Saturday, August 06, 2011

Happy 100th Birthday, My Dear Lucy

Lucille Ball truly was an inspiration. Not only was she one of the most powerful women in Hollywood in her day, she helped create Desilu Productions with her husband Desi Arnaz, the first company to use a multi-camera film setup before a live studio audience. She was a true class act.

Even though she was born 100 years ago this month and her mega-hit TV show premiered 60 years ago this October, there remains a single truth about Lucille Ball: We still love Lucy.

I LOVE LUCY took place on the East Side, was in black and white, the fashions were outdated, but the show continues to air in 80 countries and has been dubbed in 21 languages. Her fans are multigenerational. The first show I remember seeing Lucy on was THE LUCY SHOW. It was the episode with Carol Burnett. They were airline flight attendants and they mess up - the usual way - but end up turning the mess into a big musical onboard flight. I never dreamt that years later, I would become such a fan and collector.

One day, while I was walking thru the village, I stopped at a table someone had set up to sell photos and postcards. I rummaged thru and found a beautiful photo of Lucy in a white shroud. I bought it. Took it to be framed. Took it home. Hung it on the wall and that became the first item I ever collected. Every time I’d see a photo or postcard or anything on or with Lucy, I’d buy it. I even named my first pet- a cat - Lucy. I was hooked!

WILDCAT - A musical with a book by N. Richard Nash, lyrics by Carolyn Leigh, and music by Cy Coleman. It opened on Broadway in 1960 at the Alvin Theatre, starring a 48-year-old Lucille Ball. It was her only appearance in a Broadway production.

I never got to meet Lucille Ball or Desi Arnaz (he died in 1986, 3 years before Lucy). In fact, she was the last of the “gang” to go. The one and only time I wrote a fan letter to Lucy, It was sent to her in the hospital. The day after I mailed the letter, she died. I got back a note from the family thanking me for remembering ‘mom’ and a thanks for writing. Lucy will always be in the hearts of her fans. Wherever you go there are kids and adults that say they have favorite episodes and never once tire of talking about how great her shows are. It is said that anywhere at any moment, anywhere in the world, you’ll find an episode of I Love Lucy on TV. Many say I Love Lucy has healing powers. I fully believe in this. If you’re ever “tired, rundown, listless...” If you’re ever “in a jam”, “up a tree”, “down a well”, “in a mess”, and you need a pick-up, watch an I Love Lucy episode. Happy Birthday, Lucy!!

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Lucille Ball at 100 and I Love Lucy at 60

I own these two outfits on loan to the Hollywood Museum
A new exhibition at the Hollywood Museum celebrates two milestones in the life of America’s Queen of Comedy: Lucille Ball’s 100th birthday on Aug. 6 and the 60th anniversary of “I Love Lucy,” her classic TV collaboration with husband Desi Arnaz, which CBS first aired on Oct. 15, 1951.

“Lucille Ball at 100 & ‘I Love Lucy’ at 60,” presented in partnership with CBS , will be on display from Aug. 3 to Nov. 30, showcasing memorabilia saluting the careers and romance of Hollywood’s most famous lovebirds.

“The Hollywood Museum in the Historic Max Factor Building is the perfect venue for this exhibit because it's where Lucille Ball went for makeup and hair treatments from Mr. Factor,” says Museum President Donelle Dadigan. “It's where Lucy first became a redhead. She had the longest-running contract of all of Mr. Factor's celebrity clients and he frequently used her image in his PR and ad promotions. The Redheads Only Room has been carefully preserved in her memory today. The museum’s historic connection to Lucy is the reason the U.S. Postal Service chose to unveil its official Lucille Ball commemorative stamp here in 2001.”

The exhibit is presented in partnership with CBS DVD and Paramount Home Video, which just released a new DVD set “The Best of ‘I Love Lucy’” featuring 14 classic episodes that have been digitally restored. CBS describes the set, “Television's all-time queen of comedy is at her candy-wrapping, grape-stomping, Vitameatavegamin-pushing best in this timeless collection of I Love Lucy episodes. From Hollywood to Europe, from ballet to burlesque to the birth of Little Ricky... it’s all here in this hilarious 2-disc set.” The 14 episodes: “The Ballet,” “The Freezer,” “Lucy Does a TV Commercial” (Vitameatavegamin), “Job Switching” (The Chocolate Factory), “Lucy Is Enceinte” (Lucy reveals pregnancy), “Lucy Goes to the Hospital,” “L.A. at Last,” “Lucy Gets in Pictures,” “Harpo Marx,” “The Great Train Robbery,” “Bon Voyage,” “Paris at Last,” “Lucy Gets a Paris Gown,” “Lucy’s Italian Movie” (Grape Stomping).

