This is a fascinating portrait that Uncle Howie (my mom’s brother, Howard R. Cohen) made back in the late 1960s. After he died in 1999, it sat in my parents’ house for years until I finally had an apartment in San Francisco all to myself. With fear and trepidation, Mom packed up Marilyn and shipped her from Southern California to my office . . . or so we thought. When a worrisome time had passed us by, we entered panic mode and started the process of tracking the package, a process I equate with shoving lit cigarettes in my nostrils.
My office is on Fourth Street, and in fact Miss Monroe was delivered to the correct address number . . . but to an art store on Fifth Street, one block away. Her journey must have been a rough one, because the original glass Uncle Howie used had an enormous crack that went right down our poor Marilyn’s face. I imagine Mom was on the phone for less than two minutes before UPS said they would pay for the damage. Marilyn now hangs proudly in my apartment, protected by a shield of what Aaron Brothers referred to as “bulletproof” glass.
Thanks to Uncle Howie and his little sister, I continue to get lost in that “face of faces” almost every day, as so many have before me. Happy birthday to Miss Marilyn Monroe!