Happiest Day of My Life? It REALLY Was!

‘I just want to say that it the happiest day of my life, it really was. And everybody said it would be and it was.’

With an arm firmly around the waist of her adoring husband and as she gazes up at his handsome face; Nicole talks about the ‘happiest day of my life’ to the videographer on the eve of her wedding day and perhaps if history had taken her and her spouse along a different path; February 2 2018 could have been the 33rd year of her union to one Orenthal James Simpson.

Alas, their union as man and wife lasted a mere seven years and all that remains to us of that fateful day in 1985 are the poignant images of the happy couple and that unanswered question; ‘How could it have all gone so terribly wrong?’

It’s probably a question that the poet Lord Byron was also asking himself on this very day in 1816 as his union of 54 weeks to the former Annabella Milbanke was beginning to unravel in a spectacular fashion and although the popular newspapers had a field day with the tales of the poet’s acrimonious separation which hinted at incest, sodomy and murder precipitating Byron’s exile to Europe and which is still  discussed and argued about some 202 years later!

My 3 x Great Grandparents also married on this day in the coastal town of Scarboro in 1868 and as they are buried together in the local cemetery after a long union which produced nine off-spring; I am quietly confident that no skeletons will come tumbling out of the family closet in the very near future but please don’t hold me to it.

Come to think of it, the month of February remains a strong favourite for a family betrothal as my history journals chronicle several more who journeyed into wedlock during this month; myself included; however and in the words of one Judge Lance Ito let’s return to the Simpson matter!

Having shamelessly neglected my Facebook page in memory of Nicole for several week, today I shared a few edited images of her as a bride and although most have been well received, I had to delete some of the abusive comments posted by one visitor to the site who was furious with me for including the name of ‘Simpson’ as if the man she married had no place in the history of her life.

Now, what’s in a name I hear you ask?

The lady herself is known the world over as Nicole Brown Simpson; a name her family still  use and which remained her legal name until her death and  let’s not forget that in those 911 calls recorded in October 1993 when asked her name; she replied that she was called ‘Nicole Simpson’ even though she had been divorced for over a year and despite the fact that Simpson was still  causing her emotional trouble.

However tempting it is to scribble over those unpleasant tales in the narrative of our history and to air-brush those we dislike from our family tree or to simply deny the existence of others who demean our sense of who we belong to; I have always believed that our duty to the truth is to let our history stand; no matter how imperfect or offensive we may later find it.

And as history records that on this day, Nicole believed that she had married the man of her dreams, her ‘one true love’ and that February 2 1985 was for her at least the ‘best day’ of her life.

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Twenty Three Years After THAT Verdict and the Protest Continues!

This is THE post that I should  have shared yesterday but I did not on account of a lack of time, natural light and inclination!

Despite the issues of time and natural light notwithstanding for as I had published six (yes, six!) stories about the anniversary of THAT Verdict by yesterday evening; the only inclination that remained was for me to crawl away into the dark night and watch a trashy movie with only a huge slice of cake for company And no, the trashy movie that I watched was NOT about the Simpson Matter!

For even though the Late (and great!) Dominick Dunne had once argued that the Simpson case was like a ‘great trash novel come to life, a mammoth fireworks display of interracial marriage, love, lust, lies, hate, fame, wealth, beauty, obsession, spousal abuse, stalking, brokenhearted children, the bloodiest of bloody knife-slashing homicides, and all the justice that money can buy’; THE movie that I enjoyed featured quite a number of the above, although thankfully minus the bloodshed for the only ‘corpse’ at the finale was a metaphorical one!

However, enough of my weekend evening television viewing habits and back to the matter in hand – THE Simpson Matter and the incredible realisation that  October 3 2017 marks the twenty second year since the reading of THAT verdict; you know, the one that begins with: “We the jury… find the defendant, ‪Orenthal James Simpson, NOT guilty of the crime of murder… upon ‪Nicole Brown Simpson, a human being…”

For it was on a cold and dark Tuesday evening and I was returning home from my flower shop in the City of York in a car packed with fellow travellers including school bags, grocery shopping and a 11-week old baby, (thankfully silent!) as I turned on the radio to listen to the reading of THAT verdict from some 5,000 miles away.

