I would start with the younger years of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. It’s not very long but I want to give a idée how there childhood was like.
Lucy (Lucille Désirée Ball) is born on August 6, 1911 in Jamestown (NY). She was a firstborn child. Her father was a telephone lineman for the Bell Company, Lucy’s mother was a energetic and lively (young) woman. Lucille and her family had moved from Jamestown to Anaconda and then to Wyandotte. If you can see they moved a lot but Lucy had a happy life. But her happy life changed when her father, Henry Ball, died of typhoid fever in 1915. At that time was here mother DeDe pregnant of her second child, Henry Frederick Ball. Lucy was only four years old. Her mother, DeDe Hunt, married Ed Peterson four years after her husband’s death. Lucy’s new stepfather treated her if she wasn’t there. It was hard time for Lucy. When the family moved to Detroit, Lucy stayed behind with the parents of her stepfather. They were sour, strict and cheerless, the parents of Ad (her stepfather) melt out frequent and unreasonable punishments. According to them, nothing in this life was to be enjoyed, only endured. She felt mentally tortured, Lucy learned to live in her imagination.
Eventually her mother returned. It was hard work, Fred (Lucy’s younger brother) said ones: “We didn’t play, we worked”. Her Grandfather, Hunt, bought a place for the them. So that they could be a family again. Lucy loved her Grandfather Hunt very much. He took her to vaudeville on Saturday nights, from that moment wanted Lucy to make people laugh, not cry. Lucy will always take responsibility for her brother and young cousins, she was a restless teenager who yearned to "make some noise".
But there life would change for ever, Grandpa Hunt had set up a tin-car target and very cautiously explaiued to his grandchildren and girlfriend of theirs how to use a gun. When it was their friends turn, just a the girl pulled the trigger, a neighborhood boy jumped up to answer his mothers calling him and he was accidentally shot. He was paralyzed and his parents sued Grandpa Hunt for everything he had. They lost the house and moved to Jamestown in a very small apartment. Lucy remembered these incenses as setting off a particularly rebellious stage in her younger life.
Lucy had seen so much injustices on so young age. It hurt her, she want to act, she wish people would appreciate her. Many times she run away from house, that’s one of the reasons her mother sent her to the John Murray Anderson School for Dramatic. But she was to shy and quiet. They say that she would never be an actress. Student's and teachers both ignored her.
To prove the school wrong and not wanting to return to Jamestown, Lucy decided to become a showgirl. She found work in various musicals.
Lucy often found herself broke and homesick during this time. When she couldn't stand it anymore she packed up and went back to Jamestown. While back in Jamestown, working various jobs as a clerk in a dress shop or as a Walgreen's soda jerk. But she wanted to bring her family together again, she goes back to New York City to life there, in 1930. This time her luck improved. She found success in modeling. Later she become a actress.
Desi (Desiderio Alberto Arnaz III) is born on March 2, 1917 in Santiago, Cuba. He had a happy rich and life. His grandfather, Alberto de Acha, was one of the three founders of Bacardi Rum. Desi was the only child in the family. He had no brothers or sisters. However, his father was a big personality in his town, as he was the mayor and also served in the Cuban House of Representatives.
However, Desi's family would soon be troubled because the Revolution would come, in 1933.
One day while Desi was playing cards with a friend, he had a strange instinct to return to his home. He went to home, he was in shock when he arrived. There was chaos occurring in his town, burning houses and sabotaging in the whole city.
They put his father in jail and took everything they possessed. There house was shattered and burnt down. His father was released after six months jail.
Fearing for their lives, the family fled to Miami, Florida in the U.S. They had noting, no food, no home, no money. They/He spent the better part of a year trying to survive on menial jobs and business ventures. Desi grandfather sent money, so that he can finis high school and go to college so that he become an doctor. Desi wanted to finis his High School. But he thought that he might could earn money by making music. Desi bought a guitar of a few dollar from a local pawnshop.
Through friends of his father, he auditioned for their rumba band, "Siboney Septet. Later Xavier Cugat offered him a job in his band, and he accept it. His father wasn't agree, he wanted that Desi goes to college so that he become a doctor. But he didn’t (become a doctor wasn't his dream), after a year to work with Cugat, Desi and a friend left Cugat to return to Miami to start their own rumba band. And it worked. Later Desi put together his own band, and played engagements in and around Manhattan. It was round 1939.
|(one of my favorite pictures)|
I've never seen such people, that are so diligent and as passionate about the career as Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz.