March 18, 2012

We Love Lucy - Part 2

As I described in the "We Love Lucy - Part 1" post, we became obsessed with watching I Love Lucy.  This was last summer (2011), we were just about done watching all the episodes, and I was looking for somewhere Lucy-related we could go for fun.  I thought perhaps there would be a Lucy Museum in New York City or something (we live in North Jersey, very close to New York City).  It turns out that there was a  Lucy Museum in New York, but not New York, New York.  It was in Lucy's hometown of Jamestown, New York, a good 7 hour drive from where we live.  Furthermore, not only did this town have a Lucy Museum (entitled the Lucy Desi Center), but every summer they have an annual "Lucy Fest" where they celebrate all things Lucy!  And not only that, but this particular year, Lucy Fest occurred over what would have been Lucy's 100th birthday!  This was too good to be true!  So we decided to go on a little road trip and spend a long weekend in Jamestown for Lucy Fest!

We got there Friday night just in time for the big parade.  Marching bands and flag twirlers from all over the country marched along with Lucy-themed floats, as hundreds of Lucy fans lined the streets to watch!
The next morning we went on a tour of Jamestown, and saw Lucy's house, Lucy's high school, and even Lucy's grave.

We also got a great overview of the town of Jamestown, which as the proud birthplace of Lucille Ball, has huge Lucy murals painted on various buildings throughout the city.
We then went to the Lucy Desi Museum, which had lots of Lucy and Desi related artifacts, such as the saxophone that Lucy often played in I Love Lucy and one of Lucy's Emmys!
After that, we visited the Desilu Playhouse, which had replica sets from I Love Lucy!
We then went to a staging of My Favorite Husband, Lucy's radio show before I Love Lucy, which was hosted by Greg Oppenheimer, son of I Love Lucy creator and head writer Jess Oppenheimer.
For dinner, we attended a dinner show in a replica Tropicana Club (the night club where Ricky would perform on I Love Lucy).  The show featured Lucy, Ricky, Fred, and Ethel imitators who sang all of the memorable songs that were sung on I Love Lucy.  And for dinner, Ricky's favorite dish: Arroz con pollo (chicken with rice)!
After dinner, we attended an outdoor screening of the film Stone Pillow, a drama that starred Lucy as a homeless woman living in the streets.  While this certainly wasn't the hilarious Lucy that we usually think of, it was interesting to see that she wasn't just a silly comedian, but also a very talented actress.  It was the last film Lucy ever made before she died.
The next morning we went on a boat cruise in a nearby lake and got to meet Joe Mayer, one of the twins who played Little Ricky as a toddler on I Love Lucy!
And after that, we headed home.  We really had a wonderful time in Jamestown and really enjoyed Lucy Fest!  If anyone's interested, they just announced Lucy Fest 2012!

But now that we've finished watching every episode of I Love Lucy,  and being more obsessed with Lucy than ever before, we had nothing to watch!  WE NEEDED MORE LUCY...

(Coming soon, We Love Lucy - Part 3!)

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