A fan with a delivery for Marilyn was fifteen-year-old Michael Thorton, who went on to become a highly successful author and critic. Michael was staying with friends during the summer holidays when he heard that Marilyn had arrived. After some initial research he discovered her address and set off on his bike, complete with some hand-picked roses strapped to the handlebars: “On arrival in the tiny village of Englefield Green, my breathless enquiries to highly suspicious locals—already alienated by the descent of countless Fleet Street reporters—elicited the information that Parkside House was in Wick Lane, which I eventually found. The house was white, with tall white windows and white chimneys, extremely attracted and very secluded, with a long drive through trees and hedges. I parked my bike opposite the main entrance, undid the rapidly wilting roses, and waited…and waited…and waited.
In all, I think I must have been there for several hours, and finally a large black car drove up and turned into the drive. Inside I saw two men in the front (one the driver), and another man and two ladies in the back, one wearing a headscarf and large dark glasses. I later learned that next to the driver was a plain-clothes detective, that the man in the back was Arthur Miller, and the second woman, rather plain, round-faced and dumpy. was Paula Strasberg. The figure in the headscarf and dark glasses was Marilyn.
I moved up the drive, into a position where they could all see me standing with my bunch of wilting roses. The policeman/detective came towards me, waving his hands, and said, ‘This is private property. You cannot come into the drive.’ At that moment, the lady in the headscarf and dark glasses divested herself of both and became instantly recognizable as the devastating siren I had only lately seen in The Seven Year Itch. In her unmistakably breathy voice, she called: ‘Hey, don’t send him away.’
She came trotting forward in a rather tight dress and white high heels, moved around the police officer and said ‘Hello, honey, are you waiting to see me?’ (in a tone that suggested that was the most unlikely thing in the world). I was conscious of blushing, and stammered seriously: ‘Miss Monroe, I just wanted to say welcome to England, and to give you these,” and I handed her the wilting roses.
The expression on her face and in her eyes was as if I had handed her something priceless from Cartier. ‘Oh, sweetheart, that is so lovely of you.’ I noticed that her blonde hair was rather disheveled—possibly the result of wearing a wig—and that her face and eyes had traces of screen make-up that had not been entirely removed. There was nothing grand or standoffish about her. One might have thought she had never been given flowers before in her life, and her simplicity of manner certainly did not suggest that this was the most famous woman in the world.
Behind her I saw her stern-faced husband, in heavy horn-rimmed glasses, glowering and frowning at this encounter. He then called out to her in a very autocratic voice: ‘Will you come into the house now please?’
'How old are you honey?' she asked. 'I'm fifteen,' I said. 'Fifteen? And you went to all this trouble to bring me these? I'm going to go and put them in water right away. Thank you, my darling.'
She turned towards the detective, then turned back, and to my amazement, she planted a very gentle kiss full on my lips—the sort of innocent kiss a child might give. ‘Bye, bye, honey,’ she called as she walked away, leaving me in a state of disbelief.
The detective said, ‘Don’t go telling your school friends where the house is, will you?’ I promised I wouldn’t.