Volume 30, Number 2
This is an old issue of the Brushwood Gulch Gazette, which has been archived for reference purposes.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.
In celebration of our thirtieth anniversary, the Way Out West Tent will host a celebration June 28 - July 2, 1997, in Culver City, California...the birthplace of Laurel and Hardy! It was here that the Hal Roach Studios were located, just down the street from Metro Goldwyn Mayer. This is where the boys did their finest work, right in the heart of the Los Angeles basin. Although the studios have been demolished, many of the original filming locations can still be recognized in the residential neighborhoods and the newly restored historic downtown district of Culver City.
The Wyndham Gardens Hotel, also in Culver City, will serve as the central hub for this celebration. Rooms are a special price of $69.00 per night (plus tax, single or double occupancy per room). The newly refurbished hotel has all of the features you would expect from a first rate establishment, including a restaurant, bar, pool, and library area. Non-smoking rooms are available and it is walking distance to a major shopping mall. There is also a free shuttle between the hotel and Los Angeles International Airport (which is about 10 minutes away). For reservations, please call the hotel directly at (310) 641-7740; be sure to mention you are with the Sons of the Desert celebration in order to receive the special rate.
Los Angeles Film Locations & Graves
On Saturday, June 28, our first event will be a tour of L&H locations around Los Angeles. This will include the stairs from The Music Box and Hats Off, the Pottsville Station from Berth Marks, as well as the graves of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. We will also see Hollywood Boulevard and the theater where This is Your Life was broadcast. Other notable film locations and homes will also be included in this tour, as time permits. The Greater Los Angeles Tour will leave the Wyndham Garden Hotel at 11:00 a.m. and return at approximately 3:30 p.m. A sack lunch will be provided.
That evening, we will have our Thirtieth Anniversary Celebrity Banquet at the Wyndham Garden Hotel. Because 1997 marks the Diamond Anniversary of the film Way Out West (60 years) and the Pearl Anniversary of the Way Out West Tent (30 years), the theme of the banquet will be "Diamonds and Pearls." Celebrity guests will be in attendance, including some who worked with the boys on screen. They will be available for autographs and questions during the cocktail hour, which will begin at 6:30 p.m. Dinner will follow at 7:30 p.m. The program will contain a look back at our tent's history, which includes over 100 celebrity members and the Second Sons of the Desert International Convention in 1980. There will be a raffle and our annual awards, as well as a few surprises. The evening will conclude with the 60th Anniversary screening of Way Out West.
Culver City Film Locations
On Sunday, June 29, the celebration will continue with a special plaque dedication in downtown Culver City. Then, we will begin our tour of Culver City. Busses will take you to homes seen in Big Business, The Perfect Day, and Hog Wild. We will also visit the site of the Hal Roach Studios and see the former MGM studios along the way. Additional locations may be added, if time permits.
Then we will take to the streets, with a special walking tour of the downtown area. Here, everywhere you turn seems to be a filming location! This includes the gutter seen in We Faw Down, the hospital from County Hospital, the Culver Hotel from Putting Pants on Philip, and the street where Edgar Kennedy stopped the boys in Leave 'Em Laughing. Other locations from Bacon Grabbers, Hats Off, Two Tars, Liberty, Angora Love, and Duck Soup will also be toured on foot. And there will definitely be some great photo opportunities.
Sunday evening, we will gather at the Sagebrush Cantina and Restaurant. This building is a location itself, seen briefly in the background of several films. Dinner will be served, followed by a screening of many of the same films whose sites you will have visited earlier in the day. Some special guests will be in attendance, to share their vast knowledge about the films and locations. And remember, this is all taking place just a few blocks from where the films were made!
Monday and Tuesday will be an opportunity for you to do some sightseeing on your own. You may wish to revisit Hollywood Boulevard, or see popular attractions such as Disneyland, Universal Studios, The Queen Mary, Catalina Island, Knotts Berry Farm, or Movieland Wax Museum, just to name a few. Several tour companies travel to these places by bus, but it will probably be more convenient and less expensive see things like a native of Southern California...by renting a car for the remainder of the week. Transportation will be provided from the Wyndham Garden Hotel to all of the events on Saturday and Sunday, so there will be no need to have a car of your own until Monday.
The cost for the entire event is $95 for members of the Sons of the Desert, or $110 for non-members. This price is being extended to members of ANY tent, not just our own. A registration form for all of these events has been included. Tickets to individual events are also available (see registration form for prices). Please note, this price does not include hotel accommodations.
