Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Lucy In An Elevator

Today Imma lookin' Lucy.

I have come to work dressed in my navy blue dress with white polka dots. I have my hair all piled on the top of my head... pearl earrings and red lipstick and the attitude to match.

I have always possessed a "mild" fascination with Lucy... nothing too over the top, which I'm sure is hard for those of you who know me to believe, because I generally do everything to the hilt!

I enjoy watching her shows. I can't help but stop while channel surfing to watch an episode I've seen a billion times. Her picture stomping grapes has been prominently displayed at the top of my blog since the blog's inception. watch clip here

 I've had several self-proclaimed "Lucy" moments in my life, and refer to them often! Like the time my friend and I decided to add bleach highlights to our hair. She ended up with thick stripes and I had a bleached checkerboard on my head! Or, just last week while curling my eyelashes, I cut half of them off with the crimper! Even one of my coworkers shared with me the other day that she thinks of Lucy every time she sees me! What a great compliment!!!

But, goofy Lucy mishaps aside, not I have set a new personal achievement goal of memorizing and reciting the Vita Meata Vegamin routine. ... watch clip here   I have practiced day and night and night and day, learning to pronounce every nuance of the routine. My plan is to surprise a dear friend with this routine at her birthday party....UPDATE: read about how I crashed and burned here

I have to think that Lucy would be flattered that I want to learn one of her most revered routines.... after all, she knew me!

OK, OK, she didn't really KNOW me, but she spoke to me.... one of my most memorable childhood moments, next to having Red Skelton fix my bike at a hometown parade.

It was 1975 and I was just as impulsive then as I am now. I had suffered a nasty fall that had resulted in breaking both bones in my right wrist. Now the break was traumatic enough, but I had just celebrated my 8th birthday in which I had received my very own personalized bowling ball AND I had been practicing for weeks to be in my first parade as a baton twirler ... both activities were promptly placed on hold now that I was in a full arm cast and looking at the possibility of surgery.

After the initial visit to the ER, the setting and casting ordeals, my mother and I were on a follow up trip to the nearest hospital, a mere 80 miles one-way, for some follow up x-rays to determine if I would be in need of surgery.  My mother located a parking spot at Eisenhower Medical Center in Palm Springs and we went inside.

Once in the lobby we were directed to the elevator and informed which floor to report to. As we waited at the elevator door, a woman joined us. I recall that she had on a light, cream colored suit, a sheer scarf around her head, and sunglasses. Her arm was in a sling.

As the elevator door opened, we all three went inside. My mother is a social creature, much like myself, so it didn't surprise me when she began chatting with the woman in the elevator. I looked up at both women as they spoke and laughed and nodded heads as things were said.

The conversation couldn't have lasted long, as most rides in an elevator don't tend to last more than mere seconds. But they seemed to be talking like they were lifelong friends catching up on the latest news. What I recall from that conversation was the woman relaying to my mother that she had fallen off of a ladder. She said this as she lowered her sunglasses with her free arm and exposed her badly blackened eye. The fall was obviously the reason for her injured arm as well; something I could relate to as I showed her my cast. She patted my cast and smiled warmly at me as I lifted it up to her. "Oh dear", she said to me. "You'll be OK. Look! I hurt my arm, too." ... She was so kind.

The elevator door opened, farewells were exchanged and the lady stepped off. The doors closed and I looked up at mom mother and asked her who that lady was. "Why, honey, THAT was Lucy!"

With the scarf, glasses and obviously looking much older than I envisioned her (as I had only seen her in her syndicated re-runs), I hadn't even realized I had been in the presence of comedic greatness.

I chastise myself now, realizing what a missed opportunity it was. But, I also realize just how gracious my mother was! She didn't become star-struck and get all goofy being in the elevator with a Hollywood legend; she spoke with and treated Lucy with the same regard as anyone else riding an elevator that day. I'm sure Lucy was grateful for that. I, on the other hand, had I known, would have thrown my arms around her and inform her of just how much I loved watching her shows and just how much she made me laugh. Oh, how I wish I would have been able to tell her that.

After that day, I watched episodes with much more reverence and joy, just knowing that I had shared a moment with her. Not many kids can say that... I'm glad I can.

I Love You, Lucy....  thank you for making my childhood bright and full of laughter!


  1. Are you sure it was Lucille Ball, and not an acquaintance of your mother that just so happened to be named Lucy?

    - J2

  2. @anonumous... No, quite certain it was Lucille Ball. In the 70's it was quite common to see celebrities in Palm Springs. My brother on law waited on Bob Hope among others... Perhaps the tone on which my mother declare "that was Lucy" is lost in the writing as it was quite evident to me, even at my tender age, who she was speaking of. Also, as we lived 80 miles away in a small mining community on the middle of the desert, I assure you, this was no acquaintance.