Every year around this time, I start thinking about Lucy. I think this is because April is so close as I write this, and April 26 marks the anniversary of her death. This was also around the time when I became a fan of hers.
It was 1996, and I was 13 years old. One day “Yours, Mine and Ours” was on TV, and I found myself totally engrossed in it. I had never really watched anything she was in before that time. I could vaguely recall episodes of “I Love Lucy,” but not in great detail.
After seeing this movie, I took every opportunity to watch as many shows and films of hers as I could. When her memoir was finally published, I purchased it as well.
Since then, I’ve collected many other books about her. One of my favorites is “I Loved Lucy: My Friendship With Lucille Ball,” which is by Lee Tannen. I think this book is so great because it looks at her later years, presenting the private side of her. Mr. Tannen writes so candidly of her, telling about the depression she endured and the insecurity she felt. Writing about the stroke she suffered in May of 1988 must have been a painful memory for him to recall, but he handled it with such grace and honesty. One can really tell how much she meant to him.
April 26 also has great meaning for me because something strange occurred on this date in 1996. I was at the library, researching a paper I was preparing to write about Lucy. Well, without realizing that day was the actual anniversary of her passing, I looked it up in a reference book. As I was on the bus, coming home from school, the realization hit me.
I chalk this experience up to sheer coincidence, but I have always wanted to share this with others. I am glad I finally have the opportunity to do so now.
It’s hard to believe all these years have passed since her death in 1989. When she died, she felt no one admired her the way they once had. She sure would be surprised to learn she is still just as adored, if not more, by millions. I don’t think there isn’t a person out there who does not love Lucy.