Ralphís Manuscript - Page 10

Published Manuscript

We are entertaining the idea of publishing a first edition of Ralph's manuscript in book form.  This would be a hard bound limited print first edition with the complete manuscript (around 100 pages) and pictures.  At this time we are trying to gauge interest.  If you think you would be interested in a copy of this book, should we publish it,   Draft pages will be posted here so you can get an idea of what it contains.

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Posted - September 1, 2004

[Marilyn] "Wonder if Iíd get blamed for this?"  I laughed and said "Iíll put on my spying outfit." 'This' was a gigantic forest fire that has been raging in the Sierras seventeen miles from Reno. It had cut the power lines supplying Reno, except for a few auxiliary power systems in the gambling casinos. "It is hair-raisingly beautiful, though, isnít it. One realizes how much destruction is going on; one thinks of all the animals being killed; of those trees being destroyed. When one witnesses such an upheaval in nature, it sometimes puts into perspective those wars going on inside oneself. It sure heightens the excitement, even Arthur is affected by all this. But he had the crew put a line of power to the suite so he could go on typing. First things first with him."

That line was the only power in the upper regions of the Mapes Ė no lights, no elevator, no nothing. I stopped in to visit with Agnes (Flanagan) who was in her workroom opposite the stairway, freshening wigs by candlelight. She and I made a drink, and had just "happy houred" each other, when Marilyn came in to say sheíd like to be with the happy people. "You arenít drinking that without ice, are you?" "No ice because of fire". "Rafe, we have ice, why donít you go and get some?" I did. "Did he growl at you Ė or even make any notice?" "He looked, nodded his head." "Cheers."

A couple passed, climbing to a higher floor. The lady could be heard saying, just as they passed the door, "Why isnít that Marilyn Monroe?" Marilyn grabbed the wig Estelle Winwood had worn in her scene, shambled it over her hair, did an exaggerated dance movement "Oh no, Iím Mitzi Gaynor!" "Raffe, could you go back in there, - I feel that I really want to join you happy people Ė and a split of champagne couldnít hurt?" "Cheers". The candle lights, the being with friends, the omnipresent sense of the raging fire Ė all seemed to cause her to reminisce. "Funny. I feel more secure and safe with men than I do with women. But it seems to me that Iíve worked more with women than with men. When I first started Jane Russell, Betty Grable, Betty Bacall. All wonderful, and I was in such awe of them. They were giants. Then I did FAIR WEATHER, and Ethel Merman made so much fun of my singing, and Mitzi Gaynor "klutzed" over my dancing, that it was one of the most agonizing times of my life. I felt it wrong, and unnecessary for a real singer to ridicule a would be singer and an established dancer to likewise a non real dancer.

Iíll remember the night of August 12 for a long time. Marilyn was terribly worked up over an altercation with Arthur. She was in the state of boiling inside, and not able to talk about it, or let it out; so that the massage went on longer than usual, before she fell asleep. I was just opening the door of my room, when I heard the phone ringing. My immediate thought was that it was her calling, but when I answered, it was Frank Taylor (the producer). He asked if Iíd seen Marilyn, and when I said Iíd just left her, he wondered if I would be able to give Monty a massage Ė that he was climbing the wall with nerves. His first scene was scheduled for morning, and he couldnít sleep. I said Iíd be right in. Picked up the table, and went to Montyís room. He said how much he appreciated my doing this, and while I set up the table next to the bed, he asked if I minded listening to Ella Fitzgerald. He carried a tape-recorder with him on locations with lots of Ella tapes a friend had made from records. As he was getting on the table, I started to turn off the lights, but he asked if it would be all right for the massage to leave at least one on Ė that he hated darkness. He was incredibly tense, but closed his eyes, tried to listen to the music, and to "go" with the massage. About half way through the massage, when I got to his right arm, I looked at his face, it was startling. Heíd relaxed to such a degree, that it was like looking at the before accident face. Itíd lost the rigidity. When I told him to turn over, he smiled a sleepy grin, turned over, and within minutes was asleep. I continued with the massage, and at the end was in something of a dilemma; I didnít want to wake him, yet I didnít want to leave him on the table to maybe roll over and land on the floor. So I eased him onto the bed, covered him, tiptoed out of the room, leaving the table there, incase closing it would awaken him (the noise of it).

This was about one-thirty and I took a Budweiser from my ice chest, had a deep swallow, when the phone rang. "Hi. I had several great hours of sleep, but -?" "Sure. Right there." I finished the beer, and went down the hall. I let myself in, went into the bedroom. "Iím sorry, but I thought maybe a few minutes of the feet would get me back there". "I told her about Monty, and "Oh, Iím so glad. I sure know what heís been going through, waiting for his first scene. Well, at least one good thing happened in Reno today."


Manuscript property of the estate of Ralph L. Roberts. Do not copy without permission.