"... I [Lee] sifted through the pile of photos and came across a note from a private stationed at Fort Bragg with no picture attached. He said he was sorry for intruding on Lucy's privacy but he was writing on behalf of his mother. She had terminal cancer and she was too weak to leave the house to see Lucy in person in the hotel lobby as so many of her friends had earlier that day. He wrote that his mother worshipped Lucy and for the last thirty years she kept trying, unsuccessfully, to dye her hair the same shape as Lucy's. He gave his mother's address and asked Lucy if when she went back to California she could autograph a color photo of herself and send it on to his mom.
Lucy was visibly moved when I read her the note. "Get her phone number from information, right now," Lucy ordered.
"Aye, aye, sergeant," I said. She didn't laugh. I got the phone number and Lucy dialed.
"God, I hate these damn newfangled Touch-Tone phones," she mumbled.
The private's mother answered and Lucy introduced herself. "This is Lucille Ball... Lucy, and I hope I'm not disturbing you." Evidently, the woman thought that one of her friends was pulling a prank, and it took Lucy a minute or two to convince her that she was the genuine article. Lucy found out that the woman and she were the same age, and that they each had a son and daughter, and that they were both originally from upstate New York. Lucy told her that not only was she going to send her a personalized autograph color shot of herself, but also a year's supply of henna rise. Lucy told her to take care of herself and to get well soon. Then Lucy hung up and went into the other room and cried.
Lucy was very tired so I started going through the mail, and came across this letter, which I handed to Lucy. She closed her eyes and told me to read it aloud to her.
Dear Miss Ball:
My mother told me that talking to you on the phone was the happiest day of her life. Sadly, I must report it was also the last day of her life. She died peacefully in her sleep in the middle of the night. There are no words for my family and I to adequately express our thanks and deep appreciation for your most kind gesture. We are holding a memorial service next week in Oneida, New York, my mother's hometown. If you could send the colored autographed picture of yourself like you promised my mom, we will proudly display it at the ceremony. My best wishes and God bless you.
It was signed with love by the private first class.
Lucy was stunned but she said nothing. She turned her head away, reclined in her seat, and just stared out the window until the plane landed one hour later."
Lucille Ball was such an awesome lady who appreciated her fans. They don't make Hollywood stars like that today.
I hope you enjoyed this short excerpt from the book.