Joe DiMaggio, Marilyn Monroe, and Dad

by Kathy Holmes

This article got my attention when it was tweeted on Twitter this morning - the one about lawyers blocking Yale's use of Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe on a book cover, claiming they're using it to sell books. Apparently, that was against Joe DiMaggio's wishes and his estate fights to be true to those wishes.

Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe are a special couple to me. No doubt because I have a picture of my father with Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe on their honeymoon in Japan while my dad was serving in the Naval Air Force.

I often joke around that Marilyn Monroe met my dad before I did. Aside from the Marilyn Monroe part, that may sound normal for most people because surely your parents met many people before you came along. But it took me over 40 years to meet my father - at least that I could actually remember.

But I had vague imagery of my father and when I saw that picture, I knew this was exactly how I had pictured him. And possibly how I had seen him one night when nobody realized it. And maybe why I sometimes dated guys who fit this image - whether they were good for me or not. lol!

The picture was just one of those pleasant discoveries I had when I began a relationship with my father as an adult. Besides, Joe DiMaggio knew what it was like for daughters to not know their fathers growing up. After all, he loved Marilyn and she didn't know her father, either. No wonder she found herself with so many different types of men - always looking for the one who would make her whole.

So, how about you - did you date guys in the image of your father or exactly the opposite - or with no similarities whatsoever?

While you ponder that question, you can listen to "Mrs. Robinson" - with brief mention of Joe DiMaggio. Here's to you Joe DiMaggio.

Kathy Holmes, author
The Tom Jones Club
Real Women Wear Red


  1. Love your post Kathy! How poignant - I'm glad you finally did get to meet your Dad. And what a lovely memento you have of him in that picture. Cheers!

  2. Love the picture, love the article. Thanks, Kathy. xo,

  3. What an amazing photo, Kathy! I've racked my brain to think if any of the guys I've dated are similar to my dad and no, I can't say they are. What an interesting article and question - you're going to have me thinking all day now!

  4. Thanks for stopping by - I appreciate your comments!

  5. What a fantastic shot, and a great story. I remember a previous post where you mentioned your late introduction to your dad, and it's compelling how you can see a bit of yourself in Marilyn Monroe's history with men.

    I'd have to say that my first boyfriend was the closest in personality to my dad. My second boyfriend and my husband are nothing like him! In fact, my dad had to really reach for things to chat with my husband about. Extrovert vs extreme introvert. Car guy vs public transit. Sporty scuba diver and hockey fanatic vs total bookworm and cult film aficionado.

    Although I will say, my husband likes to sneak extra bites out of the pan while standing at the stove in the exact same way as my dad did.

  6. Thanks, Julia. And what a great story you shared. We used to joke that my ex-husband was just like my mother. My step dad was kinda like Elvis in a southern kind of way, so I thought I would marry Elvis and once he was gone, there went that fantasy. lol!

    But the keeper - my husband and soulmate, is like my dad in some ways - not in the exterior way I was looking for before, but more of the interior. He was the support I needed when I went looking for my dad and was with me when I met him for the first time.

    I guess I went on and on with that story but also why this tends to be the theme in my writing.

  7. Great post, Kathy! Such a cool story and an AMAZING photo! I'm really glad you finally got to meet your dad. Ironic that Marilyn shared that same mystery.

    Since my dad 'left' in the permanent sense (dying when he was just 36 and I was three months shy of my fourth birthday), I really can't say if any of the fellows in my life were like him.

    But I do know my mom said Dad would have loved my husband. That's nice a thought!

    Great post, Kathy. Really enjoyed it!


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