When Monroe was a child, shunted from foster home to orphanage and back, her mentally troubled mother suddenly appeared one day and took the girl to a newly purchased home. The furnishings were meager, but it was their home at last. Her mother then attended an auction of actor Fredric March’s (middle photograph) household effects and bought a white piano for the new residence. But that brief time of tranquility in young Norma Jean’s childhood soon ended when her mother collapsed and was taken away.
When Monroe became a movie actress and was able to save her first $1,000, she tracked down that white piano and bought it back: a symbol of one of the few happy times in her childhood. March never knew why she held him in high esteem.
- Stories My Father Told Me: Notes From “The Lyons Den” by Jeffrey Lyons