The opening of the exhibition will be celebrated at a private party to be held tonight with Lucie Arnaz in attendance. On Lucille Ball's 100th birthday, Aug. 6,, the museum will stage a Lucy look-alike contest plus a contest to declare the best birthday cake.

“Lucille Ball at 100 & ‘I Love Lucy’ at 60” Exhibit includes:
· “Redheads Only Room" where Max Factor worked on Lucy’s famous look, featuring their original signed contract.
· Awards, Certificates, Statuettes/Trophies, Plaques - including the special tribute to Lucy at the 33rd Annual Emmys (1981) and a congratulatory letter from President Ronald Reagan
· The famous first national TV Guide (April 3, 1953) featuring Desi, Jr. on the cover as the $50 million baby
· Items showcasing the genius of Desi – including original editing equipment which allowed for the technical advancement of TV production (3 cameras, live audience, on film)
· A huge photography collection spanning Lucy’s life including her childhood, modelling career, films, radio and TV with some never-before-seen candid personal shots
· Lucy's autographed leg cast from her 1972 ski accident at Snowmass, CO
· Personal annotated copies of Lucy’s scripts from TV shows and films
· Desi's original recordings + sheet music
· Montage of original photos from Lucy and Desi’s homes and apartments including Palm Springs, NYC and Beverly Hills

Costumes Include:
· Elizabethan gown worn by Lucy opposite guest Tallulah Bankhead (“The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour,” 1957).
· Artist smock worn by Lucy opposite guest Danny Thomas ("Here's Lucy," 1973).
· Flapper dance costume worn by Lucie Arnaz in a specialty flapper dance number ("Here's Lucy," 1972).
· Bold hound’s-tooth wool pant suit worn by Lucy during the filming of her last film “Mame” (1974). Unfortunately neither the costume nor the scene made it to the final cut of the film.
· Ivory and lavender beaded gown worn by Lucy in her first MGM film "Du Barry Was a Lady" (1943) opposite co-stars Red Skelton and Gene Kelly.
· Iconic trench coat worn by Lucy and featured in ads for the classic film noir “Lured” (1947).

Lucy's Scripts Include:
·“I Love Lucy” – Season 6, Episode 6: “Off to Florida” (Nov. 12, 1956)
·“The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour” – Episode 2: “The Celebrity Next Door” (Dec. 3, 1957)
·“The Lucy Show” – Season 1, Episode 1: “Lucy Waits Up for Chris” (Oct. 1, 1962); Season 1, Episode 5: “Lucy Buys a Sheep” (Oct. 29, 1962)
·“Here's Lucy” – Season 2, Episode 10: “Lucy the Cement Worker” (Nov. 24, 1969); Season 3, Episode 1: “Lucy Meets the Burtons” (Sept. 14,1970); Season 5, Episode 16: “Lucy Goes on Her Last Blind Date” (Jan. 8, 1973)
·“Life with Lucy” – Season 1, Episode 1: “One Good Grandparent Deserves Another” (Sept. 20, 1986)

For more details, please go to
WHERE: The Hollywood Museum, 1660 N. Highland Avenue, Hollywood, CA 90028
WHEN: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday
EXHIBIT INFO: Aug. 4, 2011 to Dec. 31, 2011
PRICE: $15 for adults; $12 for seniors and children under 12.
INFO: (323) 464-7776

Here's a video of the News Broadcast that night of the opening Gala. What's neat about this video is that 44 seconds into it, you see a shot of the two articles of clothing I lent to the museum for this exhibit. They are the Aqua Chiffon Caftan with Feather-Boa Sleeves, the 3-Piece Lilac Pant Suit and the Deep Purple High-Heeled shoes. Pictured at the top of this article.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Double Feature! Lucille Ball's 100th Birthday!

Beloved performer Lucille Ball (1911 - 1989) is spotlighted with screenings of the Lucy-Desi comedy THE LONG, LONG TRAILER and her more dramatic turn in the noir THE DARK CORNER.


1954, Warner Bros., 96 min, USA,
Dir: Vincente Minnelli
Long before VACATION and RV, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz hit the road (though not as the Ricardos) in color in this slapstick romp about newlyweds who buy a shiny new trailer and decide to take a cross-country honeymoon. Needless to say, "There's gonna be a lotta 'splainin' to do!" With Marjorie "Ma Kettle" Main, Keenan Wynn and Madge Blake; written by Albert Hackett and Frances Goodrich (FATHER OF THE BRIDE).


