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Marilyn's Mexicano: Her Time in Mexico

Marilyn’s Mexicano part II

by Monica Belen

"Happy Birthday Mister President, Happy Birthday to you." With her breath ragged, Marilyn Monroe seemed to moan at the expectation of 15,000 people who hung from the almost transparent dress of her still voluptuous body.  Her gaze was feline and fixed on President John F. Kennedy, who was  sitting stunned in the impressive Madison Square Garden on May 19, 1962. At the beginning of that fateful year, Norma Jean bought a beautiful house in the luxurious neighborhood of Brentwood, California for $ 75,000. But where to find furniture and décor suitable for a Spanish Hacienda? The almost obvious answer: Mexico ... and it was.

She arrived incognito on the night of February 20th at the Mexico City International Airport accompanied by three people; few suspected that it was he.  A vehicle was waiting to transfer her immediately to the Continental Hilton Hotel., It was located on the iconic crossing of the two most important avenues of the city, Insurgentes Ave. (which crosses from north to south) and Reforma Ave.  (from east to west). She asked not to be disturbed at all. The next day she visited furniture stores in the center of the city; it was there that she met screenwriter and cinematographer José Bolaños, “Hi, nice to meet you, I'm José. You don't need to tell me your name, I know who you are, I want you to know me. ” That was enough to start the last love affair in the public life of the actress.

On February 27th, he accompanied her to the Mixtec population of Taxco, in the state of Guerrero. They stayed at the old Hotel La Borda in suite number 12; it is even said that she would have gone to the place with John F. Kennedy at another time (according to an FBI document). This suite remains as it is - in the old hotel with a beautiful view of the Church of Santa Prisca. Among the population they knew her as "La gringa bonita." She had visited the place several times to rest and talk with people; she made good friends, like the Sullivan family, owner of the former Hacienda del Chorrillo dedicated to the extraction of metals. She liked to walk the streets and eat rose petal mole, pozole, carnitas, and goat barbecue. Rolando Porcayo, hotel receptionist, comments that the cost of suite 12 is 1,400 pesos (70 dlls) per night, and that sometimes they call to reserve it; they have not changed anything out of affection for the actress . On the balcony, they serenaded her, five songs with mariachi. Marilyn spoke Spanish, not fluently, but she spoke and said smiling: "But, if it's not my birthday, why bring me music?" People shouted at her: "It is tradition to welcome like this." "Then play Guadalajara and Cielito Lindo," she asked with her little Spanish.

They say that she met with the children of the schools "Niño Artillero" and "Juan Ruíz de Alarcón" who gave her flowers and "pulled her dress because they wouldn't let her go," according to the Mexican historian Juan de Dios Labra.

Marilyn was also at the Misión Hotel, where she only visited the mural of the prominent Mexican architect Juan O'Gorman, who portrayed the history of Cuauhtémoc (the last Wey Tlatoani Azteca, which means something more than a King or Emperor). Taxco means in Nahuatl tlachtli, co, "ball game, place '' place where the ball game is played or place of the ball game in pre-Hispanic times. During the colony (1521-1821), it became the second center of exploitation of silver from the continent.  Today it is world famous for its silversmith artisans who make jewels and various silver utensils of excellent quality. Marilyn acquired surprising jewels, metal lamps and mirrors that would decorate her room and library, exclusive designs by William Spratling - a friend, designer and archaeologist.

Marilyn’s home was decorated with beautiful tapestries with pre-Hispanic images, cushions with artisan motifs, rustic Mexican wood furniture, even the kitchen tile and fireplace surround was  from Mexico. She did not have time to finish the decoration of this newly acquired property. The clay vase next to her bed would accompany her  on that fateful day of August 4, 1962, was Mexican.

As for Bolaños, they went together to Acapulco and Cuernavaca. He was her companion at the Golden Globe ceremony on March 5, where she would receive the Henrietta Golden Globe Award for Favorite Actress in World Cinema but Their relationship ended days later, however, José Bolaños was one of the last people with whom Marilyn spoke on the day of her death.

Marilyn's route in Mexico is just beginning; we will not stop here.  There is much to tell about her last visit to Mexico that lasted only ten days and reverberates in eternity ... "Taxco is the most beautiful place in the world" said "La gringa bonita. ” To be continued…