Friday, April 22, 2022

She Was Noticed

Everyone who knew Norma throughout her life commented on her beauty and notable presence. Her daughter Sally recalls how even in her later years when her mother entered a room or a restaurant, people stopped and stared; she was noticed. (A comment was just made about her "luminosity" which is the perfect word) I think it is obvious she was proud of her title of Rudolph Valentino's beauty queen despite the many set backs she experienced. 

She seemed to face every challenge with great strength and courage and aplomb. There was only one event from which she would not recover; the death of her beloved Holland.

She did receive notoriety for her Valentino connection over the years and as tempting as it is I will not spoil the story. Here, in this image she is with Holland, and her two babies who worked so very hard with me this past year to tell the true story. 

The woman seated behind Norma is an unnamed friend. This photo was taken in 1931. 


16 comments:

  1. She has such a contemporary face. Neither of the other two adults in the photo do. In the sense that Norma is lovely, joyful and fulfilled in this photo, it has a similar vibe to the photos of Natacha grinning ear to ear outside in the Spanish sun during the early part of her marriage to her second husband. That baby has some set of eyelashes!

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    1. Norma's role in the Mineralava saga was something she was proud of. I know that is a favorite image of her on all the Facebook groups; her big win. What a great experience for a young woman.

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    2. The 88 Beauties footage is posted continuously on all of the Valentino FB groups. Norma’s beautiful blushing face in partnership with Valentino’s beaming smile have been seared into the consciousness of every participant on the forums. Norma’s moment in the sun with Valentino has produced more rapturous commentary than any other subject, bar none.

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  2. Good point. I think in many ways Norma was a "contemporary" woman. She worked hard, was extremely talented and creative and pursued her various career interests. She certainly imbued these qualities in her children. The baby with the long lashes is about to celebrate her ninetieth birthday and was the primary contributor to the story. I am honored to represent these fine people.

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  3. How amazing her children are still alive to help you with the book! And what a thrill it must be for them! So many people over the years on Valentino forums have expressed curiosity about Norma. What a coup for you, Evelyn, to finally be able to share her story. Congratulations!

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    1. Her children and extended family are thrilled the book is out and very happy with it. Sally proof read the manuscript just a few weeks ago. Writing a biography is an interesting project and I was blessed to have the insight and sharp memories of not only her children, but grandchild and other folks who were involved and knew Norma personally.

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  4. Agree wholeheartedly that this is a coup for Zumaya! It is astonishing that no one has had the brains and initiative to uncover this material before. No doubt Zumaya will be pummeled, yet again, for besting them all.

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    1. Sadly yes, I am sure it is only a matter of time before the predictable chorus of the wretched starts croaking out its obscene one note attack song. Their obsession with Zumaya and Floris is likely shortening their lifespans. With their quality of life one supposes this is not a concern for them.

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    2. I think when people read this woman's life story they will be impressed and Norma will have her day. No one has yet to read a word, so we wait to see the reactions to the content of the book itself. I am very proud of the book and Norma's life is a great saga.

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    3. I have ordered my copy of Norma from Amazon and I am sure that It will an enjoyable read.

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  5. "She seemed to face every challenge with great strength and courage and aplomb.'
    She sounds like a very admirable woman. I am looking forward to reading her biography.

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    1. So am I excited to read her story as well. And she was a beautiful woman.

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  6. Incredible that Norma Niblock's children are still with us. What a biographer's dream! If anyone is curious to see Norma Niblock in the short film, "Rudolph Valentino And His 88 American Beauties," you can easily find it on YouTube. A very striking woman. Good luck with the book!

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  7. I googled Norma Niblock after seeing the 88 American Beauties short--there was virtually nothing to be found. Thank you for doing the research to get her story out.

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    1. I second this, 9:01! Obviously Ms. Zumaya has done some heavy duty digging. I've never seen anything about Norma Niblock anywhere.

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