1946, 20th Century Fox, 99 min, USA,
Dir: Henry Hathaway
Wrongly convicted private eye Bradford Galt (Mark Stevens) is sprung from prison, but bad luck sticks to his gummed shoes. Who's the mystery man in the white suit and why won't he leave Galt alone? What's his connection to the big money boys on the Upper East Side? Galt's no Marlowe. Without his loyal gal Friday (Lucille Ball), he wouldn't make it out from behind the 8-ball alive. "I'm backed up in a dark corner," he grouses, "and I don't know who's hitting me." Co-starring Clifton Webb, William Bendix.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Anniversary waltz for Lucille Ball, 'Lucy'


Variety kept a close eye on Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz's bold gamble in producing "I Love Lucy" on film through their Desilu banner.
A full-page launch ad ran in the Sept. 5, 1951, edition of "Daily Variety."
It's time to take a moment to remember why we love Lucy.

A number of tributes, exhibits and events are set to mark the twin milestones this year of the 100th anniversary of Lucille Ball's birth, on Aug. 6, 1911, and the 60th anni of "I Love Lucy's" debut, on Oct. 15, 1951.

The backstory of "Lucy" and the many achievements of Ball and Desi Arnaz have been well documented, but it's a legacy of risk-taking, innovation and unparalleled talent that has grown only more impressive with the passage of time.

Through the couple's insistence on producing a show on film from Los Angeles, rather than live in New York, "Lucy" invented the three-camera sitcom, modern editing techniques and the riches of syndication. And Lucy and Desi owned it all, through Desilu Prods., after spending their own money on a pilot to convince skeptical CBS execs that America would warm to a ditsy redheaded housewife and her Cuban bandleader husband.

Three months after the launch of Desilu in April 1950, Daily Variety reported the first rumblings that the pair were about to produce a "tele pilot film" but were keeping mum on details. The following year, the bet-the-farm gamble that Desilu was taking on "Lucy" was palpable in a full-page launch ad that ran in the Sept. 5, 1951, edition.

Variety's review of the "Lucy" bow wasn't a rave, but it hit the mark in noting that the show "should sell lots of cigarettes" for sponsor Philip Morris.

Among the upcoming tributes, the Hollywood Museum on Highland Avenue will unveil an extensive exhibit of Lucy-ana that runs Aug. 4-Nov. 30. Ball's daughter Lucie Arnaz, "Lucy" editor Dann Cahn and other notables will be on hand for the opening night.

For hardcore enthusiasts, there's Lucy Fest, which runs Aug. 3-7 in Ball's hometown of Jamestown, N.Y., which pays year-round tribute to its famous daughter with the Lucy Desi Center. This year's festivities include an attempt to set a Guinness Book record for the number of people dressed as Lucy Ricardo.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Some New Videos Available

It was announced that The Lucille Ball RKO Comedy Collection, Vol. 1 will be released 9/26/11 on DVD with three movies on it not previously released. (That's good!) Carol Meeley (Lucille Ball) is the wife of a dimwitted bank teller (Joe Penner) who finds himself accused of collaborating with a gang of robbers. Carol's only hope of clearing her husband's name is by proving he's not nearly smart enough to be a criminal, in the comedic caper "Go Chase Yourself" (1938). With Richard Lane, June Travis. Next, in order to claim a $20 million inheritance, Nancy Crocker Fleming (Ball) simply hires a temporary husband (James Ellison). But their cross-country trip to Reno for a quickie divorce leads to a series of comedic-and romantic-entanglements, in "Next Time I Marry" (1938). Lee Bowman, Granville Bates co-star. And, some of the greats of radio comedy team up for the frantic farce "Look Who's Laughing" (1941). Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy land their plane in Wistful Vista, home of Fibber McGee and Molly, and decide to build an aircraft factory there. Ball co-stars as Bergen's secretary; with Harold Peary, and Jim and Marian Jordan. Standard; Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital mono. Two-disc set.


Greatest Classic Legends Film Collection: Lucille Ball - "Forever Darling" (1956) stars Lucille Ball, who begins to feel neglected by her workaholic chemist husband, Desi Arnaz. When Ball wishes for more attention from her spouse, her guardian angel (James Mason) appears and warns her of trouble unless she can take more of an interest in him. When Ball accompanies Arnaz on a camping trip to work matters out while he tests an insecticide, hilarious catastrophes ensue when everything goes wrong. Two-disc set also includes "Room Service," "Du Barry Was a Lady," and "The Long, Long Trailer." 6 hrs. total. Standard/Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtracks: English Dolby Digital mono, French Dolby Digital mono; Subtitles: English (SDH), French, Spanish; theatrical trailers; bonus footage; bonus shorts "Party Fever" (1938), "The Daffy Doc" (1938), "Seeing Hands" (1943), "Bah Wilderness" (1943). "Ain't It Aggravatin'" (1954), "Dixieland Droopy" (1954).

