This Week in Boomer History: ‘Pulp Fiction’ … Marilyn Monroe … ‘What’s Going On’

Notable events from our shared experience Marvin Gaye‘s seminal album What’s Going On is released May 21, 1971. Influenced by letters his brother sent from Vietnam, Gaye writes the songs from the perspective of a Vietnam vet. Happy birthday, Mr. President. At Madison Square Garden in New York, Marilyn Monroe serenades President John Kennedy at a fundraiser on May 19, 1962. Monroe dies less than three months later at age 36. >> Sign up for the AARP Leisure Newsletter Ambassador Foy Kohler delivers a protest …

11 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week

News, discoveries and fun … 1. The Pinocchio lizard, long thought to be extinct, has been rediscovered in the cloud forests of Ecuador. (Learn more at Christian Science Monitor)   2. “Poop pills” – capsules filled with a donor’s lab-processed fecal matter – can cure Clostridium difficile (C-diff) and other serious gut infections. (Learn more at AARP)   3. Erica Jong, whose groundbreaking novel Fear of Flying turns 40 this month, says protagonist Isadora Wing would be a “passionate grandmother” if she were alive …

HBO’s ‘Love, Marilyn’ Adds Little to the Legend

“The Ancient Greeks had Oedipus. We have Marilyn.” At first, that statement made by a Marilyn Monroe biographer at the start of the HBO documentary Love, Marilyn, sounds outlandish. But by the end of the mostly effective (if a tad too long) movie, which premieres Monday at 9 p.m., the comparison to Greek tragedy doesn’t seem so far-fetched. After all, the Marilyn Monroe story long ago achieved mythical status. In the more than half century since her death in a …

Kenneth Battelle: The Hairdresser Behind Jackie’s Bouffant

Back in 1961, the New York Times ran a lengthy article to mark the 34th birthday of a Manhattan hairdresser who had already reached such a level of renown that the paper dispensed with its traditional practice of referring to a news subject by his surname and the title “Mr.” Instead, it simply referred to him as “Kenneth,” and proclaimed, lyrically, that “being besieged by a bevy of beautiful women is all in the line of business for one young man.” …

A Forever Fan Wants Your Marilyn Memories

Fifty years ago, on August 5, in the early hours of a Sunday morning, Marilyn Monroe was found dead in her Brentwood home. Had she lived, she would have been 86-years-old. I have a longstanding Marilyn obsession, which makes this post tough to write. What could I reveal that hasn’t possibly already been said, written and speculated about her life?  What unique photo can I share? What evidence could I provide about the mystery surrounding her death? Perhaps you can relate to …

Does the Trailer for Whitney Houston’s New Movie Make You Happy or Sad?

We’re a couple of months away from the release of Whitney Houston’s last movie, Sparkle and now that I’ve seen the trailer, I feel a kind of sadness, and maybe even anger, that I didn’t really experience even when she died. You remember the coverage back in February, don’t you? All about how Whitney had been in a physical and emotional tailspin in the days before she died. There were endless reports of how she’d been disoriented and frail, rambling …