Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Roadtrip to Jackson

The last leg of my long way home was to drive from New York's JFK airport to Jamestown, NY before continuing on to Jackson, MI.

You may be wondering why I would do this. The answer is because I Love Lucy. Due to the many hours put in watching this vintage show I felt myself to be one of Lucille Ball's biggest fans. So does my friend Dawn. The two of us rented the car together and at eight a.m. in the morning we started our journey to Lucy.

Jamestown is Lucille Ball's hometown and we knew this mostly because of the many references she makes to it in her show. There are many tributes to Lucy there including the Lucy-Desi Museum, her final resting place, and a memorial park.

Dawn and I were the two most appropriate girls to take this trip because for close to two years, while I was away in Morocco, we used Lucy to stay in touch. For nearly two years we had a continuous "I Love Lucy" trivia game going between Facebook messages. We would ask a question from memory, expect the person to answer, and sometimes leave a little personal note at the bottom.We never went more than a couple weeks without contact and this was our own unique way to keep our friendship strong while on separate continents.

I'm not sure the average person could keep up with our challenging game. We met someone in D.C., an admitted Lucy fan who wanted to test the challenge of our game. We doubted him and agreed to lob him a soft question as to not stump him. "What is the name of Lucy's best friend." After thinking for what we thought was too long he answered "Ethel". He said he was just teasing us with the time it took him to answer but we were still skeptical.

Our drive took us across the whole of northern Pennsylvania. We had a long beautiful road ahead of us and miles between exits. We enjoyed ourselves listening to 90's on XM radio where we knew every song that came up.

When we finally made it to Jamestown we had 15 minutes before the Lucy-Desi Center closed. We planned on arriving much earlier. We thought we would stop by the museum, get a little information about the town, then have a lazy evening at the hotel.

Even thought we had 15 minutes until closing the doors were locked! We knocked on the glass door and we were greeted by a woman who seemed half expecting us to rob her. As we started to pour out the details of our trip and the magnitude of our Lucy love she opened the door wider and wider, letting us in. She gave us a map of Jamestown with all the Lucy landmarks. There were all very easy to get to. We decided we would take our tour the next morning.

For the time being we went to Taco Hut just a couple blocks from the Lucy-Desi Center where the woman said there were good margaritas. Afterward we found our hotel and snuggled in for a relaxing, quite night.

Early the following morning we ate our free breakfast and headed off for our pilgrimage through all things Lucille Ball. The stops on our journey were: Lucy's birth home, her childhood home, the Lucille Ball Memorial Park, four murals, several signs with her name, the Lucy-Desi Center, the Desilu Playhouse, and Lucy's final resting place. All pictured below because I am so proud of them!

I enjoyed my time in Jamestown because it was the closest town to Jackson I had been to in a year and a half. After coming from New York City and Washington D.C. the prices of everything were something you could afford on babysitting money! Dawn and I took this trip because we are both so passionate about all Lucy. We felt closer to her spirit by being there among her things and prancing around her hometown.