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________
Don Noyes More


OLD VIC AND MARILYN MONROE

1957 West Los Angeles, California




The street I lived on when I was 8 was a cul-de-sac. We were the last house on the right. On one side of our property was a large wall, and on the other side of that wall were vast dunes of sand used for commercial purposes. I use to sneak through the small door at the end of the street and go in after working hours to play with my army men in the sand. It was a vast environment to play in. Of course us boys were never supposed to be in there. But as boys do, I found my way there often. The door to the sand pit was never locked.

On the corner at the other end of the street as you entered Stanford Drive there was a green California ranch style home. It sat proudly on that corner, and I thought of it as some sort of watch house for our development. Often I walked to that house because that’s where old Vic lived. Old Vic was always in his garage puttering around, fixing something or working on some old car. Vic was an older man with gray hair, tall and burly. He was the sort of guy a kid could hang out with. He would talk nonstop about what he was fixing. From time to time there was the, “Now hold this for me, Donnie. Take that over there and clean that for me.” He handed me a wrench about the size of my arm. Kids were welcome and invited to his private garage, and he guided us through his many projects, most of which I did not have a clue as to what he was really doing. But I paid attention and always looked interested. I was lucky. He would answer all his questions to me first. Then he would say, “Now don’t forget that, that’s important!” His attention was absorbing, and I loved it.

Vic’s loud laughing was a great part of our relationship. He was a slap you on the back type of guy. He found humor in everything, and made a joke about the smallest events. He once told me my dog Skipper was part horse. “Yes, it’s true he is part of the midget horse family.” Slowly and surely he would pull me into his story. I started seeing horse-like behaviors in ‘ol Skipper. Yes, his nose looked like it might be, well, somewhat like a horse. “Yep he has a horse sound to his barks too!” Vic said with great authority in his voice. That day I went home and told my mom that Skipper was a horse. Well she looked at me like I was crazy.

“Oh, just ‘round.” I said. I didn’t bring up the matter again and realized Vic had played a joke on me. But Skipper never looked the same.

It was a lazy Sunday afternoon, and I was doing nothing so I crossed the street and asked my friend John to go up to Vic’s with me.

“Sure,” he said.

We both ran up the block to the garage. There was Vic working under the hood of a car. “Hey Vic!” We shouted.

“Hi boys,” he said cheerfully.

“Can we help?”

“No, no help needed, but you can watch.”

So we both sat down on a long wooden bench on one side of

the cluttered garage. Like a bolt of electricity it hit us. Our eyes caught the full view of Vic’s new calendar on the wall. John and I looked at each other. We had never seen anything like it before. On the top part of the calendar was the naked picture of a woman. She was laying on her side, golden hair flowing upwards and she was laying on red velvet. She showed one breast. Vic caught our stares

“That there is Marilyn, Marilyn Monroe, som’thing, huh?” He said.

“Wow,” is all I said. There was a charge of interest in me I didn’t fully understand. I wanted to go up and turn to February on the calendar but was frozen by a new excitement. She was beyond any dream. She was the first adult beautiful female body I had ever seen. This memory was not lost in my puberty. I think Vic saw the impact on us and scooted us off back home.

 

Thereafter I visited Vic’s garage often. Marilyn was pictured on all the months. I didn’t miss a month. Dear Marilyn became a private thought for many years thereafter. Vic’s picture opened up a whole new world to me that I was not going to understand until many years later.