Still in Love with Lucy

by Thomas Watson

Monday, August 18, 2003

Dear Fellow Lucy Fans,

"Desilu" Documentary Airs Sunday

"Desilu," a special documentary offering a unique in-depth look at the business relationship and personal lives of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, will premiere on Bravo cable network this coming Sunday, August 24, 9-11PM (Eastern and Pacific zones).

Nearly five years in the making, "Desilu" offers a who's-who of celebrity testimonials and a treasure trove of classic clips, revealing Lucy and Desi like never before. The documentary focuses on the behind-the-scenes history of Desilu studios -- the company that started by producing a single series -- I Love Lucy -- but wound up one of the most successful studios of all time.

"Desilu" was produced by We Love Lucy's Kurt Fethke, and was endorsed by Lucie Arnaz as the perfect companion piece to the two television specials she produced about her parents. "Our 'Home Movies' documentary focused on their home life,' Lucie said, "and the '50th Anniversary Show' celebrated I Love Lucy. This one examines mom and dad's company, how it grew, and how it gave us such classics as The Untouchables, Star Trek, Mission: Impossible, and Mannix."

Museum Collectible

The Lucy-Desi Museum in Jamestown, NY, is offering a very special Lucy Collectible: the 2003 "Lucy's Birthday Celebration" posters (photo right), matted and autographed by the celebrities who participated in the weekend. Included are Carole Cook, Keith Thibodeaux, Jimmy Garrett, Rick and Ron Simmons, columnist Steve Dale -- and such "Lucy insiders" as Wanda Clark, Frank Gorey, Elisabeth Edwards, Diane Vincent and Michael Stern. The posters are a "limited edition" of 50, and they sell for $125 each. (One to a customer, please.) Funds raised from the sale of this poster are earmarked exclusively for archival purposes -- i.e., preserving the priceless Lucy items owned and displayed by the Museum.

For more information visit the museum gift shop web site at

Lucy-Desi Museum Festival Posters

Keith Thibodeaux in Secaucus

For those who may have missed Keith Thibodeaux in Jamestown, the actor who once played "Little Ricky" will be making a special personal appearance (along with other celebrities) at the Super Mega Show and Festival, September 20 - 21, at the Crowne Plaza in Secaucus, New Jersey. Keith will be signing autographs and participating in question and answer sessions with the audience.

For more information, visit the Super Mega Show web site at

New Lucy Biography in Bookstores

Just what the world needed -- another biography of Lucille Ball. This one is "Ball of Fire," by Stefan Kanfer, published by Knopf, and priced at $25.95. We just received our copy, so we will postpone an official review until a later date. A brief scanning of the text, however, raised a few concerns: the author has apparently taken quotes and information from a wide variety of previously- published materials, and yet there are blatant errors that jump off the page. In his discussion of Lucy during the 1953 "Red Scare," for example, he says the I Love Lucy company was in the midst of rehearsing and filming "Ricky's Life Story." While that episode did indeed open the 1953-54 season, it had been filmed the previous May. The episode in question was "The Girls Go Into Business," as is carefully documented in both Bart Andrews' "The I Love Lucy Book" and Steve Sanders and Tom Gilbert's "Desilu: The Story of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz." Such errors often raise the question: if the author gets the basics wrong, what does that say about the rest?

Christmas... Already!

It's still August, and already retailers are bringing out their Christmas wares! This year's I Love Lucy-inspired Christmas ornament from Heirloom Collectibles is now in the store -- Lucy in a grass skirt and lei, doing the hula, from "Ricky's Hawaiian Vacation." The animated ornament sells for $19.95 in US dollars; $24.95 in Canadian dollars, and is available wherever Carlton Cards are sold.

Mary Jane Croft Auto for Sale

The automobile once owned by Lucy-sidekick Mary Jane Croft, is for sale:

The car is a 1986 Dodge SE Turbo Convertible with only 59,000 miles on it. Current owner Patrick Ziegler, who received the car from Ms. Croft, tells us, "It runs great, and the Air and Heat are excellent. There are, however, a few glitches -- the roof is tearing a bit and will need to be repaired in the next year or so. The right window goes down by pushing the automatic button UP instead of DOWN. The panel under the steering wheel broke and needs to be replaced. Other than that, it is really a great car and a lot of fun to drive with the top down. The car has great sentimental value for me, so I hope it goes to a good new home."

Patrick is asking $1500 for the car, or the best offer. For information, contact Patrick at

More Memories of Jamestown

And finally, our thanks to member Michael Stern, who sent us these photos from last weekend's "Lucy's Birthday Celebration" in Jamestown:

Carole Cook camps it up with yours
truly and her husband, Tom Troupe.
A rose between two, uh, Toms...


Every Tom, Dick & Harry's named Richard...
(left to right): Ric Wyman, Rick Simmons,
Rick Carl, and Richard Brock.


(l to r): Rick Carl, yours truly, Ron Simmons
Jimmy Garrett and Rick Simmons


Saying goodbye at the Buffalo airport... Photo left:
Museum volunteer Michael Valvo poses with Frank Gorey.
That's Rick Simmons with the suitcast on the left, and
Michael's dad Ron Valvo behind. Photo right: Museum marketing
director Pat Brininger with Wanda Clark.



Have a great week, everybody!


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Original materials © 2003 Lucyfan Enterprises. All rights reserved.
"I Love Lucy" is copyrighted by and a registered trademark of CBS Worldwide, Inc.
Images of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz used with permission of Desilu, too, LLC.
Licensing by Unforgettable Licensing, Northbrook, Illinois.