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 Thursday, March 17, 2005
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Preserving Lucy's house

Restoration plan for childhood home of Lucille Ball brings smiles to WNY

What's not to love about news that Lucy's house will be restored? One of Western New York's greatest gifts to comedy - not counting local government, of course - was Jamestown native Lucille Ball, and her childhood home in Celeron should be a joyful reminder for years to come.

East Amherst residents William and Mary Rapaport deserve applause for their $100,000 purchase of the four-bedroom house, because their intent is to restore it to its 1920s Lucy-era appearance and, when they are not using it as their Chautauqua Lake vacation home, make it available to the Lucy-Desi Museum.

The Rapaports are lifetime members of the local museum, which celebrates the star of "I Love Lucy" and other comedy vehicles. Mrs. Rapaport also is a board member of the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center, which manages the museum. That qualifies them as the ideal new owners of the house for as long as it remains in private hands.

Transfers of private property in which the community has an emotional or historic interest can be chancy things. This one, though, looks like a labor of love. We're all smiles.

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