Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: TV (10/04/18)
- TITLE: The Year We Saw Color
By Francy Judge
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The first day she stood in front of the classroom, Mrs. Kelly introduced her. “Class, please say hello to our new student, Lucy Nickerson.”
Lucy twirled the end of her orange pony tail, tied up in a sky blue ribbon to match her lace-trimmed dress. I glanced at my own pony tail, the same length, but a dull brown in comparison. Mine was gathered in a rubber-band.
Jerry who sat behind me leaned closer and said, “Hey, Elaine, It’s Lucille Ball.”
He should have whispered. I felt bad when a few kids who overheard his comment giggled until Lucy said, “I was named after Lucille Ball. She’s my aunt.”
Around the room, faces wore question marks. Should we believe this new girl?
When Mrs. Kelly assigned an About Me essay for homework that we had to read in front of the class, most kids wrote about their favorite sport or their brothers and sisters. Lucy wrote about going to her aunt Lucille’s studio in California and watching her film “I Love Lucy.” She said, “My Aunt Lucy bought me the TV with color for my birthday this year.”
No one else in the class had ever traveled that far to the opposite coast of the United States. And no one owned a colored TV. We were in awe, eyes wide and listening more intently than we ever listened to Mrs. Kelly’s lessons on world history.
One day Lucy handed everyone in class a pink envelope sealed with a gold star. The little card inside read: “You’re invited to my twelfth birthday party!” in fancy, swirly calligraphy. The details requested our presence at Lucy Nickerson’s home at 100 Bergen Place. A Bonanza party to watch an episode on her color TV.
The entire class would go for a chance to watch TV in color whether we liked Lucy or not.
Lucy’s home sat on a hill at the end of a long winding driveway. As groups of us were dropped off from carpools, Lucy stepped outside to greet them. “I’m so glad you all could make it.”
Purple balloons were tied to her staircase banister, and streamers draped across her living room. Family pictures were framed of Lucy and her parents, but none of Lucille Ball. In the center stood the TV, larger than most of us had at home. Lucy’s mom handed out bags of popcorn and turned the knob to the right channel.
“Wow!” The show Bonanza was in color. Hair looked brown, not charcoal grey. The horse was golden. Grass looked green. And faces were a strange shade of orange, but they looked better than pale white.
Jerry wasn’t afraid to ask Mrs. Nickerson what we all wanted to know. “What is Lucille Ball really like in person?”
Mrs. Nickerson lifted her eyebrows, looking puzzled, and answered, “I’m not sure, but I would love to meet her. She is hysterical.”
Lucy’s cheeks turned ripe tomato color as all eyes turned to her. She smiled. “Okay. Lucille Ball is not my aunt. I just wanted everyone to like me.”
We turned back to the show. Didn’t want to miss the ending of Bonanza in color. We forgave her for lying. After all we had to Love Lucy. She brought color to our world.
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