Seventy Years Of Lucy

The groundbreaking television show I Love Lucy premiered on this day in 1951. Seventy years ago. It was the first tv show to air in ten million homes and has aired in over seventy countries since then.

I visited Lucille Ball’s hometown this spring and have written about things to see and do there as well as how the show changed television history. Their influence during these early years of television is remarkable. Lucy’s on-screen parter was also her real life husband and business partner Desi Arnaz. Together, they built an empire that gave us the studio audience, multiple cameras, syndication and even shows like Star Trek and Andy Griffith.

You can read about the impact that Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz had on television history here.

My Jamestown visit was loads of fun. The National Comedy Museum is located here and there’s a wonderful local history museum in addition to the Lucy attractions. Lake Chautauqua provides great opportunities for outdoor recreation and you’re close to Lake Erie.

I highly recommend staying at the Doubletree in downtown Jamestown because that puts you within walking distance of most attractions. You get free parking and it’s a good neighborhood. The Lucytown Tour takes you past Lucy murals, statues and landmarks including her childhood home. For me, the best part was seeing the recreated TV sets and watching their old home videos at the Lucy- Desi Museum.

Before you go, be sure to spend some time watching a few episodes of the show! I watched the entire series this winter and had a great connection to the sets, props and other artifacts on display at the Lucy Desi Museum.

Down A Rabbit Hole

It takes precious little to send me down a rabbit hole when I have time to go pursuing random and unneeded information.

For example, my 100th book of 2020 was “Love, Lucy,” the autobiography of Lucille Ball.

This book is superbly done and it felt as though Lucy was sitting there chatting away about her life through the mid-sixties. Throughout, she mentions a number of movies, plays, actors, places and other subject matter that kept me reach for Google.

Her mention of beloved actor Gale Gordon reminded me of early mornings a few years ago when I would get up early for reruns of “Our Miss Brooks.” This sent me looking for information on actress Eve Arden who starred in this show that was produced by Desilu Studios.

She always reminded me of Lucille Ball but I didn’t realize that they had worked together and that she had also played the school principal in the Grease movies.

And then I went looking for other shows from the Desilu production family. All were long before my time and many unfamiliar to me. However, a number of hit shows were filmed at their studios including Andy Griffith, That Girl, Gomer Pyle, My Three Sons and the Dick Van Dyke Show.

I used to love the Dick Van Dyke Show and so I went looking for clips which led me back to this awesome music video by the Dust Bowl Revival that stars Mr Van Dyke.

Really, it never gets old so watch it.

It was about this time that I remembered my visit to Stonewall Jackson’s Headquarters in Winchester, Va. where I learned a story with a Mary Tyler Moore connection. Click the link above for that story!

And then I went looking for pictures from my Winchester trips.

This microphone was used by Patsy Cline and can be seen at her childhood her home.

And this is a brief glimpse into my mind when I have too much time to think and peruse the internet.

Exhausting, isn’t it?