Tuesday, May 10, 2022

The Eighty-Eight

One of the more exceptional photographs in Norma Niblock's archive was the image of all of the 88 contestants. I included the entire span of this image in the book but here share a clip. Norma is circled but I think some of the other contestants are interesting to notice. The original photo in her collection is about a foot and half long and has survived the years rather well. Norma is easy to spot because of the way she tips her head which is unique to her. 

I learned a great deal more about Norma researching the book than I knew when I wrote Affairs Valentino many years ago and I am happy I was able to expand and fine tune to a high degree the true story of this remarkable woman. 


  1. I love this photograph! I don't think I have ever seen it before. Isn't research supposed to constantly expand what was previously accepted as the truth? Thanks for all the hard work!

    1. It's amazing to me how there are still more incredible stories to be told. Norma was a surprise and one that unfolded continually in such a serendipitous way. Each conversation with Norma's children was a gift.

  2. I have read from some nitpicks that is wasn't fair Norma won because she was Canadian. Perhaps we need reminding that Canada is part of the North AMERICAN continent. And I am sure Mineralava Clay was being sold north of the border.

  3. With this many young women in the contest, it's surprising we don't have more first hand accounts of their experience meeting Valentino. Thank goodness Norma saved her keepsakes and left us pieces of those memories that Evelyn put together.