I have started another blog for various postings about Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, one of my life long obsessions! You can visit the blog at www.LucyArchives.blogspot.com or click here. I don't intend to re-post everything I post there on The Nostalgic Rambler, but thought you might especially enjoy this blog entry.....
"The 1950s sitcom "I Love Lucy" was my obligatory viewing every weeknight. Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz became my idols. Although the reruns were still quite popular, no one had tapped into the huge marketing of Lucy products so pervasive today. That didn't frustrate me! I produced my own fan articles. Cutting out a picture of the Arnazes, I sent it to a poster company and had my own poster made for my bedroom. I had a sweatshirt produced with the words "Lucy-Desi Power" emblazoned on it. I was a fan.
Channel 50 was my Lucy station and their studios were just up the road a bit from Grandma and Grandpa's house. I thought it would be a great place to work some day. Broadcasting sounded like the future I had picked for myself. Not only did they show "I Love Lucy" on a regular basis, Desi Arnaz had also made a recent appearance there on the "Lou Gordon Show." Gordon had a sometimes controversial talk show interviewing various local and national celebrities and politicians. I was in heaven when Arnaz came to Detroit to promote his autobiography entitled "A Book." I tried calling into the show when his interview came on, but found out it had been pre-taped.
|These were bookmarks promoting the book that day.|
|My book "The Little Grownup: A nostalgic Michigan boyhood"|
The good news was that he was going to be at Northland Mall to sign his new book. Of course I pestered Ma to no end and she agreed to take me to the book signing. It was a once in a lifetime meeting for me. Mr. Arnaz had accomplished so much during his lifetime, marrying the beautiful Lucy, starring and producing in their landmark series, and owning the famed Desilu Studios.
The man at the mall was still larger than life but a bit saddening. He hadn't aged well and certainly didn't look like Ricky Ricardo anymore. He still did have the same hat Ricky wore. He had a cigar in one hand and a glass of beer close by as he graciously chatted with the fans and signed their books. I asked him if he would ever return to television in a special with Lucy. He said "I would love to, but it's up to her." He signed my copy of his book "To Hans, Gracious! Desi Arnaz." I also brought along a copy of an "I Love Lucy" biography written by someone else. He hesitated signing it at first, saying it was full of mistakes. He then inscribed it "I forgive the author," and signed his name.
|This was the only book on the market about "I Love Lucy" when Desi's book came out.|
|Desi didn't think much of this book but autographed it anyway. Years later the author Bart Andrews himself autographed it for me and added "I accept"...whatever THAT meant!|
|My prized autograph (using my legal name!)|
Unfortunately we didn't bring a camera along. I'm sure the picture of me with white haired Desi Arnaz would have become a full sized poster, too!"
Added comment: Somewhere I must still have the audio cassette tape I recorded off of the tv with Lou Gordon talking to Desi. As I recall Lou kept grilling Desi about his "girlfriends" and Desi was not amused.