Volume 29, Number 8
This is an old issue of the Brushwood Gulch Gazette, which has been archived for reference purposes. Although some links have been updated, the text of this archived newsletter remains unchanged. Please keep in mind that these articles have NOT been updated to reflect changes that may have occurred since they were originally printed. Return to the index of archived issues.
W.O.W. - That usually stands for Way Out West, but it can also stand for Where, Oh Where did the year go? December 10, 1996 marks the finale for the year at the Way Out West Tent. We'll do it one more time in '96 at the Mayflower Club, located at 11110 Victory Boulevard (west of Vineland Avenue), in North Hollywood. The doors will open at 6:30 PM and the meeting will begin at 7:30 PM. The Fabulous Fisher Franks will be closing out their 1996 models and the Marvelous Mayflower Bar will be on hand with Christmas cheer. So, stop by one more time as we close shop for the year. See you at the Mayflower Club on December 10, 1996.
Our special guest at the next Way Out West Tent meeting will be Raymond Ruiz, who spent many years performing during the golden age of radio. Some of his credits include: The Lone Ranger, Jack Armstrong - The American Boy, I Love a Mystery, Sergeant Preston of the Yukon, and The Shadow. Raymond also shared some radio moments with Laurel and Hardy. He'll be sharing with us his memories of the boys and some of the familiar L & H personalities he had worked with during that unique era.
Once again, the holidays are upon us. For most of us it means spending time with family and friends. For others it is a different story. That's why each year we ask for your help to remember those people who are in need. Your canned goods donation to the Maud Booth Family Center means a great deal to the people who are the recipients of your generosity. Your help in the past has been appreciated and we hope that you can assist us this year in providing food for the Maud Booth Family Center. If you would prefer not to donate canned goods and would rather make a cash donation, that's okay too. Either way, thank you in advance for your support.
One morning in 1931, Harry Thomas was having breakfast with Hal Roach. "The Boss" told him about a prison picture with Laurel and Hardy that was currently in production and instructed him to "go to wardrobe, put on a prison costume, and report for the mess hall scene." This was how Harry recalled the story about how he became an extra on Pardon Us. On Monday, October 21, 1996, Harry Thomas passed away in Hollywood, at the age of 87. As a make-up artist, he specialized in horror and science fiction films. Among his credits were the original Little Shop of Horrors and Night of the Blood Beast. In television, he worked magic in The Adventures of Superman, My Little Margie, and The Life of Riley. He also worked with director Ed Wood on several films. While with the Hal Roach Studios, he worked in the make-up and the prop department. In addition to Pardon Us, Harry did extra work in the comedies of Charley Chase, Our Gang, and Todd and Pitts. Harry joined us at Way Out West Banquets in 1993 and 1994. Our deepest sympathy goes out to the family and friends of Harry Thomas.
Below Zero - Released April 26, 1930. Starring Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Tiny Sanford, Frank Holliday, Leo Willis, Blanche Payson, and Bobby Burns. Street musicians Laurel and Hardy are having a tough winter, until they find a wallet with money. They invite a policeman to join them for lunch. When they go to pay the check, the boys realize that the wallet belongs to their guest. Stan and Ollie pay the price for their "lucky find."
The Midnight Patrol - Released August 3, 1933. Starring Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Frank Terry, Frank Brownlee, and Eddie Dunn. Officers Laurel and Hardy are summoned to a house to check out a report of breaking and entering. After a series of mishaps getting to and getting into the house, the boys successfully arrest the suspect. Bad luck hits the boys, when they realize that their suspect is none other that the Police Chief.
Thicker Than Water - Released August 6, 1935. Starring Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Daphne Pollard, James Finlayson, Charlie Hall, and Bess Flowers. Thanks to Stan, Ollie and his wife have an argument over a late furniture payment. Stan coaxes Ollie to withdraw the family savings from the bank to completely pay for the furniture. An unplanned trip to an auction and the purchase and destruction of a grandfather's clock, sends Mrs. Hardy into a rage and Ollie to the hospital. With Stan donating blood to Ollie's cause, a mix up occurs, and Stan becomes Ollie, and Ollie becomes Stan. This short, with the working title of Saturday Afternoon, was the final two-reeler for Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy.
As of this writing, Saturday, June 28, 1997, the Way Out West Tent will be holding its 30th Anniversary Banquet. The location of the banquet is close to being set and we are planning to announce it in an upcoming newsletter. Celebrities, awards, raffles, and some surprises are in the works. Also, the next day, June 29th, the Laurel and Hardy Locations Tour will be visiting the sites of some of the boys funniest moments and their final resting places. Then the fun will resume on Thursday, July 3, 1997, in Monterey, California, as the Midnight Patrol Tent and Our Relations Tent will host an Edgar Kennedy Celebration, in his home town. Celebrities, films, banquets, contests, a parade, and much more will make it a great way to celebrate the Fourth of July weekend. Flyers for this event will be available at the next meeting. Now is the time to mark these dates on your calendar - Saturday and Sunday, June 28 and 29, 1997 and Thursday through Sunday, July 4-6, 1997. Don't miss out on these back to back weekends of fun.
