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By Jean Kinkead


They were sitting around the big comfortable living room in Lucille Ball's ranch house. Lucille and her mom and her niece, Pamela. Pammy, aged two- and-one-half, was playing the piano. Fortissimo. And singing.


"Real talent there," Mrs. Ball said. "That's music."


"It really is," Lucille said seriously, and a minute later she was giggling. "Relatives!" she grinned. "They're wonderful. Imagine anything that small with talent."


Sweet faced Desiree Ball bristled. "You had it at three," she told her severely. Lucille fluffed out her lovely long red hair.


"Me," she said, in her make-believe conceited voice (actually there are few actresses less impressed with themselves), "that's different."


Aged three, so the story goes, Lucille was reciting nursery rhymes with gestures and great aplomb. She never had to be wheedled, and her memory was so prodigious that she could learn one in the wink of an eye and never, never forget it. That was the beginning.


In time there were school plays, and Lucille would be on a million committees. Props, makeup, costumes, scenery. After a while, Mrs. Ball just stopped apologizing for the lack of chairs and lamps and portieres around the house, for an occasional abstinence from powder and lipstick. "They're doing a play," she’d announce, and everyone — knowing Lucy — understood. In their spare moments, Lucille, her sister Cleo, and their brother Fred converted the chicken house into a little theater. They considered it quite plush, but it was still pretty chickeny on a hot night.


"Why don't you charge pins?" Mrs. Ball had suggested on the eve of their gala opening.


"Pins!" Lucille gasped, looking at her mother wild-eyed. "What in the world would we do with pins?" They charged ten cents admission, and with the proceeds they sent to Samuel French's in New York for more plays, and they bought great big exciting jars of rouge and cold cream and large supplies of dead white powder. junior genius . . . Lucille was sort of the Orson Welles of the group. She directed, produced and starred in all the plays, and frequently wrote the scripts. These invariably included two unsavory female characters, Sassafrassa and Consuelo; the former a flirt, patterned after Clara Bow, and the latter a lady bandit. The role of Sassafrassa was the plum, and no one but Lucille had a prayer of ever getting it.


Lucy grew from a round-faced little kid to a tall, slim, glamorous gal, and everyone in her home town of Jamestown, N. Y., just knew she'd be a famous actress some day. So to hasten things up, she went to New York City and enrolled in John Murray Anderson's Dramatic School. And that was a soul-searing experience.


Most of the girls were smooth New York numbers. They all seemed to know each other. And Lucille, who had bounce and fire and honesty, but not one whit of sophistication, felt ill at ease for the first time in her life. Lucille took eccentric dancing, diction, piano and makeup, and she knew she should have been reveling in it, but she wasn't at all. "Maybe I've gotten the whole thing out of my system," she used to think, and after a few miserable months she went home and got a job in a hamburger hut.


She was pretty and gay and quick on the comebacks, and she sold hamburgers like crazy. "At this I'm good," she told herself, trying to be happy about it, trying to push her little-girl dreams back where they belonged. She was doing all right, until one day she ran into Bernard Drake, her old high school principal.


"What's the big idea — letting Jamestown down?" he said. "Lucy, you're our star — don't you remember?"


"Why, sure I do," Lucille told him, wanting to cry. "I'd almost forgotten."


After that she worked in little theater groups a while, then she went back to New York and got a job as a show girl in "Rio Rita." Then she sold coats and dresses at Stern's. And after that she became a model. She modelled clothes at Hattie Carnegie's, she was a cover girl, and once she was a Chesterfield girl. Columbia Pictures saw the ad and hired her for "Roman Scandals." She called the family and they were ecstatic.


"I'll send for you all," she promised. "Maybe next week."


That wasn't exactly how it worked out. She was washed up at Columbia quite promptly, and then there was nothing for her to do and no money to get her home.


By some miracle, she met Ginger Rogers, and Ginger gave her some advice. good fairy-ginger . . . "Mother has a Little Theater group," she told her, "and she's always looking for really ambitious, hard-working kids. Why don't you go over to the RKO lot and see her?' Lucille did, and when RKO gave Lucy a contract, it was hard to tell who was more pleased, Leila Rogers or Lucille. Lucy called home and informed the family. Come on out," she told her mom. "I'm no Crawford or Shearer, but I've got a job, and we'll be together again."