In her brilliant memoir Without a Doubt,  prosecutor Marcia Clark shares the reaction of Simpson’s defence attorney to THAT verdict as ‘not the verdict I would’ve thought.’… You can say that again Bob Shapiro!

I was so convinced that I would still hear a ‘Guilty’ verdict despite those allegations of LAPD incompetence and the charges of racism that tried (and failed!) to obscure the powerful circumstantial evidence and Simpson’s long history of domestic abuse…

Alas, as it was not to be and at a distance of twenty two years, I thought it would be interesting to share the reactions of some other Simpson supporters and detractors and of their feelings about THAT verdict that I have published on my other blogs and as I felt that a little mischief was entirely appropriate, some ‘creative’ imagery has also been included.

If you click on THIS link you can read the stories from Marcia Clark and Kris Jenner and over at Nicole’s House… Mike Gilbert will take you behind the front door of Simpson’s former abode on Rockingham Avenue and you can join Dominick Dunne as he takes a walk along the tiled walkway at 875 South Bundy Drive.

And from her book Bitch, I have included a controversial essay by the fabulous Elizabeth Wurtzel over on my A Life in Headlines blog including a scathing indictment of Simpson’s guilt from the brilliant Andrea Dworkin and of her observations about the complicated relationship between Nicole and Simpson.

Although I agree with Wurtzel’s belief that Nicole’s death was a ‘stupid waste of a life of a woman’; I do NOT support her assertion that her death supported ‘well-intentioned but still fruitless attempts to make it into a clarion call for domestic-violence awareness’ and here’s my reason why: for since 1994, I have been a witness to subtle and positive change that despite the divisive issues that had surrounded the trial of Simpson, Nicole’s tragic death was to  illuminate a much needed awareness about domestic abuse and that many women who upon learning about Nicole’s life and death were to find a renewed strength and resolve to leave their abusive partners and this STILL continues to be the case, more than twenty three years later.

Do you recall the ‘11-week old’ baby who slept his way through the reading of THAT verdict, I told you about?

Well, this is him in the image above in his 17th year and as THE poster boy for the Real Man Campaign to raise awareness about domestic abuse and on behalf of the UK charity Women’s Aid.

The Nobel Laureate and political activist Elie Wiesal once said that “There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.”

And on that note, I bid you ‘Adieu’ for now and thank you for Remembering Nicole Brown Simpson!

Me and My Shadow! Recollecting Nicole…

On Sunday June 12 1994 Nicole Brown Simpson became a public figure overnight for on that balmy Sunday evening she was senselessly and brutally murdered in the grounds of her home at 875 South Bundy Drive in the leafy suburb of Brentwood in California.

Her murder trial and that of her friend Ronald Lyle Goldman who had been murdered alongside her became known as the ‘Trial of the Century’ with her former husband Orenthal James Simpson as the accused.

It is hard to believe that Nicole was murdered over twenty two years ago for I can remember the BBC news reports and the iconic photographs of the bloody pathway lined with the neat rows of purple and lilac Agapanthus.

I also remember the farcical ‘Bronco Chase’, the sensational headlines week after week in The National Enquirer, the court testimony of Mark Fuhrman and the shock of the “Not Guilty” verdict on October 3 in the following year.

And yet what I most recall is the realisation of a grotesque dichotomy that despite the voluminous photographs of a beautiful and happy Nicole that she had in fact been abused by Simpson throughout most of their seventeen year relationship.

I just don’t see how our stories compare -I was so bad because I wore sweats & left shoes around & didn’t keep a perfect house or comb my hair the way you like it – or had dinner ready at the precise moment you walked through the door or that I just plain got on your nerves sometimes…

Published in October 1994 and written by her friend Faye Resnick, Nicole Brown Simpson: A Private Diary of a Life Interrupted was the first book that I ever bought about Nicole and I am still reading about her.

She was the subject of my Thesis in 1999 and remains the purpose for my work ever since.

There are literally hundreds of books that have been written about the life of Nicole and of her life with Simpson and the tales of glamour, celebrity, wealth and beauty have frequently made her appear remote, abstract and insignificant.

Yet it is the very tragedy of her early death that makes her life a compelling human story of hope, love, obsession and betrayal and that is why I choose to remember her.