If there is sufficient demand, we will charter a bus to take you from L.A. to the Edgar Kennedy Celebration in Monterey. The bus will leave on Wednesday morning for your trip up the scenic California coastline and a stop at Hearst's Castle, the palatial estate of William Randolph Hearst. This was once the playground of the motion picture industry, with guests such as Chaplin and Hal Roach. The price for this trip will be about $50 per person. If you are interested, please indicate so on the reservation form and we will provide you with additional information as it becomes available. If there is not enough demand, we will assist you in finding an alternative way to Monterey.
An event like this has not been offered in over 17 years and will probably not be offered again. If you love Laurel and Hardy and wish to meet the people they worked with and see where they made their magic, this is a really special opportunity. We hope to see you this summer.
On February 13, 1997, our tent and Sons of the Desert worldwide lost a dear friend. Tony Hawes, husband of Stan Laurel's daughter Lois, passed away suddenly at his home in Southern California. We all knew Tony for his wit and enthusiasm and recognized him as a talented writer and artist. But there were many interesting and unique things that we did not know about our fraternal brother.
Born in Blackheath, London, Tony started on the road to success at the age of fourteen, when he became Fleet Street's youngest cartoonist working full time on the Daily Mail. He worked as assistant to "Spot," drawing the daily comic strip "Teddy Tail." By 1949 he was a major cartoonist on the Bristol Evening World.
His artistic talents led him to British feature films in the 1960's. He illustrated the titles for two films, Your Money or Your Wife (1960) and It's All Happening (1963). Tony also portrayed several memorable characters on screen. He was a lorry driver in Soapbox Derby (1958) and a TV news anchor in The Unstoppable Man (1960). In The World Ten Times Over (1963), Tony appeared with Donald Sutherland as a pair of night club drunks. One of Tony's most memorable roles was as Lord Buncholme in Piccadilly Third Stop (1960); he reprised this role in The Frightened City (1961), where, in the end, he got the girl from Sean Connery.
In his early days of script writing, he provided material for Jerry Lewis, Milton Berle, Phyllis Diller, Jack Benny, and Bob Hope. He wrote and appeared as Mr. Rembrandt in the film The Hair of the Dog (1962), as a house painter with a strong resemblance to Adolf Hitler. Strictly for the Birds (1963) was also written by Tony, who portrayed an overworked night club drummer. He was also a writer for the popular British quiz programs The Generation Game and Celebrity Squares. In later years he was writing and co-producing various television specials and series for the London Palladium, Liberace, Tom Jones, and Englebert Humperdinck. He was employed as a producer, director, and writer by the BBC and I-TV London for over 40 years. Clearly, he loved all aspects of show business.
While in Los Angeles for the 1980 Sons of the Desert International Convention, he was introduced to Lois Laurel by none other than Oliver Hardy's widow, Lucille. Later that year, they met again at a Sons of the Desert function in England. It was love at first sight, resulting in their marriage the following year. This eventually brought his talents to America, where he wrote for Johnny Carson and NBC's Real People.
Tony loved to perform on stage, especially in the form of British Music Hall. He helped to bring this lost art back to life in Los Angeles, of all places, as Master of Ceremonies at the Variety Arts Center. Every Christmas, he also joined in the production of British Pantomimes at the Mayflower Club. Tony was a member of both the Masquers Club and the Mayflower Club.
Most of all, Tony was an important member of the Sons of the Desert. He and his wife Lois founded the Our Relations Tent, in addition to being members of dozens of other tents. They constantly traveled, attending Sons of the Desert functions around the world. Of course, Tony spent much of his time planning these functions as well.
In 1987, the city of Lompoc, California, played host to a W.C. Fields celebration. Tony was instrumental in getting this event off the ground and flyingÉcomplete with our own Henry Brandon, reprising his role on stage in The Drunkard. This was the kind of event that Tony was so well known for; his activities often allowed performers and great names from the past a chance to return to the spotlight. In 1990, Tony arranged another celebration on Santa Catalina Island. This time, it honored Stan Laurel's 100th birthday. Numerous guests, including Hal Roach, were in attendance. Why did Tony do all of this? To make sure that a good time was had by all!
Most recently, Tony's efforts were focused upon the Edgar Kennedy Celebration in Monterey, planned for this coming summer. He had found many of Mr. Kennedy's descendants, including his daughter. Although it was offered to dedicate the event in Tony's memory, his wife felt that Tony wouldn't want it that way. The celebration is in honor of Edgar Kennedy; Tony would not have wanted to upstage Mr. Kennedy's fans and relatives at such an event. So the celebration will continue as scheduled, undoubtedly with reminders of Tony at every turn.
