Two hours ago I got a call from Marilyn Reed. She invited me to our friend Caroline Quinn’s art show. I told her I had just posted on Churchill and Marilyn Monroe, and told her I believed she lived near her in Santa Monica, and, I would google her to get an address. What I found out, has blown me away! Here is the synchronicity that I already applied to the Sawtelle, and the chapter – if not book – I plan to write about this neighbor – both Marilyn’s grew up in! They lived three and a half blocks from each other. Marilyn Godfrey Reed lived on Iowa, on the corner of Colby, next to the actor, John Lupton, who is in her family tree.
Here’s where we enter The Twilight Zone, Marilyn’s crypt is located on Glendon Avenue, about ten blocks from where my family lived on Glendon, two houses from La Grange, and about thirteen blocks from the Marilyns. Marilyn is forever residing on Glendon, as is my kindred, Francis Linn Taylor, who married Elizabeth Mary Rosemond, who Liz was named after. Francis was a art collector who owned several galleries.
For over a year I have been blogging on the Sawtelle. Marilyn looked a lot like Marilyn. We spent much time at each others homes. We were deeply in love. Our homes, and our hood, played such a big part of our growing up. identities are hard to come by in such a sprawling city. When the Prescos first moved to LA in August of 62, it was very hot. Here is a painting I did of the apartment we lived in on Midvale that I believe was once located in the Sawtelle.
In my musical I have Marilyn going to France, and coming back to the Sawtelle with Brigette Bardot’s blue bicycle. Bardot is France’s Monroe! How uncanny! This is part of the Synchronicity Art Movement I discovered. I may be kin to Sarah Churchhill. Rena was born in Nebraska and lived with her grandmother. There are many books written about the Sacred Feminine. The artist Rosamond, rendered beautiful women, and was inspired to take up art when she was twenty-four after seeing a photo of the large canvas I did of Rena. Christine was also inspired by the relataionship I had, and still have, with my muse.
When you look at this map you see that Marilyn came home again. She rests in our hood. Below is a photograph of the Rosamond Women taken on Glendon Avenue. That’s me on a skateboard. Marilyn and I just broke up after her mother forbade me to see her anymore because I did not go down and be SAVED. She saw Monroe as a Jezebel and Hussy. My mother and aunt Lillian dated Errol Flynn.
Norma Jeane’s first appartment rented on her own downstairs from Ana Lower.
11348 Nebraska Avenue
11348 Nebraska Ave. Sawtelle, CA 1945-46
After Marilyn left the Los Angeles Orphans Home she bounced back and forth between different foster homes.
In 1937, 11-year-old Monroe found a home with Ana Lower, a relative of Marilyn’s guardian Grace McKee. Marilyn and Aunt Ana lived at 11348 Nebraska Avenue. It was the most stable home environment that Marilyn had known and she lived here until Lower developed health problems. Subsequently, McKee arranged a marriage between 16-year-old Marilyn and 21-year-old Jim Dougherty.
Monroe and Dougherty were married on June 19, 1942.
Marilyn Monroe (born Norma Jeane Mortenson, June 1, 1926 – August 5, 1962) was an American actress and model. Famous for playing “dumb blonde” characters, she became one of the most popular sex symbols of the 1950s, emblematic of the era’s attitudes towards sexuality. Although she was a top-billed actress for only a decade, her films grossed $200 million by the time of her unexpected death in 1962. She continues to be considered a major popular culture icon.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Monroe spent most of her childhood in foster homes and an orphanage and married for the first time at the age of sixteen. While working in a factory as part of the war effort in 1944, she met a photographer and began a successful pin-up modeling career.
1218 Glendon Avenue
No Marilyn tour would be complete without a visit to her crypt at Westwood. This small cemetery is hidden between tall buildings in a downtown area and is hard to find unless you know exactly where it is.
At the corner of Wilshire Blvd and Glendon Ave, there is a tall office building on the Southeast corner. Going south on Glendon, just past the office building there is a narrow driveway on the left. Turn in there, and go up the short hill. Where the driveway branches, go to the right, and you are there. The driveway circles around the cemetery. The chapel is near the Southwest corner. Marilyn’s crypt is near the Northeast corner. (Marked in the picture below)”
Here I am in 1963 on Glendon Avenue with my brother and Uncle Vinnie who gave me my first car, that 1957 Ford Fairlane in the background. The camera is point towards Marilyn’s crypt about twelve blocks away.
The Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery is a cemetery in the Westwood Village area of Los Angeles, California. It is located at 1218 Glendon Avenue in Westwood, with an entrance from Wilshire Boulevard.
Although it is the resting place of some of the entertainment industry‘s greatest names, it also contains the graves of many uncelebrated people. For example, when Marilyn Monroe died in 1962, Joe DiMaggio, responsible for Monroe’s arrangements, chose Westwood not because of its celebrities but because it was the resting place of Monroe’s mother’s friend, Grace Goddard, and Goddard’s aunt, Ana Lower, both of whom had cared for Monroe as a child.
Life and career
Within a few years of his marriage, Taylor was transferred to Young’s art gallery in London, England, where he and Sara lived for several years, and where their children were born. In April 1939, five months before the outbreak of World War IIin Europe, they returned to the United States.
11348 Nebraska Ave. Sawtelle, CA 1938-41
6707 Odessa Ave. Van Nuys, CA 1941-42
11348 Nebraska Ave. Sawtelle, CA 1942
4524 Vista Del Monte St. Sherman Oaks, CA 1942
14747 Archwood St. Van Nuys, CA 1943
Yesterday I talked to Marilyn Reed about the Sawtelle, and her neighbor, John Lupton. Marilyn’s brother, Stanley, was married John’s wife’s sister, I believe. I was supposed to interview M at the Eugene Art Walk last night, but it was moved to next week due to New Years. She is a gold mine and there is no end to the information I capture, with patience, because Marilyn is a humble soul, and not a name dropper like me. I brought up John Lupton. She used to baby-sit his son, and I would come over to neck with my first girlfriend on the couch. I was impressed. M had already introduced me to Les McCann who played and sang a tune for us.
I asked M how this actor felt living in the Sawtelle, and how he got there. What I have been trying to do is establish the Sawtelle as a haven for the Beats, Folk Artists, and early Hippies. Our friend, Bryan MacLean played at a coffee house Marilyn and I found in 1962, when we were fifteen and sixteen. It was a tea house. After school we would sit by the fire and I would draw M. An hour ago I discovered John played a Beat Writer in the movie ‘The Rebel Set’. I struck the Mother Load, and arrived at the archetypal hub.
I told Marilyn we have been having the same conversation for forty-five years, we very interested in Beats and Bohemians. To discover that John played a Beatnik writer is “far out and floating”. Gloria Moreland plays a Bali Dancer. M’s daughter, Nisha, lived in Bali and studied Gamalin music. Nisha read Rena’s poem while her step-father played drums at the Granary poetry reading. In this movie a guy checks out Gloria’s ass, which she was famous for. When M was babysitting for Kathy down the street, Arnold Palmer checked out M’s sixteen year old ass as she walked out of the room. I caught him and gave him a hard stare. Kathy was dating his good friend who MCed a golf show. This was the start of our break-up. Kathy was a jet-setter who knew everyone in LA. She lived in the Sawtelle. Marilyn was also a Whiteaker Pioneer.
As a profound coincidence I was telling M about my FB friend, Ben Toney, and the movie Expresso Bongo also made in 1959 at the height of the Beatnik Craze. I have found my alter-ego, King Invader, a poet who reads in The Rebel Set.
Marilyn is still a good friend of Jazz great, Les McCann. After we broke up she went with Jeff Pasternak to France on a ocean liner. Here she is having dinner with Jeff onboard. Jeff founded a rock group ‘The Mustard Greens’ that played at the Whiskey A Go-Go, where he met ‘The Doors’ that he tried to get in his father’s movie.
“Bryan started playing guitar in 1963/64. He got a job at the Balladeer before it changed its name to the Troubadour Club, playing back-up blues guitar. It was here he met the pre Byrds Jet Set while dating Jackie De Shannon and he became ‘fast friends’ with David Crosby. He moved away from home and by early 1965 he became road manager for the Byrds on their first Californian tour with the Rolling Stones.”
Bryan was a roadie for the Byrds when he was seventeen. We were both on the brink of dropping out of high school that we had outgrown. Bryan told me he was going to got on tour with the Byrds in Europe, but because he was underage, then did not take him. Bryan went to live with the Beat Artist, Vito Paulekas
In 1966 I went with my friend Nancy Van Brasch to see ‘Love’ at the Filmore. Nancy and I lived in a famous commune in SF, and she dated Stanley Augustus Owsely. Christine Rosamond came to live with us, and she went on a date with Nick Sands. I later got to know members of ‘The Brotherhood of Eternal Love’ who bought me art supplies. I was the Artist in Residence when I lived with ‘The Loading Zone’.