Sunday, July 17, 2011

July 11-17, 2011 - From Walmart to Lucies Birthday

Tuesday July 12-
This morning Nelsa, Doris' sister (these are friends in the neighborhood) gave me a ride over to the Walmart at 88th Street in Jersey City. I always went to the one in South Kearny, NJ. I didn't know about this one. This one was in a shopping center with a Petsmart and a Target and a few other large stores. This one was HUGE!!!! It was just as big as a Wegman's with a large produce department, a large arts and crafts department and large sections of stuff all over the store... Oh, and a large frozen foods section with packages of PF Changs frozen food that I haven't seen in stores since mom took me to a Target in Balto months and months ago. (I love PF Changs Chinese food) So- I got my two boxes of Scoop Away® cat litter and a large bag of Cat Chow®, a few cans of Friskies®, A few frozen food things, delicious Peperoni and Cheese Rolls & Garlic Parmesea French Bread. Ooooh, is that good!!!

I found it, I found it, I found it!!!!!
I've been looking for this for a long time ever since I met Richard Skipper in the mid eighties. I drew this back in 1973 when I was in art school for illustration. I was at lunch with a friend from class and I was talking about Carol Channing. This person didn't know who I was talking about. I said she was famous for the Broadway musical "Hello, Dolly!" and he still didn't know her, so I drew this for him and then he knew exactly who I was talking about. Pictured is a scan of the original napkin drawing.


Didn't really have much happening this week. Today is Lucies birthday... Happy Birthday to Lucie Arnaz Luckinbill. When I was looking for an appropriate video to put here that showed something Lucie did or is doing or whatever... I found this made to celebrate her birthday last year. I thought I'd just put it here. The pics down the side I took at her performance at Barnes & Noble last year in May.

Monday, July 11, 2011

July 1-9 Still Some Car Woes & Mikey on

This is the start of what I hope to be a weekly blog. Since this is the first entry, it covers July 1st through the ninth. That's a week and a few days. But after this, I will make it a point to enter the happenings of every day from the week past.

Friday July 1- was a sad day for me as my car was towed away after I sold it for junk to CAR-TECH AUCTION, INC. The funny thing about this is... after the car was hit, it sat there on the street for about three and a half weeks before anything was done. Then, today, the truck operator gets into the car, starts it up and litterally drives it out of the space and onto the flatbed truck that would tow it. Driving on the flat tires and all. I mean, I knew the car started and I never tried moving it because of the flats. But I think now, if I had the flats fixed, it may have been drivable. But ya never know how bad the alignment would have been or if because of this accident the frame could have craked and I wouldn't know it till I was dead.

Tuesday July 5-, I took the car license plates to the DMV to return them but the line was so long coming out the door that I decided to go away and come back another day.

Wednesday July 6- I recieved the papers from Esurance Insurance Company with the figures on what they will offer me to settle this whole car matter. I weighed it against what my own insurance company (AAA) offered me already 2 weeks ago. Oh, what to do?

Thursday July 7- I was on the phone back and forth with agents from AAA trying to find out once and for all how my stupid $2000. deductible would play into this and whether or not I would get any of it back. After Ms. Rizzi-the woman who wrote up my policy told me that the extra amount not recovered from Esurance can be covered by the underinsured/uninsured section of my policy I thought I would just simply go with them. Because then AAA would act on my behalf with anything that had to be done in recovering the money from the other company. Someone later that day from AAA told me no, that's not for collision, it's for Medical. I argued with them saying this was not medical. Why would Ms Rizzi even mention it to me if it were medical coverage when she knew the specifics of this accident and knew nobody was injured in it. Medical coverage had nothing to do with it. This person will check with Ms. Rizzi to see what she told me and call me tomorrow morning.

Friday July 8- I got the call from David Maturi of AAA claims and he told me, YES, that underinsured/uninsured part of my policy can be implimented in this case and I would then get back all but the $500. deductible that this part of the policy has. That total would be $57.85 less than the total figure offered to me by Esurance. I just may go with them. I left home for lunch with the folder in hand to get the Property Damage Release form from Esurance Insurance Company signed and notorized to be paid for damages from them rather than go thru my own insurance company where any deductibles play into the final amount. And of course I want to get as much out of this as possible. And it's $57.85 more than if I went with AAA. Got home, prepared and copied the documents and folded them into the envelope for mailing directly at the post office tomorrow morning on my way in to NYC for Broadway Barks and a gathering for someone's birthday at Richards later in the evening.

