The years spent with the Bolenders were years of big safety for Norma Jeane.
was well treated and didn't miss anything, despite the
meager means of this foster family. There were even an old
upright piano (Norma Jeane took lessons on this piano several
years later), which was used to accompany the psalms Ida and her
friends of the religious community, came to sing at her home.
There were also some toys, books and a small bedroom where Gladys slept when she came to spend the week-end with her.
When she came to visit her daughter, Gladys took her for a walk or a picnic. They took the trolley of the Pacific Electric to Sunset Beach.
They strolled for a long time, going from Torrance, visiting the glass factories, to Redondo, Manhattan or Hermosa and stopped to have an icecream.
One of Norma Jeane's oldest memories was St Mark's Plaza in Venice, a place where the tourists and the residents used to do their shopping, creating a so multicolored crowd. She loved watching the mimes, jugglers and fire-eaters.
Sometimes they took the miniature train and stopped at Windward; there, Gladys showed her daughter the places where the movie stars as Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford or Harold Lloyd spent their week-ends.
But those happy moments became more and more rare, Gladys caming to Hawthorn less and less often.
Nevertheless, the girl didn't miss anything and was always well dressed, because Gladys kept paying the pension.
Occasional visitor, she became a fleeting shade in Norma Jeane's life. While the other children precisely knew who were their father or mother, Norma Jeane was in complete confusion. Ida Bolender had explained her she wasn't her mother and that she had to call her Aunt Ida. Certainly wanting to do the best, Ida Bolender maybe hadn't the art and the manner giving reassuring explanations to a little girl confused by the comings and goings of the woman she was told she was her mother.
Gladys's few visits were to Norma Jeane recreation moments, but the real actors of her life were the Bolenders.
They had no tendancy for leisure and pleasure, but rather for moral, religion and devotional duty.
Their church was the mainstay of their life and of course, became the one of the children they were in charge of. Those one used to attend the service on Sundays and learn how to pray during the instruction given to them one afternoon and an evening a week.
Like many people brimming over with good intentions, but limited with mind tautness, the faithful of the Unified Pentecostal Church, associated the religion to an unfailing support to a strict good behavior code.
Despite their affection for the children they were in charge of, things had to be clear and positioned.
During those years (1920-1930) many evangelist sects began to proliferate.
The Bolenders were fascinated by a charismatic evangelist named Aimee Semple McPherson (who had baptized Norma Jeane in 1926) and didn't miss any of her sermons.
Dancing, smoking, playing cards were considered as belonging to the evil while cleanliness, order and discipline were considered as evidences of virtue. Imagination, impertinence and bad manners were sins. The rules of the household (meals hours at same times and the housework) had to be followed by the book, so that they received Ida's approval.
This life contrasted with Gladys life and the Bolender's philosophy had everything to lose Norma Jeane in the construction of her marks.
This year, Norma Jeane still attended the Hawthorn Community Sunday School.
Her best friend was a mongrel named Tippy, she had found and brought back home. Insofar as she looked after the dog, the