Marilyn Monroe Dyed Here: More Locations of America's Pop Culture Landmarks, by Chris Epting
Eight chapters are organized around topics including "Americana: The Weird and the Wonderful," which highlights locations like the place where the first handheld cellular telephone call was made and where Albert Einstein was staying when he stuck his tongue out for a cameraman, resulting in one of the best-known photographs of him. This is also the chapter that explains the title of the book. Epting located the beauty salon where Norma Jean Baker went from brunette to blonde, an important step on her path to becoming Marilyn Monroe.
Marilyn Monroe Dyed Here: The Hollywood site of Frank & Joseph's Salon is now occupied by a toy store.
Other chapters focus on history and tragedy, crime, murder, celebrity events, movies, television, books, and music. Even though I have never made a point of making pilgrimages to landmarks, Epting's excellent descriptions and precise information gradually encouraged me to entertain the idea. By the time I reached the entry about the bar in New York City where the author O. Henry used to hang out, I was seduced. Next time I'm in Manhattan, I will definitely seek out Pete's Tavern and find the booth where Henry wrote "The Gift of the Magi." And now that I know how easy it would be to drive by the house in Los Angeles where Dorothy Parker used to live, I just may have to go there, too.
Of course, I will never visit most of the
spots of fame and infamy Epting has sleuthed out and described.
I'm not even sure I like the idea of visiting all the places
the D.C. Snipers snuffed out lives or the flight school in
Florida where two of the 9/11 terrorists learned how to fly.
What I like is knowing their precise locationsthat I
could go if I chose. Epting's work (and he isn't done yethe's
at work on volume three) brings cultural history out of the
ether into three dimensions. The events he highlights may
have vanished into the past, but the locations are still with
us. Thanks to James Dean Died Here and now Marilyn
Monroe Dyed Here, they're as close as your bookshelf.
Better yet, keep a copy in your glove compartment. The handy
state-by-state index will ensure that you never drive by a
place where something significant happened without knowing