Tribute to Marilyn, from a friend....Carl Sandburg.
''She had a mind out of the ordinary for show people. I found her fairly well read. I gave her a book of my complete poetry. I wanted her to
''She knew I had an appreciation of her from two angles...first as a personality and then as an actress.''
''She was not the usual movie idol. There was something democratic about her. Why, she was the type who would join in and wash the
supper dishes even if you didn't ask her. She would have interested me even if she had no record as a great actress.'' Thus Marilyn
Monroe was described by her friend Carl Sandburg, poet laureate and Pulitzer prize winning biographer of Abraham Lincoln.
Sandburg sat in the hot midafternoon sun on his sprawling lawn at Flat Rock, N.C. The August 6, 1962 issue of the Hendersonville,
N.C. Times-News lay limply on his parted knees and he read aloud the headline: ''Marilyn Monroe, 36, Dies of Sleeping Pill Overdose.''
''36 is just too young,'' 84-year old Sandburg muttered, slowy shaking his shaggy head, the longish white hair flopping like skeins of
corn silk over the top of his familiar green eyeshade. '' I wish I could have been with her that day.. I believe I could have persuaded her
not to take her life. ''She had so much to live for.''
The sweet friendship between the poet and the movie star was born in Hollywood, where they first met. He asked for her autograph and
she gave it to him. At a later reunion in New York, as shown in these photos, they talked together, clowned together, reflected together.
Marilyn Monroe and Carl Sandburg came from two totally different worlds, yet they felt a strong kinship. ''She had some faith in me,''
He paused to study the front page picture of the beautiful blue eyed blonde whom the world had tagged a star, a glamour girl, a sex
symbol, but whom Carl Sandburg called ''warm and plain.'' ''Many people came to love her as a woman, rather as a stage artist,'' he
said. ''She had a genuine quality. She was good to know offstage.''
He put down the newspaper and lit one half of a plump cigar that he had cut with his penknife. He took a short puff, leaned back in his
lawn chair and talked about the first time he saw Marilyn in Hollywood. He had been assigned her dressing room for use as an office
while he was working on a movie script. She made a point of coming to introduce herself. ''It was as if she wanted to see me as much
as I wanted to see her. We hit it off and talked long.''
''Marilyn was a good talker,'' the poet continued. ''There were realms of science, politics and economics in which she wasn't at home,
but she spoke well on the national scene, the Hollywood scene and on people who are good to know and people who ain't. We agreed
on a number of things-that Charlie Chaplin is beyond imitation, for instance.'' When asked who did most of the talking during their
conversations, Sandburg grinned and answered, ''It was fifty-fifty, although I asked her a lot of questions. She came up the hard way.
She never talked about her husbands.''
What did he think of her famous face and figure? ''Marilyn had a certain homeliness that made people like her. She wasn't the perfect
cutie like some stars-there was a certain irregularity about her features. The definition of beauty is difficult.'' Then he looked up from
under his eyeshade to gaze at the large white snowball bush blooming nearby.
When the poet invited the actress to meet him in the New York apartment of a photographer friend, Marilyn was late in arriving. When
she did appear, it was obvious that she had done something to her hair-it was the exact shade of Carl Sandburg's. ''She was very good
company.'' Sandburg recalled and we did some mock playacting, some pretty good imitations.'' That night, they talked of serious
subjects too. Marilyn, sitting at her friend's feet, reached up now and then to squeeze his hand. She even spoke of death. She said that
she thought herself too intelligent to commit suicide.
Sandburg bent down to pick up the newspaper as if he hoped to see that the headline of Marilyn's death had disappeared. He found it
hard to believe that his friend could have taken her own life. ''She had a vitality, a readiness for humor,'' he said. ''I saw no signs of
despondency when I talked to her. She gave me the impression of happiness.''
''Too bad that I was 48 years older than Marilyn. I couldn't play her leading man.''
''I think it entirely possible that Marilyn had a hard time with her sleep,'' Sandburg said, recalling a conversation they had. ''She talked a
lot about wanting a good sleep.'' At that time, Sandburg's prescription for insomnia was a series of exercises, which he proceeded to
demonstrate to Marilyn, as shown in these photos.
''She sometimes threw her arm around me, like people do who like each other very much.''
''Gosh, there were a lot of people who loved her. She had loyal fans. There were no pretenses about Marilyn Monroe.''
The afternoon sun was fading and Sandburg tossed the remaining bit of his cigar into a thick lilac bush. He pointed his finger toward
''his Missus's'' prized delphiniums and remarked on their beauty. Then he folded his hands in his lap, shook his head once more and
sighed: ''Too bad she had to go-too bad. I remember Marilyn sitting two or three feet from me on the sofa when we met in New York. I
didn't rise and escort her to the elevator when it was time for her to leave. I've never been good at manners. But I am 84 years old. I
hope she forgave me.''
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Scott Marks Emulsion Compulsion
website for these fantastic newpaper articles.
Check his great site out!