will be available for purchase in stores and through www.Amazon.com soon. We will be sure to make a special announcement when the CD debuts on the The Marilyn News Page.
Nancy Bolender Jeffery
(Nancy showing a picture of her parent, Mr & Mrs. Bolender-Click on photo for larger image)
Our special guest for the evening was Norma Jeane's (aka Marilyn Monroe) foster sister Nancy Bolender-Jeffery. Nancy also brought along with her, her lovely daughter Janet.
Nancy recently attended the David Wolper** event that took place in October 2001 at USC. The special event featured an exhibit of rare photographs of Nancy's adoptive parents Mr. and Mrs. Bolendar with Norma Jeane and herself. These family photographs were especially heartwarming for Nancy to see as they were thought long lost. It was also through this special exhibit that Nancy made contact with Marilyn Remembered President Greg Schreiner. Greg asked Nancy to speak at our Marilyn Remembered meeting, which she graciously accepted
**If you'd like to read more about the David Wolper event and see some rare pictures of Marilyn Monroe please click here:
Nancy started her discussion by sharing with us that in 1917 Ida and Wayne Bolender were married in Ohio and then moved to Hawthorne, California in 1919. They lived on a wonderful little farm in Hawthorne, which had many animals including goats, dogs and chickens. (The home still remains in Hawthorne although the street named has changed from Rhode Island Ave to 134th W. Hawthorne.)
(Nancy brought this photo of her old home. This is a current photograph. Click on photo for close up!)
Wayne was a postal worker for the county which made his family one of the more fortunate families during the great depression. Since the Bolenders were unable to have children of their own they chose to take in foster children and often, if the state allowed, adopt them. It was in 1926, a few weeks after Norma Jeane was born, that Della Mae Hogan (Norma Jeane's Grandmother) brought Norma Jeane to live with the Bolenders who lived literally across the street. (That house also still exists)
It was at this home that Norma Jeane spent her formative years. She shared the Bolender's home with many children including Nancy who was 5 years younger than her and Lester Bolender who was 2 months older. Nancy said that Lester and Norma Jeane were so close and looked so much alike that they were often referred to as "The Twins."
Lester Bolender and Norma Jeane-Click on picture for close up!
Norma Jeane lived with the Bolenders until she was 8 years old. During that time Della and Norma Jeane's mother Glady's would often visit her. Nancy described Glady's as a quiet, soft spoken and gentle woman. She said it was be difficult to know that Glady's was suffering form any kind of mental illness. On the other hand Della was more a tyrant, a woman who was obviously mentally disturbed. Nancy also confirmed with us that Della did one day come into Norma Jeane's room to try to suffocate her. It was around this time Della was taken away not to visit Norma Jeane again.
(Della Mae Hogan holding baby Norma Jeane. Click on photo for close up!)
Nancy described her home with the Bolender's as happy one. Mr. Bolender was a gentle and kind man who loved little Norma Jeane like one of his own. Mrs. Bolender was also a loving woman but was more the disciplinarian in the home. They both raised the children in the Catholic religion and strongly discouraged movie going. However, they did allow the radio to be played and Norma Jeane loved to listen to her favorite shows The Green Hornet and The Lone Ranger. It was here at the Bolender house that Norma Jeane first learned to play the piano. Nancy recalled that she often would play with Norma Jeane on the teeter-totter in the back yard and hopscotch on the front sidewalk.
Nancy said that when Norma Jeane was taken from the house when she was only 8 years old the whole family was devastated, especially Mr. Bolender who considered Norma Jeane his baby. Nancy recalled that the Bolenders wanted nothing more than to adopt little Norma Jeane, whom they considered their own since they raised her from infancy. The day Norma Jeane was taken away, the children ran and hid in the closets and the Bolenders were in tears.
The Bolender family always kept in touch with every child that came into their house and Norma Jeane was no exception. They often would visit her at the homes she lived at, including the Hollygrove orphanage. When Norma Jeane married at age 16 to Jimmy Dougherty, the Bolenders where there and Nancy served as a flower girl.
(Nancy is pictured in the attached wedding photo -- She is the little girl to the left of Norma Jeane- Nancy was 11 years old in this picture. Click on photo for close up!)
Nancy said that after the wedding she saw Norma Jeane a couple of more times when the newlyweds invited the Bolender family over for dinner at their new home. Lester Bolender remained close to Norma Jeane growing up and even helped her move to different homes during her starlet years. Eventually the two did loose contact and Lester spent his last years in Mesa, Arizona. Lester passed away last year at the age of 75.
Nancy was a delight to listen to. She gave us such an intimate and heartwarming view of Marilyn's younger years. It was moving to hear how Nancy described both her Mother Ida and her Father Wayne as warm sensitive people with a passion for helping parentless children. Nancy said, "If there is one image I want to leave you with, it is that my parents, The Bolenders, were wonderful people and sadly they were often misrepresented in the history of Marilyn Monroe which hurt them deeply."
Nancy ended her talk with an intimate moment. She said her father, Mr. Bolender, recalled getting a phone call from Marilyn Monroe in 1955. Marilyn said to him "So, are you disappointed with how my life turned out?" Mr. Bolender softly replied back "Norma Jeane, I will always love you."
THAT'S A WRAP!
The meeting ended at around 10pm. Many of us stayed a little later to talk to each other and thank Mrs. Bolendar-Jeffery for her time.
UPDATES: Marilyn Remembered club member and Some Like It Hot Co-Star Penny McGuiggan is ill and in the hospital. We are all praying for her speedy recovery. If you wish to send a get well note please email me here and I will be sure forward it to her:
On an up note both Sylvia Barnhart (Marilyn's first hairdresser) and Evelyn Moriarty (Marilyn's personal stand-in) are feeling much better and on the road to recovery!
PASSAGES: It is always sad to make an announcement of anyone's passing, this evening was no exception. Tonight's meeting was dedicated to the memory of:
William Read Woodfield, renowned photographer, passed away in December of 2001. Mr. Woodfield is perhaps best known in Marilyn Monroe circles as the photographer who took the Something's Got Give poolside photographs. His widow, Lili Woodfield, recently spoke at a Marilyn Remembered Meeting, she gave us such insightful information on Marilyn and her husband. Our hearts go out to her and her family. Lili will soon be doing a book, with the assistance of Josh Greene and Tom Kelley, Jr., based on William's famous photographs. We will be sure to keep everyone updated on this as it progresses.
Peter Levathes who was the Executive Vice President of 20th Century Fox, passed away last week. He is best known in Marilyn circles for his interactions with Marilyn during the shooting of the ill-fated Something's Got To Give. After Marilyn's death Peter was quoted as saying "She was very happy and creative and glad to have a say in the revised script. She was in fine spirits and looking forward to getting back to work."
Eileen Heckart, who stared in Bus Stop opposite Marilyn as the Blue Dragon's waitress Vera, passed away on December 31, 2001 at the age of 82. Marilyn first met Eileen at the opening night of Arthur Miller's play "A View To A Bridge." Eileen was an accomplished Academy Award winning actress.
Popcorn and Movies Night! The first movie will be the BBC showing of MONROE ON MONROE. This documentary will feature never before seen footage on Marilyn and the entire narration will be in Marilyn's own voice! There will also be a second film shown. The meeting will be at the Hollywood Entertainment Museum on Feb. 17. Dorothy will email everyone on the details of this exciting event!
NANCY BOLENDER WITH GREG SCHREINER
GREG PLAYS HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO SEVERAL MARILYN REMEMBERED MEMBERS!
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