TO LILY WITH LOVE
BY BRADLEY MASON HAMLIN
YVONNE DE CARLO
(September 1, 1922 – January 8, 2007)
Well, it’s getting to the point
where Ghost Town is looking a lot more appealing that living on the
earthly plane. Down on the mud ball of home base we have an ongoing
war in Iraq, Britney Spears showing her super nasty naked lunch to
whoever wants to lose their lunch, and gas prices that make the
Carter years seem charming.
Meanwhile, in the dreamy realm
beyond mortal borders a party of immortals gathers, the chaperones of
this eternal gig ushering in new talent daily—while down here we
stand in line for anti-acid pills and
of Motor Vehicle payments. However, it is comforting to know, know
because I believe in the afterlife, that the great fiesta will be
there. And, speaking of the here and now, it is also comforting to
know when someone we love passes the positive exchange we garnish
from our grief is often the sudden appreciation of what we actually
do have down here on ol’ Mother Earth.
If I said Yvonne De Carlo was
like family, as I’ve said of many of my other TV family favorites, I
wouldn’t be the first. Yvonne was a sweetheart and loved intensely by
many friends and fans, young and old. Yet, when a surrogate family
member from TV land passes—hopefully the moment of quietus will
remind us of our own family members we sometimes take for granted.
Look around you. Look at your kids or your siblings and look at your
wife or husband or whatever you call the person you love. Look at
them and know you have something special right here on home base.
De Carlo especially invokes this
nostalgic and maybe overly sentimental viewing of death for another
reason other than her specific and deserved fame. 1964 introduced two
TV programs that gave audiences a very cool alternative to the
typical sitcom family. On September 18, The Addams Family came
into our living rooms, and just one week later on September 24,
The Munsters came rolling in on that ultra-cool dragster. Now the
undead had evolved from stumbling terrors of the big screen to
friendly family members we could all identify with. So, for kids like
me, who really dug monsters—growing up with The Addams Family
and The Munsters in constant syndication was a big plus.
There is something uniquely intoxicating about a female vampire. TV’s
first vampire de chica arrived in the form of Maila Nurmi’s Vampira
in 1954 for The Vampira Show. A decade later Lily and Morticia
would join the club—with Cassandra Peters reinventing the Vampira
concept in the 1970s as Elvira, Mistress of the Dark for the TV show
But where is our Vampire girl now?
Did Buffy kill them all?
I hope not.
Chicks that bite are like good rock & roll songs. You never forget
Bradley Mason Hamlin (Mystery