Korea Veteran Remembers Marilyn’s ‘Prettiest Laugh’

84 year-old John Jeter of Alexandria, VA has shared his memories of serving in the Korean War with Town Talk.

“Sitting on his couch, his hands clasped between his knees, John Earl Jeter repeatedly diverts attention from himself to those ‘good men’ he served with during the Korean War.

He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps on his 17th birthday. Boot camp had a profound effect on him.

‘The Marine Corps basic training helped me out in life,’ said Jeter. ‘Marine Corps basic training got me straight in life. It got me ready.’

He was still in Korea when the ceasefire was signed on July 27, 1953, at 10 a.m. That didn’t stop hostilities immediately, though.

While he downplays his experiences — ‘A lot of those men, probably right around here, went through hell a lot worse than I did.’ — he does light up when talking about seeing Monroe.

‘That woman had the prettiest laugh,’ said Jeter, who later worked for the Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office. ‘That laugh, I can still remember that laugh.'”

‘The Seven Year Itch’ in Norfolk, VA

The Seven Year Itch will be screened at 7 pm on Monday, August 19 at the Naro Cinema in Norfolk, Virginia, capping off ‘Mal’s Movies’, a summer season of Hollywood classics selected by film and theatre critic Mal Vincent.

“The star, of course, is Marilyn, and that’s all that needs to be said. Based on the Broadway play, Billy Wilder’s classic comedy is devoted to the premise that husbands reportedly get an ‘itch’ after seven years of marriage. Such frenzy is encouraged by the fact that the wife is away for the summer, and Marilyn Monroe, playing a model, lives upstairs. It’s the perfect comedy for the summer. Tom Ewell is hilarious as the befuddled middle-aged husband who doesn’t quite know what to do with Marilyn. She is most avid about Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto and cooling off her underwear in the fridge. Summertime galore! Monroe’s comic gift is proven throughout.”

After the show, viewers will vote for their top four performances of the series – and Marilyn will be competing against the likes of Doris Day, Maureen O’Hara, Lana Turner and Rita Hayworth for the Best Actress title!

‘Great Lives’: Rollyson on Marilyn

Carl Rollyson, author of Marilyn Monroe: A Life of the Actress, will give a lecture about MM, as part of the Chappell Great Lives series, at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia, on February 26 at 7.30 pm in Dodd Auditorium, George Washington Hall.

“A photograph of a dreamy-eyed Marilyn Monroe among a group of Hollywood starlets captures vividly the description of herself in My Story, the autobiography she collaborated on with screenwriter Ben Hecht.  The true dimensions of Monroe’s ambitions only began to be apparent when Norman Mailer wrote about her Napoleonic sensibility. She came to conquer her world in the same way as many of my other subjects—notably Dana Andrews and Sylvia Plath—did: through hard work, tenacity, talent, and the ability to see beyond their own cultural conditions. How did Marilyn Monroe and others like her overcome obstacles and setbacks? What is it that keeps a person going after so many rejections, and how does someone not only overcome self-doubt but became a star? Marilyn Monroe’s story contains the answers to these existential questions as well revealing both the promise and the peril awaiting those who aspire to greatness.”

Doreen Provost Remembers Marilyn

81 year-old Doreen Provost – a resident of Greenspring Retirement Community in Springfield, Virginia – recently told Jessica McKay at Burke Patch of her encounter with Marilyn Monroe back in 1954.

“In January 1954, Provost, a UCLA graduate, was working as an assistant buyer in the bridal department at the Joseph Magnin Company, a high-end San Francisco department store specializing in women’s fashion.

‘In those days, a bridal consultant was the person who not only sold you your wedding dress, but offered advice and services on all aspects of a wedding,’ said Provost.  She was called on to assist a couple getting married at City Hall.  Provost walked into the designer salon to find Marilyn Monroe and her fiancé, Joe DiMaggio.

‘Everyone was making a fuss over DiMaggio, because he was San Francisco’s golden boy,’ said Provost.  But Provost said she was focused on Monroe, who appeared, ‘nervous and out of her element.’  The couple indicated they wanted to have as traditional a wedding as possible, even though they could not be married in the Catholic Church due to DiMaggio’s previous divorce, said Provost.

‘Marilyn was sweet, shy and very quiet,’ said Provost.  After Monroe chose a suit with a fur collar, Provost helped her find a matching hat and white fur muff.  She also made sure Monroe had something old (her earrings), something new (her suit), something borrowed (a sales lady’s handkerchief), and something blue (a garter from Provost’s department).

‘She thanked me profusely as she left,’ said Provost.  ‘But what I learned that day was that beauty, fame, money and a charismatic husband cannot overcome feelings of insecurity.’

Just eight years later, Monroe was found deceased at her home, at only 36 years of age.  Provost remembers hearing of her passing.  ‘I thought, “I don’t believe anything I’m hearing,”‘ said Provost, who remembers Monroe as an unassuming woman seeking just a little confidence.  ‘The waste of that sweet young woman still haunts me.'”