Ralph’s Manuscript - Page 5

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 - April 19, 2004

Marilyn called several times. Paula called several times to be sure that I would be around during the MISFITS shooting. One night I was playing poker in a weekly game we had going at Maureen Stapleton's the phone rang and it was for me. "Hey, I’m back. I bet you’re playing poker from the sound." "Oh hey, how are you?" "Okay. But I could sure use a massage." – but –". "We’re about to deal off. About twenty minutes?" "Wonderful." 

I apologized that I had to leave, but they were used to my conking out in mid-stream, and we really were getting toward the end of the game, and were back into dealing before I left. Marilyn was alone in the living room when I got there, "Arthur is asleep." They’re showing the Democratic Convention on television – would it be all right to have it on during the massage? I’d really forgotten that this was the night. We watched the proceedings, and as it became increasingly clear that Stevenson was going to lose out to Kennedy, she became more and more tense.(?) "We deserve what we’re gonna get. I worship Mr. Stevenson." I had been wearing a Stevenson button when I came in, and although we’d never discussed any of the candidates, there was no question how I stood. Not that that would have made any difference. From the beginning of our friendship, neither of us stood on ceremony about the way we felt about things. – except later on, a few topics would create a tinge of tentativeness. As I was putting the table away, "Can you fly out with us tomorrow – we have to go to LA for about a week of tests, and then to Reno?" "Gee, I had planned to drive to Reno – you know I’m lost without the car. Also, I haven’t heard from Frank Taylor, or anybody about how definite any of the plans are. Paula called me to see when I was taking off for Reno, and would I take some of her bags, but that’s about all I knew." "Oh, it’s definite. Will you call in the morning?" 

That night was the first concrete indication to me that the Miller marriage was on tetherhood. The night of the most important Democratic Convention for many years, one of the most proclaimed liberals, went to bed; come to think of it, he might have had a prescient most didn’t. 

The next morning, when I called, I saw another facet of her character. May Reis answered, and when I asked for Miss Monroe, that my name was Ralph Roberts. She wanted to know what it was in reference to, and when I replied that it was about my arrangements in Reno, she asked if she could call me back. A few minutes later she called to give me all the details. "Mapes Hotel, Reno. Mr. Taylor would confirm all agreements when I got there." Marilyn kept many of her, or all of her parts of life compartmentalized. May Reis, her dear friend, confidante (sometimes I get so suspicious of that word; it means so much, and so little, depending on its use); But with May Reis, it’s the Webster and (Freud) versions, until that moment May had never heard of me, although our paths must have crossed many times. The only time I had heard of May Reis then, was the May Reis who was the secretary of the Actors Studio, a principal member of the audition staff for entrance into the Studio, and from a comment by Paula when it was obvious that the relationship would not survive MISFITS, "and the main bone of contention would be which will get custody of May Reis?"

Anyways, I told her I would be able to leave the next day, and would probably be in Reno by the time they were, as they were going to LA for a week. I called Paula to tell her the news. She wanted me to take several of her bags with me, so I went by to pick them up. Packed my own things, called a few people to let them know. A friend of mine, Maggie Gould, who had left Salisbury with me to got into the "theatre world" – Chapel Hill, and with whom I had kept in contact through the years – said, "Ralph, take a tape machine, and every night before you go to bed, talk into it about everything that happened that day, and when you get back, your fortune will be made." I never through all my life had the least idea that I would ever make any kind of money – it just wasn’t in me to think that way. Just to get by. But I put the tape recorder in the car, with a batch of tapes, and off I went.

*Note: Ralph used his tapes to write this manuscript, thus preserving a bit of history.
*The Mapes Hotel has since been torn down, unfortunately.  Details 

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