Tuesday, September 29, 2009

More trivia....Test your knowledge

There were three episodes of I Love Lucy that were colorized. Can you name them?

1. Lucy goes to Scotland
2. LA at Last!
3. Christmas Special (from season 6)

Apparently the colorized version of LA at last was lost for a while so it has not been included as a bonus on any of the DVD sets. So, lets do a short reader poll here.

So you think that all of the other I Love Lucy episodes should be colorized? If not, why? Let's try to get some good fan input on this so tell your friends!

By the way, I'm working hard on digging up a really good prize for our next contest so stay tuned!

(By the way, the picture above is of one of the I Love Lucy collectible bears. This one is from episode #144 - Lucy Goes To Scotland, and was limited to 1500 made)

Monday, September 28, 2009

Hillarious trivia!

I don't know if this is true or not, but according to the Internet gossip site when she was young, Lucy was once fired from her job at an ice cream store because she kept forgetting to put bananas in the bananas splits! I just love that!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Lucy and Max Factor

Did you know that Lucy signed her first endorsement contract with Max Factor in 1935 and renewed it again in 1942. Of all of the Hollywood celebrities of the time, Lucy had the longest association with the Max Factor company and Max Factor himself was credited for the make-up on the I LOVE LUCY television show.

In Lucy's day, Max Factor was highly sought after not only for his talent as an artist but for his knowledge and inventiveness with makeup. He is responsible for two very important developments in makeup back then. In 1940 he invented Max Factor's True Colour Lipstick which was considered the first lipstick where the color didn't irritate or change after it is applied, and in 1947 Max Factor developed Pan Stick Makeup for television. Max is also credited for creating the false eyelash and the eyebrow pencil.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Lucy was a Leo, Desi was Pisces

Since we all love interesting facts about the people we love, I thought it might be fun to note the astrological signs of Lucy and Desi. Lucy was a Leo
, the sign of the lion.

People born under the star sign of Leo are generally confident, ambitious, generous, loyal and encouraging to others. That sums up Lucy pretty well if you ask me. Some of the weaker points to a Leo's personality can be the tendency to be stubborn and melodramatic. I think, if Lucy had those traits, they served her well. In order to succeed the way she did, she would have had to be stubborn not to give up, to keep pushing, to prove that she was right in doing things the way she wanted. Her way. And, every actress or actor has to have a little melodrama in their personality. It's what makes them an artist in my opinion.

Desi was born under the sign of Pisces the fish. This would mean that Desi would have tended to be passionate,accepting, devoted and imaginative. For those who go for this kind of thing, they would also tell you that the stars would have read Desi to have been over-sensitive and somewhat indecisive.

Does all of this astrology talk remind any of you of episode 7 in season 1 where Lucy and Ethel become interested in Numerology and Astronomy? To make a long story short, Lucy almost ruins Ricky's chances of starring in a new musical so to make amends she goes to visit "Mr. Merriweather" (played by Jay Novello) who is also very interested in these same activities. Somehow, everybody is involved in a seance, with Ethel acting as medium, in order to contact "Tilly" (Mr. Merriweather's beloved cockerspaniel) and then Mrs. Merriweather! Anyway, this episode is known as "The seance" episode and usually gets high points on the perverbial laugh meter.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Really fun I Love Lucy Trivia I Thought You Might Like...

Did you know that during the time that the Ricardos lived in in their New York City apartment they had three different telephone numbers! If you can think back, You will remember Lucy and Ricky giving their numbers as "Murray-hill 5-9975", CIrcle-7-2099, and MUrray-hill 5-9099. These numbers were really telephone numbers that went unused by the New York Bell Telephone Company. Why so many changes you ask? When the numbers had to be used, the telephone numbers would call the shows producers and give them a new unused number!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Did you know....

