Friday: We arrived in Jamestown after a six hour drive. I met Cathy of Cathy's Closet at the collectors show. Ric Wyman, author of "For The Love of Lucy" was also there with his collection. That evening was the screening of "Forever Darling" at the Reg Lenna Civic Center, formally the Palace Theater. It was so amazing to sit in the same theater Lucy did when she was a kid and watch her up on the screen. That was probably one of my favorite events from this weekend. The theater is really nice. The second level has pictures on the wall of Lucy and there is a case that has the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences nomination plaques for the show and Lucy.
Saturday: The grand opening of the Lucy-Desi Museum was Saturday morning at 10:00. Some of the speakers were Phillip Morris (no relation) head of the Chautauqua County Arts Council, the mayor of Jamestown, the local congressmen's representative and some others. Lucie Arnaz was going to be there but had just finished a 5 week tour and wanted to get home to her kids. A letter from her was read. In addition to the opening of the museum at the ceremony Desi Arnaz was officially made an honorary citizen of Jamestown because his hometown of Santiago was destroyed after the revolution. The museum was really nice.
Kind of small, but that's probably all the room they had. As you went around the museum it told about their lives on long walls with pictures on them. There were display cases in the center that had some of the lots that are going to be auctioned this July. After that they will be replaced with other things they have in stock. In the back they have a viewing wall with clips from the Home Movie special, a piece on how Lucy's childhood and hometown ties were used on the show and a piece on her childhood with interviews from her friends. My favorite picture in the museum was of Lucy and Desi standing back to back against a door, holding hands and looking over their shoulder at each other. It was probably taken in the early 40's at Chatsworth. It was such a sweet photo.
Saturday Evening: The show Saturday evening was entitled "Broadway Loves Lucy" and used songs from her movies and other Broadway shows to describe her life. It was good and the one guy could really sing.
Sunday: Sunday morning we
went on the Lucy Town Tour. We started at the Civic Center
and then took a trolley to the Fenton Historical Society. They had a display on Celeron Park and a Lucy room. Many of the pictures were donated by Marion Van Vlack and some other people. They also had a dress that was given to Marion by Lucy and the fabric from the curtains she had in her Beverly Hills home.
After there we went to 59 Stewart Ave. in Jamestown to see the house Lucy was born in. It's not in too good of shape but there is a marker out front. There was a "for rent" sign in the second floor window. I'm contemplating a move. We then went out to Celeron to see the house Lucy grew up in. The street it's on was renamed Lucy Lane awhile back. Our tour guide said that the 80 year old lady that lives there bought the house just after the Hunt-Ball family lost the house after the shooting incident. After there we saw where Celeron Park used to be on the lower end of Lake Chautauqua. One of the last places we saw was the apartment building the family moved into after they lost the house in Celeron. The tour ended down on Second Street by the Lucille Ball Little Theater. In the lobby they have some pictures of Lucy and in one of their cases they have the playbill from one of Lucy's first plays, "Within The Law".
Sunday Evening: The
entertainment Sunday evening was Bob Newhart. He was really good.
This had to be one of the best vacations I've taken. You gain a
whole new impression and respect for a person when you visit
their hometown and see the places that influenced them.
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