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Where were you when Marilyn Monroe died?

I was 6. Being unable to wrap my young tongue around the name Harry, he became known as "Uncle Esh." Esh worked for an advertising firm in Chicago and it wasn't unusual for him to visit our apartment bearing giant cut-outs of Yogi Bear and Huckleberry Hound or a cardboard replica of an Apollo nosecone, gifts for little Scotty to decorate his bedroom.

Esh and his wife Sylvia, whom I called "Aunt Lu," were at the apartment when I came home from school that Monday afternoon. Esh wasn't feeling well and mom put the 3 of us in the car and headed for the hospital. It was on Ridge Ave. just before you turn off onto Lake Shore Drive when the newscaster came on the radio to report the actress had died.

It was the last time I ever saw Esh. Unlike MM, who took the easy way out, Esh succumbed to a massive heart attack. He didn't last a week.

I never bought into the Monroe mystique; give me Jayne Mansfield in her two roles for Frank Tashlin anyday over MM. Otto Preminger's crack about her being nothing more than a "vacuum with nipples" was more than enough confirmation for me. Still, to this day I can't think about her passing without wondering what it would have been like were I afforded a little more time with my beloved Uncle.

These images come from a friend's collection of movie memorabilia. Before he put the yellowing papers up for sale on eBay several years ago, he allowed me to scan them. When Scott Somerndike messaged me on Facebook this morning to remind me of the anniversary, I knew the time was right to dig these out. May her legion of fans (and those who remember supreme Kennedy/Sinatra suck-up Peter Lawford) enjoy them.

Click to enlarge the images.

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Comments

Colonna Aug. 4, 2012 @ 5:44 p.m.

Joe DiMaggio sent a half-dozen of roses every day to Marilyn's crypt for twenty straight years (1962-1982).

And did you see the Marilyn monstrosity that plagued Chicago for 10 months and now resides in Palm Springs, CA?

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Scott Marks Aug. 4, 2012 @ 8:45 p.m.

Yikes! Suddenly "Unconditional Surrender" looks good!

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OldHippie Aug. 4, 2012 @ 9:51 p.m.

Great story and the scans really make this outstanding, but if you think about it for a moment you'll realize that Uncle Esh never could have brought any replica Apollo nosecones in 1962.

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Scott Marks Aug. 5, 2012 @ 11:33 a.m.

You're right, OldHippie. It was Project Mercury. My apologies. I remember sitting inside the cardboard cone gazing at the colored lights and a little cardboard earth spinning on a battery operated motor.

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