Writer  |  Soldier  |  Pilot

Marilyn Monroe

On 29 June 1956, Marilyn Monroe married Arthur Miller in White Plains, NY.  Playwright Miller moved to my hometown of Roxbury, CT (population 750) in 1947 where he had a small shack for a writing studio.  Death of a Salesman was written there.  A couple years later he bought a nearby old 2-story farmhouse with a large covered front porch.  After Miller and Monroe married, they returned to Roxbury to settle down.  Unfortunately, they were hounded by journalists and photographers.  One male photographer and a female writer followed Miller’s cousin to find the couple.  The cousin, driving fast (because he knew the twisty, narrow road) negotiated a curve that the photographer could not, so the pursuers ended up crashing their Oldsmobile coupe into a tree.  He survived but she was severely cut, bleeding considerably and died a few hours later in the hospital.  These two events were the biggest to occur in Roxbury, ever.

During the summer of 1956, I worked for Hodge’s Market, the only general store in Roxbury.  I was between my freshman and sophomore years in Dartmouth College.  I stocked produce and packaged foods in the store, cleaned the facilities, and delivered groceries in one of the store’s panel trucks.  Twice a week (Wednesday afternoons and all day on Saturday) I drove the van, delivering groceries to residents who would telephone in their orders.  Part of my required service was to take the grocery boxes into the homes and help put away the purchases.  Usually, I would spend time conversing and getting to know the recipients.  Philo Hodge had prescribed routes for me to follow.  Wednesday was one route while Saturday required two separate trips.

One of my delivery stops was the Miller home.  Marilyn was very pretty, with short but thick blonde hair, usually wearing a large man’s shirt with rolled up sleeves and blue jeans.  Not tall, she was about 4 inches less than my 5 foot 10 inches.  She was pleasant, talkable, and enjoyable to be with.  I was not in a hurry to put her groceries away, so we talked.  She seemed interested in my short life and appeared impressed where I went to college.  Over time she told me she was not happy with Hollywood and thoroughly enjoyed the quiet country life in Roxbury.  I delivered groceries to her every week throughout the summer.  My end came in September when I returned to college.  But I can always say, I spent a lot of time working for Marilyn Monroe.