Sandra’s Occasional Newsletter – July 2021

Sandra's Occasional Newsletter, Publicity photo of author Sandra V. McGee


A little bit of news… but not too much. 

A Favorite Quote

Shameless Promotion: 75 Years Ago At Bikini

July is the 75th anniversary of the first postwar atomic bomb tests code-named Operation Crossroads. Headline from the San Francisco Chronicle, July 1, 1946

Excerpts from Bill McGee’s Atomic Memoir 

Archival Film Footage

NBC Radio Live from Bikini, Test Baker, 25 July 1946

The late renowned broadcast journalist Don Mozley (left) was one of the on-air voices on NBC’s live broadcast from Bikini (listen to Mr. Mozley at 1:05-1:26). In 2009, Mr. Mozley was the narrator for Bill’s Learning To Cope With Sight Loss. Photo taken at Command Productions, Sausalito, CA, 2009


Once Upon a Time in RENO: The Marilu Norden Story

Marilu Norden, Hotel Riverside, Reno, 1957

In 1951, the glamorous singer/dancer Marilu Norden registered at the Pyramid Lake Ranch to wait out her six weeks for a “quickie” divorce. The Pyramid Lake was 34 miles north of Reno in Sutcliffe, a location that was remote then and still is today. Other notables who stayed on the Pyramid Lake for a divorce were journalist A. J. Liebling in 1949 and playwright Arthur Miller in 1956. Miller writes in his autobiography that the Nevada desert and the cowboys he met provided him with the idea for the 1961 film The Misfits. (According to Liebling, there’s more to this story, but that’s the subject for another post.)

After getting her divorce, Marilu performed at the Hotel Riverside. In her caption to the above photo she writes, “In my show biz days, this was the costume I wore as lead singer in a show at the Riverside Hotel in Reno. I sang Blues In The Night strolling a proscenium stage as eight chorus girls danced behind me!”

Marilu recounted her time in Nevada getting a divorce in her novel, Unbridled – A Tale of a Divorce Ranch


Marilu and Bill reminisce about the good old, bad old days when Reno was the Divorce Capital of the World. Scottsdale, AZ, 2012

(Photos courtesy Marilu Norden and her son, Chris Norden)

This is another true story from The Divorce Seekers – A Photo Memoir of a Nevada Dude Wrangler by Bill and Sandra McGee.

Thank you for reading this month’s missive and take care…


3 thoughts on “Sandra’s Occasional Newsletter – July 2021

  1. Love the pictures of Bill. His version of Cowboy was so much larger than ordinary life. Bob and I are going to Reno tomorrow for a few days. The one person I would really like to tell that to is Bill! 😁
    xoxo Mary Ann

  2. I remember Don Mozley. A year before Crossroads, I was on a ship with troops and aircraft, zig zagging our way up from Guam to Lingayen Gulf in the Philippines, when I heard about an atomic bomb being dropped on Hiroshima on AFN. It seemed like science fiction.. Of course, at that time, the big “Next Thing” was to be the invasion of Japan, for which we had no love. The letters “RFI”(Ready For Invasion) were chalked on materiel, which was imminent. DB

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