Miss Marilyn Monroe, Twentieth Century Fox starlet, had just signed with the studio, changed her name from Norma Jean Baker and had one uncredited bit part as a telephone operator in The Shocking Miss Pilgrim, when Mr. Seedman, owner of Carlysle’s Jewelers, brought her to Salinas to give away a Coronation Diamond ring as a promotion for his store. Miss Monroe replaced the better-known starlet, Noreen Nash, who was unable to attend.
Marilyn came to Salinas via the Coast Starlight on February 19th, 1948, and was promptly requested to attend a Kiwanis Club luncheon at the Santa Lucia Inn. Randy Barsotti, president of the Artichoke Association nominated her as the Artichoke Queen with a sash and an orchid corsage. After a loud cheer from the crowd, Miss Monroe patiently listened to a sermon on the religious and moral life of Abraham Lincoln by the Reverend Ed Bowling.
That evening, Mrs. Seedman recalls that Marilyn joined the family for dinner at the swank Italian restaurant, Cademartori's, where present-day Tarpy’s Roadhouse is located today. “She was so sweet - held our two-year-old son on her lap and entertained him during our dinner,” when asked if she saved a publicity photo from the visit, she replied, “oh no, she was a nobody at the time – just another pretty face who had not achieved any level of fame…we thought the photographs where worthless and threw the extras out!”
The following afternoon Miss Monroe personally signed autographs for the first 200 people to come to Carlyle’s Jewelers. Later that night the lovely, fresh-faced starlet appeared live onstage at the Vogue Theater, just before “Carnival in Costa Rica” began, to give away the diamond ring to a lucky patron.
Gaylon Haney of the Home Team Real Estate Services is proud to sponsor 362 Main Street, where our first Artichoke Queen, Miss Marilyn Monroe, 20th Century Fox Starlet was the Diamond Queen of Salinas – after all, diamonds are a girl’s best friend!
Please contact Gaylon at 831.484.8060 for more information about this location.