Friday, April 29, 2022

What Could Have Been for Norma

I have been waiting to post this article (see below) for more than a year. I wanted to wait until Norma was out so readers could appreciate this interesting gentleman. In the last year of Norma's life, she was negotiating with John Griggs to work with him on a reissue of 88 American Beauties. Griggs had a copy and I think a first generation copy because he made stills for Norma and sent them to her. These are the images I included in the book. They are very good. 

There are things to be distressed about in Norma's turbulent life story but this one is really hard to take. Imagine if she had lived long enough to do the voice over on that film? We would have had Norma speaking about her memories of the win. 

But her children did not leave those memories untold. Thank you Sally and Roger! 

I am sorry for Norma that she came within weeks of recording her narration of her great victory. 

How many intriguing things are there in this article (below) about this man? I would have loved to have been a "Mosquito Muskateer" and watch silent films in his yard with children running about spraying the air for mosquitos. I enjoyed learning about Mr. Griggs and it is because of his interest in Norma that we have that full page piece about her published but a month or two before her death. Some correspondence from Mr. Griggs to Norma is included in the book.

This would have been published in 1961 because of the Joey Bishop Show reference. Credit to his archive housed in Yale University is cited in the book.  


  1. We can thank our lucky stars that at one time there were collectors like Mr. Griggs, who not only loved to share their memorabilia, but also made sure it would be housed and archived in a safe place. What a tragedy Norma was not able to narrate the 88 Beauties film! We would have her voice on record and would hear her first hand account of that night at Madison Square Garden and what it felt like to have Rudolph Valentino crown her as the most beautiful contestant. There are so many 'what ifs' in Norma's story.

  2. Norma's participation in the reissue of Valentino's 88 Beauties with John Briggs could have shed so much light on what actually happened that night at the Garden. It's sad she died right before this project could be completed.

  3. Here is a link to the John Griggs collection donated to Yale University:

  4. How sad about losing Norma, still so young, & also so sad that she never had the opportunity to narrate what would have been an amazing historical record of her memories of that exciting event. Through the memories of her childhood, at least there’s some information to share.