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Happy 100th Birthday Lucille Ball!


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OMG, YES! Can't wait.

An interesting tidbit: I took a Politics in Media course in my undergraduate degree, and one of the units was TV. We watched a few Lucy clips, and our teacher asked us what we thought. We noted all her milestones: pants, working, all the fun things. Then our teacher told us to watch them again, tell us what happened at the end. And finally, after having to watch the clips a total of four times, someone finally said, "It's almost like for every step she tasks out of the 1950's housewives boxes, she ends up taking two bigger ones right back in."

I've never looked at the show the same sense, but it that is, in a sense...very true.

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An interesting but very sad fact regarding Lucille Ball was that her last television show--"Life With Lucy"--was both a commercial and critical disaster. (This ABC sitcom aired for just two months in the fall of 1986). Although this was Lucille's only professional failure, she took the news of the show's cancellation very hard, to the point where she believed that the American public no longer loved her. After the show's demise, she rarely gave interviews or made public appearances. One of the few exceptions to this was when she did appear alongside Bob Hope as a presenter at the March 1989 Academy Awards; she died one month later.

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Before I became sick, my wife and I used to go to the twice-a-year Lucy-Desi Festivals in Jamestown, NY. Over the years, we met Carol Channing, Mickey Rooney, Isabel Sanford, Richard Simmons, Keith Thibodeaux (who played Little Ricky), Lucie and Desi Arnaz, Jr., and Marilyn and Roz Borden (Teensie and Weensie - episode #112). In fact, Marilyn was a close correspondent of mine, via phone and e-mail until her death a few years ago. My last e-mail from her was less than three weeks before she died. My wife and I participated in the 1st Annual Masquerade Contest (2003 - the last year I was able to attend). You had to dress up in a costume from one of the 'I Love Lucy' episodes. My wife dressed up as the woman Lucy fought with in the Grape Vat Stomping episode, and I was dressed up as Fred Mertz/Little Lord Fauntleroy from the episode in which a pregnant Lucy hired an English tutor, and wanted everyone to speak 'the King's Englisg' in front of the baby. Dark blue velvet outfit, knee britches, wide brimmed hat and an even an all-day sucker. And just like Little Freddy, I sang 'School Days, Schhol Days, dear old golden rule days..." I won for 'Funniest Costume.' Although, we are saddened that I have been unable to travel in recent years, we are thrilled beyond belief that our 25 year old niece has moved from Indiana to Jamestown and has joined the staff of the Lucy-Desi Museum. I taught her everything she knows about Lucy. My niece told me that the museum director was amazed at her knowledge of Lucy, and she happily credited 'Her Uncle.'

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