While Mikey and I were on the phone tonight, he reminded me to go to to check and see if that interview with Lucie was there... sure enough... it WAS. Exactly what I suspected... "I" was not in the video at all. In fact, I'm behind the back of Eric Schwarz' head which is prominant in the foreground and if ya didn't know I was next to Mikey, you wouldn't be able to tell I was there at all. But I know where I was standing in relation to the camera angle and I'm in the shot a split second.
Here are a few stills from the video. See... Mikey is right there next to Lucie. I knew my interview wouldn't be in it because I couldn't think of what I was saying and it probably came out all wishy washy. So they didn't use it. That's okay.
If ya want to see the video, you can see it here:

Saturday July 9- It was Broadway Barks day in Shubert Alley. I went for just a little bit between 3pm and 5 pm. Then I left to get on the train to go uptown and meet with Pat & Joe for a ride to Richards for a birthday party.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

'All My Children,' 'One Life to Live' to get an Internet afterlife

Disney’s ABC has sold the online rights to the two canceled sudsers as part of a deal with media company Prospect Park, the New York Post reported Thursday.

As part of the deal, “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” -- which are due to wrap in September and January, respectively -- will pick up where they left off on a new, still untitled online TV network once they've ended their run on ABC. The show's cast and crew will make the transition as well.

The soaps are expected to be the first of a number of brand-name TV shows to eventually land at the site.

Prospect Park is lead by ‘Royal Pains’ executive producers Jeff Kwatinetz and executives Rich Frank, who is also a former Disney Studios executive.

An email to ABC seeking confirmation was not immediately returned.

[Updated at 10:55 a.m.: ABC sent out an official release confirming the "exclusive multi-year, multi-platform" deal.

The programs are said to continue in the same format and length. Additional details of the new productions will come from Prospect Park.

“We are privileged to continue the legacy of two of the greatest programs to air on daytime television, and are committed to delivering the storylines, characters and quality that audiences have come to love for over 40 years," Frank and Kwatinetz said in a statement.

"‘All My Children’ and ‘One Life to Live’ are television icons, and we are looking forward to providing anytime, anywhere viewing to their loyal community of millions. ... We believe that by continuing to produce the shows in their current hour format and with the same quality, viewers will follow the show to our new, online network.” ]

-- Yvonne Villarreal

Thursday, June 30, 2011

10 things you didn't know about landscape architect Dan Sherman

Written by Bill Cary, Jun 26, 2011

Eight years ago, Dan Sherman moved his very successful landscape design business from Manhattan to a cozy office overlooking a brook in Valhalla. It just stopped making sense to make the commute into the city from his longtime home in Piermont and then back out again to meet with clients, most of whom live in Westchester or Connecticut.

"We are so central to everything in the Westchester and south Fairfield area," says Sherman, who has been working as a landscape architect since 1977. "As soon as we moved, I bought a boatload of Stickley furniture and did the office up in a cozy Mission style, like a home office studio."

His six-person team includes a senior landscape architect who is "great with contractors, building departments, tree and plant vendors and helps track work in construction" and two young landscape architects who keep him fresh. They "chomp through designs, drafting, details, permits and clients' endless emails."

Sherman's design projects have ranged from the small and local (and pro bono) — the Piermont Community Garden, Main Street planters, Piermont dog park and the war memorials in town — to the grandiose and international: giant and elegant office parks in France and U.S. Air Force bases in Germany. He has also renovated a half-dozen campuses for Atria Senior Living, including ones in Ossining and Albany.

People with large estates in Greenwich, Southampton and Westchester keep him busy, too. "Mostly my clients are captains of finance and industry — and loads of hard-working people who love their homes and aspire to a better landscape."

Here are 10 things you probably didn't know about Dan Sherman:

1.He was able to form his own company in 1992 because Larry Condon, the president of the Joyce Mertz Gilmore Foundation, took a liking to his work and offered to sponsor the launch of his own business. (Joyce Mertz and her parents, LuEsther and Harold Mertz, founded Publishers Clearing House.)

Moonlighting while working full time for another firm, Sherman had created a brownstone garden for the foundation on East 18th Street and was subsequently taken to LuEsther's grand home in Port Washington. "At a party, a Tarot reading was laid out for me and the past, present and future were told with astonishing and accurate clarity," he remembers. "I made the daring jump the next day."

2.His partner of 21 years is Richard Skipper, a performer best known these days for his full-length shows impersonating Carol Channing.

"They are very good friends, and he is her official tribute artist," Sherman says. Skipper is also co-producer of the New York Bistro Awards and is very involved with the New York cabaret community. He's performed at the Rockland Center for the Arts and is a frequent guest performer at various benefits and fund-raisers around Rockland.