They came, by bus, and the reunion was wonderful, and for at least an hour everyone was awfully polite to each other. "You look perfectly fine, dear," and all that business. Then at last Desiree looked at Lucille sharply. "Why are you sitting on the edge of your chair? Relax."


Lucille eased back gingerly. "You still look as if you were sitting in a hornet's nest  her mother said. "What's the matter? So Lucille told the grim story of her first day before the cameras.


The script called for her to walk across a floor which Lily Pons (in the movie, of course) had maliciously waxed. She was to do a split, then pick herself up and keep walking. Someone fouled everything up by actually waxing the floor, and when Lucille did the split, she threw her hip out. She told it lightly, but when she was finished no one was laughing.


"Why, you poor little kid," mom said, and Lucille, who through many lonely months had taught herself to be tough and independent, felt warm and cherished inside. The hip wasn't right for six long months, and even today, when she's tired, it acts up.


She did twenty-five pictures in seven years for RKO, thus earning her the by now famous title, "The Queen of the B's " She was getting better and better. You could almost see the improvement from picture to picture.


When she'd been with RKO five years two world-shaking thing happened to Lucille. The first was her meeting with Harriet, her treasured personal maid without whom she simply couldn't operate. Harriet applied for a maid's job over the "Help Thy Neighbor" radio program, and Lucille hired her. They are completely devoted to each other, and Harriet's loyalty to Lucille is matched only by Lucille's to Harriet.


"She's not a character or anything," Lucille explains to people earnestly. "She's, well, he's my friend."strictly sentimental . . .


The second big thing that year was her meeting with Desi Arnaz, the very first day they both started work in "Too Many Girls." She came home and told her mother, "He's terribly cute, but you can't under- stand a word he says." Which was not necessarily so. They went around together for four months and when — on a personal appearance tour East — Desi asked her that sixty-four dollar question, she understood him perfectly. They dashed up to Greenwich, Conn., to be married, in their excitement forgetting all about a ring. Desi got one at the five-and-ten ("Just for now, baby: we'll get a good one tomorrow") and it turns her finger Kelly green, but she wouldn't take it off for one million dollars. Not Lucy, who's as sentimental as a Stephen Foster ballad, but in a strictly hard-boiled way. Desi has since gotten her a lovely wedding ring, but it plays second fiddle to the dime store job. She wears the fancy one as a guard. They had a three- week honeymoon at the Pierre in New York, then they went home and lived in Lucille's apartment for three days. After that they went house hunting, and on the first morning, they found their house. And it was so obviously theirs that they could hardly believe it.


"I want a snug low house," Lucille had said.


"So do I," Desi had agreed. "Set on a piece of land that's bald and new, so that all the grass and trees and flowers we plant will be ours."


"I want that too," Lucille had told him. "Exactly that." And this was it. They looked at each other — one of those deep, eloquent looks — and the house was sold. They still live there, surrounded by fruit trees and field flowers, by vegetables, chickens and dogs. You wouldn't think it to look at them, that tall, glamorous redhead and her good looking Latin guy, but they're as home-loving as a couple of tabbies. Their ranch is their kingdom, and when they're away from it, they pine.


"I think I'll call up George," Lucille will say, "and see how the dogs are." (George Barker is half of the wonderful couple they have to look after the place.) In a few minutes she'll have him on the line, and he'll give her the local headlines, which Lucy in turn relays to Desi. "Tommy, Pinto and Dandy are fine." (Those are the cockers.) "But dopey Toy has indigestion. He ate a can of sardines." Toy is the fox terrier. No current blights on the garden. The pigs on the next farm got loose, but they've all been recovered. Big news, all of this, for the Arnaz's. home is the heart . . .


Their house is just exactly the way they are, informal, comfortable, unpretentious. Out in the garden they have built a one-room, Cuban-style house called the "bohio" which has a fieldstone foundation and lattice sides. It's decorated with fishnets and shells, and it's where they give their better-than-Elsa parties. Practically anything is an excuse for a party with those two, but birthday parties — those are the killer-dillers. They are supposed to be surprises, and the first few really were.


When they were still practically bride- and-groom, Desi planned one for Lucille. He even dreamed up a place for her to go the evening of the party, while he got everything in shape and the guests assembled. What he did not anticipate was that Lucy would get involved in a shopping tour, and that she'd have to stop off for a leisurely malted. When she finally appeared around ten, the guests were on the verge of going home. Now they've both learned that a birthday almost surely means a party, and the one who's supposed to be surprised is just as excited beforehand as the one who's planning it.


