A Letter of Love and admiration to Lucy By R.E. bertlow


 

 

Lucille Désirée Ball was born on August 6., 1911. in James Town New York. She would have been one hundred years old this year. who knew that at the very moment she was born so was comic genus in one of it’s rarest forms. We as Americans became witness to to one of the most brilliant lights in the entertainment industry.

 

For me Lucille Ball has and continues to be one of the people who inspire me. When I discovered that we shared the same birthday that explained a lot to me.

 

While I am no comic genus, but I have learned a thing or two from Lucy. Lucy taught me that not everything is going to work out the way you want and that’s Okay just as long as you keep trying. She persevered and always managed to make lemonade out of lemons. The other lesson was Laugh

 

 

I can remember getting ready for Y Indian Guides and watching I love Lucy right up until the moment we had to leave for the meeting or start the meeting depending on whether or not we were hosting it. I was only five and six years old but these memories are as vivid to me as if they had happened yesterday. The loaf of bread coming out of the oven and pinning Lucy against the sink cabinets, the Subway ride with the Johnny Longden’s loving cup on her head, or being stuck at the French Border because she thinks she sent her passport ahead so she send Ricky ahead to get it.

 

 

 

My love Affair with Lucy began at a very early age I was probably about 4 years old when I saw my first episode of I Love Lucy. My parents were pleased that that had found a program their hyper-active child would sit through. For what ever reason I just seem to connect to the show and it’s leading lady. I could sit through episode after episode. It is the one program I can watch over and over again even though I had seen each episode multiple times by the time I was seven. I would later realize that we shared the same birthday. For me that was a wonderful discovery. I shared my Birthday with one of the greatest comedic actors ever.

 

Lucille Ball was not a comic, she was a comedic actor. She wasn’t the person who delivered one liners or funny antidotes. What Lucy delivered was physical comedy at it’s best. She was master at her craft. Whether she realized it or not she also taught me tone of the most important lesson in life. Never give up. Lucille Ball was brilliant at delivering that message week in and week out right there on my television screen. And I fell in love with every single moment of I love Lucy and The Desilu Play House. I could always be guaranteed some side splitting laughter and that message of Never give up.

At one point I could pretty much recite episodes verbatim. I surely did Love Lucy and Still do.

I would have dreams at night about going to a taping of I Love Lucy even though the show was no longer in first runs.

 

When I was seven I went with my family to Los Angeles for a competition my older brother was in. When my parents said we were going to take a tour of the movie stars homes I was ecstatic and made sure Lucille Balls home was on the list to see. By this time she had married Gary Morton and was doing the Lucy show. We all got in the family van (open road camper van) We could have been riding in the old Cadillac Fred bought to go to Hollywood with I wouldn’t have cared. I was going to get to see where one of my favorite people lived. As we started the tour I felt like Lucy and Ethel on the tour of the movie star homes. In my seven year old’s brain I was Lucy and my mom was Ethel and we were here to track Movie Stars. I pictured myself falling over Richard Widmark’s wall Grapefruit in hand having to hide under a bear skin rug as Ethel waits outside wondering where I have gone to and Richard and Ricky enter the room.

 

As we weaved down the different streets and canyons My mother began to tell a story about a friend of a friend who had actually gone up to Lucille Balls front door and rang the door bell. (Back then not all actors lived in walled off compounds that never gave you even a glimmer of hope that you might see the famed one whose house you came to see but whose gate is your only view) The way my mother relayed the story it was if this friend of a friend had broken in to Lucille Balls. home. Back then self respecting people did not invade other peoples privacy.

 

Lucy became the constant in my life. If I was feeling blue I had Lucy to cheer me up by sucking up Luckle Color in Italy or playing female martians on the empire state building with Ethel to cover what they thought was a five dollar donation to an old school chum only to find out the promised five hundred dollars and not five. Lucy was my constant. When Life had me backed into a corner, there was Lucy waiting to make me laugh with just the tune of a channel. A half hour with my favorite red head and I felt rejuvenate. One half hour of side splitting laughter can do wonders for ones mental state.

 

I have always felt a strong connection to Lucille Ball. Maybe it is because we share the same birthday or whether it is something more. I do know that I have always found her inspiring..

 

I became fascinated with all thing I Love Lucy. I had watched every episode of and I even own Episodes of “Here’s Lucy” and the subsequent shows that followed. While I enjoyed them , for me it was always I Love Lucy that did it for me. There was something about that cast, those four people, that made for comedy brilliance. For me, it wasn’t until the Carol Burnett show that comedy Brilliance would be seen again.

 

Both of these television programs had excellent writers but it was their leading ladies ability to do what every it takes to make em laugh. They were never concerned with whether or not their make up was in place. There only concern was the laugh.

 

Lucille Ball has one of the longest recorded laughs for a comedy bit. The Laughter runs a full minute from end of bit to when a cast member speaks. The Tango with Eggs is just as funny as when It originally aired.

 

I like that I Love Lucy is the longest running program in syndicate. I love Lucy went into syndication just a short while after it had gone off the air. In some markets it continued to run in a prime time slot. In my area it came on at 7:30. Lucky for me that wasn’t y bed time. Of 8:30.

 

I love Lucy and Lucille Ball developed my sense of Humor. I have a strong sense of the absurd. And few had such a strong sense of the absurd and how to make it work to their advantage. Lucy and her writers Madelyn Pugh Davis and Bob Carroll Jr did. Who else would think to put a loving cup on there head. I am grateful for that sense of the absurd.

 

Here is to Lucy, I’m thrilled we share a birthday. I thank you for all the Laughter and know that in another hundred years I love Lucy will be the longest running show in syndicate at 150 years running. Lucille will look down from above and be proud of the timelessness she was a part of creating

 

Happy 100 Lucy know you are missed.

 

 

 

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