Sunday, July 30, 2017

Beautiful Mess by John Herrick - Honoring Marilyn Monroe - Out August 1st!

 August 5th is the anniversary of Marilyn's passing... John Herrick published his book, Beautiful Mess, to honor her memory...

"It was sunny, much like today," Del murmured. "Warmer that day, though."
"What day?"
"August 5," he replied. "Back in 1962. That was the day they found her in her home. Unconscious."
As he allowed himself to relax, the commotion of Nora's circumstances settled in, and the residual stress caused his vision to blur. He closed his eyes, and visions of the past flickered on the screen of his mind like a classic film, the film he had seen too many times to number.
"I heard about it on the news, like everyone else." Del clasped his hands in his lap and hunched forward. "It was a Sunday morning. I'd attended a party until the wee hours in the morning but, miracles of miracles, I'd avoided drinking too much, and didn't have a hangover like I often did...He closed his eyes again. The pain felt as fresh as it had in 1962, as though someone had stabbed him in the soul.

London, 1956

PACK YOUR SUITCASE, they had told him. You'll depart for Britain in the morning. He'd received fifteen hours' notice.
"And don't f*** it up," the studio staffer had threatened the young man, spewing cigarette smoke in his face.
Eighteen-year-old Del Corwyn had gotten himself hired as an errand boy at Warner Bros., where he had fetched coffee and water, delivered telegrams, endured verbal abuse, and completed whatever other menial tasks arose along the way. Del had gotten the job just a few months ago. He'd shown up and they had hired him. Simple as that. He was young and hungry.
And now, as luck would have it, they had shipped him to London.
The studio folks had assigned him to the set of The Prince and the Showgirl. 

They had instructed Del to serve Marilyn Monroe's every whim for the duration of the production. He should consider this an around-the-clock gig, they'd told him. Marilyn calls at midnight? Put your pants on and deliver her a toothbrush.
The current scene took place in what was supposed to be the embassy of Carpathia, a fictional Balkan country. Marilyn Monroe portrayed Elsie, a showgirl who had captured the delight of the Prince Regent.
Marilyn--Elsie--lifted a glass of champagne and toasted President Taft.
"Cut!" yelled a man with a baritone, English accent. Laurence Olivier, the film's director. "Take five!"
At that, Marilyn wiggled as if to shed the showgirl aura from her body. She strode pass the camera to a folding chair, the one with her name affixed to it in block letters, and settled into it. A sheen of perspiration had broken through her powdered brow. The hair stylists had given her platinum-blond hair, a classic, sexy appeal. Her snug light-colored dress accentuated her ample bosom and in Del's opinion, her ample rear end.
"I'm parched from those hot lights," she said to Del as she picked up a script and fanned herself. "Please bring me a glass of ice water, young man. A tall one."
Without a word, Del fetched a glass from a table of refreshments. The handsome teenager returned to find the actress eyeing him with curiosity. With a word of thanks, she took a few sips with her perfect, red lips and sighed with relief. The ice cubes tinkled against the surface of the glass. Del could smell the actress's perspiration beneath her perfume.
Setting the glass aside she furrowed her brow, pursing her lips as she sized him up.
"How old are you, young man?"
"Eighteen, ma'am."
"Eighteen! Why, you're but a child!" she replies with a voice that bubbled. Closing her eyes, she went limp, as though she had escaped into her own private wonderland. "Oh, to be so young." Her eyes shot open. "Not that I'm an old maid. Thirty isn't exactly ancient!"
"Of course not," Del ventured, measuring his words, cautious not to overstep his bounds and incur wrath from an actress who could get him fired if he inched out of line. Still new to his job, he'd made it his policy to keep his ears open and his mouth shut as much as possible...

Meeting Marilyn Monroe would have been an exciting opportunity for any individual just starting out, trying to make it... But for Del Corwyn he met not only an icon of Hollywood, he met a woman who would remain his friend throughout their lives...and beyond...

Herrick's book feels like an autobiographical story of the young man, Del...Right from the beginning, when he was 18, starting out, we find him a personal, friendly guy, almost still a boy, who took the chance and left home to fulfill his dream...

Immediately my mind shifted to the end of the book...For there I saw the man that he had become through all those years and, in seeing, how it ended, I am once again simply amazed at the depth of issues and wisdom that this author pours out for his readers again and again...

Del went on to become an actor, a film leading man. Actually, Del's story begins 60 years later from that time when Marilyn had encouraged him by calling him her "shining star." How had the time gone by so fast? How had he reached this point in life, at 78, when he was alone...and lonely...

He had done like most other leading men--enjoyed sharing his bed with young starlets with big dreams... Still, he was now 78, but he didn't accept that as an age where he should not still be doing what he loved. He walked through his large home, looking over his library of books he had loved and devoured--of course, he always would play the leading role in suspense, thriller, or romance...he had done it...

Even my favorite of those early days, Kim Novak had sipped a smooth, Bordeaux merlot as a Miles Davis record played on the phonograph... And, of course, Marilyn Monroe had visited on many occasions, though a romantic encounter had never occurred between them...there...

Readers will find that, Del at 78, takes us back through the years as time passes in Hollywood, especially during the golden era...

And by the way, my pick for playing Del?
Say something!
"I'd love to see you
again, Felicia."
Del felt like a
teenager as he looked
at her handwriting...
Still classy as he aged...Dana Andrews!

She stopped. Gazed
into his eyes. Time
slowed. She responded
with a delightful smile
"That sounds nice."

And, then, at 78, he met a beautiful 68-year-old lady...
and for the first time in his life, Del fell in love... but that was after his brief affair with a much younger woman, who spoke almost a different language due to the age difference, so they decided to remain friends...LOL

This is a remarkable story that combines a look backward at the life of Marilyn Monroe and her effect on the general public but it shows a different type of story that could very well have been true for some young man that was there, during her life, to become a true and trusted friend...for both of them... As Marilyn demonstrated when she placed her only manuscript in the hands of her dear friend. it's a unique story, and heartwarming in the reality of friendship. A Beautiful Mess hits you with a moral question, "What would you do if...?" and makes you stop to think what is really important to living your own life. Highly recommended!


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