July 02, 2012

Bridge in Lucy's hometown renamed in Lucy and Desi's honor

"I am extremely pleased that the State Assembly joined the Senate last week to approve legislation to name the I-86 bridge over North Main Street in honor of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz.  The bridge sign on the expressway will serve as a constant reminder of the great contributions from America's favorite comedians, and will help promote the Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Center in Jamestown," said Assemblyman Andy Goodell.

Senator Kathy Young successfully obtained Senate approval for this legislation both last year and this year.  It was extremely difficult, however, to get this type of legislation through the Assembly.

Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz, Jr. had the following reaction on behalf of the family: "That is such thrilling news!!!! Believe it or not, that will be the first place, anywhere, to ever be named in their honor. No place they have ever lived or worked has done that for them. Not Beverly Hills, Hollywood, Palm Springs, Del Mar, nowhere. On their behalf, we thank you, Jamestown!"  - Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz, Jr.

"In addition to obtaining the support of the ranking member of the Transportation Committee, I personally lobbied for this legislation with the Democrat Chairman of the committee.   I also recruited some well-respected Democrat legislators, a Cuba-American legislator, and others as cosponsors," noted Assemblyman Goodell.
In speaking on behalf of the bill on the floor of the Assembly, Assemblyman Goodell noted "Lucille Ball was more than a great comedienne.  This great New Yorker was also a true pioneer."  He went on to cite the couple's impact on the production side of television history with the company they built together, Desilu Productions.  He noted their innovations in the use of a three-camera angle technique, their development of the concept of syndication, and the successful products of that studio including Star Trek and Mission Impossible.   "Lucille Ball went on to become the first female head of a major television production company, having already broken several cultural barriers with her marriage to a Cuban immigrant and by openly showing her pregnancy on their television show.  She was a tremendous performer, businesswoman, and individual."

"Lucille Ball always remembered her hometown, as evidenced by the couple choosing to host the world premiere of their first movie together right here in Jamestown at the peak of their fame.  The naming of this bridge is a well-deserved and fitting tribute to these great individuals," said Assemblyman Goodell. 

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