Still in Love with Lucy

by Thomas Watson

Monday, August 16, 2004

Oklahoma, or Bust!

Lucy's longtime personal secretary, Wanda Clark, and her husband Peter were guests of honor this past Saturday at a special "Goodbye Hollywood, Hello Oklahoma" party, held in the home of Irma Kusely, Lucy's hairstylist for over 40 years. Wanda and Peter are relocating to Oklahoma later this month.

Guest list included many of Wanda's longtime Lucy buddies: Frank Gorey; Cleo and Cecil Smith, and their son Marcus Smith (Cleo and Wanda first worked together at Look Magazine in the early 1960s. It was Cleo who recommended Wanda to Lucy when the comedienne was searching for a secretary); Irma and her son Jim Kusely; Terry and Leslie Price (Terry was Gary Morton's secretary during the halcyon days at Desilu and Lucille Ball Productions); Tommy Tucker (Tommy was Lucy's cue-card man for many years); Jimmy Garrett (co-star of The Lucy Show); and Bernie and Barbara Weitzman (Bernie was head of Desilu's business affairs department for many years).

Wanda's friend Melody Thomas Scott was unable to attend -- but sent a special gift for those who were there: T-shirts bearing a heart, enscribed "We Wuv Wanda."

Cleo Smith, left, and guest-of-honor Wanda, right,
flank party hostess Irma Kusely.

Lucie Arnaz, also unable to attend, sent a colorful bouquet of helium filled balloons.

Other party guests included (among others) Michael Stern, Rick Carl, Stuart Shostak, Garret Boyajian, George Ridjaneck, Richard Brock, and yours truly. A highlight of the evening was a special "video tribute" to Wanda and Peter, produced by Boyajian and Ridjaneck.

Jamestown Festival Sets August Record

Lucy's Birthday Celebration, held in her hometown of Jamestown, New York over the weekend of August 6-8, set new attendance records, according to event producer Ric Wyman of the Lucy-Desi Center. Among the highlights was a special Saturday-evening Lucille Ball Fashion Show, that presented 20 outfits from the Lucy-Desi Museum collection. Film clips were used to show Lucy wearing many of the items.

The presentation, hosted by Erie, PA, television personality Lisa Zompa, also included an interview with author Allan Glaser and artist Rick Carl, creators of the new "I Love Lucy Paper Doll Book." Carl and Glaser spoke highly of fashion designer Elois Jenssen, and shared with the audience a special video, produced by George Ridjaneck, saluting the lady's most famous Lucy creations.

Finale of the evening featured Lucy impressionist Diane Vincent, who, with Rick Carl, recreated the scene from I Love Lucy's Hollywood Fashion Show, in which Lucy Ricardo models a Don Loper tweed suit while sporting a sunburn!

Fans gather after the Fashion Show (left) to get autographs from author Allan Glaser
and artist Rick Carl; and (right) for a "photo op" with impressionist Diane Vincent.

Here's Lucy on DVD

Just a reminder that the new "Best of Here's Lucy" DVDs will be available in stores beginning tomorrow, August 17. The 4-disc package includes some 24 episodes of the series, along with a bumper crop of "special bonus material" (sketches from Jack Benny and Ann-Margret specials; commentary by Lucie Arnaz, Desi Jr., and Carol Burnett; a Pepsodent commercial, etc.). The set retails for $34.95.

That's the news from here... Have a great week everybody!


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