Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Since Ava has been six months old she has watched The Chica Show religiously. Chica & Kelly have become quite a staple in our home. She watches them first thing in the morning, dances along to all of the music and sleeps with the little yellow Chicken that has been washed more times than my favorite pair of pajama pants. I guess you can say.... The Chica Show is to Ava, what I Love Lucy is to me!
Kelly Vrooman is an amazing actress. Her talents include theatre, writing, hosting and hilarious improv comedy. As the star of The Chica Show, her comedic timing & ability to poke fun at herself, makes her so loveable! It's those same reasons why we all love Lucy too!!
Sooooo with all of this said, when I recently had the opportunity to interview Kelly about our similar love for Lucy, I was beyond excited. Here it is:
Q: Lucy became one of the most influential people in Hollywood during her time. Why do you think America loved her so much?
A: I can speak for what she meant to my family in particular, if not for America as a whole... She helped them freely laugh again. Both of my grandfathers were in WWII. Times had been terrible. And when I Love Lucy started, my grandparents were starting to have kids, build families of their own and they were in desperate need of new traditions that would help carry them forward into the brighter future. She's hilarious. And that's all we need sometimes. To take a second to laugh at someone making a fool of themselves.
Q: How has Lucy inspired you or your career?
A: She taught me that women don't have to try to be pretty all the time, in fact, making yourself ugly for the sake of humor can be even more powerful. I was a teenager when I found out she used to model and I was shocked! Knowing that a beautiful model was comfortable with shoving chocolates in her mouth on broadcast television was very empowering to 14 year old Kelly.
Q: What is your favorite I Love Lucy episode & why?
A: Vitameatavegamin! (And yes, I had to look up how to spell it). Her use of language and flawless delivery is breathtaking.
Q: What role do you feel Lucy played for other women in the television industry, such as
A: I guess this goes back to the second question for me. Sure, she was pretty and played a "dumb" woman, but in real life, she knew how to get stuff done and how to run her own studio. You know all those Chuck Norris quotes that people say? Like, "Some magicians can walk on water, Chuck Norris can swim through land." or "Chuck Norris counted to infinity - twice"... I think all of those could also be about Lucille Ball. But she didn't play Walker, Texas Ranger.
Q: Everyone has had a funny situation in life that would be sitcom worthy. Tell me your own
real life, “I Love Lucy” moment.
A: They happen to me all the time because I seem to seek those situations out. Maybe as a subconscious life-long tribute to my girl, LB. I was locked out of my house recently and spent at least 10 minutes trying to teach my cat (through the window) how to unlock the door. It didn't work.
Kelly is an absolute doll! We love her around here!! Hope you guys enjoyed the interview!!
To keep up with the latest Kelly news, you can follow her on Twitter, https://twitter.com/KellyVrooms or visit her website, http://www.kelly-vrooman.com/
Sunday, January 26, 2014
Now, as you know I'm rather obsessed with getting stuff that was on the Lucy set. If I'm watching a show and I get a clear shot of something I like to pause, take a screen capture... oh it's serious business! I have hundreds of screen captures.
However, when you go antiquing it's quite overwhelming with the amount of stuff some places have.
I have have decided to share my short cut tool for remembering everything.
Although I have a faint recollection on how certain items on the set looked, I can never quite remember the specifics. Did that creamer have the handle painted or was that ashtray round or square... etc?
Wellllll, now that Ava Lucille is off her binky & sleeping straight thru naps (not waking up for it) I have had the time to organize all of my screen captures. I then categorized them into folders & put them on my phone. This way when I'm antiquing... if I see something that pops out at me, I have my little guide to refresh my memory on the item's details.
Thought I'd share so you guys can do the same!! And if you need a clear shot of something on the set I probably have it, so just ask. I'll do my best to get it for you!!
Thursday, November 21, 2013
I am going to finally confess..... I am a Lucy research addict. Lately, my research has been fixated on the NY apartment set.
It all started when I bought my first piece of Franciscan. Ever since then, I love to get items that match what was actually on set. The newest addition to our family has been the Western Electric 302 phone. You know, the big black rotary dial Lucy was seen talking on a million times.
When I started searching for this phone and had no idea about the world I was stepping into. Apparently there are hard-core phone collectors out there. They even hold conventions & and have clubs. Yeah. So getting a legit 302 was going to be a little tougher than I had anticipated. Some of the collectors have these phones selling for upwards of $500. Some are a lot more reasonable.
So if you're interested in purchasing a 302 yourself, I am going to share with you some simple tips, in what took me weeks to research. I consulted with a bunch of different collectors and here are the top ten things I learned:
1. Paint. If the phone is painted, it's a pass. You want to try to find one as original as you can and apparently painting them destroys their value. If they have "buffed" the original painting they you're good. If a phone looks too shiny, it's a dead giveaway that it's been painted. Poor phone :(
2. Cords. There are three different type of handset cords that the 302 was issued with over time. The first was a brown cloth cord, the second was a black rubber cord & the third was a coiled black cord like you would see on wall phones today. All three styles were featured on I Love Lucy (and trust me, I looked) so you're free to choose the one you want. I haven't been able to find a single collector to answer what cord was issued in what year, so your guess is as good as mine.
From what I have learned, the brown cloth cord tends to get extremely brittle & breakdown over time. Although the brown cord would've been my preference, I am not a phone specialist to start swapping out cords some where down the line, therefore I opted for the black coil.
