Beginning of the year
These ones had moved for a bigger house, in a Mexican style, in North Hollywood.
At this time, Jim still worked at the
At this time, Jim still worked at theLockheed Aircraft (bombers construction in Burbank).
When the Archwood Street house was put up for renting, Jim and Norma Jeane settled in a house in Bessemer Street, Van Nuys.
For the first time, they had friendly relationships : a young artist and his fiancée, an accountant and 2 medicine students with their wives. Norma Jeane suggested to her new friends to gather for dancing parties, everyone bringing their own records.
Jim's big surprise, Norma Jeane completely changed ; from a modest
housewife she changed suddenly into a star.
She loved to dance, mingling with the conversations, giggling and twirling, going from a man to another. Jim became jealous of his masculine guests, captivated by his wife vitality and charm.
During summer, they often went to the beach, in Santa Monica or Venice, where Norma Jeane was the focal point of the masculine attention.
She adopted an abandonned collie called Muggsy (), to who she hugely became attached to, spending hours to take care of it, bathing and making it run.
At the same time, she devoted a big part of her day to take care of herself, trying new make-ups, taking endless baths, constantly washing her face with water and soap to clear the slightest imperfection and stimulate the bloodstream.
Norma Jeane had few friends to confide to and the only companions she really felt comfortable with were Jim's nephews and nieces, kids she adored, loving babysitting them, enjoying bathing them, washing their clothes, playing with them and reading them stories.
Jim's work at the
Jim's work at theLockheed was considered as essential to the national defense and could have avoid him the active service, but however he dreamt of boarding.
Jim applied to incorporate the Navy as a fireman learner; Norma Jeane begged him not to leave.
Finally he was enlisted in the Selective Service to incorporate a contingent of married man with no child.
One morning, he took the streetcar from Van Nuys to Wilmington, then the ferry-boat to Catalina Island.
During this period, Norma Jeane went to live for a while in North Hollywood, with Jim's parents.
Catalina Island was located 27 miles from the shore, in San Pedro Bay.
Until then, the seaside resort very popular in the 30's, was banned for the public during the Second World War, and changed into a military training camp.
After several weeks at the new recruits camp, Jim received his posting to the command of a "rookies" company at the Maritime Service Training Base, in Santa Catalina Island.
Spending half of his salary in a rent, Jim Dougherty moved in with arms and luggages, wife and dog, in an apartment , on the
Merchant Marine to which he was posted, had its headquarters in Avalon.
That's where the recruits trained, climbed the cliffs and peaks, yomped
through the dense underbush in preparation for facing a much more
hostile environment on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.
Jim, considered as a permanent member, was allowed to live there with his wife (while the servicemen who came there to train couldn't take their wives).
They lived in an apartment which overlooked the bay. Norma Jeane took her dog Muggsy out for a walk, near the base-ball
They spent time together at the seaside; Jim practised scuba-diving and brought back some seafood and lobsters they secondly shared with friends for dinner
They became close to two other couples living in the military base, the Gaddis and the White. Jim was chosen to be the
During those months together in Catalina, Jim and Norma Jeane became closer than ever
Jim reproached her for her provocative clothes : Norma Jeane didn't wear bikinis and tight-fitting sweaters to seduce men, but simply because she was aware of her charms and didn't think it was wrong to expose them in full innocence.
She wanted to keep in shape and with Howard Carrington's advices, a military instructor, dumbbell Olympic champion, she did a training.
She subjected herself to rigorous exercises with exercisers usally reserved for men.
Jim's jealousy was once again taxed.
One evening of December, the famous Stan Kenton orchestra came to the island to run a party.
The girlfriends and wives came by the ferry-boat from the continent and the huge hall of the casino of Catalina then rang of cheerful echos out, the couples flocking on the dance floor.
From the loggia, there was a splendid view of the sea and the town, flooded with the moonlight. There were beers and cocktails, but Norma Jeane only drank a ginger beverage; there was still something within her of the little "niece" of Aunt Ana, temperate and Christian scientist.Throughout the 7 hours of the gala, Jim only danced once with his wife who was the idol of the party. The main time he remained pushed aside, listening to the eloquent comments of the men about his wife.