Happy Birthday, Lucille Ball!

As you know, I like to acknowledge the birthdays of my favorite authors.  And anyone who knows me well, knows that I love classic TV and “I Love Lucy!”  You probably know that Lucy was the queen of comedy, but what you may not know is that Lucille Ball was also an author.  She penned her autobiography Love, Lucy which covers her life through 1964.  It was discovered by her children in 1989.

Lucille Ball was born on August 6, 1911 in Jamestown, New York.  She died on April 26, 1989 from an aortic aneurysm.

Happy Birthday, Lucy!

And in keeping with my theme this month of humorous anecdotes, I’ll share the story of what happened when my kids and my sister and I took a trip to Jamestown to visit the Lucy Desi Museum.  My daughter Stefani was ten at the time, and she loved Lucy almost as much as I did.  We were actually celebrating Stefani’s birthday on our trip.  Upstate New York is filled with mountains and rolling hills, and coming from flat Florida, it was a big change when we moved there.

On our way to the museum, I was driving, my sister Michelle was the front passenger, and Stefani and Jeremy were in the back.  We went over a couple of small hills, then finally over a big hill, and on our way down, Stefani screamed at the top of her lungs, “STOP!”

I jumped and slammed on the brakes, and we skidded to a stop.  We nearly ran off the road as the smell of burnt rubber burned our noses. We all turned to look at my daughter.  My heart was beating a mile a minute.  “What is it?” I asked as I tried to catch my breath.

She pointed in between the seats out the front window and very calmly said, “I didn’t want you to hit that bunny.”  (The rabbit that was taking its time crossing the road was still a good 200 feet in front of the car!)

Talk to me: Have you ever braked to avoid hitting an animal in the road?  Have you ever had someone yell in your ear while you were driving?  Do you love Lucy, too?

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44 thoughts on “Happy Birthday, Lucille Ball!

  1. one of the female pioneers.
    When I was a teenager I worked in a Stewart’s stand. I was working in the ice cream stand one afternoon when a crowd of people had gathered following the local little league game. Often there were more than one person working during the weekend but not this one. Suddenly the soft ice cream machine stuck in the on position. It reminded me of the candy episode when the conveyor brought the candy faster and faster. I filled cones, dishes and eventually a bucket before I could move atop the deep freezer to reach behind and pull the plug. By this point I had cracked up thinking of the similarity to that episode and how hilarious this must have looked from the outside crowd watching this…meanwhile someone kept trying to get my attention at the window to tell me they wanted sprinkles and a chocolate dip. You see when it began, I handed out cones through the window telling them I’d get their money later, knowing not everyone would wait to pay. One of the early experiences in the work force. lol

  2. I’ve done the same for squirrels… If I ever hit a squirrel, I’d never forgive myself. They are such cute, bossy, cheeky, brave, funny little creatures, and watching their antics is such fun. (I sometimes put baffles, etc. on the bird feeders just to watch the show the squirrels put on. And I don’t chase them away much. I figure they’ve earned their food. 🙂

  3. Shirl and I have the most marvelous rows driving. I am the man who applies his foot to ‘thin air brakes’ you see – that is usually how they kick off. As to Lucy I got put off as it seemed to me she was all my mother ever watched on TV. See you’ve got my brain thinking again Rachel.

    • LOL! I bet you two have loads of fun! You ought to give Lucy another chance. She’s brilliant. Especially when you read about how much Desi had to to with modern television. 🙂

      • Absolutely! I babysat a 3-year old this week and he loves her too. And I think Desi has such an amazing singing voice, as well as Vivian Vance and William Frawley. I love when they all get in on the act and sing. 🙂

      • If you haven’t watched her in a while, I bet you’ll appreciate her all over again. Classic TV helps you forget all about the (bad) news of all the crappy current events happening in the world. For thirty minutes at a time, life is just all good. 🙂

  4. I do. I ❤ Lucy!

    My dad taught me not to stop for small animals. Once I was driving the Fraser Canyon in BC and a bird splatted on my windshield. There was blood everywhere. I was mortified. Wow just re-read that; what a downer!

    • Yeah, I remember in driver’s ed, they told us it was more dangerous to avoid hitting them. It seems like the natural thing to do, but I can totally see it causing accidents. 🙂

  5. Lucy was brilliant, I used to stay up all night watching Nick at Nite when I was a kid. Truly classic, truly timeless. “You got some ‘splaining to do…”

  6. AS to the car incidents, raise 3 kids , teaching each to drive and you’ll have some stories- although my kids have more memory on stories from this than I do. (The brain protects you from remembering too much of traumatic incidents. lol) There is nothing like when life lets you know you’ve come full circle. When my son was learning to drive, I was excited- him not so much. He didn’t want to drive- our family experienced the death of a wonderful preschooler, my niece, and in separate incident, my brother-in-law was severely brain damaged. Add to that I was in an accident where I was hit from behind- no harm but terrified because my toddler was in her car seat with me, and a separate accident with a cement truck on a wet gravelly road-no harm but car totaled with bent frame. He had no desire to learn until I told him that he was not going to college not knowing how to drive. (Of course his response of, that’s okay I won’t go then. SO I had to change it to “Well then you won’t leave home until you know how.) He acquiesced. When driving out the narrow lane we lived on another car was coming in. I told Jason to get on his own side ,which didn’t look far enough over. So I grabbed the wheel and gave it a hard turn to the right and pushed on the gas (while his foot was over the brake.). It happened so fast. We ran into my neighbor’s shrubs which lined the property along the road. I made him get out of the car and go to the owner and tell him he hit the man’s bushes because I felt he had at the time. In hindsight I apologized profusely as I did feel responsible later. No real harm was done. The man was very nice. This should have told me to stop teaching kids how to drive (Someone did take my son out and worked with him much to his joy…mine too.) But determined, I taught my next child, my daughter, who managed to go through without major worries. She was cautious- having been the passenger in an mva where they were hit head on and flipped a couple of times- in the SUV. She was badly banged up, fractured nose with displacement and a bad concussion with post concussion syndrome(many memory problems early on and even later for what she read, difficulty in crowds and such, and soft tissue injury involving vertebral stability in cervical area. Scary stuff and because of it happening in midst of her learning, this was postponed for months. My third child, my youngest, my daughter was probably the best at driving- however her confidence frightened me. I was also beginning to have decline in my condition (MS) which had taken my depth perception ans was affecting my vision a lot. Hence many a time I braked on the dashboard with my arms over my face and head. At one point she told me to calm down or she was going to leave me out (in the middle of the countryside mind you). She then proceeded to pull the car over and said “Okay I can’t do that but this car is not moving until you calm down and relax.” There you have it full circle. WHile she drove the best, I was no longer able to handle the stress or to manage my fears well enough to be a very effective teacher. She on the other hand knew just how to handle my break downs. I knew that day it wasn’t just the lives of my kids that was changing. It was mine as well.

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