The 29th Annual Way Out West Tent Banquet was held on Sunday, October 27, 1996. This year's format was a barbecue. During the afternoon several guests participated in some Laurel and Hardy games such as the "Perfect Day Gouty Foot" wrap, the "Me and My Pal" jigsaw puzzle contest, and "Musical Derby" a la musical chairs (passing the derby instead of walking around chairs).
Celebrities in attendance were (alphabetically): Billy Benedict (Great Guns), Peggy Cartwright (Our Gang), Dorothy "Echo" Deborba (Our Gang), Lois Laurel Hawes and her granddaughter Cassidy, Alice Jackson (T. Marvin Hatley's good friend), Eugene "Pineapple" Jackson (Our Gang), who also entertained us during one of the film intermissions, Dick Jones (Our Gang), Mark and Glen Kennedy (Edgar Kennedy's grandsons), Jerry Maren (Our Gang), Trudy Marshall (The Dancing Masters), who was the 1996 recipient of the Way Out West Tent Lifetime Achievement Award, and Bill Thomas, Jr. (Bill "Buckwheat" Thomas' son).
Of course, we had films going too. On the big screen we saw the boys in The Dancing Masters, Me and My Pal, and The Battle of the Century. Also, Our Gang's Pigskin Palooka, Tiny Troubles and Helping Grandma were shown. A big Way Out West Tent raffle brought an end to our "Perfect Day." Many thanks to all of the members and guests who arrived early to help set up for the day and to those who stayed after to help clean up. We really appreciated the much needed help. This day was a memorable one for all who attended.
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Sources for Looking Back:
Laurel & Hardy - The Solo Films of Stan Laurel and Oliver "Babe" Hardy, by Rob Stone
Laurel and Hardy - The Magic Behind the Movies, by Randy Skretvedt
The Little Racscals - The Life and Times of Our Gang, by Leonard Marltin and Richard W. Bann
He was born on August 16, 1895, in San Antonio, Texas. His film career began in the silent era in 1913. He also collaborated on many scripts as a writer. He wrote the original screenplay for Early to Bed (1936), starring Mary Boland and Charlie Ruggles. Some of his film credits include; The Sheik with Rudolph Valentino, Tom Sawyer with Jackie Coogan, The Man on the Flying Trapeze with W.C. Fields, and Rose-Marie with Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy. His final film was Wink of An Eye (1958). He also appeared on several television programs. He died on June 4, 1960, in Hollywood, California. Laurel and Hardy fans remember him best as Professor Noodle in Dirty Work and Dr. Horace Meddic in Sons of the Desert...Lucien Littlefield
Source for Did You Know? Who Was Who on Screen, by Evelyn Mack Truitt
All year long several people in our tent take their valuable time to help keep our tent going strong and I just wanted to acknowledge and thank them all. Our Founding Grand Sheik, Bill Patterson, who started the whole thing; Lori McCaffery, who as our "Mama Hen," has held all of us "chicks" together from day one; Bob Satterfield, Grand Sheik emeritus and our lifeline to all of the celebrities; Jimmy and Kris Wiley, whose help with the newsletter and everything else we ask of them, are invaluable; Jimmy Wiley III, our computer and video genius; Jayne Barnhart, the creator of one treasure of a scrapbook; Al and Sharon Fisher, those "Famous Fabulous" Hot Dogs get better and better; Scott James and Mike Rogers, who keep the films rolling flawlessly, Colin McCaffery, our master photographer; Gloria Brigante and Debi Pekit, creators of our beautiful banner; Alan Barasorda, Dorothy Barnhart, Dorothy Bellina, Tom and Debbie Hopkins, Janet Meyers, Steve Nelson and Neal Pinyan - your help throughout the year has been greatly appreciated; to all of our celebrities, members and guests who have faithfully been supporting our tent year after year, a great big thank you; and finally to my wife Janet, all of my love to you for your endless devotion to the Way Out West Tent and to "us." Here's hoping all of you have a Merry Christmas and a great 1997!
--Sincerely, John Duff
November 1 Jerry Tucker Our Gang 1 Felix Knight March of the Wooden Soldiers 2 Walter Wolf King Swiss Miss 2 Dennis King Fra Diavolo 4 Darla Hood Our Gang, Bohemian Girl 6 June Marlowe Pardon Us 7 Joe Cobb Our Gang 9 Gertrude Astor Come Clean 14 John McCabe "Exhausted Ruler" 19 Roy Seawright L&H Optical Effects Specialist 21 Vivian Blaine Jitterbugs 21 Dorothy Granger Hog Wild 23 Boris Karloff Pardon Us (French version) December 3 Ferdinand Munier March of the Wooden Soldiers (Santa Claus) 5 Gordon Douglas Zenobia (Director) 8 Norma Drew Churchill Chickens Come Home 11 Marie Windsor The Fighting Kentuckian 14 James W. Horne Beau Hunks 18 Leonard Maltin L&H and Our Gang Author 19 Al Kilgore S.O.D. Co-founder 20 Sunshine Sammy Morrison Our Gang 25 Eugene "Pineapple" Jackson Our Gang 25 Joe Rock Stan Laurel Comedies 29 George Marshall Pack up Your Troubles 30 Rosina Lawrence Way Out West