Loving Lucy

I love Lucy.

If you do too, then you know that tomorrow, August 6, 2011, would have been Lucille Ball’s 100th birthday.

I knew quite a few people who would have turned 100 this year, but this weekend we celebrate Lucy.

If I had thought about it earlier, I would have planned to revisit the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center in Lucy’s hometown of Jamestown, N.Y. I made a pilgrimage there several years ago, when it was just a museum—and a monument of sorts. I decided then that one of my dream jobs would be the cashier in the gift shop. The Center has been vastly expanded since then and now offers a Tropicana room, which you can rent out for parties. Maybe I’ll celebrate my 100th there.

I’ve been an I Love Lucy fan since I saw my first rerun as a young child. It would be hard for me to choose a favorite episode, but I can say with certainty that the most famous ones are not my favorites. “Job Switching” (the candy factory), “Lucy Does a TV Commercial”  (Vitameatavegamin), “Lucy’s Italian Movie”  (stomping grapes), those are for amateurs. “Bull Fight Dance” and “Ethel’s Birthday” might be in my Top 10, along with “Mr. and Mrs. TV Show,” in which Lucy and Ricky sing a jingle I still remember. Do you?

I like any episode in which actor Frank Nelson appeared. He played several different roles throughout the show’s run, most of which included his signature “EEE-Yeeeeeeeeesssss?”

Lucy’s writers played with words, lampooning Ricky’s Cuban accent and occasionally poking fun at English. Remember this one?

I could go on and on. Many documentaries have been produced and volumes written about this American icon and her imprint on American culture. There are hours—even days—to be spent going through the Jamestown museum. Go and see it for yourself.

Do you love Lucy? What’s your favorite episode? How will you celebrate her 100th birthday?

I’ll be away tomorrow but when I get back, I plan to take a day off with my two cats—Ricky and Lucy—and invite my friend Sara to bring over her complete collection of DVDs. I’ll put on my hostess pants and serve up a bottle of Aunt Martha’s Old Fashioned Salad Dressing.

Like Lucy in Episode #98 (“Lucy Cries Wolf”), I may be tied up for a while. See you sometime next week.

8 Comments

Filed under In Memoriam, Movies, Television and Radio, Travel

8 responses to “Loving Lucy

  1. Polly

    Wish you were in Jamestown for the festivities… lots of people are!

  2. Sheree

    Maybe amateur, but my very, very favorite episode is “We’re Having A Baby, My Baby and Me”.

  3. Word Nymph

    I love that one. Have never made it through without crying.

  4. Wonderful trip down memory lane!
    One of MY favorites was where she dresses up as “Superman” for Little Ricky’s birthday, and the “real” one shows up.

  5. Dudley Wilson

    one of my favorite episodes, other than the ones you listed, was when the four of them were in Hollywood and Lucy and Ethel, after Ricky and Freds manipulating, wore the horse feed bag hats and burlap dresses, thinking they were the latest styles…she also did a great segment in that Hollywood series with Harp Marx…I have a box collection of I Love Lucy dvds that I will watch also to celebrate her birthday

  6. I’m barely old enough to remember seeing it in its last couple of years in prime time, when I was VERY young. Seeing it in reruns later, it seemed lame because every sitcom since stole ideas from it, and the gags were old by then. Needs to be understood in its own time. I sometimes wonder whether it turned the Cubans against us all on its own, with the misunderstanding that can happen across cultures.

    It’s been observed that Saudi women who dare to defy the law and drive have “the smile of Lucy Ricardo”.

  7. Carolyn Seaton

    Thanks for reminding me of this scene. It’s priceless. Lily and I were just enjoying it again. WHY didn’t we go to Jamestown this weekend?

    You made Sara’s day with this blogpost.

    Happy Lucy 100th.

  8. I used to watch Lucy all the time when I was growing up. Would love to see the museum. Great clip!

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