At the end of the scolar year at Emerson High School (-,
,), in June, Norma Jeane's grades in Spanish, sciences and physical education weren't great; she almost failed in rhetoric and diction, paralysed by the fear to express herself in public and socially hung-up.Despite her growing popularity and the awarness of her seduction power, within her she had lack of self-confidence she was never able to overcome.
It seemed that she didn't impress enough the members of the theater club of her school to get a part in a play.
Her grades weren't much better that the Emerson's ones. She didn't manage to focus on abstract subjects, because her attention was mobilized by a tall young man, dark-haired, blue-eyed, who proudly wore a thin moustache.
Aged 20, youngest child of a 5 children family, who had lived difficult times during the Crisis of
Aged 20, youngest child of a 5 children family, who had lived difficult times during the Crisis of1929, he had attended Van Nuys High School, where he had been a moderately working student, but popular.
Thanks to his abilities in football, he had obtained a scholarship for the University; he refused it to work and provide for his family, mother and brothers and sisters.
He was employed in the night shift of the Lockheed Aircraft (bombers construction) in Burbank and drove a blue sparkling touring coupé Ford.
He had had several girlfriends, but was more seriously attracted by one of them, Doris Drennan, the "Beauty Queen of Santa
The Goddards moved in Odessa Avenue, in another small house owned by Ana Lower, much more far from the university. As Jim lived closer to the university than the Goddards, and was available during the day, her mother Ethel, friend of Grace McKee-Goddard (and so former neighbor), often asked him to take Norma Jeane and Bebe Goddard back to school.
() of who she had hung the portrait when they lived together at Arbol Street in 1933), to Clark Gable or Errol Flynn; without any doubt, the moustache made him look more older and more distinguished.
If he agreed to be admired as a driver, it was no question for him to become Norma Jeane's boyfriend.
Neither Jim, nor his mother Ethel, and not more Norma Jeane were fully aware of Grace McKee- Goddard's plan. This one didn't take a long time getting moving.
Few days after the Pearl Harbor shock and the sudden start of the USA in the war, Grace asked Ethel Dougherty if Jim could accompany Norma Jeane to the Christmas ball of the Adel Precision Products, where Doc Goddard worked.
Jim partly agreed because the admiration Norma Jeane devoted to him flattered him and partly because his love affair with Doris Drennan hadn't survived. Grace neverthemess asked him to find a partner to Bebe who also attended the party.
The Christmas ball maked a decisive step in their relationship. Grace, impatient to see Norma Jeane becoming a woman, encouraged their dates.
She suggested them to go for a walk in the Hollywood hills or to sail on Pop’s Willow Lake. Sometimes, they drove to Ventura County, in the north, visiting Jim's sister, Billie, and went on further to Sherwood Lake. Grace prepared them a picnic, and Jim spent wonderful week-ends with the delicious and not much demanding Norma Jeane.
At night, the couple often parked on Mulholland Drive, the mountains crest road of Santa Monica. They talked about the war, the university, and Norma Jeane confided him, very openly, that she was an illegitimate child.
They listened to the radio the hits of the season :"Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree", "That Old Black Magic", "Moonlight Becomes You", and Sinatra who whispered "I’ll Never Love Again" and "Night and Day".Jim found her absolutely adorable. Physically she was more mature than the girls of her age (15). She seemed to have an unshakeable trust in Jim's strength and admired all his doings.