That in March of 1977 a Disco version of the I Love Lucy theme actually became a hit single. It even stayed on the dance charts for three months and on the pop charts for seven weeks! 1977 was the year I graduated high school (uh oh--dating myself here) and I sure can't remember this. I'm ashamed of myself!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Hotels (well, fake hotels) involved in Ricky and Lucy Ricardo's life

The Ricardos stayed in Room 315 and the Mertzes in Room 317 at this hotel. Of course, there's no listing for this hotel in the phone book because it was made up for the show. This is where everyone stayed when Ricky took the gang to Hollywood to film "Don Juan". No matter that it was as fake as Lucy's nose in the Bill Holden scene it was beautiful and you can see a replica of it at the Lucy-Desi playhouse in Jamestown.

True I Love Lucy fans know that we could see this hotel sign out of Lucy and Ricky's hotel window. I couldn't find any listing for this hotel in the phone book so I don't think it was real. Anyone have an info to the contrary, please be sure to let us know.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Hattie Carnegie's Jewelry

As mentioned in an earlier post, Hattie designed a line of costume jewelry that is still highly collectible and sought after today. I would have loved to have seen Lucy in some of these. I wonder if she had worn any of these pieces? It's fun to think that she did.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Some Hattie Carnegie Dresses

To continue on with our Hattie Carnegie storey so we can get a better glimpse of Lucy's modeling days spent with her, here a few photos of Hattie's designs:

Saturday, September 12, 2009


Well, out first contest has concluded and we have a winner! Chosen totally at random, our winner is "Jim W." who, like many of you, choose the Chocolate Factory episode as his favorite. The winning prize was the complete first season of I Love Lucy on DVD. Congratulations Jim! For everyone else, I truly thank you for your entries.

I loved reading about every one's favorites! The chocolate factory and Vitametavegamin came in about tied. The grape stomping and Lucy with Bill Holden in Hollywood were close runner ups. John Wayne's footprints got a lot of votes as did the episode where Lucy told Ricky she was pregnant and where little Ricky was born. You all did a great job. I am planning more contests for the future so please stay tuned. You won't be sorry.

Lucy and Hattie Carnegie

We "Lucy lovers" almost have to credit the famous Hattie Carnegie and her salon with the start of Lucy's career. Hattie was born on 15 March 1889 in Vienna and came to New York where she eventually based her fashion empire.

She rose to fame in the 20's and 30's which was the era of hats for women and Hattie started out as a milliner where owned a beautiful shop on East Tenth street. She called it Carnegi-Ladies Hatter. After that, she turned her attention to her dress shop which she opened in a much ritzier neighbor hood on the upper West side at 42ND and 49Th streets. Now close to Saks Fifth Avenue, the Hattie Carnegie boutique began to cater to a much different clientele. Hattie sold dresses that were her own design as well as dresses from designers such as the famous Chanel and Dior as well as a costume jewelry line she also designed herself. Believe it or not, she even sold cosmetics, but under a different name.

It wasn't long before Hattie's designs were a major success and her client list began to include movie stars and royalty such as the Duchess of Windser and Joan Crawford. Hattie died in 1956 but her dresses, hats and jewelry are still prized and highly collectible even today and often go for outrageous prices and they are worth every Penny!

When young Lucy graduated from high school and went to New York City looking for work and to make her mark on the show-biz world, she thought she'd try her hand at acting but when some teachers at the actors studio told her she was basically talentless (can you imagine!!!), knowing she needed to eat, Lucy decided to give modeling a try. Thinking that the name "Diane Belmont" (after the famous race track in New York) sounded sophisticated, she applied for a job at the famous salon. Because of her height and slim figure, she was hired.

Hattie took a instant liking to the skinny, long-legged girl and saw something in her that that others didn't. She used Lucy more often than her other models because she never complained, worked hard and always maintained a sense of humor. She also had the body to carry off all the looks in the salon. Hattie also recommended Lucy for the "Chesterfield Girl" billboard ad campaign. It seems as if it was a match made in heaven. This photo is one of our Lucy modeling. I can't be sure if this is a shot where she is wearing one of Hattie's designs or not, but it is beautiful and so is our girl. Despite the fact that Lucy was a redhead (for most of her life anyway)and "they" say redheads should wear pink, Lucy adored pink and looked gorgeous in it. This particular Hattie Carnegie dress did NOT belong to Lucy but she would have looked gorgeous in it!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Women from Mars! New Lucy and Ethel Kelly doll Set coming SOON!

