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Brenda L Maldonado, EzineArticles Basic Author

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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Oh Natalie, Say It Isn't So..

 In recent days, news about Natalie Wood's case being re-opened has also opened an old wound for those of us who adored and admired her beauty, talent and vulnerability. I still recall that sad morning in 1981 as I prepared for school while listening to the radio; a news bulletin announcing Natalie Wood's death, broke through the airwaves and at that very moment, I felt my heart skip a beat, I stopped dead in my tracks then ever so slowly made my way into the kitchen and towards the radio as if the slow motion and the closer proximity to it would cause one of two things, either help me grasp the reality of it all OR reverse and nullify the announcement in its totality.
But indeed it was true, she was gone from us in a tragic drowning accident, he said. My stomach was in knots all day at school and yet, I couldn't understand why the news had devastated me so, after all, it's wasn't as if I knew her for godsake. It could be that from the moment I saw her in 'Gypsy Rose Lee' I was struck more so by her vulnerability than her fragile beauty; she seemed as fragile as the character she portrayed in the movie before the character comes into her own. And even then, it was her own vulnerability which allowed us to see through Gypsy's tough facade. Or maybe perhaps, it was the fact that even in my short existence the sad tale of Romeo & Juliet had already taken a hold of me, so imagine my delight to see her in the role of Maria; someone with whom I could identify growing up as a young impressionable  Latina in New York City in the '70s. Oddly enough, it was after her death that I came to learn that she too was the little girl in 'Miracle On 34th Street', I knew then and there that she would forever live in my heart as little Susan. 
Although her death has always remained as just another Hollywood mystery, deep down I was never truly satisfied with the official findings at the time. Even as a naive young girl then, something told me the reality of her death was not as cut and dry as it had been reported to us. Now, fast forward to a few days ago when my heart jumped with glee as I heard of the re-opening of the case. Oh what a difference 30 years does make. As the HUGE Christopher Walken fan that I am, all I have to say is that I would be doubly devastated to find out he contributed at all either to her death or its cover up; Oh what a day of woe that would be for this simple girl from Brooklyn whose first true love has always been and will always be, the Hollywood of Old and..., the not so old of course. Boy, the dreams I spun looking out onto the pavement from the window of our little apartment are countless; these dream sequences would most often occur shortly after taking in one of the many classics, others were spurred on by Elvis Presley Marathons, he-he...

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