Lucy and Albert Fisher (he's in the dark suit and tie next to Lucy).
NY WORLD'S FAIR MEMORIES
Director of Television for the Thomas Deegan Company/New York World's Fair 1964-1965 Corporation
Lucy Day at the Fair
was another major event in the first year of the New York World's Fair. A massive promotional tie-in had been done by the Fair Corporation and Bill Berns and John O'Keefe in particular. Macy's and CBS were involved and about 100 press from all over the country were flown in for the day-long event. We had a big parade through the Fairgrounds which included the St. Lucy Band (there actually is such a group) from the St. Lucy High School in New Jersey. Every band member wore a bright red wig. Lucille Ball rode in the Fair's official white Cadillac convertible touring pre-arranged destinations throughout the grounds. Somehow, the notorious newspaper columnist Hedda Hopper, who was at one time one of the most powerful columnists in the world, managed to get into the convertible with Lucy. Hopper was known for wearing large outlandish wide-brimmed hats. Her hat not only kept poking Lucy in the eye, more important, Hedda Hopper was upstaging the star attraction. Lucy became angrier by the minute at Hopper's antics. After about a half-hour of this, the beloved TV star turned to me and startled me with a string of four-letter words that would truly make a sailor blush. She made it clear to me that if Hedda Hopper were not out of the car at the next stop, Lucy was prepared to call it quits and leave the Fair! We certainly were not going to let that happen, but at the same time, we did not want to anger Hopper to the point that she would write something negative in her column which was still read by millions. We arranged a "special VIP private tour" just for Hedda with her own guide. She felt that she was being singled out for her fame, popularity and power and being given a tour that not even Lucy was able to have. Problem solved.
The evening ended with a grand dinner at the Spanish Pavilion restaurant and a stage show with the famous Spanish Flamenco Dancer Antonio Gades and his troupe. At the end of the night, Lucy got up on stage with Gades and did an impromptu Flamenco dance that was straight out of her classic wine stomping routine from the "I Love Lucy" series. Lucy Day at the Fair
was probably one of the biggest success stories from a Public Relations and promotional standpoint in the first year of the Fair.