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We Swam Our Way To Ciro’s—Marilyn Monroe

You’ve heard of Ciro’s. It’s the nightspot where everybody who is somebody goes to have fun. And even folks who’ve never had their names in lights end up having a whale of a time. I did—along with Craig Hill, Marilyn Monroe, Mala Powers, Nick Savano, Corinne Calvet, and John Bromfield. You might say that we swam our way to Ciro’s, but if that sounds fishy let me explain. The last time I went there it was for a MODERN SCREEN party. I grew right fond of the place. “This is the life,” was my unique comment to its owner, Herman Hover.

“You’ll have to come back sometime,” he invited. However, months passed before I ran into Mr. H. at lunch one noon. “What are you doing here?” I wanted to know. Because if I owned Ciro’s I wouldn’t leave it even in the daytime.

But it seems that Mr. Hover has a fine house and a lovely pool in Beverly Hills, and he lives in both. In fact, that’s his idea of living. “Come see what I mean,” he suggested. “Bring a crowd over tomorrow for swimming and later we’ll adjourn to the club.”

“You mean I can really bring people?” I said.

“Yes, of course,” he replied politely. “People.”

This was my day for running into people. I saw Craig Hill at the corner drive-in later in the afternoon. Between pictures, he does construction work—to keep in shape physically as well as financially. He’d dropped by the drive-in for a coke. “This is no day to work,” I told him. “Neither is tomorrow—how about going swimming?”

I’m not terribly dumb. Craig was the handsome lifeguard in Cheaper By The Dozen. He’s also been a lifeguard for real. And since I swim like a ton of bricks I figured he’d be nice to have around. Besides, he’s one of the best looking young actors in Hollywood (see Detective Story). 

Craig thought I had an excellent idea. “See you around two,” he said and headed his truck for the highway.

Then I went back to the office and called Marilyn Monroe. Who looks as good in a bathing suit as Marilyn? Mala Powers. I invited both.

Corinne Calvet and John Bromfield were next on my list. “Johnee’s on location, but he should be back by tomorrow night,” Corinne said. “We’ll meet you at Ciro’s.”

Well the day came. Herman met us at the door—the way he does at Ciro’s, and in no time at all we were ready for the water. Marilyn emerged from the dressing room in a real creation of a suit. It was a glamorous Rose Marie Reid number—24 karat gold, imprinted with a black chantilly lace pattern!

Mala was an eyeful in an aquamarine suit that fitted her form—as we say in Hollywood—deevinely.

The boys dove right in. Mala and Marilyn were slightly more reluctant. “Cold,” shivered Marilyn, testing the water with her toe.

“You’ll get used to it,” said Craig as he and Nick pulled her toward the pool.

“Look at our two Tarzans,” shouted Mala, who should never have made the statement. She was dunked next.

Marilyn proved to be a beautiful swimmer. “Lessons,’ she explained. “I used to be scared silly. Fell into a pool when I was little, and almost drowned.”

Mala had taken lessons, too. At four-and-a-half, she was the world’s youngest diver. She used to scare people silly by performing tricks from the board.

“Yaah,” Craig yelled at her—“I’d like to see you dive out of the pool.” Mala took him up on that, and nobody knows quite how she did it. They’ll never find out, either, because our photographer got so excited he almost dropped his camera in the water. When he asked her to do it again, she said, “Nix! I’m saving this stunt for when I’m old and grey and have no other way to make a living.”

The high point of the day was an exciting race between Craig and Nick. We never did figure who won, because Herman Hover awarded the trophy—a convenient flower pot—to Mala and Marilyn.

In mid-afternoon Mr. Hover had cokes and sandwiches served to us, with Nick adding the final touch by picking oranges off a nearby tree.

And so on to Ciro’s. “What a relief!” Nick sighed. He had an idea he was going to see another Western movie. That’s because Mala’s making one called Rose of Cimarron, for 20th Century-Fox. It’s her first horse opera, and she won’t let Nick forget it. “It’s got to the point,” he says, “that every time I call for her on a date, I want to saddle up Old Paint.”

Ciro’s was the perfect cure for this fugitive from the they-went-thattaways. Nick refused to leave the dance floor once he got on it. Corinne and John came to meet us as she’d promised. “It’s a funny thing,” Corinne said, “but this morning I bent over to pick up our dog, and I couldn’t straighten up again. I thought I had a broken back. But I came to Ciro; Sa and zut! Everything’s fine!”

Nobody knows how Herman Hover seems to do it, but time goes faster at Ciro’s than at almost any place in town; that is, for everybody but the men when their girls take off for the powder room. When we went to straighten up our makeup there were many, Many mirrors where we could check every detail from head to toe.

Marilyn had to leave us early because she had a script to read the next day, so Craig ran her home in his car.

When they began to stack up the chairs, Herman Hover came by, and asked impishly, “Having fun?”

It was a superfluous question. “Having fun?” I chortled, “why, nobody will believe me if I tell them I swam all the way.”

And with that my head went under for the third time in my ginger ale!





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