Ralph’s Manuscript - Page 3

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 - February 4, 2004

The first time I massaged Marilyn was at the Beverly Hills Hotel, where she and Arthur had a bungalow. The appointment was for nine o’clock, and when I got there a few minutes before, they had just finished having dinner. We chatted for a minute, and then Arthur went to the bedroom. She asked if it would be all right with me, to set the table before the fire, and to turn off the lights. I thought it a great idea, and explained my procedure for massage; for her to lie face up, to cover with two towels, and I would start the massage on the left arm, continuing until the front of the body was done, then turn-over time for the back of the body. She got on the table, closed her eyes, and I began. The feel of the body was incredible and the feel of different bodies is as distinctive to a masseur as (?) the whorls on the finger to a ( ). In the 5 – 6 years I had been a masseur, I could remember only two people with that particular kind of feel – Ruth Berle, and Ann Johnson. 

As the massage continued, I began fantasizing; working on one of the most desirable women in the world – one of the top movie stars – probably the top sex symbol – and before a glowing fire in the bungalow of a hotel I’d read about all my life; what man in the world wouldn’t give his eye teeth to be in my position. It was almost as though all those daydreams of my movie-struck North Carolina days had come true. 

But fifteen minutes of this, and my mind started roaming. I thought of a book I’d been reading that night before coming to the appointment – THE PROFESSOR’S HOUSE by Willa Cather. Then I told Marilyn to put her knees up, while I worked on her stomach. She opened her eyes for the first time, and asked, "Ralph, do you know an author named Willa Cather?" I gave an inward jump, but "She’s my favorite author. Why?" "One of my favorite books of all time is her LOST LADY. I’d love to do a movie of it, and investigate the possibility. But it seems that a silent movie had been made of it, and Miss Cather so hated it, that she would never let anything of hers be done. And, even left it in her will." 

Turnover time, and she closed her eyes, and I wondered for the first of hundreds of times if she could read my mind. At one point in Reno about a year later, she admitted that she often felt that way about me – that quite often she would be thinking about some particular subject that had nothing to do with anything that had been talked about, and I would come out with a remark involving this subject. I quite early in North Carolina became aware of certain amount of ESP in me, but had never come across another person with whom it was so strong as with Marilyn. Toward the end of the massage, my mind was wandering again, and I was thinking about a close friend of mine in New York, a singer named Janice Mars, who had a small nightclub on Sixth Avenue called BAQ ROOM. I went there every night that I was in New York, and was thinking that in a few months I’d be returning, and would be able to hear her. Marilyn, for the first time in the twenty minutes since she’d turned "Ralph, do you know an actress at the studio named Janice Mars?" Again, an inward jump, and "She’s one of my closest friends. I’ve known her since Herbert Berghof days. We were in a class together with people like Maureen Stapleton, Felicia Montealegre, (etc.). Maureen and Janice were roommates in a brownstone on 52nd Street, where Marlon Brando and Bill Redfield were roommates. As a matter of fact, I remember a Shakespeare class there taught by Uta Hagen, with Janice and Jack Lemmon. I think that’s where Jack met his first wife, Cynthia Robinson." "Oh, I’ll have to spout a line of Shakespeare to him." The massage over, I started to turn on a light but she pleaded she hated lights, and she was so relaxed she was going to bed, but could we see each other the next night at nine.

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