There are the most adorable Lucy and Ethel Kelley doll sets I have EVER seen, and the Women from Mars episode is one of my favorites (and no one mentioned it in the contest). The last set I bought was the "Lucy and Ethel get Paris gowns" when Ricky and Fred make those horrible burlap sack dresses. Anyway, you can pre-oder these dolls at Cathy's Closet or from the Lucy - Desi museum gift shop. Both links are under "my favorite links" to the right side of this blog. Don't miss out. These are very collectible. Remember, "It's a moo-moo"

Thursday, September 10, 2009

More Jamestown fun....

I'll be you didn't know that New York State's largest community theater is named after Lucy! The theater's season runs October through May so if you do take that Fall trip you can check it out. The Lucille Ball Little Theater of Jamestown can be found at 18 E 2nd Street.

Now, for my favorite two place, almost anywhere. I never get tired of going here. My family thinks I'm crazy but I could go here every day because I find something new and amazing every time I go here. Once, at the Lucy-Desi museum, the exhibited one of Lucy's hairbrushes with some of her hair still in it. I know that makes me sound like one of those crazy Elvis people that save a piece of old meat that he ate that still has his bite marks in it but this is different. I Love Lucy was in black and white and to see the actual color of that famous red hair was truly amazing to me.

Anyway, The Lucy-Desi museum is located at 212 Pine street and is an incredible way to spend a few hours. You will get a truly inside look at Lucy and Desi. Although the exhibits keep changing, I have seen and was able to read personal letters sent between the two that has brought me to tears, I have seen costumes both had worn in episodes on the show, seen some of Lucy's favorite gowns, dishes that Lucy owned, furniture from the Desilu studios, and so much more. It is definitely worth the price of admission, and speaking of admission, you get a discount on both if you also go to the Desilu playhouse which is on 2 West 3rd Street and you won't want to miss it.

The playhouse is named after the studio where I Love Lucy and countless other TV shows were filmed. When you visit this place, it is like stepping into the lives of the Ricardo's and you will NOT want to leave. There are EXACT replicas of the Ricardo's apartment right down to the fireplace, the mantle, the kitchen, the dishes, the knick-knacks, every single thing in that apartment we know so well is right there in front of us and believe me, you will want to jump right over that rope and become part of it.

They have also replicated the Hollywood hotel suite down to every last minute detail. I don't know how they did it. Every last detail is perfect. You can see the tiny bicycle that Pepito the clown rode on one of the I Love Lucy episodes, costumes from some of the shows and there is even an area where you can act out the Vitametavegaamin commercial yourself. And if you love dolls, there is an extensive doll collection with everything from baby dolls to Mattel barbie dolls.

After stilling through both of these, you can visit the gift shop, one of the most complete Lucy stores anywhere, that also has an extensive mail-order catalog. Every penny of the proceeds goes towards upkeep of the Lucy-Desi Center. Check it out at

So, there you go, the highlights of the trip. Jamestown, NY should be put on your to-do list. If you have any questions, fire away and prepare to have the time of your life!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

If Your Are Going to Jamestown....

I might have mentioned this before, but I am from upstate New York and Jamestown (Lucy's hometown)is just about the halfway mark between where I live now and where my family is in New York so we will often meet in Jamestown.

I love Jamestown. Much like many places in upstate New York, it's a homey little place with old brick houses and a great little downtown with neat shops, cozy little eateries and fun pubs. We usually stay at the Holiday Inn (only because we have preferred customer cards) and there is a gorgeous oil painting of Lucy hanging behind the front desk that once hung in Lucy's own home in California.

The home where Lucy was born still stands at 69 Stewart Avenue and the home where she lived as a child is there as well at 59 Lucy Lane (which was formerly called 8Th Street) in Celeron (just a hop,skip and a jump from Jamestown).

Most of the things you will read will tell you that Lucy is interred in California, but that is not the truth. Lucy's ashes are in the Hunt family plot in the Jamestown Cemetery with her other family members, and you can drive thru the small cemetery and pay your respects.

