‘Once Upon a Time… In The Valley’: Episode 7 – Surf City, USA

‘Once Upon a Time… In The Valley’: Episode 7 – Surf City, USA

‘Once Upon a Time…in the Valley’, a new podcast series co-produced and co-presented by Vanity Fair’s Lili Anolik and The Rialto Report’s Ashley West, continues today with the seventh episode.

Episode 7: Surf City, USA
We leave the Valley and Traci Lords behind; go back to Redondo Beach and to Traci Lords before she was Traci Lords, when she was Nora Kuzma.

Download wherever you listen to your podcasts. New episodes will drop every Tuesday throughout the series.














Press for ‘Once Upon a Time…in the Valley’:

Air Mail: The Movie Star’s Movie Star

Traci Lords



  • Posted On: 11th August 2020
  • By: Ashley West
  • Under: Podcasts


  1. James Benson · August 11, 2020 Reply

    This goes from strength to strength. The research and intelligence behind each episode is streets ahead of anything else.

    Can’t wait for the next episode already………………….

  2. Larry · August 11, 2020 Reply

    Just when I thought the story was told – you take it in an unprecedented direction, and reveal an all-new cast of characters. Bravo to all.

  3. Jim · August 11, 2020 Reply

    Maybe I judging things by today’s world with internet porn, twitter, instagram, etc. but I really find it hard to believe that no one from Traci’s high school watched a VHS tape and said “hey, I know that girl”. I know porn is was harder to come across back then but someone had a dad or uncle or older brother that owned a tape they could have found. You interviewed a lot of people from her high school, did they know what she was doing? The comedian Adam Carolla went to high school with Christy Canyon and tells the story about how all his friends knew right away that she was doing movies.

    • Barry Holt · August 12, 2020 Reply

      Hey Jim,

      Of course schoolmates knew of her VHS tapes… but if you listen to the timeline in this excellently researched podcast, she didn’t start making adult films until well after she dropped out of school. So sure they found out….. after she stopped going to classes.

      The timeline is as follows:
      Traci is in high school -> Traci appears in men’s magazines -> her high school friends find out about the magazines -> she drops out of high school in shame as a result -> Traci starts to make adult films -> her (now ex-) high school friends find out about her adult films.

  4. Jim · August 13, 2020 Reply

    I agree with that, and it a very well researched podcast. The fact that she dropped out doesn’t really explain it. They could still watch the tapes and say “hey that’s Norma, I remember her we used to go to school together and shes underage”.

    Even if you believe that everyone in the adult industry didn’t know that she was underage, it had to be where everyone at her high school did know. Or at least all boys who watched porn (so everyone). The one thing about this that I always found surprising was that at no point in that timeline was “and her friends spill the beans” because they (or one of them) connect that that they are the same age (i.e. underage). I remember a girl I went to HS with was on one of those only girls gone wild tapes and that made the rounds very fast.

    I work with kids and they awful at keeping secrets. I guess there just less avenues to get this out there then there are today. I might be just in the mindset of social media posts going viral and rumor mills today that can spread across the country in hours and back then a rumor mill had geographical limitations.

    My point is that many people knew that she was underage at this time and it only takes one person to tell someone that can do something about it.


    • Paul · August 15, 2020 Reply

      It’s an interesting point – but it also ignores who these kids were….. as the podcast makes clear, many of these kids were gang members, ‘back-yard fighters’, with absent parents, deeply mistrustful of authority figures.
      I work with kids too, and the idea that any of them would call the cops, social services, or a local newspaper just would not happen. Or more laughably, that they would call up “the porn industry” to tell them they’re working with an underage girl?? The lack of social media meant everything was just word of mouth in 1984.
      Traci’s films took place in a relatively short period of time, and the time they were on the shelves to when she was busted, was only a matter of months – easy for them to pass under the radar.

    • Kyle T. · August 17, 2020 Reply

      As an indication of how imperfect communication is….. you’ve called her Norma.

      Her name is Nora.

  5. Paul Murray · August 16, 2020 Reply

    I agree with Jim but can see your point too, Paul.
    Traci/Norma must have had a ‘reputation’ even in HS because the notion that she went from there to an exceptionally promiscuous lifestyle involving teams of guys and diving boards in the blink of an eye is hard to accept.
    Given their own lifestyles and testimony on here it also wouldn’t be a huge leap of faith to imagine Traci with Suze or Humphrey, separate or together.
    I also find it difficult to believe she immediately became a nun immediately on leaving the Biz but that’s for another day.

  6. Larry · August 16, 2020 Reply

    The film you should be looking at, though filmed in Johnstown, is “Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains”. I think Nora must have seen this film and it IS the life she lived, right down to the family relationships. Diane Lane is traci.

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