They adore costume parties, especially old-fashioned bathing suit and baby ones, and everyone comes. Even Lionel Barrymore, who hates parties, and sweet Susan Peters, who doesn't go many places since her accident. Probably the best parties of all are the spur-of-the-moment ones of a Sunday morning. With the Barkers out and Harriet visiting, Lucille takes over the kitchen, dishes up ham and eggs country style, french fries and biscuits and honey. Desi, the handsome waiter in a loud shirt and slacks, waggles a thumb in the direction of the kitchen. "She looks good, she sings good — and she can cook, too," he brags. They all dry the dishes afterwards, Lucille having the washing concession all sewn up.


Desi will never forget the day she had a holiday from the studio. He left her that morning propped up on pillows in their mammoth six-by-eight bed, with a big bowl of fruit on one side of her and a biography of Bach on the other. She promised him she was going to do nothing all day. And when he came home he found her in slacks and a shirt doing something she refers to as "tearing up the house."


"You were going to rest," he said. "What's the deal?"


"Oh, I did a little dusting and one thing led to another. Your drawers are all straight, and your closets and books."


"Why do you do things like this? You're just not quite bright, I guess."


"I had fun." She turned her cute smudged face his way, and he grinned.


The columnists refer to their marriage as tempestuous, but the Arnaz's learned long ago to ignore the columns. They know what they have, and they like it. Desi's so proud of the fact that Lucy's an M-G-M star now, he could pop. Lucille, on her recent trip East, practically hung out at the Copacabana listening to Desi's rhumba band. He liked to see her, arid just so she'd know he was glad she was there, he'd serenade her with her beloved "Cumbachero." He's had offers to take his band abroad — to London and Paris and Monte Carlo — and Lucille's thrilled for him, but when she think's no one's listening, she says to him in a small, silly, wife-to-husband voice. "But you won't go without me, will you? Not without me."


You don't need proof of the fact that each thinks the other is pretty divine when you see them together. And then there's the simple fact that Lucille has embraced Desi's religion, and they'll be married again in a church in Cuba pretty soon.


Their tastes are very much the same, except that Desi is mad for Latin music and Lucille's first love is classical stuff. They both love Spanish food and double features and fishing. They like horseback riding and skeet shooting and long, long drives with the top down. Lucille sits quietly when Desi is at the wheel, but he's a frightful backseat driver. It's just as if Lucy had her two eyes shut tight. "Here comes a curve," he announces. "Easy now, red light ahead." It kills Lucille, who is a very good and careful driver.


Lucille and Desi each have their own fans, of course, but their favorites are the kids who love them both. Of these, just about their pet is Sally Kaplan. The Arnaz's are her hobby, and she has wonderful scrapbooks of all their pictures. She's a sweet, gentle kid whose criticisms are adult and helpful, whose praise is genuine and ungooey.


"If all the fans were like Sally," Lucille says to Desi, "life would be beautiful."


Desi says, "Life is kinda beautiful anyway." And Lucy thinks maybe he's right. - 

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Many men find Lucille Ball disturbing — but not in the same sense Orson Welles does. To Orson, Lucille's curves and appeal are as negligible as Elsie the Cow's. He'd be happy if he never laid eyes on the lady again, and is conscious of her only as the female who transformed him from a Plain Genius to a Mad Genius. Addressing the mighty Mr. Welles as "Stinky" one day, Lucille discovered it made him furious — and discovered, at the same time, that making Mr. Welles furious made her feel fine! Consequently, she now follows him all over the RKO lot, pounces on him in the commissary and even hunts for him when he ducks her, just to hurl her "pet" name and watch him squirm. Orson's begged her to stop, but Lucille's having too much fun and, unless something's done about it, Orson, who recently found himself laid up with a broken leg, may soon find himself laid up with apoplexy!






Those who take Lucille Ball's heart affairs to heart hope her crush on Desi Arnaz isn't as serious as it looks. They expect no good will come of it, for there's a clause in Desi's new movie contract which prohibits marriage for three years. And everyone knows it takes a mighty strong love to survive that length of time! Furthermore, there's a rumor drifting in from the east that Desi's toting the torch for a well-known Broadway dancer whose husband no likee. Lucille's undisturbed by these items, however. Since Desi left for New York, he's nearly drowned her in letters, telegrams, phone calls and gifts — and that's all the proof she needs that she is, and will continue to be, head gal in the handsome Cuban's life.






