Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Lucy and Desi

On weekday mornings, in the early 1960s, while waiting to leave for school, among the tv shows my sister and I would watch, was "I Love Lucy". The show was in syndication by then, and the episodes were repeated time after time, and it got to the point where we'd eventually know much of the dialog.

In 1982, I wrote to both Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. Both had been long-divorced, and remarried to others.

Ms. Ball signed this photo I sent her with a very simple inscription. I'd like to believe she really signed it and that it's not a secretarial. I'd heard she was responsive to fans' requests for autographs, and I believe it to be true, because it took about three months for this to be returned.

Mr. Arnaz sent me a letter, advertising the newly-released record album of music from the "I Love Lucy" tv show. He also signed the photo I sent to him.

I did see Lucille Ball in person, in 1963. It was in the days when movie stars made personal appearances in cinemas around the country, in conjunction with their current feature movie. Bob Hope was with Ms. Ball when they appeared on-stage at my local RKO Proctor's cinema, interrupting the showing of their movie "Critic's Choice". Gary Morton, Ms. Ball's husband, also came onto the stage and was introduced, then quickly left. Their total time on stage was less than 10 minutes. They did some comedy banter, then answered a few questions from the audience. Finally, they asked everybody to look under their seats, and if a large white card was found, that person received a copy of the book the movie was based on. I recall six people walked up to the stage and were handed their prize by the stars. I did take a few pictures, but they didn't come out because the flash was not bright enough for photography from about 100 feet away.

1 comment:

catsafterme said...

Bill,

I've heard rumours that anything signed in 'blue' was a secretarial. However, from my experience with Lucy's signatures, autographs that look more like they say "LAVE LUCY" are legitimate (which is what you have), while the more deliberate "LOVE LUCY" is a secretarial. Very hard to tell on this one.