Wednesday, January 14, 2015

True Love Story: Marilyn, Joe and the Rose Bouquet

Like many of the great Hollywood true love stories, the story of baseball Yankee legend Joe DiMaggio and the iconic blonde bombshell Marilyn Monroe is filled with divorce, heartache and death but the love between them never died.

DiMaggio and Monroe first meet in 1952, shortly after DiMaggio retired from the New York Yankees. At 25, Marilyn was just begging her career. On January 14th, 1954 Joe and Marilyn eloped in San Francisco. While the marriage would not last the year, the love story would last another 45 years, until DiMaggio’s final words, “I’ll finally get to see Marilyn again.”

Within weeks of the divorce, Marilyn and DiMaggio would be seen out together. Weeks after Marilyn filed for divorce, she had surgery. It was DiMaggio who took her to the hospital, stayed by her side during her stay and cared for her during her recuperation once she was released. Shortly after, Marilyn and DiMaggio were seen out celebrating DiMaggio’s 40th birthday.

Monroe would remarry and divorce but her relationship with DiMaggio continued to be a constant.
In 1961 Marilyn was forcibly institutionalized due to her paranoid schizophrenia, a disease her mother had suffered from. It was DiMaggio whom she called for help and he instantly came to her rescue. He arrangement her release and moved her to a hospital. After the event, Marilyn would refer to him as “my hero”, even when introducing him to others.

Monroe died August 5th, 1962 at 36 years old. Even after her death DiMaggio was there to care for her. He identified her body, arranged the funeral and although he would never go to her  grave again, he had roses delivered twice a week to her crypt until his death in 1999, a wish she had share with him years before. Thirty seven years after her death, DiMaggio never remarried and never forgot Marilyn, even on his death bed.

“I’ll finally get to see Marilyn again.”

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Santa Claus, Stockings and Chimneys

There are many names this time of year; Santa Claus, Kris Kringle, Old Saint Nick, Father Christmas, but where did Santa come from and why does he come down the chimney instead of knocking on the door?

It is said that Santa Claus was a true individual, known as Saint Nicholas, a Bishop from Asia during the fourth century. Saint Nicholas was a son of a wealthy family and inherited his family fortune at a young age upon the death of his parents. Nicholas was a kind individual who helped the poor and in secret shared his wealth with the less fortunate.

It is a story about St. Nicholas that the tradition of hanging stockings on the fireplace is born. It is said that a very poor man had three daughters that were unable to marry because he could not provide a dowry for them.  (A dowry was a payment made to the groom on the day of the wedding to marry daughters. They included money, furniture, jewelry and anything valuable.) St. Nicholas heard of the man’s misfortune and decided to help the family.

While he did not deliver his gift the Santa Claus way of climbing down the chimney, he did drop a bag of gold down the chimney. The following morning the man found the bag of gold where it landed, inside a stocking that had been hanging by the fire to dry. With this money the man’s oldest daughter was able to marry. St. Nicholas repeated this for the second daughter in secret but the man wanted to know who was delivering these gifts.

The man waited by the chimney every night to see who was bringing the gold to his daughters. When the man caught St. Nicholas, he was asked not to tell anyone the name of the person bringing the gold, but the word was spread about St. Nicholas and from that point on, anytime a gift was left in secret it was said to be the work of St. Nicholas.*

( )
Images from: and 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Candy Canes and Christmas

What are holidays without those delicious sweet treats? Nearly every holiday has a corresponding confection that seems to go hand in hand. Easter has chocolate bunnies and Peeps™, Valentine’s Day has gourmet chocolates, Halloween is a candy company’s dream and Christmas is for candy canes.

Unlike most candy, candy canes were designed with a purpose and even their shape and color has special significance. During the 17th century people began to decorate their trees with fruits and sweet treats. One such treat was a straight white stick. It was the choirmaster at the Cologne Cathedral in Germany who first bent the straight stick into the hook we know today. In 1670 he bent the stick to the shape of a shepherd’s staff. He also gave out these confections to children during the nativity services in order to pacify them through the long service. From Germany this tradition spread and eventually made its way to America by 1847.

By this time these canes were decorated with sugar roses. It would not be until almost the 20th century that the red stripe would be added to the canes. Along with the stripe, peppermint and wintergreen flavors were added to enhance the flavor. While many companies have expanded on the flavors of candy canes, the original peppermint and wintergreen are still favorites today.*