3. Sherman got at this gardening thing very early. Growing up in Lewiston, N.Y. (near Niagara Falls), "we had two neighbors who had very interesting and complicated gardens that fascinated me," he remembers. "My birthday is at the end of April and my mother would buy me a bale of peat moss and flats of flowers to plant around the house. I was happy — who knew?"

4.His best-known client is probably Derek Jeter, who hired Sherman to create a landscape for a Scottishs-tyle castle on Greenwood Lake in Warwick.

"I worked closely with Derek's mom, Dot, on the project," he says. "She is very respectful and nurturing and a lot of fun to work with."

5. He's a founding member of the Piermont Community Garden and he's had a plot there every year since the garden got going in 1995.

6. Some of his favorite plants right now include variegated Solomon's seal, Indian pinkroot, ajuga, epimedium, cranesbill geranium 'Rozanne' and dark pink double Knock Out roses.

7.For a cool combo in his own garden, he sends morning glories climbing up his 'Annabelle' hydrangeas. "It looks amazing in the morning with the blue flowers all over the white flowers." And he's got fall-blooming clematis climbing up inside a lilac tree in his front yard.

8. He hasn't yet, but he would love to work on historic properties. "I haven't figured out how to steer my career in that direction, so it's exciting that the kind of work I would most like to do is still out there to learn and do."

9. When he's not in Valhalla, Piermont or Manhattan, you'll likely find him at his cottage on a lake in northern Ontario.

"This was our family's camp for 40 years," he says, which he bought two years ago when his parents decided they shouldn't be someplace so remote. Now Sherman coordinates the upkeep and vacation schedules of various family members.

10. Because of his partner's involvement with the cabaret scene, Sherman has a very busy social life — out attending shows and receptions at least three nights a week.

"I would probably not pull myself out of the garden and clients' landscapes if I weren't compelled, but New York has a very rich and underrated world of off-the-chart entertainers — it's pretty amazing."

He also likes to tag along when Skipper takes his show on the road. "We were out in Palm Springs in February to stay with Carol Channing," Sherman says. "Everyday something new pops up with Ruth Buzzi, Tommy Tune, Mitzi Gaynor or Julie Wilson."

Garden designer by day, bon vivant by night. Sounds pretty great, doesn't it?

Friday, June 17, 2011

New Comic Book To Celebrate Lucille Ball's Centennial

Here's some fun news for a Friday afternoon:

Bluewater is pleased to announce a special comic book project featuring one of the most beloved and widely known figures in the history of American culture, the legendary Lucille Ball. “Comics: Lucille Ball” will be released in August 2011 and have a cover price of $3.99, just in time to celebrate her 100th birthday. Written by Jaymes Reed and drawn by Patricio Carbajal.

Lucille Ball is arguably the most influential figure in the history of American television. This comic will focus on her humble beginnings and the incredible events that led to her eventually becoming a household name at a time when that meant virtually every American household as the star of the classic” I Love Lucy" program. Though she would pave the way for many female comediennes that came after her, she towers over the rest. There is still only one Lucy. This book shows the influences on her comedy that still influence every person who tries to make a living making others laugh.

“The series as a whole was created to help me laugh during terrible times following my mother's death on New Year's Eve 2009. When preparing the initial line-up for the COMICS series, I knew right away a Lucille Ball book would be near the top. Besides for being the Queen of Comedy, she was my mother's favorite television personality, nearly to the point of serious addiction. I grew up on corn flakes, Texas sunshine... and each episode of everything Lucy ever starred in! "COMICS: Lucille Ball" will partly feature my mom as a little girl and will also be dedicated to her memory."

Publisher Darren G. Davis said, “ Our goal is to show the little-known events and influences that resulted in Lucille Ball becoming the phenomenon she remains to this day, 100 years after her birth and years after her death. A visual medium provides perspective that is not only accessible but more relatable to the average person without losing any of the information involved”.

This 32-page comic book will be chronicling this saga, “COMICS: Lucille Ball ” will explore all sides of this amazing talent, from her positive contribution to her fans' lives and society at large and how she is one of the few celebrities hardly anyone says a bad word about. Through it all, she always remained true to herself and appeared to be genuine. What you saw is what you got with her. There didn't appear to be a phony bone in her body. That - and her remarkable talent - is what has made her an enduring legend. Interest is still strong and steadfast for one of the most powerful women in the history of entertainment.

Join Bluewater Productions as we examine the life-affirming journey of Lucille Ball and how she became the ultimate American story and forever remembered as the Queen of Comedy.

