"LUCY VISITS THE WHITE HOUSE"
From the IMDb:
Lucy and Vivian's sons' Boy Scout club make a replica of the White House out of sugar cubes. The President is so impressed that he invites all of them to the White House to unveil it. Calamity ensues when the replica get destroyed on the train.
The Toobworld version of the United States of America (which I unofficially call "Telemerica") has more towns and cities than the actual USA. A lot of them are famous; some even got their names in the title, with one eventually getting its name in the titles of two spin-offs. And two of them at least are multiversal.
- Dunn's River
- Twin Peaks
Those are just a sampling. But there were plenty of shows which passed through small fictional towns for just an episode but that's all which was needed to give them their own push-pin on the map. And this episode of 'The Lucy Show' was no different.
As Lucy and Viv made their way to Washington D.C., the train made stops in the following towns:
- Flint Ridge
All of those, including Danfield, can only be found in Earth Prime-Time, but not in Earth Prime. So where in "Telemerica" would they be located?
The destination was Washington DC, so that's locked in place. As for their starting point, I think they left from Danfield and transferred to the Silver Meteor train in New York City; it's an established, long-standing route. I believe the others are listed in order of arrival as the train worked down the Mid-Atlantic route.
So let's fill in the blanks.
GREENVIEW - New Jersey! A perfect name to be found in the Garden State and I would not be surprised to find that it didn't live up to the name. It would be the TV punchline thing to do. It has to be the first stop after leaving New York City because Lucy would have jumped off the train the first chance she got in order to get the sugar cubes to rebuild the "replicker" (as JFK pronounced it.) But the reason I'm hesitant to use it is mainly for the sake of poor Annabelle. That horse would have had to carry Lucy practically to Washington, finally dislodging her in time to catch the train in Scottville.
MIDDLEBROOK - Pennsylvania. Probably a toney suburb encroaching on Philadelphia from the North, with gated communities, elite prep schools.... A place where the people walk with their noses in the air.
FLINT RIDGE - Delaware. More than likely Flint Ridge is otherwise off the beaten path in the nation's second smallest state. I like to think there is more than one Flint Ridge in "Telemerica," because it's the type of name I'd expect to find just up the road a piece from Walton's Mountain. There's a signpost up ahead.....
SCOTTVILLE - Maryland. This one intrigues me for the possibilities in connections to other TV shows. I was hoping I could make the link to Francis Scott Key of Baltimore, but I would have to take it back further than the composer of "The Star Spangled Banner" (multi-dimensional: 'Voyagers!', 'Animaniacs', 'Drunk History') in order to find out where his parents found the inspiration for his middle name.
So instead, i'm going with General Charles Scott, head of Intelligence during the American Revolution and later the governor of Maryland. (Played by Michael Gaston in 'Turn'.) In Toobworld, it is the last stop before entering the nation's capital. It is also very close to Virginia and may have been highly influenced by that neighboring state. Earlier on, that area was under the dominion of the Virginia charter and perhaps those feelings of loyalty lasted even after the demarcation set by the Mason-Dixon line, well into statehood in the new nation. The people of that town, upon incorporation, named themselves after the patriot and governor of Virginia - Scottville - rather than taking the name of a Maryland native son as their inspiration.
I've got another theory of relateeveety for Scottville in relation to Governor Scott. As a landholder in Virginia, Scott had about ten slaves and the custom was to give those slaves the last name of the man who owned them.
So I believe master spy Alexander Scott ('I Spy') was descended from slaves owned by the televersion of Charles Scott. As he was the head of intelligence for the Continental Army, it could be said that "Scotty" was carrying on the family business.....
There's one last location from this series to tackle - the biggest one, Danfield.
When I was a kid watching this syndicated series in the afternoons, I got it into my head that Danfield was in Connecticut just like I was. (No surprise there - when I was six years old, I ran away from home because I was convinced Captain Kangaroo's Treasure House was on the next block.)
But Geoffrey Mark, the go-to guru for all things Lucy who penned an excellent book about the queen of TV, inclusive and exhaustive in the compilation of trivia, had this to say in the book:
Several episodes firmly placed Danfield in New York State just north of new Rochelle. Many books state that the town is located in Connecticut, but this is not so. (There is a Danfield in Connecticut but it is not the Lucy shows town.)
I heard back from Geoff on Monday the 19th in which he gave me some more information... information... information.....
I asked him about specific episodes which would confirm Danfield as being in New York. (I'm afraid it was the Doubting Thomas in me, which is one reason I prefer "Toby" over my given name!)
The easiest one is "No More Double Dates", where Lucy and Harry want to be alone and Viv and her date keep taking them to the train station to go into NYC. They make it clear that Danfield is the next stop after New Rochelle, NY (they could have visited Rob and Laura Petrie) on the way to NYC.
I guess you can't get more specific than that! And man, I like the idea that Lucy and Viv might have met the Petries on the train!
This episode about the sugar cube White House has Lucy also telling the White House operator that she was calling from Danfield, New York. So that's that! Oh well, I still have Dunn's River and fictional towns from 'The Fugitive' and 'Murder, She Wrote' for my Nutmeg State.....
So I can see them taking the Harlem-Hudson line down to NYC and then switching over to the Northeast Corridor train. It's amazing the sugar cube White House made it that far! Have you ever tried to maneuver through that train station even without a sugar cube White House? (The train probably was the Silver Meteor on the Pennsylvania Railroad line until the Washington station.)
A big thanks to Geoff Mark for his help in putting together this Toobworld train timetable. If you're interested in learning more Lucy lore, you can't go wrong with his book, seen above. It's a valuable asset in the stacks at the Toobworld Central library......