I had my first art show at the New Balladeer that is on the corner of Massachusetts and Sawtelle. Bryan’s Beatnik friend slept in a cot in the store room, and was later murdered by my second girlfriend’s father. Bryan was invited to Sharon Tate’s home the night she was murdered by the Manson family, but, he had a previous engagement. Consider Tyler Shields and the Eastwoods.
Why are Beatniks getting involved in a bank heist? The star of Zabriskie Point was a Mel Lyman devotee. Mark Frechette held up a bank with another Lyman Family member after he made his movie. He had real-life interests. Mel Lyman is my kindred who created a network of Miscans, Actors, and Artists. He is in my family tree. He married Jessie Benton, a cousin of my ex-brother-in-law, muralist Garth Benton, who starred in movies, as did his first wife, Alli McBride.
Ray Miller might be the first Beat Writer depicted in a film. What was Ken Kesey up to in 1959? Was Jack Kerouac ever in a movie? My fictional author Don The Juan’ Roscoe is on his way to becoming a Beat Writer after Ray ‘The Bank’ Miller.
Rena Easton, the dancer, is foreseen in the Bali Dancer, played by Moreland. This is the blueprint…..the far-out groovy blues-print that has been floating around in Bohemian Lore waiting to come home to………….The Sawtelle!
Gloria Stuart was an Artist and Bonzai Master. She lived in the Bohemian Community of Carmel where my late sister, Christina Rosamond Benton, had two galleries. She married Blair Gordon Newell, a sculptor who helped Ralph Stackpole with his creative projects. Ralph was a good friend of the muralist Diego Rivera and his artistic wife. Ralph knew George Sterling who co-founded the Carmel Bohemian community, and the Bohemian Club. Gloria was friends with the Weston family of photographers of Carmel. Gloria’s offspring are making a documentary titled ‘The Secret Life of Old Rose’.
Gloria went to Santa Monica High School, and my kindred, Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor, went to University High in the Sawtelle where sprang a Creative Beat Musical scene at a Tea House located at 11271 Massachusetts Ave, Los Angeles. Here I drew my High School sweetheart, Marilyn Reed. We were fifteen and sixteen, and considered ourselves, Beats. My friend, Bryan McLean of ‘Love’ played here, as did David Cosby. Bryan was in love with my sister, who became the world famous artist ‘Rosamond’. Liz and Gloria were involved in the Arts. The muralist, Stanton McDonald Wright, placed Gloria next to the actor Leo Carrillo overlooking Santa Monica Bay. That is Gloria’s husband with his sculpture near Rocky Point. Stanton was a good friend of the artist and muralist, Thomas Hart Benton.
America needs a Peace Center where people can gather and look for ways to be peaceful. I am looking at the Sawtelle Asylum for Wounded Veterans where Ralph’s statue of Pacifica can be rebuilt. Unto this sanctuary all Seekers of Peace would be welcome.
Come! Put on your tapping shoes, and help make America great again!
I just talked to Marilyn and she told me she used to hop the fence and swim in the Tongva Springs all the time, starting when she was eight. She lived on Armacost near Brockton Elementary school located a few blocks from Uni High. Gloria and M look like the French Actress, Madeleine Sologne, who starred in Cocteau’s movie ‘L’Éternel Retour’ The movie ‘The Titanic’ returned to the theme of Eternal Love. Artists are immortalized. I have found a stellar group of creative souls that sprang from mural in Santa Monica where Marilyn and I went to swim in the sea. These are…………my people!
When I was fifteen my art teacher told me there was nothing he could teach me, and gave me a key to a gate that guarded these springs. He gave me a Artist’s Sanctuary that I could use whenever I attended his class. He took off his wristwatch and handed it to me so I could tell when his class was over. I fought back tears as I headed to these springs with a drawing board and paper. Years later Marilyn told me she used to climb the tall chain-link fence when she was thirteen, and swim in these sacred waters. She is part Meti.
Sawtelle used to be a city. After it was incorporated into the City of Los Angeles, a high school was built that was going to be named Sawtelle. Recently Sawtelle was renamed ‘Japantown’.