Tony was always prepared to deliver the toasts which begin each of our meetings. He would combine his clever flair for words with artistic talents to present some of the most memorable toasts a Sons meeting, banquet, or convention has ever seen. Tony was one act that you never wanted to follow!
To Tony's wife Lois, his son Dominic, and the rest of the family, we offer our deepest condolences. Tony's legacy is deeply entwined throughout our tent's history. His artwork has proudly been displayed on our banquet programs and other publications throughout the years. This year, as we continue to celebrate our thirtieth anniversary, you can be sure that the name Tony Hawes will recur again and again. He will long be remembered and deeply missed.
At our next meeting, Randy Skretvedt&emdash;author of Laurel and Hardy - The Magic Behind The Movies&emdash;will spotlight the life and music of T. Marvin Hatley. Marvin was the musical genius at the Hal Roach Studios who wrote the boys' theme song. In addition, he received an Academy Award nomination for his musical score from Way Out West. Marvin was also quite active in the Way Out West Tent. Every meeting, you could count on him to perform his musical magic at the piano. When given the opportunity, he could play just about any instrument you could think of! For those of us who knew Marvin and those who never had the chance to meet him, this is sure to be an interesting and unique experience. Thanks Randy, for making it possible.
March 18, 1997, will be too late to celebrate St. Patrick's Day and too early to celebrate Easter, but you will be right on time for the next Way Out West Tent meeting 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 faithfully finding their way to you and the Marvelous Mayflower Bar will be at the ready as well. So, come on by and join us on Tuesday evening, March 18, 1997.
Unaccustomed as We Are
Released May 4, 1929 - Starring Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Mae Busch, Thelma Todd, and Edgar Kennedy. Ollie becomes the victim of an upset Mrs. Hardy, thanks to Stan showing up for dinner, at Ollie's request. Trying to help Ollie's cause, a beautiful next door neighbor loses her dress trying to assist in the boys' dinner plans. When the neighbor's husband returns home, the fireworks begin. Originally titled "Their Last Word," Unaccustomed As We Are was the boys' first talking picture.
Men O' War
Released June 29, 1929 - Starring Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, James Finlayson, and a boat filled with people! Sailors Laurel and Hardy, out for the day, meet two girls and invite them for a soda. When Stan's shortage of cash is converted to a jackpot, the boys take the girls for a boat ride in the lake, only to have the relaxing event turn into a melee.
Released November 16, 1929 - Starring Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Tiny Sandford, James Finlayson, Dick Sutherland, and Ellinor Vanderveer. Prisoners Laurel and Hardy wind up in a labor camp, thanks to a failed escape from the hoose-gow. While serving their time, Ollie's coat is shredded by Stan, a lookout guard makes a quick and unexpected descent from a tree, and a rice battle with the Governor finishes off their day.
Our first meeting of the year was on January 21st at the Mayflower Club. After singing the Sons of the Desert song, Tony Hawes delivered the standard toasts. A special toast was offered to the memory of Laurence Austin, the operator of "The Silent Movie" theater. Our film program began with Our Gang's Barnum and Ringling, Inc., with a cameo appearance by Babe Hardy. Next up, we saw Ollie in a scene from The Fighting Kentuckian, with John Wayne. The first half of the program ended with Ollie, this time teamed up with Bobby Ray in Stick Around . The film program concluded with Stan and Ollie in Oliver the Eighth and Blotto. Joining us for the evening were Mark and Glenn Kennedy, the grandsons of Edgar Kennedy.
This month, our Grand Sheik and Vice Sheik remember Tony Hawes and his involvement with our tent.
By John Duff
Sons of the Desert all over the world were stunned to learn the sad news of the passing of Tony Hawes. Since Tony was at our most recent Way Out West Tent meeting on January 21, delivering the traditional toasts to the Laurel and Hardy honorees, we were all at a loss when we first heard of this. Tony, who along with his wife, Lois Laurel Hawes, were not only active in the Way Out West Tent meetings and banquets over the years, they also showed their love and devotion to Sons of the Desert tents everywhere with their appearances and support at the International Conventions and local tent functions. At the time of his death, Tony, along with Lois and the Midnight Patrol Tent, were actively planning for the upcoming Edgar Kennedy Celebration in Monterey, California, this fourth of July weekend. At the Way Out West Tent, Tony's humor and wit could always be counted upon, especially with the clever and creative verses that he would write and recite when delivering the toasts.
