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Screenland and Silver Screen Magazine articles


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These are are a collection of short articles from 1940-1944. I bolded some interesting parts.




Lucille Ball, who wears several lucite caps when she's before the camera, recently gave Victor Mature a bad scare. She forgot to remove her caps before a scene in which she and Victor struggled violently with each other. Vic sailed right into it. Suddenly Lucille's caps, jarred loose, went flying in all directions. Hunk of Man, not knowing she wore them, thought he really had knocked her teeth out. And for once in his life he was too stunned to speak.






Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz are another couple who do little gallivanting. Before Desi went into service he and Lucille definitely preferred to stay at home together — happy in their own way.




At home Lucille and Desi aren't so calm and collected as they appear in public. They're violent lovers who quarrel and make up and quarrel and make up. Desi's jealous. Desi has the Latin temper. Once sitting in the patio with friends while he strummed his guitar in accompaniment to those sad songs he loves to sing, he was angered by something Lucille said. Whereupon Lucille dodged his guitar — expertly! Make what you like of that.




Before Desi marched off to war, they used to work on their farm in the Valley; wear overalls, get in and pitch. Literally. Their friends love to tell about the time Desi rushed into the house to fix a stove which was acting up, stuck his head into the contraption without taking off his big straw hat and had it go up in flames. He lost half his hair and his eyebrows before the cook put the fire out. Lucille just stood by helplessly screaming.





Desi Arnaz marched off to war clutching the potato knife given him by his wife Lucille Ball. Lucille will carry on at the ranch while Desi is away. Friends of both sincerely hope the handsome Cuban will come home more grown up emotionally. Lucille can be patted on the back for keeping that marriage going . . .




1940 Silver Screen

When Lucille Ball met Desi Arnaz, who appeared in "Too Many Girls," on Broadway, and was brought to Hollywood for the movie version, she completely called off her romance with Director Al Hall. Desi arrived in Hollywood with the reputation of being the best conga dancer on Broadway. He now has the reputation of being the best conga dancer in Hollywood. But Lucille had better look out — the fascinating Desi has the reputation also of being a ladies' man.





That new Northridge rancho owned by ' Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball is a dog's idea of heaven. When they moved in, Desi and Lucille Ball gave a housewarming. In answer to requests, they said they preferred trees to any other kind of gift. So trees of every kind and color arrived. George Murphy's tree was the most unique of all. George brought a "hat tree."




All is sweetness and light between Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. Being away on a personal appearance tour has given them a perspective on Hollywood they never had before. Now they can hardly wait to get back to their ranch at Northridge. They're buying up furniture and knick-knacks in every city they visit and sending the stuff on ahead. By the way, Desi and Lucille are looking for an appropriate name for their ranch. They prefer a contraction of their own combined names. Put on your thinking caps, you fans!




They're closing their ranch. Lucille Ball is taking an apartment in Hollywood. Desi Arnaz is going out on a long personal appearance tour. This is their story and they insist that nothing is the matter. Those who know them think differently. The reports are that Lucille and Desi have had many quarrels. Some of them have been in public. Intimates infer the cause is jealousy. Maybe that old one about absence making the heart grow fonder, still has some merit. We hope so. Lucille and Desi are nice people.





LUCILLE BALL and Desi Arnaz celebrated their fourth wedding anniversary — together. Their divorce suit has been dropped, much to the relief of her MGM bosses, who consider Lucille one of their most valuable properties. Someone, and Lucille would certainly like to know who, sent her and Desi a stuffed dove — the dove of peace, no doubt. It rests gently on the mantelpiece of their Chatsworth Park ranch. Desi has moved back and will reside there when on leave from the Army Medical Corps at the Birmingham Hospital.




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Intimate Notes  of a Wartime Wife

DESI'S gone!"

Two little words fraught with as much significance to me as Hitler's surrender would mean to the world  in general.


"Miss Ball," I said to myself, "you may as well face it. There'll be some changes made — and I don't only mean in the weather. You've been hearing all your life how a split second can effect a person's destiny. My dear, you may as well understand that a couple of well put words, preferably monosyllables so there can be no doubt of their meaning, can have an equally devastating effect. Your little world is tottering and you had better start bracing the foundations — but quick. Desi's gone and, for the duration, you're going to be a war widow. Get busy, chum. Let's have no moaning at the bar. What are you going to do?"


