Young Norma Jeane lived with Ana Lower on Nebraska Avenue some time after leaving the orphanage in 1937. Ana was the aunt of Norma Jeane"s legal guardian Grace Goddard, who had been a close friend of her mother.
In early 1940, Ana"s health was suffering and she could no longer care for Norma Jeane. Norma Jeane went to live with Grace, her husband Doc and Doc"s daughter Bebe. She attended Emerson Junior High School and graduated 9th grade in June 1941. In September 1941, Norma Jeane and Bebe enrolled as students at Van Nuys High School.
Grace was still in contact with her former neighbour Ethel Dougherty and she asked if Ethel"s son Jim could run the girls home from school each evening in his car. This lead to Norma Jeane and Jim dating.
In early 1942, the Goddards announced that they were moving to West Virginia and could not take Norma Jeane with them. Norma Jeane returned to Nebraska Avenue with Aunt Ana. This meant her sophomore year was also interrupted by the move. Norma Jeane began attending University High School in February 1942.
Since Norma Jeane could not stay with Aunt Ana permanently, the only other option was for her to return to the orphanage. Grace and Ethel had already decided that a good solution would be for Jim to marry Norma Jeane. Jim was hesitant because of the age difference. He was 21 and she was just turning 16.
Norma Jeane"s classmates were surprised when she announced that she was leaving school in order to get married. It probably haunted Marilyn her entire life that she did not stay and graduate from high school.
Norma Jeane became Mrs. Dougherty on June 19, 1942.
Here is a photo of my 1942 edition of the University High School yearbook. This book belonged to one of Norma Jeane"s classmates, Annette Cowgill. I personally believe that there is no such thing as one of these books that are signed by Norma Jeane. She left school prior to the end of the year when yearbooks are normally distributed. So she would not have been there when classmates were passing them around for signatures. Not to mention that she only attended the school for a couple of months. It is unlikely that she struck up any deep friendships where they would have tracked her down to sign their books.
This yearbook is in EXCELLENT condition. The binding is perfect with no tape. All of the pages are intact with no rips or tears. The owner obviously took great care of it.
The best part of the book (next to Norma Jeane"s photo) is the wonderful inscriptions made out to Annette by her classmates. She seemed to be a very popular girl who was both the class secretary and president.
| Annette appears on page 51.... |
It is interesting to note the checkmarks next to certain classmates. I was told that Annette had put them next to people she was friends with. A checkmark appears next to Norma Jeane !!! Annette used the same pen to sign her name at the front of the book and she also crossed out some boys photos of people she did not like. So this shows that Annette and Norma Jeane were friends!!!!!
Norma Jeane appears on page 48...
| Here are some pages that show the great messages written by Annette"s classmates. They seemed to think she was a "swell" girl. |