Mrs. Desi Arnaz


Leave it to Lucille Ball to pull a new one on her harried movie bosses. First she knocked them cold by eloping with Desi Arnaz — and now she's asking that the studio officially change her name to Lucille Arnaz! Lucille, who was married in Connecticut with a ten- cent wedding ring, crowned her ceremony by sending a five-page special delivery letter to RKO in an attempt to convince the powers she ought henceforth be known by her new name only. The studio shot back a polite "Nothing doing, dearie" note, but when Lucille's honeymoon glow wears off, they'll sit her down and tell her what they really thought of her suggestion!





Off the Record


There's a soundman over at RKO who could clean up a neat pile of dough if he ever wanted to peddle a little recording he made the other day. The soundmap was idling about between "takes" on a Lucille Ball test when he happened to glimpse Lucille and her husband (referred to somewhere above) creep into a corner and go into a cooing and purring routine that would have made a lesser man blush and turn away. In a moment of rare inspiration, the soundman swung his microphone high over the Arnaz' heads and with absolute shamelessness caught their conversation in all its intimate and revealing, details! The recording is said to be terrific, and if Mr. Soundman ever decides to market it, he can add us to his list. We'd lay our cash on the line any day to hear what that pair's got to say!

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Life with Desi is crazy and exciting, but our love is deep and changeless.


He came whipping around the comer and knocked me off my feet. He picked me up and said, "Hey! You're Lucille Ball, aren't you?" "And you're Desi Arnaz," I gasped.


There must have been more conversation than that, but I just can't remember what it was. I only know that when we left the movie set to go home that night, I had promised this Desi fellow I'd go dancing with him. He'd said something about wanting to teach me a new rhumba number for our movie, Too Many Girls.


Desi is a born romanticist. That night he didn't suggest any of the usual Hollywood night spots. Instead, we went to a tiny Mexican cafe in downtown Los Angeles. The place was a perfect romantic setting; a half-dozen candle-lit tables, homey checkered tablecloths. And a jovial proprietor complete with handsome black mustachios. For every woman who has been in love, one special date in her life stands out in her memory, to be lived over and over again. This would be mine.


Desi ordered a Mexican dinner, and we talked before, after and between each mouthful of food. We were like old acquaintances, and we didn't have time for a single dance. At the end of the evening I knew that Desi's home was in Cuba and that his father was mayor of the town of Santiago. He told me about his folks, I told him about mine. In a word — the evening was a complete success.


As you may have guessed by now, Desi turned out to be my favorite husband. We were married in a civil ceremony, November 30, 1940. When Desi and I decided to get married, we chose a county courthouse in Greenwich, Connecticut. I was a little disappointed. The place was so public, and not at all romantic. On the specified day, we picked up our license from the clerk, and hurried over to the Judge's office. He was waiting for us. Instead of reading the brief civil rites there in his chamber, he winked, hustled into his overcoat, and smilingly pushed us out the door.


Desi and Judge O'Brien had found a better place for us to be married — the Byram River Beagle Club. The place was deserted. We stood before a great fire crackling in the huge stone fireplace of the club's lounge. The scent of burning pine-cones was as fragrant as incense, and outside, the first winter snow flurries banked the frosty window panes. Believe me, no movie set could have surpassed that rustic New England charm.


It would have been a wonderful place for a honeymoon, but we had to dash back to New York, since Desi and his band were appearing at the Roxy theater. Shortly afterward, we left for Hollywood.


My one great fear of our trip out to the coast were those three days Desi would have to spend in my company.  "Isn't this romantic?" asked Desi when the above photo was shot soon after their wedding. It's from Lucille's personal album.


Would he be bored? Would he grow restless? I suppose it's the worry of every new wife — but there it was.


"Let's fly," I kept suggesting as train time approached.


"Fly?" Desi would say. "But Lucy, just think, three days on the train. Three peaceful, relaxing days. After New York, it will be heaven."


Not much like heaven, I thought, if those three days should seem more like three years!


Desi had less and less to say as the trip progressed. We traveled for miles without exchanging a word. I was a bundle of nerves. In the diner or the club car, he would stare off into space. Back in our compartment, he strummed his guitar. This went on through Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Kansas, New Mexico and right into Pasadena, California. As the train pulled into the station I was almost in tears, and ready to pronounce myself the year's outstanding bridal failure.


