T w o.
Again I say, spoiled.
What makes me really spoiled is when Hubby takes me somewhere we've already been....without complaint, with my younger brother, and with driving the entire way.
I suppose I should repay him by never making fun of his fantasy football obsession and watching every Sunday night game with him.
The latter might be pushing it.
But he so deserves it.
Third Stop: Jamestown, NY- I Love Lucy Museum
Though I Love Lucy was a show of the fifties, my brothers and I grew up alternating between recorded video tapes of Lucy, The Three Stooges, and The Marx Brothers.
To us, it might as well have been 1950.
Not a one of our friends ever knew what we were talking about when we told them of the shows we watched, but it didn't matter. It was something we shared and something that still today when we see it we think of home, we think of falling asleep in the living room, and we think of each other.
This is of course part of the reason I simply couldn't refuse the chance to take Jonathan to the Lucy Desi Museum in Jamestown, NY.
After several hours on rainy highways, we needed nourishment immediately upon entering Jamestown.
With its Lucy memorabilia displayed on shelves, in frames, and on counter tops, Babalu Cafe fit the bill to start our day filled with Lucy. Used to the lunch break time restraints of the workers in this tiny industrial town, our waitress made sure to inform Hubby that the burger he ordered would take twenty minutes to make. I could appreciate recognizing that lunch rush diners are most often in a hurry.
I also appreciated the prices. No one wants to pay over ten dollars for a sandwich at lunch time, even if they are in Lucille Ball's hometown...that's just silly. For the three of us, our total bill was under $25. The only addition I would make to the Babalu Cafe is what Jonathan asked for the minute I told him where we were going for lunch: tables made out of drums.*
I became a "Cast Member" on this visit. For a $50 donation to the Lucy-Desi Center for Comedy a few of the perks I received were:
- Membership card and certificate
- Unlimited free admissions for myself and one guest
- 15% discount on all gift shop purchases
- Lucy-Desi Center bumper sticker
- Lucy-Desi Center Member tote bag
- Laughs, Luck...and Lucy: How I Came to Create the Most Popular Sitcom of All Time written by Jess Oppenheimer
My membership basically paid for itself because Jonathan and I spent ridiculous amounts in the gift shops. Regardless, I had planned to become a member this time because I Love Lucy was such a part of my childhood that contributing to the lasting memory and preservation of all things I Love Lucy seemed the thing for me to do.
*Think of the first episode of the Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour: Lucy Takes a Cruise to Havana
There are two different entrances to the museum. Visitors can either begin on the Lucy-Desi Museum side or the Desilu Studios side. On both our visits, we started on the left at the Lucy-Desi Museum. This section is a collection of memories and pieces of Lucy and Desi's childhoods, adult lives, and lives together as a married couple. While there is some mention to I Love Lucy on this side of the museum, it is not the highlight.
Towards the end of the museum is a room playing a video about the Lucy Festival held every August.* In the back of the room is a movie projector that was in Lucy and Desi's Beverly Hills home along with a sketch of the layout of their movie room. Their setup was pretty high tech for the time this must have been used during. They had a projection room that the projector was hidden in to block out the heat it produced and its noise. The heat was taken up through chimney stacks that were connected to the top of each projector. A screen came down from the ceiling when movies were to be viewed.
*We missed going to the Lucy Festival by only a few days!
At the end of the Lucy-Desi Museum you can sign their guest book. Here is what Jonathan wrote:
Desilu Studios is dedicated to all things I Love Lucy. I didn't notice any major additions from the time Hubby and I had gone alone. More than likely, finding new pieces for the museum requires hunting down people who knew Lucy and are willing to part with something of hers or something that was used in her show.
On this visit, I saw this:
In case you can't read that tiny print, in 1981 the mayor of Los Angeles proclaimed October 15th to be "I Love Lucy Day" in honor of Lucille Ball and in recognition of the talents of the cast members of the greatest television show of all time.
I think I'll be participating in that holiday from now on.
At the end of Desilu Studios, you can recreate the famous "Vitameatavegamin" scene from the episode "Lucy Does a TV Commercial". I forced Jonathan to do it.
The museum can be completed in under two hours, and there aren't any glamorous bells and whistles, but if you love I Love Lucy it will certainly find a special place in your heart from the minute you drive into the city of Jamestown.