Archive for the ‘Divorce Ranches’ 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


Monday, August 9th, 2010

UNBRIDLED: A TALE OF A DIVORCE RANCH just became the Award Winner in the Fiction and Literature: Chick Lit/Women’s Lit category of the International Book Awards 2010!

Wins Mainstream Fiction Award

Monday, August 9th, 2010

UNBRIDLED: A TALE OF A DIVORCE RANCH has been named a Mainstream Fiction winner of the 17th Annual Writer’s Digest International Self-Published Book Awards 2010!

is an Award-Winner!

Monday, January 4th, 2010

UNBRIDLED: A TALE OF A DIVORCE RANCH has been named the Award-Winner in the Fiction & Literature: Chick Lit/Women’s Lit category of the National Best Books 2009 Awards, sponsored by USA Book News!

Marilu on Talk Radio

Monday, January 4th, 2010

Marilu is publicizing UNBRIDLED: A TALE OF A DIVORCE RANCH in a series of talk radio interviews nationwide!


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Money Matters Radio Network with Gina Ghioldi; Nationally Syndicated to 9 Stations

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

KCBR-AM 1040; Colorado Springs CO; 9:00 a.m. MT

Monday, January 4, 2010

WOCA-AM 1370; Ocala FL; 9:00 a.m. ET

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

WDYK-FM 100.5; Cumberland MD, 11:30 a.m. ET

Airing Week of January 11, 2010 (Monday, Wednesday or Thursday)

WNTN-AM 1550; Boston MA, 6:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. ET

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

WACK-AM 1420; Rochester NY; 8:35 a.m. ET

Friday, January 15, 2010

WNAV-AM 1430; Annapolis/Baltimore MD; 9:35 a.m. ET

Airing Week of January 18, 2010

Issues Today Radio Network with Bob Gourley; Nationally Syndicated to 188 Stations

Thursday, January 21, 2010

KAHI-AM 950; Sacramento, CA; Noon-1:00 p.m. Pacific

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.


Ramblings on Divorce Ranches

Wednesday, August 6th, 2008

Ever since a certain Gladys Marie Moore swore to a judge she was seeking a divorce from her husband Owen because he was an alcoholic, a brute, and had abandoned her, she established Nevada as the place to unravel “the ties that bind”. She stayed just 16 days at the Campbell Ranch in Genoa, Nevada in February of 1920 and the judge, Frank Langen of the Douglas County District Court in nearby Minden, without knowing Mrs. Moore was really America’s Sweetheart Mary Pickford, one of the greats of the silent movie era, granted her a divorce. “Little Mary” left Reno for Oakland, California by train and one month later wed Douglas Fairbanks, another idol of the silver screen, with whom she’d been engaged in an affair for several years. So, the Campbell Ranch was really the first divorce ranch, one of a long line of dude ranches catering to the convenience and anonymity of people seeking a quicker way to end their marriages than waiting the much longer time required in most other states in the U.S.


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