Suddenly I was tossed back on my fluffy pink Cloud No. 17. "Lucy," he said, "I've just completed our song. I've been working on it since we left New York. It's called, My New World With You."


He played it for me that day on the train —and on every anniversary since then!

doctor, lawyer, indian-chief . . . Sometimes I wish Desi was a mailman. Or a lawyer, or a dentist. Anything but a bandleader. Of course I never wish he was a traveling salesman, or an airlines pilot. I prefer the stay-put career, say an architect or the fifth vice-president of a bank.


This isn't just a selfish desire. Desi loves having a home and being in it. He is in his glory master-minding any new project at Desilu, our San Fernando Valley ranch. He will tackle anything from one nail for picture-hanging to the complete construction of a bath-house and a barbecue patio for summer entertaining. He also transformed a garage attached to the house into a step-saving utility room to accommodate our household equipment, such as the washing machine, electric ironer, deep freeze and mammoth storage cupboards.


Next to his hammer-and-saw projects, Desi likes to cook. Willie Mae, our full- time kitchen jewel, keeps on hand for him a high chef's cap and gigantic apron, appropriately embroidered, Genius at Work. In this impressive regalia, and with the proper ingredients, "Chef" Arnaz can fashion some downright professional Cuban delicacies. His specialty is arroz con polio — chicken and rice.


He makes exquisite spaghetti, too, but we've sort of lost interest in that particular dish since "The Wreck of the Living Room Rug" — or, as Sam Spade would call it, "The Flying Casserole Caper." It happened not long ago when we were having a crowd of about 20 in for Sunday night supper. The menu on such occasions comes under Desi's supervision, and he is head chef.


That evening I was experiencing the satisfied glow of the hostess who feels that everything is going well. The guests were enjoying themselves and the house was looking its very best. Our big, comfortable living room, with its cheery dining area at the far end, seemed especially inviting and friendly.


Soon Desi appeared in the doorway, proudly bearing the huge, steaming casserole containing the piece de resistance, spaghetti and meat balls. As he crossed the room — just about dead center — the casserole broke, the bottom falling out neatly and completely, scattering spaghetti and meat balls over our new rug, splattering curtains, walls and guests, and leaving a flabbergasted Desi holding two handles. If you think that wasn't a lot of spaghetti, I can give you the exact figure — 17 pounds. That night, getting ready for bed, I found two weary strands of it in my shoe.


A less stout-hearted cook would have abandoned the enterprise at the drop of the casserole, and retreated with his guests to the nearest restaurant. But not my Desi. Once the debris was cleared way, he disappeared into the kitchen again, and in a matter of minutes had replaced the errant spaghetti with a superb souffle. . . .


Desi and I share a hundred and one interests. We like many things. We like our quiet, easy country life, raising oranges, chickens, and an occasional pig — none of which we ever have the heart to eat. Except the oranges.


We like being hosts at Friday night square dances. We like lazy weekends on our small cruiser, even when we don't leave the harbor at Balboa.


We like family gatherings on holidays, when the house is filled with the aroma of good food cooking and the walls bulge with cousins, aunts, brothers, sisters, small nieces and nephews, the three cockers and Hi Ball, our black and tan terrier.


We like parlor games when we have a gang at the house; games like charades. With Desi, "the game," as it's called in Hollywood, is especially intriguing because his interpretation of the King's English is often startling. There was the night he baffled us with a character whom he portrayed by going through repeated gestures of eating. He acted out a complete meal and when we gave up, disgustedly ex- ploded, "Why you don't get it? Look, I am eating. Eet ees MeaZ-dred . . . Meal- dred Pierce!"


When we all howled with laughter, Desi was indignant and swore never to be inveigled into playing "the game" again.


Our tempers, quick to rise and equally quick to subside, are another common ground for my husband and me. We have spats, lots of them. Most happily married couples do, but we never carry on a feud. Whatever the issue, the defendant and plaintiff thrash it out, leave it for dead, and go on to something more interesting.


Temperamental, sentimental, often impractical, but never dull, Desi is easily the most charming guy I've ever known. Probably the most revealing insight into a husband's character are the gifts he selects. I remember our first anniversary and the velvet jeweler's box I found at my plate that night. It was a magnificent gold bracelet, intricately designed of flexible leaves, each engraved with a word of the legend, Lucy, I love you more than EVER, YOUR DESI.