I have never cared for pointless conversations and, as there seemed to be nothing more to be said, I ended my chat with myself, but my mind was still ticking sixty to the minute. I remembered there are a couple of million other wives in this country who have had to rearrange their lives. Most of them have done it successfully and graciously. Others — well, I mustn't let myself think of them. Trying to fight the unavoidable is like Don Quixote tilting at windmills.


I remembered reading one of Mclntyre's columns. He had met Billie Burke at a party. Before her marriage to Flo Ziegfeld, Miss Burke had been one of the biggest stars in the New York theater. When her manager was drowned in the sinking of the Titanic, Ziegfeld took over the reins of her career and she continued as a reigning actress. It was after Ziegfeld's death that she met Mr. Mclntyre. "My. world has crumbled!" she cried.


Sometime she must have read that couplet of Kipling's:


"If you can bear to see the things you gave your life to broken.  And stoop and build them up with worn-out tools . . ."

That's what Billie Burke has done. Perhaps her new life isn't the one she would have chosen for herself but she has done a splendid job with the materials at hand. I knew that is what I would have to do.


I roamed restlessly through the house. There was the guest room that has housed everything but guests. I remembered, soon after we moved to our ranch, one night when the rain was coming down in torrents, Desi and I were home dreaming dreams aloud and planning how we were going to fix the place up. "There will have to be chickens," I stated positively. "A ranch without chickens would be like Abbott without Costello."


The next night Desi staggered in out of the rain carrying an incubator with a hundred baby chicks in it. We had no chicken house so, for the next two weeks, until we could get materials and build quarters for them outside, the incubator stood in the guest room.


Hardly had the chickens taken up their own quarters than Desi decided he was putting on weight. A couple of days later a truck drove up and the men unloaded a steam cabinet big enough for a public bath. There was nowhere else to put it so into the guest room it went.


I passed the dining room and saw, through the window, the swimming pool beyond. "No more of those Sunday night shindigs," I thought ruefully. We used to have crowds in almost every Sunday — - Dick and Mona Carlson, Marsha Hurit and her husband, Jerry Hopper, the Sedgwicks, the Francis Lederers and a half dozen other couples. One Sunday night Desi would act as MC and chef. He would fix up a Cuban dinner, strum a guitar and sing Cuban songs. The next Sunday night I would play hostess. That is, fix the dinner.


"Oh, well," I consoled myself, "those parties would probably have to go by the board anyhow. We couldn't get enough food to feed them now and even if we could, a lot of the men we used to have are in service and some of their wives are living where they're stationed."


Everywhere I turned my eyes there was some reminder of Desi — of the things we'd done and planned together. I started talking to myself again: "A fine way to build a new life," I jeered. "Those things belong to the past. You'll go nuts if you keep thinking about them."


And then I remembered a few lines from Edward Sheldon's "Romance" "Yesterday? It is a dream we have forgotten. Tomorrow? Just the hope of some great happiness — some joy that never comes. Before — behind — all clouds and stars and shadows. Nothing — nothing is real — -only the little minute that we call today."


"That is what I must live by," I told myself. "I must forget yesterday. Tomorrow? The future has always taken care of itself, and very nicely, too. Today? I must live for today — for all the 'todays' until Desi comes home again." Then I wondered, "How am I going to fill my todays?"


That took some thought. Fortunately, I'm not a moody person. I mean, I don't get into those black moods that last for days. Oh, sometimes I become despondent, but I have a mercurial disposition and the least little thing will snap me out of the blues. Something as inconsequential as a phone call from a friend I haven't seen in a long, time will lift me up to the skies.


I knew, therefore, I wouldn't have to worry about being depressed. Not for long at a time, anyhow. Sure, I miss Desi. But so do a couple of other million wives miss their husbands. They're living through it and, for the most part, doing a pretty good job of it. Of course, it was tough having our lives disrupted just when we'd got things going the way we wanted them.


When M-G-M put us both under contract it was heaven. People used to ask me how it was working out, both of us working and both of us being at the same studio. They seemed to think we should get on each other's nerves when we came home at night tired, and perhaps nervous because things hadn't gone right that day.


