Ethel Mertz

Julie Marks

Los Angeles, United States

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Artist's Description

I have many new pictures to upload, but I am now scanning many photos I have taken that chronicle most of my adult life. Never identifying myself as a photographer, I often had a camera in hand to snap a shot to create a historical record of memorable lifetime events. I took many photos of my dogs and in hindsight realize I always had a passion for photography, but never took my photographs seriously until I began taking digital photographs and focusing on the fine art of photography. I recently posted a photo and story about my first Irish Setter, Jesse that is a very touching story about a puppy who survived the torment of puppy mills in California. I have begun scanning other photos of my beloved animal companions including more wonderful shots of Jesse on the beach when I lived in Malibu, California. Before I began raising Irish, English and Gordon Setters , I formed passionate attachments to daushunds after pleading with my parents to buy me my first doxie when I was thirteen. He was a standard daushund and I gave him a very “original” name, Weenie. There are weenie babies as a series for plush toys and anatomical weenie babies, one that I posted titled “Political Peter” as the first in a series of photographs of Political Dogs. You will meet Teddy Bare and Roll Over Rover among other amusing plush animals. I had a very difficult time naming my female doxie, the half sister of Kepi, both of them having the same father, a long hair daushund. Charlie arrived one afternoon in 1978 months after we first met and picked up my very lovable dog and said, “I didn’t know you were living with Ethel Mertz” obviously referring to one of the most popular shows in television history, “I love Lucy" starring Lucille Ball and Vivian Vance as Ethel Mertz, Lucy’s best friend, confidant and accomplice in her crazy schemes. A former model from Albuquerque, New Mexico, Ethel tries to relive her glory days in vaudeville. She usually gets more chances to perform at Ricky’s nightclub, because, unlike Lucy, she can actually sing and dance. Ethel, although she is Lucy’s ally, often tries to reason with her, providing common sense advice. Generations have loved this international television show that aired some of the funniest episodes ever to be recorded in situation comedy. The Lucy shows are as funny today with story lines in every language. I remember when I attended the University of Mexico to complete one of my undergraduate degrees in Spanish since I had a double major with bachelors in Psychology and Spanish. I enjoyed the episodes in Spanish despite the fact that Ricky, Lucy’s husband spoke English despite the fact he was of Latin decent. When frustrated with Lucy’s schemes, his rants were in Spanish that added to the comedy of the show. There are episodes that make me laugh today and I watched every episode several times with my son Kevie, both of us laughing as if we were seeing them for the first time. There are so many memorable episodes that pair Lucy and her best friend Ethel Mertz, her confident and accomplice in her crazy schemes is Ethel Mertz. A former model, Ethel tries to relive her glory days in vaudeville. She usually gets more chances to perform at Ricky’s nightclub, because, unlike Lucy, she can actually sing and dance. Although she is Lucy’s ally, Ethel often tries to reason with her, providing common sense advice. There are too many memorable episodes to mention that pair the two. I remember one of my favorites titled “Job Switching”. Lucy and Ethel get jobs packaging candy that is delivered on a conveyor belt. The work seems easy enough when they are shown what to do by their supervisor, but then the pace picks up and the women soon fall further and further behind. In desperation, they resort to comical means to try to keep up. The skit, a variation of an old vaudeville routine, has been parodied numerous times and whenever I see Ethel, I always am reminded of my chubby, funny and adventure seeking Ethel who loved diving boards landing smack in the middle of our pool while her brother watched in horror amazed at her courage. Ethel was a perfect name for the chubby dog you see on the right who was the outgoing of the two, a fun loving sidekick to her more serious brother who we sometimes referred to as Lucy when the two would show their wild side and many “tails” of devotion and unparallel love for each other. Like wolves, they were partners for life. We believed that when one passed away, the other would not live much longer. Ethel was eight months younger than her brother and when he had major surgery to remove 7 spinal discs, she licked his wounds for a fast recovery from a very painful operation that often afflicts the breed. They lived a long and happy life never separated except when Kepi was hospitalized for surgery. He passed away at the ripe age of seventeen of a heart attack with the love of his life, Ethel by his side. Three weeks later she slipped a disc that was inoperable and not only was she deeply mourning the loss of her mate, but the pain of the inoperable slipped disc as a senior dog who lost her life’s partner. She met her brother at 10 weeks when he was 8 months and loved him for a lifetime. The vet suggested that we let her pass over the “rainbow bridge” to join her brother and after a painful decision, we could not let her suffer another minute. She passed away in peace in Charlie’s arms who named and adored her always to be remembered by her love for us, her very special and touching love for her loyal friend and brother, her insatiable appetite for food and the joy of living. This photograph was taken at Point Dume named after the Chumash Indian’s sacred burial grounds and where I bought my first home in Malibu, Ca. When I revisit my favorite beach, I sometimes imagine that I see two beautiful “badger hounds’ furiously digging holes in the sand and chasing balls as the sun sets over the stunning seascapes. Despite the weight, Ethel usually won the ball chase due to her irrepressible spirit and like Ethel Mertz her zany, fun loving and loyal personality to those she loved.

Artwork Comments

  • Angi Baker
  • H Maria Perry
  • blambert
  • Irene  Burdell
  • JoanIreland1970
  • Julie Marks
  • pinkyjain
  • Elaine Manley
  • sheena2015
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