dilemmas of the heart

i know the whole point of weeding is to be discerning, objective, unbiased, and unemotional when discarding books. i do my darndest to be. i just got rid of the newmarket pictorial moviebook for chicago, a favorite movie and musical of mine. it hurt. but i will never, EVER get rid of a book on the subject of lucille ball, no matter how little it circulates. i am not a perfect woman. i just cannot bring myself to do it, even if i would be able to take the book home to have on my own shelves. who am i to deny the patrons of my community the joy of reading about the most hilarious woman ever? watching i love lucy is better, of course, but the books are very important too. i ain’t sorry.


Happy Birthday Lucy  August 6, 1911 - ∞

Most comedy writers consider themselves lucky if a star realizes 60% of the values they’ve written into a script. Lucy, somehow, returned about 125%. Unexpected qualities appeared out of nowhere. Little, human, ordinary, recognizable values. Inflections that were exactly the way your mother, or the lady bus driver used to sound. She was everywoman. Ask her to be a tough showgirl and you got back a broad who simply could not look and move like that unless she’d been pumping bumps and grinds in a burlesque house for twenty years. Ask her for royalty and she became a queen. And she kept astounding us that way. The audience never had the feeling that they were watching her act. If you looked carefully, you would marvel that every fiber in the woman’s body was contributing to the illusion. Her hands, her feet, her knees, every cell would be doing the right thing. This was an exceptionally talented young lady, and I don’t know enough superlatives to do her justice.”

— Jess Oppenheimer, writer, I Love Lucy


Lucy and I did almost 200 shows together, and Lucy not only proves what a great comedienne she is, but she’s also a real person, with great warmth. And one of the outstanding moments of that warmth was in a show that I guess is closest to my heart. The time we were having a baby.

-Desi Arnaz

When we did this scene before an audience, Desi was suddenly struck by all the emotion he’d felt when we discovered we were finally going to have Lucie. His eyes filled up and he couldn’t finish the song; I started to cry, too. Vivian started to sniffle; even the hardened stagehands wiped their eyes with the backs of their hands. The director wanted retakes at the end of the show, but the audience stood up and shouted, “No, no!”

-Lucille Ball (Love, Lucy)


“I cured myself of shyness when it finally occurred to me that people didn’t think about me half as much as I gave them credit for. The truth was, nobody gave a damn. Like most teenagers, I was far too self-centered. When I stopped being prisoner to what I worried was others’ opinions of me, I became more confident and free.”

Happy Birthday, Lucille Ball (August 6th 1911)