If you have read any biographies, you know she spent a lot of time at Celeron Park (she even got a job there as a young teenager) which was a major amusement park in the area. It is now the Lucille Ball Memorial Park and is on Chautaqua Lake and only a short drive from Jamestown.

I would suggest a trip to Jamestown anytime between now and the third week of October or so because you have never seen fall color as you will in Upstate New York at that time of year. The mountain scenery is ablaze and any camera buff or "Lucyite" will be thrilled. If you do make the trip, please report back. I'll tell you more about Jamestown in my next post.

Monday, September 7, 2009

More news about Desi

Of was course we all know that Desi Arnaz was born in Cuba, but did you know he was born into a very wealthy and privileged family. Desi's father, Desiderio Arnz II, became the mayor of Santiago, Cuba in 1923 when Desi was just a boy of 4. His mother, Dolores de Acha was thought to be one of the most beautiful women in all of Latin America and was heiress to the Barcadi rum empire.

According to all reports, Desi was a very spoiled little boy, yet showed the promise of quite a mind for business even then. His father put him in control of about 100,000 acres, a large number of race horses and was making plans to attend the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. Wow, that one really shocked me.

Anyway, I thought you might enjoy this photograph of Lucy, her mom, Desi and his mother Dolores. If you look really close, I think she looks a little bit like the little lady that played Ricky's mom on I Love Lucy.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Desi's real name anyone? and other interesting facts about out favorite Cuban band learder.

If you know the answer to these questions, you'll be ready for any trivia contest regarding Lucy and Desi so study up! You never know when you might win something exciting! Desi's birth name was officially "Desiderio Alberto Arnaz y de Acha" which he thought would be too long to catch on.
"Cuban Pete" wasn't just a song that his alter ego Ricky Ricardo sang on I Love Lucy, but was a movie Desi start in where he earned the name "Rhumba-King".
Lucy and Ricky were actually married twice...the first time was in Connecticut because the two were so in love they couldn't bear to be out of each other's sight. The second one was an official Catholic ceremony back in California to please Desi's mother who was a very devout women. (actually, if you want to be a stickler, you could say they were married three times because there original marriage was loosely re-enacted on one of the episodes of the show).
Desi bought Lucy's first wedding ring was bought for $5.00 at Woolworth's!
Desi was once the bandleader for Bob Hope's radio show. He and Lucy remained life-long friends of Bob.
Desi's first major part that brought him acclaim was for the hit show "Too Many Girl's" on Broadway. When he went to Hollywood to re-create the roll for the Movie version, it was there that he
Born: Mar 02, 1917 in Santiago, Cuba
Died: Dec 02, 1986 of lung cancer
The photo of Desi and Lucy's wedding is taken from a Saturday evening post magazine, May 31, 1958.
met Lucy and things were never the same again!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Did you know that Desi and Lucy were dog lovers?

Early in their marriage, Ricky and Lucy owned a 5 acre ranch in the San Fernando Valley which they named Desilu. Among other animals they raised chickens, cows and had about 5 or 6 dogs. Ricky and Lucy were such animal lovers that although they ate their chicken's eggs and drank their cow's milk, they never killed their animals for food but treated them all like pets. Their dogs were coddled. Lucy had a toy poodle she named Tinker which frequently traveled with her. In fact, she had a succession of five toy poodles, all of which she named Tinker and she loved them all dearly. Just another reason to love Lucy.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Little known facts about William Frawly

In 1928, William was fired from the Broadway show `She`s My Baby` starring Beatrice Lillie for allegedly punching Clifton Webb in the nose.
Bill always loved to sing and did a lot of it in his career in his earlier days. This was a big surprise when I found this out, but supposedly, it was Bill, and NOT Al Jolson who introduced the son "My Mammy" to vaudeville audiences!
Never got along with Vivian Vance and in fact, they detested each other!
Was Catholic, was born in Iowa, and his first job was that of a stenographer for a railroad. William Frawly was in more than 100 movies!