For my birthday soon after, there was a companion bracelet of tiny gold replicas of every one of his records, each engraved with its title. Who but Desi would think of a gold taxi whistle, or the beautiful costume pin, in the shape of a large key and studded with rubies and opals, which he gave me last anniversary? Engraved on the back are the words, Nursery Key.


Desi and I were remarried on Sunday, June 19th, at the Our Lady of the Valley Church in Canoga Park. When Desi proposed to me again, after nine years, his second proposal seemed sweeter than the first. Knowing that he feels this way made our church wedding doubly wonderful. And I do know that for laughing . . . for loving . . . for keeps . . . he'll forever re- main My Favorite Husband. The End

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Lucille Ball was recuperating at the same place I stayed— the Del Mar Hotel— and I saw her frequently. No one will ever know how heartbroken she and Desi Arnaz were over losing their expected baby. After ten years of marriage, they had been so thrilled when they thought the Stork was soon going to visit them.

But Lucille doesn't talk about it anymore. Nor does Desi. The important thing is for her 1 -to get her health back — because she has been quite ill.

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As a child, she had heard the phrase, "God is your conscience." She had a very active conscience. Whenever she did anything wrong retribution came not in two weeks or two years, but instantly. God seemed to be right there when she went astray, for who else would have found her out so quickly? It was quite natural to acquire the idea that He was never far away.


From that idea, the habit of talking to Him was just a logical step, it seemed to her. The first time little Lucille smoked a cigarette she got sick on the second puff, sick as she never had been in her life. In her earliest attempt to run away from home, the very first person she met was a woman on her way to see Mrs. Ball.


There were other quick failures. Once he had just got out of the house only to have the year's biggest thunderstorm break over her head. No wonder she began to feel that He was right at her elbow always, quick to see when she had a crazy idea and even quicker to make sure she didn't carry it too far.


This youthful conception of God's proximity is still with her, but today she is doing something about it. She is taking a step even closer to Him. By the time this is lead, or soon afterward, she will have formally joined the church. Not the church into which she was born, but the church toward which, by marriage and blood ties, she has been moving for some time. Events have proved to her that its spiritual comforts are powerful, its shelter necessary to her. She firmly believes that her happy wifehood, her long desired motherhood, are closely and inextricably intertwined with the faith she is now embracing.


Happiness first came into her 'life when she was four years old. Her father died. The shock and sorrow of her mother caused a real illness and for some I time she could not handle the burden of maintaining a home. Lucille was placed in the care of an elderly relative, a woman I whose ideas were still those of nineteenth century Europe. She meant well, but under her old-fashioned restrictions, Lucy withered.


Play was sinful. So, certainly was vanity, I even if it was but the natural vanity of a little girl. Any boisterousness, any impetuosity or craving for fun was interpreted simply as a sign of nervousness which required, and got, suppression.

She did not like to see Lucy look in the 1 mirror. Girls would get wrong ideas about themselves in this way, she said. She didn't favor Lucy's playing with other children and restricted it severely. Whenever she was active at all, whenever she was 9' caught running or jumping, Lucy was set to cleaning house. This was the sensible way to use up excess energy, her guardian declared. She frowned upon sudden joys. She thought surprises were not good for a little girl. When other relatives planned a surprise party for Lucy, she told her about it in advance so it wouldn't be too big a surprise!


Lucille was resentful then, but she doesn't resent this treatment now. She still thinks it was wrong, but she can understand the reasoning behind it. In the old country, where custom established that girls could look forward to becoming wives and nothing more when they grew up, they were prepared for a life that their mothers knew would never be too gay. It was considered wise to minimize expectations. Lucy's expectations were minimized plenty. When Mrs. Ball reestablished her home and Lucy went back, she was a mess.


She was withdrawn, frightened both of other children and of grownups, and always possessed of an urge to find a corner where she could curl up and not bother anyone. Yet, her return to her mother's house was in a sense something she knew would happen. She had talked to God steadily, asking not why he wasn't going to make a change in her life, but, with all confidence, why it was taking so long.


Mrs. Ball worked hard (and still does) trying to overcome the pretty bad sense of "old country" inferiority Lucille had picked up while she lived with her relatives. She filled the house with other children and kept it filled as Lucille grew up-, so there would be young people for her to talk and live with all the time. When she saw that Lucille was interested in plays, she helped organize them — in the house, at school, anywhere people would fall in with such an idea. All of her children had music lessons. They had a piano, violin, and cello going all the time.


