Montana's Link To La La Land: Lucille Ball

To this day, fans of sitcom TV, young and old alike, are glued to their television sets to watch reruns of 1950's favorites. So many comedies have made their way to our living rooms to include the hilarious and iconic, I Love Lucy. Just to hear Lucy's trademark cry at the end of an episode is enough to give anybody stomach pains from laughing so hard. Lucille Ball (Arnaz), who played Lucy, was the brilliant mind behind the making of I Love Lucy along with her suave Cuban born, real life husband and musician, Desi Arnaz, who played Lucy's spouse Ricky Ricardo on the show. Everybody now, on the count of three! 1...2...3..."Babalu!"

Lucille Ball was, no doubt, bigger than life; an untouchable icon. However, the queen of television comedy, like so many celebrities who made it big, came from very humble beginnings. Hence, Ball's link to Big Sky Country! It's true. One of Lucille Ball's first stops in life was Anaconda, Montana, a town originally built on the gruffness of copper smelting with hot springs and mountain lakes surrounding it.

According to New World Encyclopedia, Ball's encounter with Montana occurred when she was a newborn. Her father, a Bell Telephone Linemen, transferred quite often for his job. With that, the brief move in 1911 from her hometown of Jamestown, New York all the way to Anaconda, Montana, would later prove to be an experience that influenced Ball in the most subtle way. It is rumored, that on occasion and after her rise to stardom, Lucille Ball would claim she was born and raised in Montana, because she thought it sounded more intriguing than New York in select settings. Another theory, is that Ball honestly believed she was born in Butte, Montana, because of the constant uprooting from town to town and because of the frequent visits she made to the mining city to shop with her mother.

As detailed in Ripley's, Ball was a trailblazer and the first woman alongside her husband, Desi, to run a major Hollywood studio known as Desilu. She was also the first pregnant actress to portray a pregnant woman on TV in full view. Then came the controversy that put Ball in a more negative light. In 1936, when she registered to vote, Ball allegedly associated herself with the Communist Party. Later, Ball declared that her  misconstrued connection to the party was by way of a box she checked on a registration card, in an attempt to seek acceptance from her socialist grandfather

Regardless, from her serious roles in the 1940's to her slapstick comedy thereafter, Lucille Ball will always be remembered for her celebrity appeal and to others for her connection to Montana as featured in this week's edition of Montana's Link to La La Land.

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