For more information on "COMICS: Lucille Ball” and other comics from Bluewater Productions, go to or check them out in your local comic book shop, Barnes and Noble and To Pre-order it on Amazon click here:

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The ? Demise of the Mustang

Oy! What a day I had today!!! I was woken up at 3:35 AM this morning along with perhaps half the neighborhood. Some screeching, then BANG!!! (some more screeching) then BANG!!! BANG!!! BOOM!!! Then the car alarms set off. I jumped up off the sofa in the living room, threw off my robe put on my pants and shoes and ran out to see what had happened. It looked like my car had been hit along with the car in front of mine and the car in front of that one. I ran back inside to get my cellphone and my camera. Came back out to the car and examined the whole thing. My car was severely damaged on the left rear tire, drivers side door and front hood. The front of the car had been crashed into the car parked in front of mine and that car was crashed into the car in front of it.
While I was on the phone explaining to the police dispatcher where, when what where who and all that, some kids came running from around the corner on Bond St. yelling, "He's stuck around the corner, go catch him. He's stuck, can't go anywhere." So I went running around there and at the top of the hill on Bond St. was the car trying to back out of a turn into the curb to get away, was the car that just hit mine. I quickly took a picture of the license plate then went up to the driver and stalled him till the police arrived.

When they did, they told me and Abdellatif, the guy who owns the car that my car got pushed into, to wait back around the corner with our cars. We both walked back to our cars and waited. After 20 minutes the police hadn't come over to us yet so we walked back up around the corner to find the kids car was being towed and the kid was watching from the sidewalk. I was curious as to why he wasn't in handcuffs or sitting in the back of the police car. But he was right there out in the open watching his car going up on the lift. I asked a few of the officers standing around watching this whole thing and they couldn't answer me. It made me angry.
Then I noticed one of the officers that was taking the report start walking down the street and around over to our cars. we followed. When we reached our cars, the officer took Abdellatiff's report first, then mine. I was prepared with my registration and insurance info. The officer said that the kid was "A little slow", "Mentally challenged" Well, it makes you wonder why and how they give drivers licenses to these kind of people.

Anyway, he also had full insurance coverage. That's all that mattered here. His insurance would pay for the work that our cars needed to be repaired if this was possible. Abdellatiff's car looks like all it needs is a rear and front bumper and a hood. My car needs a bit more. It may need rear alignment, a drivers side door, a hood, a bumper, new tires and wheel hubs and possibly rear axle work.
At 7 AM my doorbell rang. I jumped up off the sofa, threw my robe off, put my pants on and ran downstairs to see that it was my landlady who was letting me know what happened to my car. I told her I knew. I explained all that went on this morning. It was then I learned that the fore-most car in this lineup of parked cars was none other than hers. A black PILOT. One of those bigger SUV-type looking cars. She was lucky because when she got in and started it up and pulled away, the car behind hers which was Abdellatiff's, fell off her bumper and his car alarm went off again. Not a scratch on her car. She then pulled it into her driveway and that was that.

At about 7:45 AM another neighbor who was passing by saw my car and decided to ring my bell to let me know. I told him thanks, I already know about it and began the explanation all over again of the 3:35AM events.

At 10:30AM I called my insurance company and filled the claim. They will get the police report, contact the kids insurance company, send an adjuster out to estimate my car damage and let me know the outcome. This should all come within the next three or four days. But the adjuster will call me to come out Monday or Tuesday.
At 11AM i had to leave for a doctors appointment in Brooklyn at 1 PM. I got there on time and didn't wonder at all why my blood pressure was elevated a bit today. When I got back home from the appointment, Abdellatiff was outside taking better pics of his car. He had taken some early in the morning but I told him it would be better later when the sun was up. After all- the cars weren't going anywhere. We also decided at that point that he should start up his car and move it forward to get it off of my car so he can get better pics of his rear bumper and I can get better pics of the front of my car. I picked up out from the front hood and light debris, my mustang emblem. I want that if nothing else can be saved or fixed.

Update: July 1, 2011
By now, the car was looked at by both my own insurance company and the driver who hit the car's insurance company. Both companies have declared the car "totaled" meaning it would cost more to have it fixed than the whole car is worth. My Ins. Co. gave me two prices. One was if they take the car and the other was if I keep the car. The difference between the two was only $25.00 so I decided to hold off and let the other company make their decision. I'll find out about it next week. Meanwhile, the car can't sit on the street any longer because it will get ticketed by the parking authority. So, yesterday I was on the phone with companies that pay cash for junk cars and today, one of them came to get the car to take it away.

Say "bye bye" to my '94 Ford Mustang...

A few stills of the final moments with the car: Click Here.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Lucie Arnaz brings "Latin Roots" to area stage

Lucie Arnaz evokes memories of her famous parents, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, when she visits the Landmark Theater in Port Washington with “Latin Roots,” on Saturday, June 18, at 8 p.m.

