Saturday, 14 November 2009

Marilyn Monroe in Old Buckenham

Looking at a star
What were over twenty of the village’s older inhabitants doing sitting in the darkened Church Rooms looking at pictures of an infamous pin-up and film star? It turned out that they were at the November meeting of the Old Buckenham Social and Wine Circle listening to a talk about Marilyn Monroe by John Lee.
John started by explaining that Marilyn had a very unsettled childhood and got married for the first time just after her sixteenth birthday so that she could get out of the children’s home that she was in. During the war she worked packing parachutes and it was photographs taken of her at this time that led to more photographic work as a model. Despite having no experience or training in singing, dancing and acting, she eventually became a popular film star. Her first marriage ended in divorce as did her subsequent marriages to baseball star Joe DiMaggio and playwright Arthur Miller. The later involvement with the Kennedy family and subsequent presumed suicide when only 36 meant that she became even more of an enigma.
One result of giving these talks is that John has been able to amass a collection of all sorts of Marilyn memorabilia. Apart from many books he now has bags, calendars, mugs, plates, drink mats, clocks, pens, shopping bags, a neck scarf and even wrapping paper all carrying images of this unforgettable lady.
At the start of the meeting the club held a short AGM. Chairman Alistair Monkhouse reported back on a successful year with many good speakers. The financial position was stable and would be improved with larger attendances at the monthly meetings. David Sallnow was appointed vice-chairman, the intention being that he will take over at the end of 2010 allowing Alistair to retire after twelve years in the post.
Talks planned for next year will cover subjects such as herbal medicines, seaside architecture, fostering and the Attleborough Fire Station. All are welcome to attend, all it costs is £1 per evening.
The December meeting is the usual party evening with a fish and chips supper. The meeting will start in the Church Rooms at 7.45pm on Thursday 10 December.

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