Ralph’s Manuscript - Page 20

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 - July 05, 2005

Somehow or other, the moment came, and we all got to the airport. On the plane, Marilyn and Paula sat together, May and I sat behind them. I saw Monty slip on the plane, hiding his face, and talking to the pilot. I then saw him slip on an attendant’s jacket and cap. He caught my eyes, winked and made a gesture of taking tickets. And sure enough he started down the aisle, taking tickets, and when he got to Marilyn and Paula, Marilyn looked at him, turned to May, who had the tickets, did a double-take and screamed with laughter, "MONTY!" He joined us and the trip started to the accompaniment of much hilarity, conversation, and excitement. The memory that came to my mind, as being most like the undercurrent among that group of people, was the flight I took from Bhamo, Burma, when the Combat Command was dissolved at the end of the War, and a group of us, who had been through two years of the jungle together, were suddenly on our way to Shangri la. We were all together, leaving the scene of battle, en route to what we hoped would be "home." An exaggerated comparison. Reno was no battleground, it was not World War 2, but anyone who was ever gone through a group effort- making a movie on location, or even going through a boarding school, has that same sense of highness. This sense of highness is what I remember about the next two days and nights. The notes I scribbled in my appointment book have that same feeling of never-never land, and, as the events are remembered by me, are jumbled together, one on top of the other to reach the final climax when we took the plane back to Reno.

Settling in the Huntington, ordering Champagne, and Paula, trust her, had brought her usual Care Package of goodies and in no time at all had fixed a spread of hors d’oeuvres. I don’t like champagne, but I hardly ever make a move without having a bottle of vodka, so we toasted each other, made plans to meet each other later, and went to our separate rooms. Marilyn wanted a massage, and asked Pearl if she could do her hair in forty minutes. Agnes and her husband wanted to treat the whole gang to dinner at a restaurant they knew - the time was set. Monty wanted to take everyone to hear Ella Fitzgerald who was performing at the Fairmont. The only thing I remember about the dinner is that a photographer took a picture of Marilyn and Monty, which was published in the papers later, and started off a whole raft of rumors about the two. The Ella show was marvelous, and when Marilyn asked if I liked Ella, facietiously I replied, "yes, she’s no Janice Mars, she’s neither a Gertrude Niesen." For the next two years that became something of a comparison reference. On the scale of one to Janice Mars or Gertrude Niesen, how does something rate.

After the concert, Marilyn and Monty went up to Ella’s suite for about half-hour. Agnes and her husband went out on the town. May, Paula and I wandered around the lobby, waiting for Marilyn. Paula became restless and, or, tired and left for the Huntington. Marilyn came down and the three of us started walking to the hotel, which was only across the square, when Marilyn said she wold love to take a walk. This suited both of us fine and we turned towards down town. We came to the start of the cable car, and May exclaimed, "Oh, can’t we take it?" Marilyn said she’d never been on it, during the whole time in SF. Needless to say, we hopped on and went on a trip that was unlike any other I’ve ever taken. It was a mixture, to me, of (the Laurette Taylor play) and of the panorama of SF, the lights and darkness and of being absolutely alone, surrounded by the panorama. None of us talked, the Cable Car was pratically empty, and nobody recognized Marilyn. When we got to the bottom of the ride, we helped turn the car around, the restaurant there was letting out and more people got on, and we rode back, again lost in our own thoughts. Marilyn later said she completely understood for the first time STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE, and it gave her an insight into Blanche Dubois, and she couldn’t wait to talk to Lee Strasberg about the scene she had done with John Strasberg, and how differently she would have played it.

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