Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Part 1: First meeting

One day when Lucy was going to New York, the head of the studio (RKO) told her: “When you catch the musical “Too Many Girls” on Broadway, you might be given a starring role in the film version later”. But when Lucy did a stunt on ice for a movie, she felt and hurt her sacroiliac joint. She spent many days in the hospital recuperating from her injury, she had missed the musical. The musical Many Girls was a great hit, and there would make indeed a movie of the musical. Show business friends who visited Lucy at the Hospital told her about Desi Arnaz, a 22 year old Cuban, who was the greatest hit of the musical. He was attractive, charming with much talent, every women had fallen for him. Lucy wasn’t impressed but it make her curious. Lucy said later: "When I was asked to do an ice-skating publicity stunt, I readily agreed. Back then, like any other aspiring youths, I thought I was indestructible. I ended up recuperating from a fall in the hospital for 10 days, and missed the Broadway show of Too Many Girls; particularly, I missed seeing the sexy Cuban man that my friends had told me about."  
After recovering from her fall, Lucy finally saw the musical Too Many Girls. She couldn’t take her eyes off him, Lucy said: "Then Desi opened his mouth and began talking in his own peculiar brand of broken English, and a great belly laugh burst out of me. Now it's hard to make me laugh. I observe, I smile, but when I'm really amused you can hear me a block away. Here was a stunning-looking male who was not only thrilling but funny. What a combination!"
But Lucy didn’t get the chance to be introduced to Desi, she was disappointed and went back to Hollywood. Lucy was given the starring role in a movie called Dance, Girl, Dance.

It took a few months before she met Desi in real. The day she first met Desi Arnaz:  There was a scene were Lucy and Maureen characters het into a fight. After the scene, Lucy wanted to say hello to the director of Too Many Girls so she went to the to the meeting room (full of cast members of ‘To Many Girls’ including Desi Arnaz). She had a black eye, a torn dress, her hair was wild, every cast member look at Lucy.

When she was in the meeting room, she looks worse than here.
There weren’t many sparks between them at this first encounter. Desi described her: "She looked like a two-dollar whore who had been badly beaten by her pimp, with her hair all over her face and a black eye, and she was dressed in a cheap costume".
“Desi was in greasy makeup and old clothes, and I thought he wasn’t so hot,” Lucy later recalled.
When Lucy had left the meeting room, Desi asked the director: “Who the hell is that woman?”
The Director (George Abbott) answered: "that's the girl who is going to play the ingénue. That's Lucille Ball."
Desi: "That's Lucille Ball and she's gonna do the ingénue thing? You gotta be kidding," How could she play an ingénue?!”
George Abbott: "Well, now, wait a minute. She was in makeup for something else right now."
Desi: "I think you've blown your top, George. There is no way they can change her back to look like an ingénue. No way."
Later in the day when Lucy had changed into her own clothes and makeup, she was wearing a tight slacks and a yellow sweater and had tied her blond hair neatly with a feminine bow. She walked to the meeting room again while Desi was rehearsing a song with his piano player.
Desi was impressed of her extraordinary beauty, he said to the piano player: "Man, that’s a hunk of woman!"
His piano player was puzzled, he said: "You met her today."

Desi: "No, I never met her. I've never seen her before."

His piano player: "That's Lucille Ball!"

Desi: "THAT'S LUCILLE BALL?! You gotta be kidding. She sure doesn't look anything like she did this morning." He was totally mesmerized.

Lucy walked to him and said “Hello”, she knew of course who he was, she saw him perform in the musical Too Many Girls. She could finally talk with him.

Desi was still shocked and unsure: "Miss Ball?"

"Why don't you call me Lucille and I'll call you Dizzy."
Desi: "Okay, Lucille, but it's not Dizzy."

Lucy: "Oh? How do you say it, Daisy?"

Desi: "No, Daisy is a flower. It's Desi, D-E-S-I."

Lucy: “Of Course ‘Desi’” and she smiles.
Desi: “Would you like me to teach you how to Rumba? It may come in handy for your part in the movie.”

Lucy accepted. They went to a nightclub, they danced a while and then sat at a quiet corner and just talked and talked hours. They didn’t join the conga line like the rest did. Lucy said: "there was only one thing better than looking at Desi, and that was talking to him."
Yes, it was really love at first sight. "I might as well admit it here and now I fell in love with Desi wham, bang! In five minutes," Lucy said.
The night ended innocently. He drove her home, she thanked him for a wonderful evening and they said good night. They were both totally in loved but thought it was the end. Lucy was engaged with Alexander Hall (he was 20 years older than Lucy) and Desi had a steady girlfriend, Freckles. It was his first love and he wanted to marry her. Both, Al and Freckles, were very sweet, kindest, understanding persons.
But it wasn’t the end of their story, it was the beginning….. of almost 20 years marriage and love that never died.

1 comment:

  1. That was such an outstanding love...