I went over Lucy’s and she was upset because she thinks Ricky is losing interest in her. So I suggested she read the book-of-the-week selection by Dr. Humphreys, How to Keep the Honeymoon from Ending. Chapter one suggests the wife dress up for breakfast. The next morning I went over Lucy’s to see how things went. I grabbed a doughnut from her jar and when I first started talking to her, she thought I was on the telephone. Anyway, she looked great. When I asked if everything was okie dokie. She said, “no. Everything was inky-stinky”. She said he didn’t even notice her. I couldn’t imaging why it didn’t work. Chapter two was the “Ba a Pal System”. Share your husbands interests. Join in his hobbies. If he hunts, take up hunting. If he fishes, take up fishing. If he golfs, take up golfing. So I sat down with her and began to teach her to play poker. Except the only thing I know about poker is that it’s a lot like hearts, only ya bet, and there isn’t any old maid. Then Lucy joined Ricky with Fred, Hank and Charlie in a poker game. I even peeked in on them. From what I understand, she beat them badly. The next morning I came to Lucy to see how things went this time. Not so good. So I read in the book, Chapter three. One thing to remember about the ‘Be A Pal System’ in Chapter two, If you play games with your husband, be sure not to beat him. Dr. Humphreys next suggestion was that the wife become a mother. Surround him with things that remind him of his childhood. I wouldn’t be surprised if her whole trouble is that Ricky misses Cuba. She should fix the place up so that it will remind him of his happy childhood in Cuba. So we decided to buy a record that I would play in the kitchen while she dances and mouths the words to one of his mothers songs. She decorated her apartment with palm trees, sombreros, a flock of chickens, and a mule. I dressed up like a cuban bandito and sat on the chair and once Ricky discovered me, I ran into the kitchen to start the record. Lucy came out wearing a bunch of fruit on her head and began to “sing” and dance for him. She even had 5 little boys from the neighborhood dress up like Ricky’s brothers. Ricky said he didn’t like it. If he wanted things like Cuba he would have stayed in Havana. That’s the reason he married her because she was so different from anyone he knew in Cuba. Then he confirmed his love for Lucy and they kissed.
ABOUT THE WOMAN WHO PLAYED ETHEL MERTZShe was born Vivian Roberta Jones, with a brother and four sisters. After the family moved from Cherryvale to Independence KS, she studied drama under Anna Ingleman and William Inge. Their next move, to Albequerque NM brought her to the Albuquerque Little Theatre, which provided her the money she needed to study under Eva LeGallience in New York. After arriving in 1932 she had trouble finding work until she began a two-year stint in Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein's "Music in the Air."
She next understudied Ethel Merman in "Anything Goes." Her first starring role was as Kay Thompson's last minute replacement in "Hooray for What!" starring Ed Wynn. Other Broadway costars included Danny Kaye, Eve Arden and Nanette Fabray. In 1945 while starring in a touring company of "Voice of the Turtle" she had a nervous breakdown. After undergoing psychotherapy and limited movie work, she returned to "Voice of the Turtle" at the La Jolla Playhouse, where she was seen by Desi Arnaz who decided she was perfect for the role of Ethel Mertz in the I Love Lucy television series.
At first she didn't want the part (too frumpy), and she always hated being cast as the wife of William Frawley (she was 39, he was 64; the two never got along). After I Love Lucy ended she divorced her first husband, married again, and moved to Stamford Connecticut. In 1962 she began work on The Lucy Show, but the pressures of long-distance commuting didn't suit her, so after three years she limited her performances to guest appearances.
In 1974 she and her husband moved to Belvedere (just north of Francisco Bay) so she could be near her sister. Five years later she died there, of breast and bone cancer.