Here I was in 1962, innocently celebrating my first birthday while the dangerous and sometimes tragic world lurked outside.
Enamored of her beauty, I hoped I’d grow to become as lovely as the starlet and international celebrity Marilyn Monroe. As a little girl, I think you always believe you could be ravishing, glamorous and adored like a movie star.
When I encounter people on the phone or through the internet for the first time and they want to know what I look like, I always tell them, “I’m a cross between Marilyn Monroe and Phyllis Diller.” That keeps them on guard.
Just a few weeks after my party, Marilyn Monroe died. Sadly, though a 36-year-old actress with 23 movies to her credit, media mention of Marilyn usually leads with her untimely death, as though her death were more important than her life.
At one year old, my fear was limited to strangers. I was too young to understand that by that October, The Cuban Missile Crisis had us on the brink of nuclear annihilation. For me, it came and went without a care. I was just happy eat cake.