BWW Book Reviews: I HAD A BALL: MY FRIENDSHIP WITH LUCILLE BALL
I HAD A BALL: MY FRIENDSHIP WITH Lucille Ball by Michael Z. Stern
published by iUniverse Inc., Bloomington IN
copyright 2011 by Michael Z. Stern
219 pages, photos throughout
When I was a couch potato kid in the 70's I couldn't imagine anything more fun than being part of Lucy Ricardo's crazy schemes. During "I Love Lucy"'s twice a day airings, I dreamed of stomping grapes in Italy, stuffing chocolates down my shirt, selling Vitameatavegamin, or disguising myself in crazy costumes to break into show business. I wanted to be friends with Lucy. Little did I know that on the other side of the country, Michael Stern was doing just that. Not Lucy Ricardo the TV character, but the real Lucy: Lucille Ball, the queen of comedy. In his book I HAD A BALL: MY FRIENDSHIP WITH Lucille Ball, Stern recounts how he went from fan to friend of the world famous redhead. In 1971, 10 year-old Stern attended a taping of "Here's Lucy", Ball's third television series. By chance he was sitting next to Lucy's mother DeDe, who attended every one of her daughter's shows. That casual encounter led to Stern's first backstage introduction to the star. Stern eventually became known on the lot as Lucy's 'number one fan' - a fact recognized by Ball herself. As time goes by Ball accepts this young fan into her personal life as well, until he becomes a welcome visitor in her Beverly Hills home.