Still in Love with Lucy

by Thomas Watson

Monday, June 14, 2004

Dear Fellow Lucy Fans,

Remembering Barbara Whiting

We are saddened to report the death last Wednesday of actress Barbara Whiting, who -- with her sister, singer Margaret Whiting -- starred in the 1950s Desilu sitcom, Those Whiting Girls. (In the photo to the right, taken on the Desilu set, Barbara's the brunette.) Barbara died of cancer at St. Joseph Mercy Oakland Hospital in Pontiac, MI. She was 73.

The daughters of song writer Richard Whiting, Barbara and Margaret were chosen by Lucy and Desi to headline their own situation comedy series in 1955. The 13-week series served as a summer replacement for I Love Lucy that year. Actress Mabel Albertson co-starred as the girls' mother. The show was so successful that 13 additional episodes were produced for the summer of 1957.

A short time later, Barbara married Gail Smith, gave up her career, and moved to Pontiac, Michigan, where she was a longtime volunteer and patron of the Pontiac hospital in which she died.

Lucy's Birthday Weekend Planned in Jamestown

Plans are taking shape for this year's celebration of "Lucy's Birthday Weekend," in Jamestown, New York. The festival is set for August 6-7-8, and will include tours, seminars, visits from people long associated with Lucy and her career. Ric Wyman, Executive Director of the Lucy-Desi Center there plans to unveil the entire schedule of events later this week. We will update you when that schedule becomes available.

Lucy in the Classroom

For years, teachers have been working Lucy and her I Love Lucy adventures into their lesson plans... A couple of days ago, we heard from John Chase, President of M.U.S.I.C. (Musicians United for Songs in the Classroom) of Oneonta, New York, who tells us at least one industrious 8th grader who chose to salute the redhead as part of a class project. He wrote:

Every school year my 8th grade social studies students are assigned a final research project that requires them to learn about a historic person or event and then sketch or build a model of a memorial for that person/event.

Each student must prepare a class presentation during which they share their research information with the class, display and discuss their memorial, and then play a dedication song. This year one of my students created a Lucille Ball Memorial.

The song the student chose -- appropriately! -- was "That's Entertainment." Here's a quick view of the student's project:

Have a great week everybody!


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