Archive for the ‘1950s’ Category

Marilu Featured in Huffington Post

Friday, September 6th, 2013

The true story behind my award-winning first novel UNBRIDLED: A TALE OF A DIVORCE RANCH was featured in an August 28, 2013, article called, “Divorcing at Dude Ranches,” published in the Huffington Post! Read the article HERE. I found the comments “interesting,” to say the least! (scroll down about nine inches below the article to find the comments)

Written by Theresa Iker, the article is based on a recent interview she did with me about my experiences at a divorce ranch in Reno, Nevada, way back in 1951. The interview was part of Iker’s research for her Scripps College thesis on the American divorce ranches phenomenon, circa 1930s to 1960s. AOL picked up the article and it went viral internationally!

Pyramid Lake Ranch Letterhead, circa 1951

The circa 1951 letterhead from Pyramid Lake Ranch—30 miles north of Reno, Nevada—the "Desert Lake Ranch" setting of my semi-autobiographical novel, "Unbridled: A Tale of a Divorce Ranch." (click on the image to see a high-resolution version of the historic letterhead)

 

Marilu Norden, circa 1952

Marilu Norden, circa 1952, about a year after the divorce ranch experience

Tales from Reno’s Divorce Ranches on KNPR Nevada Public Radio

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

Marilu was interviewed by Dave Becker for “State of Nevada” on KNPR, Nevada Public Radio, on March 1, 2011, as a member of a panel of people who were part of the whole divorce ranch experience. To listen, click HERE.

PROGRAM NOTES: Back in the 1930s and 40s, Nevada was one of the few states you could get a quick divorce. So many people flew in for a few weeks or months—the time it took to complete the paperwork. They stayed on “divorce ranches”—complete with cowboys, horse rides, and cocktail hours. Sometimes even Hollywood stars came to stay: Clark Gable and Ava Gardner, among others. We take a look back at the “divorce ranches” with a historian, a former guest, a ranch owner, and a cowboy who said he’d “died and gone to heaven” when he saw all those ladies.

GUESTS: Marilu Norden, former guest at Pyramid Lake Ranch and author, Unbridled: A Tale of a Divorce Ranch; Bill McGee, former cowboy at Flying M E Ranch and co-author, The Divorce Seekers: A Photo Memoir of a Nevada Dude Wrangler; Beth Ward, former owner, Whitney Ranch; and Mella Harmon, architectural historian who studied the divorce trade.

Marilu Interviewed
About “Unbridled”
on American Public Radio

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

A 20-minute interview with Marilu for The Story—a nationally syndicated radio program hosted by Dick Gordon out of WUNC Chapel Hill, North Carolina—aired Tuesday, February 22, 2011. To listen, click HERE.

Marilu can be heard talking about her experiences in the 1950s at the Pyramid Lake Ranch divorce ranch outside of Reno, Nevada, that was the subject of her award-winning novel, Unbridled: A Tale of a Divorce Ranch.

Here’s a photo of Marilu during the interview:

Marilu at KSFR studios in Santa Fe on live interview with Dick Gordon in North Carolina

Marilu Norden Being Interviewed by Dick Gordon for "The Story

Article in BUST Magazine

Monday, January 4th, 2010

The Dec09/Jan10 issue of BUST Magazine article, “The Six-Week Cure,” written by Priya Jain, features an interview with Marilu and information about UNBRIDLED: A TALE OF A DIVORCE RANCH!

BUST Magazine article, \

BUST Magazine article, \

BUST Magazine article, \

How to Write a Novel at 83 … or 13

Monday, April 13th, 2009

Back in the days of vaudeville, Gypsy Rose Lee and her mom found themselves booked into a third rate theater specializing in the dubious art of stripping. This was comically dramatized in the 1962 film version where the young “Gypsy” is introduced to the inner sanctum of stripping by a trio of strippers, each insisting, in her own inimitable way, that to succeed “You Gotta Have A Gimmick.” “Gimmick” is yesterday’s word for today’s all-purpose “hook,” as in: if you want to guarantee stardom on the world stage “You Gotta Have a Hook.” But in vaudeville “hook” meant if you gave a lousy performance somebody from backstage would wield a big, long hook and reel you right off the proscenium. There went your rent money and your reputation in show business. Not so today. Have a great hook and you’re in the running for whatever the media demands.

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Of Big Bands and Brando

Sunday, January 18th, 2009

High up a winding road in the hills of Hollywood on a summer day in 1956, I drove my little gray ‘49 Pontiac, trying to ignore the tannish ribbon of smog obscuring the view of the city spread out below me. Finding the address I’d been given, I parked, then mounted steep stone steps to the wood-carved front door of a white stucco, Spanish-style house. I rang the bell and was greeted by a slim, blonde man who smilingly beckoned me to follow him down a few Mexican-tiled steps into a sunken sala, heavy with oriental rugs and wrought-iron and leather furniture.

“Hi. I’m Leighton,” said the man. “Have trouble finding the place? Brando likes his privacy so the place is somewhat hidden.”

Brando!? “Oh, no. Thank you.” I stood, smiling nervously, my portfolio of music held tightly to my chest. “My agent gave me good directions.”

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