Friday, January 29, 2010

Couples we know and love

In honor of sweethearts everywhere, here are a few magical and memorable couples we know and love.

Ricky and Lucy

Lucy! You got some 'splanin' to do!

This was the famous and familiar battlecry of the often beleaguered Ricky Ricardo to his wife Lucy. No doubt Lucy, the loving and naive housewife, had gotten into trouble again through some crazy hare-brained scheme to join Ricky in show business. Never mind that she could not carry a tune or play any instrument except a saxaphone...and badly!

There are two versions as to how this famous TV couple met. The first has Lucy McGillicuddy at age 22 being set up on a blind date who turned out to be Ricky Ricardo a Cuban conga drummer. An alternate scenario has Lucy and her best friend Susie, played by Ann Southern, taking a cruise to Havana and meeting Ricky in Cuba. Whichever way it really happened, we were lucky enough to follow this fun loving couple from 1951 to 1957 in I Love Lucy. There were 13 I Love Lucy specials that aired from 1957 through 1960.

Romeo and Juliet

My only love sprung from my only hate. Juliet says to her nurse as she discovers the identity of that cute boy at her father's masked ball. Alas, their love is doomed from the start as their families are in the middle of a blood feud. Romeo can no sooner escape being a Montague than Juliet, a Capulet. Star-crossed indeed!

I suppose the reason I identify with the Franco Zefferalli film version of Romeo and Juliet is because it was the first time the teenage characters were actually portrayed by teenagers, Olivia Hussey (15) and Leonard Whiting (17). There I was, a young teen, on a school field trip to the Cinerama Theater on South King Street in Honolulu sitting a little too close to the screen (our bus was late) and experiencing Shakespeare in all its glory. I was entranced and swept away to long ago Verona and a tragic story of forbidden love. Ah, what light through yonder window breaks? It is the sun and Juliet is the east. Help, I'm melting!

Oliver and Jenny

What can you say about a twenty-five year old girl who died? That she was beautiful and brilliant. That she loved Mozart and Bach. The Beatles. And me. Love Story is ranked #9 on the list of most romantic movies of all time by the American Film Institute.

This is the story of Oliver Barrett IV (the preppy) and Jennifer Cavilleri (working class girl). Two kids each from the opposite side of the tracks who manage to find each other, and fall madly and deeply in love. Unfortunately, their time together turns out to be all too brief when after deciding to have a child, and not achieving the desired results, they consult a specialist. It is discovered that Jenny is tragically ill with only a short time to live. Eventually, with Jenny seriously ill in the hospital, she asks Oliver to hold her tightly before she dies. I ask you, was there a dry eye in the house when Oliver climbed into the hospital bed with her? Love, obviously, means never having to say you're sorry.

Roy & Dale

The King of the Cowboys and The Queen of the West kept many a kid glued to their old black and white TV set topped with rabbit ears. I should know, I was one of them! The show was set in the fictional town of Mineral City featuring ranch owner Roy Rogers, and Dale Evans as proprietress of the Eureka CafĂ©. They were surrounded by sidekicks including those of the animal variety namely Roy’s beautiful Palomino, Trigger and Bullet the wonder dog. There was also a wayward Jeep named Nellybelle who seemed to have a mind of her own. Each week they gave us standards to live by and taught us the difference between right and wrong.

But the real story here is of Roy and Dale’s deep abiding love for each other and their family. The couple, married for 51 years, had a large family including children from previous marriages, a child of their own, and four adopted children. Roy and Dale met in 1944 on a movie set, The Cowboy and the Senorita, and later married on New Year’s Eve 1947. Did you know Dale wrote their signature song Happy Trails? Roy passed away in 1998 and Dale in 2001 but not before becoming a treasured part of the American landscape.

A tribute to Valentine's Day would not be complete without this lovely poem written by Elizabeth Barrett Browning in 1845 while being courted by her future husband, Robert Browning.

How Do I Love Thee?

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

Happy Valentine's Day Everyone!


  1. That version of R&J was my favorite. I would play the sound track every night to go to sleep to. Loved it!
    P.S. You forgot Trash and Cat Daddy! We could give ol' Dale and Roy a run for their money.

  2. Bonnie, this is exquisitely done my dearest. I am so sorry that I am late, I just finished up my last writing assignment yesterday late afternoon and I am on a cloud. I LOVE LUCY ROCKS and my dad and I never, ever tired of watching her to the point of tears. To this date,, when I watch her or the old Johnny Carson shows, I cry so hard and laugh remembering not only their antics, but the love of my dad who enjoyed hair-brained comedy as much as I colleage at work says I remind her of Lucy when she once saw me trying to get out of my winter coat of which the zipper had shut closed! It was all that influence during my childhood of watch the queen! Thank you for this wonderful post! Anita

  3. What a wonderful Valentine's post! I remember seeing Love Story with a group of friends. One of Mom's friends had these new fangled things called "contacts" and she cried so hard she lost one! And Lucy and Ricky - my favorite tv couple. Thanks for the smile this morning. Kathy

  4. Hi there-a fabulous post my dear, I must watch Love story, can't believe I haven't already!! Have a great week ahead and hope you have a good Valentines Day!!

  5. Dear Bonnie,
    I've always enjoyed your blog posts, but this one takes the cake. Many young people may not even know the TV shows and movies you mentioned here. But you really touched a chord in me, as I remember all of them.

    One of my most vivid and fond memories of "I Love Lucy" was when Ricky was singing "My Baby and Me" in honor of what he thought was couple at his club celebrating the wife's pregnancy, when Ricky finally sees Lucy sitting at a table and gestures almost absent-mindedly "is it you?" and she nods yes so sweetly. It takes a minute for Ricky to realize he's going to be a father and the scene -- well, let's just say they were not acting their love for one another. As a kid, even I could tell that.

    And it's so interesting that you should mention Roy and Dale, because they were another couple you knew really loved each other. As a brown Latino youth, I had no TV role models even remotely the equivalent of Roy Rogers, but that didn't matter. I really liked that man. He just exuded kindness and decency. (So if it turns out that he was secretly the Grand Dragon of the KKK, Cucamonga clavern, I don't want to know about it. LOL.)


    PS, please let me know what you think of my post on "Wisdom from the Outer Limits." I value your thoughts and friendship.

  6. Hi Bonnie! Well even I know all of these lovely couples, all the way over the other side of the world:) What a wonderful choice of couples for Valentine's Day:) I haven't watched love Story for years! Might have to get that out on DVD over the weekend and watch it again. Our teenage daughter is loving studying Romeo & Juliet this year at school, so we have been watching the Baz Luhrmann version with Leonardo Di Caprio, over and over again:) I always look forward to your posts Bonnie and this one is fantastic as always!! Hope you have a great Valentine's Day:) ~ Tina

  7. Dearest Bonnie,
    How are is the home project going? I am so happy that you came by to visit my Valentine's post! I miss you so. How is everyone out there? Bisous to you and the fuzzy ones...Anita

  8. Congratulations on your "A"! Keep dancing that happy dance...You deserve "happy"!

    This was a sweet post. I have to say, the picture of Roy and Dale struck a special chord in my heart. I have read stories of their family and remember a long-play record that we played time and time again in our home featuring their family. (I didn't have TV growing up....), but learned of their faith and love for each other through books, etc. They weathered many, many hard times. Remember "Happy Trails to You"????

  9. Yes, I read more closely and see that you DO remember "Happy Trails to You"!