I think marriage (or, at least, ours) works out better when both are working and certainly in our case, they worked out better because of being at the same studio. We knew the same people, came to know their personalities, and when we talked things over we were talking about people we both knew. When one is working and comes home tired and the other is fresh and rarin' to go, it's not so good. If we were both tired and jittery, we respected each other's feelings.


Neither of us care for night clubs — not Hollywood night clubs, anyhow, so we were content to stay home and have friends visit us or visit them. If we were tired we stayed home by ourselves. I knew, of course, that companionship I'd grown used to would have to be forgotten for the duration. All right, I'd forget it.


"Are you going to be one of these Army wives who thinks because her husband is away she should be seen here and there with various friends, just to fill her time, and say that you and Desi have an 'understanding' — that he has given you 'permission' to go out with other men while he's away?"


That sort of thing is definitely "out" for me. In New York, night life is different than in Hollywood. People live mostly in apartments there and the facilities for entertaining in them are limited. So you turn to night clubs for dinner and amusement. In Hollywood you have homes and you use them. I can get much more enjoyment out of an evening with congenial people — either in my own home or theirs — than I can out of night clubs.


It is a conviction of mine that in Hollywood people go to night clubs either because they're carrying a torch and want to be around other people so they can forget, or they go because they've changed sweethearts and want everyone to know about it, or they go because they want to be seen — for the publicity they get out of it. Hollywood Cafe Society is a pretty sad life to me and I want no part of it.


"Then how are you going to fill your life?" I asked myself. When I'm working I never go out anyhow. Living as far out as I do, the question of help is quite a problem. I could close up the ranch and move into an apartment, but the ranch means so much to me I want to keep it open. I knew a woman — an old friend of my family's —and she said she would keep house for me if I didn't ask her to cook. So, until I can get a cook, she does the cleaning and marketing and I do the cooking. Sometimes it's tough when I've put in ten hours at the studio to come home and start fixing dinner, but it's no more than a lot of other women do. And I'd rather do that than sit around in a restaurant for an hour waiting for a table and then waiting another hour to be served. This way, I can at least relax when I get home, even though I'm still working. .


Desi occasionally gets a weekend leave and comes home and we're still able to have a few people in. On those weekends when he doesn't have leave I try to go to the camp where he's stationed. If as occasionally happens. I have a day off at the studio or get away early, I go to the Hollywood Canteen and help entertain. I didn't sign up to be a regular hostess because I work so constantly I wasn't sure I could always be there the nights I was supposed to.


'"So far, so good." I told myself. "You've taken care of your time when you're working. now. how about the times you're between pictures?"


Strangely enough, that question didn't present the problem I'd thought it would. In the eleven years I've been in pictures I've rarely had more than a few days off at a time. After I finished "Meet The People" the studio told me my next picture wouldn't start until January. That means I have almost four months off.


My next is to be a musical so I'm taking singing lessons. My voice will never cause Lily Pons any worry but if I'm going to sing I want to sing as well as possible. I thought of taking piano lessons again but gave up the idea. I knew I wouldn't keep it up and there seemed no point in wasting a lot of time on something from which I'd derive no lasting benefit or pleasure.


Well, then, I thought, how about war work? Buying bonds isn't enough. So I have doubled my camp tours. For over a year I've been going out on shows with Kay Kyser whenever possible. now, I go with whoever else is putting on a show when I have a free night.


Also, Desi puts on a show at his camp every week. I help with that. About once a month I appear in the show but every week I line up the talent for him and do all the telephoning. This may seem simple but it takes almost the whole week. You phone about a hundred people before you find the few you need who are available. Then you find out what sort of act they are going to do. arrange for costumes and transportation, etc.


Possibly all this doesn't sound like much — not like any drastic change in my way of living. In some ways perhaps it really isn't. I still live in the same house — only now I do my own cooking. Instead of the night life I used to know — the gay evenings with friends — I do camp shows with Kay Kyser and others or help Desi with his. Instead of the companionship I had from Desi on off nights, I pore through books. As regimented as all this sounds there is never time enough for all I have to do. I fill my life with today, but I dream of tomorrow — that "hope of some great happiness."

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