Whatever their problems, she was always in there, helping her children to lick them. It was wonderful, and, to Lucille's mind, an illustration of God at work. She knew it was God because, greater than anything else was the fact that her mother had recovered her spirits and the zest for life she had lost when their father died. After years of seeming to be lifeless, she had turned into a person who seemed to be touched with glory — and such glory must be divine, Lucille figured.


Lucille's future, which had been steadily stitched shut before, was now being thrown wide open. One day she tried to tell her mother what she thought that future would be like. She really painted it with extravagant colors.


"Do you think it will really happen?" she asked her mother.


"Will happen?" she answered. "It is happening. You're living it right now in your heart and that's the best place to. live anything. The best life in the world doesn't mean anything unless you feel it in your heart and once you feel it there it's exactly as if you have it!" Remembering, Lucille says, "I've never forgotten that in my work I must try to reach through to the hearts of people — the only place where it counts."


When Lucille was eleven she was already as tall as she is now, five feet, six inches. "All through high school I seemed to fascinate nobody but short guys. At dances I never had anyone to talk to — just heads of hair." So she fell into the habit of stooping to get down where the faces were.


Because of her height, because of her old feeling of inferiority (she says "maybe because it was true!") she had always considered herself an ugly duckling. All right, not the ugliest duckling, but no swan, just the same. She prayed about it but when the. time came for Lucille Ball to go on the stage it didn't seem to her that any great change for the better had transpired. Whereupon a great thought was born in her husy head. "All right," she told herself, "if you are afraid you are going to be laughed at for trying to pass yourself off as a beauty, beat the world to it.


Be a comedienne and go after the laughs.


As far as she can judge, the biggest difference a career makes in a girl's life is that she has four goals instead of three. In addition to seeking love, marriage and motherhood she has the prior (and in Lucille's case continuing) ambition to make good in her work. And the only difference that makes, as far as she can see, is that you have a busier time of it. But one thing is most important — work alone does not make up for the lack of the other three great essentials in a woman's life. Lucille Ball was not a fabulous success when she married Desi Arnaz, but already she knew that with each success and without love, life would be quite empty.


Marriage should mean parenthood, but for the Amazes it didn't — not for twelve long years. This was certainly something to take up with God, and she did, but to no avail. As time passed, both Lucille and Desi fell into the conviction that they were not fated to have a baby; it just wasn't going to happen, that's all. That isn't an unusual attitude among unblessed married couples, as you may have noted. It is an oddly sad one, a feeling possessing both that somehow they have been shunted out of the mainstream of life and are living their time out in some little lost creek.


In her youth, Lucille had attended variously the English Lutheran, the Methodist and the Episcopalian churches. Desi was a Catholic. Because of that and because they were both on road engagements at the time of their marriage, the ceremony was a civil one. Nine years later they were married again — in the Catholic Church.


Lucille wanted the second ceremony. During all the years of their marriage, she had seen how much comfort Desi derived from his faith and could understand how much more the marriage would mean to him if it were a sacrament rather than a civil arrangement. But almost immediately, and without any intention then of assuming his faith, she felt the warmth of a great comfort. And something happened to their feeling that they would never have a child. It disappeared. They felt sure they would. And they did.


She says, "I am not proselyting, attempting to convert, nor preaching a revelation. I have always known that I could assume any faith if the underlying predication affirmed God. For me the chosen faith became Catholicism. Two years ago, my mother joined the Catholic Church. I am taking instructions now to follow in her footsteps. I think I made the final decision when our second child, Desi, Jr., was born. When I look at him, when I look at our firstborn, Lucie Desiree, I know that for them, and for myself, I am doing the right thing. I know our children came to us from the church. I say this fully realizing that physicians can supply another answer; that there may be a psychological explanation. The effect of having our marriage sanctified could have wrought physiological changes in both of us. But where else, and how else, could such changes have been brought about?"


When people ask Lucille Ball where she's from, she tells them she's a small town girl from Jamestown. Actually, she came from a town just outside Jamestown — Celoron — that Jamestown citizens used to call a "small town." Lucille's way from Celoron to the Arnaz ranch has been a long, wandering trail with some rough stretches here and there. It may still be rough ahead, but there will he no more wandering.


"I've picked a straight road now. And on it I walk with my husband and my children and all the loved ones of my family — all of us together." END

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