The Times reports today ( 4 July 2012) about a Hollywood traffic patrolman who found a unique way to increase his collection of signed photographs of the great movie stars of the 1950s and 1960s. Roy Garrett from the Los Angeles Police Department would wait until he spotted a screen legend behind the wheel of their car, follow them at a discreet distance and wait for the inevitable traffic violation. It could be running through a red light, failing to use an indicator, a defective brake light or breaking the speed limit. It did not matter, because the outcome was always the same. In return for waiving the traffic ticket he always wanted a signed photograph of the star. The stars all kept their side of the bargain. He kept the photographs in the drawer of his bedside table until his death 15 years ago. His daughters are now selling the collection. The outstanding autograph is from Marilyn Monroe who signed – ‘To Roy, love and kisses and thanks for keeping me out of the clink’.
What is special about this autograph is that Marilyn Monroe was notoriously reluctant to sign photographs to strangers which is what makes it worth so much. Estimates by the auction house for this unique image are around $8000 (£5000).