Arnaz returns to Long Island with a powerful reinterpretation of the American Songbook to honor and celebrate her father and his Latin roots.

The concert evolved from her recently released CD of the same name, highlighting her father’s legacy, with material both directly taken from her father’s music (with Desi Arnaz’s signature song “Babalu”) and inspired by him – such as Arnaz’s version of “Blame It On The Bossa Nova.”

Growing up in the public eye with her beloved parents and brother Desi Arnaz IV, Arnaz has demonstrated her many talents throughout the years as an actress, singer, dancer, business executive, producer, director, and Broadway star.

Tickets are $45 and $40; available at (516) 767-6444 or

Jeanne Rimsky Theater, 232 Main St., Port Washington.


Monday, May 16, 2011

NATE Show: The Great Outdoors

THE NATE BERKUS SHOW - taping: May 2, 2011 p.m.
Aired: May 16, 2011 (today)

"The Great Outdoors"
Nate is joined by celebrity chef Guy Fieri who, along with the audience, judges the show’s first-ever grill-off! Guy reveals his top grilling tips and how to take your cookout to the next level. Plus, Nate's design plan for turning your small outdoor space into your own vacation hot spot and how one “House Proud” viewer created her very own backyard oasis!

Nate's Tearsheet: Here are a few ways to prolong the life of cut flowers from your garden. Cut flowers early in the morning with they have the most moisture and are cool from the night temperatures. Have a bucket of water handy so you can immediately put them in water. Once inside, recut the stems under water on a slant…this helps water intake and flow once they’re arranges. Also, take your flowers to the sink each morning and mist them to maintain humidity and moisture.

Some shots on the set...


A snap from TV...

I'm bottom of the screen 2nd from right
Standing 3rd in from center blur.

We Are the NATE Show Audience Regulars...

On the last day of taping, some of the "Nate" crew pose in front of their special group of audience regulars. The four front-most people are (l-r) Raff (with mustache), Matt (very front), Eddie (green shirt) & Dena (plaid shirt).

May 12, 2011
      What a whole bunch of fun it is going to the tapings of the Nate Berkus Show. He tapes his show every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday two times a day. I've been going a few times a week since my first time January 25, 2011. That first time was special to me because I was picked to dance for the audience and sort of became famous. Everyone loved my dancing and remembered who I was from that point on. Tonight was the last taping of the first season and it was just as special in so many ways.
      When I entered the studio, Allison, the audience coordinator who seats people as they walk in, told me to sit in the front row and pointed to the pit section. I said, "You're kidding, right"? She said, "No. Front row." I was like, "WoW!". I was sure she would come back to me in a bit and ask me to move. She didn't. Just before the show started taping I turned around and noticed that all the regulars were sitting in my row and behind me in this section. I thought to myself, 'somethings up'. Why were we all sitting together on this last night of taping?
      That was evident after the first segment was taped because we seemed to be getting the royal treatment as far as being acknowledged for our loyalty. Dena told everyone else in the studio audience that we were the "regulars". The crew all got pictures of us and we got pictures with them.
      The best thing thru the evening... well, not the best thing but very close to it, was that the camera seemed to be right there in my face a lot. But that never means anything. We'll see when this show airs. The special guest is Lisa Oz (Dr Oz's wife) and she was there talking about relationships and stuff. Nate did a living room make-over and there was a cooking session with Calin Cowei and a married couple re-engaged themselves with him presenting a new ring to her.
      In one of the breaks between segment tapings Dena asked four people to get up and stand in front of certain sections of the audience. I knew right away she would have us dance. (I hadn't danced since the very first taping I came to January 25th). So I thought, "Okay, why not". Everyone liked it the first time, they'll like it again. And they did. The cameras were once again in my face and all around me while I was dancing. It was fun to catch glimpses of what they were filming up in the monitors.
      So, the best thing of the evening was before Nate did his closing, he acknowledges all of us "regulars" to the rest of the audience and then after the taping of his closing, he came over in front of us and had his pic taken with us. We couldn't give anyone our own cameras to get that pic but others said that Allison was going to email it to us. Still waiting for it today.
      That's why this final taping of the first season was just as special to me as the first time. I danced again. I'm going to miss the tapings for the summer while the show is on hiatus but will be back at the first taping in August once they resume. It'll be great to see the crew again. And I hope to see Sandra, Pat, James, Paul, Heather, Susan, Rosemary and all the rest of the regulars. I am greatfull for all the friends I've made during the tapings of these shows. What fun we had.
      On the way out of the studio afterwards, a bunch of pics were taken with crew members. I posted them here:

with Dena
with Eddie

Sandra and Eddie
with ?

with Christina
with Jonathan

with ?
with Allison

Sandra & Allison
with the Security Guard