If you see a phone but it doesn't have the cord you'd like, ask the seller if they can change it out with the one of your choice. Most of the time the people selling these phones are restorers, so they have no problem swapping out a cord. They usually charge an extra fee for this, which is expected. $10-20 is the max. Anything more than that and you're getting ripped off.
3. The feet. The feet on the phone are leather. Try to find a phone with original leather feet. They are worn and dark, but it's an old phone... who wants to see bright clean leather feet. It takes away from the charm. I read some place that the feet were made of wool or suede, however I have yet to find a single phone with such feet. All other material I have read says leather, so leather it is.
4. Dates. Dates are everything! Apparently all of the internal parts on these phones had dates. Back then, phones were leased to subscribers. Therefore if something went wrong, they were sent back to the phone company. The broken part would be swapped out & then issued to someone else. Refurbishing at it's finest. The phones that are most valuable have internal parts with the same year. That means one of two things: the phone was never sent out for service OR the phone restorer is a wizard and had the same year part. Either one is a good option and it makes the phone more "desirable", which is code for "it's worth more".
5. The dial. You want to look for a #5 dial. That was the type used predominately in the 40s & 50s.
6. The base. That's the big black housing. There's 2 different kinds, one of metal & one of Tenite plastic. In 1941, they started producing more bases out of Tenite because all metal was needed for the war. I have read that metal bases were still produced well into '46 so the choice is up to you.
7. The handset. Pre-1938 was an E1 model. An F1 model was issued for phones issued after '38.
8. The cards. That's the little writing on the front of the phone. If it's missing, you can get a replacement cheap, so that shouldn't influence your buying decision. You can also print one yourself here
9. The price. The max & I mean max, you should spend should be somewhere in the ballpark of $150. Some of the sellers for these phones ask outrageous prices. Anybody can put a price on anything. Hell, I can price a lint ball for $1,200... it's finding the fool to buy it. Please, please, please don't get ripped off!
10. Be knowledgable. Ask the seller questions. If they seem short or seem like your bothering them with your question, move on to the next seller. You want to make sure what you're buying is legit & someone who has an attitude answering your concerns is sketchy.
Anyway, I hope this little list will be useful when purchasing your new piece of Lucy history. Don't forget to send me pictures when you get your perfect 302!
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Hey all my Lucy Lovers!!!!!
To give you a little update on what I’ve been doing, I have found some pretty interesting documents about the one and only Lucy.
Apparently back in the good old days, they kept travel records of people. (Just like they do now, minus the huge data servers, computer programming & nasty people at customer service :) Obviously they would keep typed/handwritten books with travel records that would detail people’s comings & goings.
So here’s what I found:
Document #1: Details “Lucille Ball” residing at “1344 N. Ogden Drive, Hollywood, CA” The age on the document lists her as 24 years old and noted that she was “Single”. This record is for the Vessel SS Peten from Havana, Cuba on September 26, 1935 arriving in the New York, NY Port on September 29, 1935. It mentions that Lucy embarked the vessel through Cristobal, C.Z.
As for Lucy’s details, it says:
Race: W (White)
Age at Last Birthday: 18
Marital Condition: S (Single)
Age at First Marriage: (Was left blank)
Whether able to read and write: Yes
Person Place of Birth: New York
Father Place of Birth: New York
Mother Place of Birth: New York
Whether able to speak English: Yes
*It also details Edward’s occupation as a Metal Polisher and Deedee as a Clerk in a Ladies Shop.
Document #3: I found this one rather interesting!! As we all know, when Lucy first started in show business, she would tell people she was from Montana. Here’s a document that details all of her correct information, except for her place of birth!!
Name: Lucille Ball
Marital Status: Single
Date and Place of Birth: Aug. 6, 1911, Anaconda, Mont.
Address: 58 E 53rd Street, New York City
Document #4: Even better!!! Lists Lucy’s place of birth as (Butde)Butte, Montana!!
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
So as a new Mom, you can imagine that I have been spending a lot of my time rocking, feeding, changing diapers, and all of the delightful things that come along with having a new baby. Not to mention the funny face making & dancing around for her entertainment because it makes her laugh, needless to say, I spend a lot of time awake hyped up on coffee & court tv.
At 3am, when the world is still, Ava Lucille is dream feeding & Michael is snoring, I have a lot of peaceful, ME time to think and research.
In my endless hours of Lucy filled search queries online, I came across a good deal on more Franciscan Ivy place settings. I am quite specific when it comes to getting anything Franciscan Ivy because the stamping has to be correct.
I swear, I feel like the clock just rewinds every time I get a new piece! I absolutely love it!
In our house the Franciscan is special.
For New Years, we had made a really nice dinner. I was changing the baby & Michael was in the kitchen. He yelled out, “Hey babe.. do you wanna use the special Lucy plates for dinner… it’s New Years..”. LOL So yes, they are very special, but what’s even funnier is the fact that Michael knows a whole bunch of useless Lucy facts. Priceless.
Anyhow, we are now the proud owners of 4 additional place settings! It seems like the never-ending collection. I’ll get it completed one day! Until then, I’m super excited!!
Friday, October 26, 2012
I would like for you to meet
Ava Lucille Mara
7lb 4oz - 20.5in
Our beautiful angel, love of our lives. It’s absolutely amazing how such a tiny person can change such big things. We love you.