One funny memory I have of Tony was from a motion picture in which he appeared. He played a very well dressed gentleman wearing a monocle and holding a drink in his hand. He is at a party eavesdropping on two people in conversation. One of the two principals makes a statement that surprises Tony. His face registers a look of shock, the monocle falls out of his eye and into his drink, to which Tony does a hilarious "take" and walks out of the scene. It was that kind of humor that I remember most about him and will definitely miss. To Lois, Tony's son Dominic, and all of the family and friends of Tony Hawes, our sincere sympathy and love goes out to you all.
By Jimmy Wiley
In 1987, Kris, Jimmy, and I were invited to attend a show put on at the Variety Arts Center in downtown Los Angeles. The show, A Night At the Music Hall, was a recreation of an old time English variety show. Tony Hawes was the Master of Ceremonies. The show was essentially the English equivalent of American vaudeville. Tony introduced each act with the opening line, "Brought to you at enormous expense. . ." It didn't matter if the act was short with one person or long with several people, each one was brought to the audience at enormous expense! To get attention for his many comedic lines, Tony banged a judge's gavel against whatever hard surface was handy. The show was very funny and Tony was at his best. You could tell that he was in his element and he was enjoying each and every moment. Tony, so to speak, threw himself into his part. In my observations of Tony, that's how he handled most of his life.
At the time of his death Tony was working on this summer's Edgar Kennedy celebration at Monterey. When you asked him how things were going the twinkle in his eyes told you that things were going great and Tony was in his element and was enjoying each and every moment. It's hard for me to remember a time when I talked with Tony that he didn't have some project going, usually for the "Sons." Tony and his wife, Lois, literally traveled the world promoting the "Sons." Recently, Lois gave me and my family the chance to look at Tony's personal four volume scrapbook. To sum it up, Tony was an artist, an English radio star, an English television star, an accomplished comedy writer, a screen writer, and even an occasional movie actor. With his gift of bringing people together to have fun, Tony was also a very talented "Son of the Desert"!
The last time I saw Tony was at our January meeting. He gave the meeting's toasts. His last toast was to T. Marvin Hatley. Tony concluded the toast with "Oh how we miss him." The same will be said about Tony.
In 1936, Jay Dare was in front of the camera for a speaking part in the original version of A Star is Born, with Janet Gaynor and Fredric March. He then went on to work at the Hal Roach Studios as a set dresser. Twentieth Century Fox was Jay's next stop, where he worked as a sketch artist and costumer. It was here that Jay worked with Stan and Ollie on The Dancing Masters and The Bullfighters. At MGM while working on the film, Winged Victory, Jay had an encounter with a young actor and was constantly reminding him to keep his boots clean. That young actor went on to become the fortieth President of the United States&emdash;Ronald Reagan. It was around the time of Reagan's presidency that Jay became active in the Way Out West Tent. We have all enjoyed Jay's company and his recollections of Laurel and Hardy and studio life in Hollywood's glory days. In addition to the many banquets that he has attended, you can always find Jay sitting in the front row of every Way Out West Tent meeting. We at the Way Out West Tent want to thank Jay for his friendship and loyalty over the years, and for this we tip our derbies.
She was born on September 20, 1881. At 6'2" and over 200 pounds, she spent time working for the Los Angeles Police Department. Mack Sennett hired her to keep an eye on his "Bathing Beauties" and keep them in line. Her film career began in 1916, with an appearance in Wife And Auto Trouble. Her list of credits include roles in the "Baby Peggy" series at Century Studios in the 1920's. She appeared with Stan Laurel in Half a Man in 1925. While at the Hal Roach Studios, she was the nasty step-mother in Our Gang's, Dogs is Dogs. Some of her other films include, If I Were King, with Ronald Colman, The Amazing Mr. Williams, with Melvyn Douglas and Joan Blondell and Angels Over Broadway, with Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. and Rita Hayworth. Her final film was Salute For Three in 1943. She died on July 3, 1964, at the age of 82. Of her appearances with Laurel and Hardy, she is best remembered as Ben Turpin's wife in the boys' short Our Wife, and as Mrs. Hardy in Helpmates...Blanche Payson.
Sources for Did You Know? :
The Laurel and Hardy Encyclopedia, by Glenn Mitchell
The Life and Times of the Little Rascals, by Leonard Maltin and Richard W. Bann
Who Was Who On Screen, by Evelyn Mack Truitt
Silent Film Necrology, by Eugene Michael Vazzana
What Ever Happened to Baby Peggy, by Diana Serra Cary
The Movie and Video Guide, by Leonard Maltin
80 Years Ago
75 Years Ago
70 Years Ago
65 Years Ago
60 Years Ago
55 Years Ago
50 years Ago
Sources for Looking Back:
Laurel or 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 Rascals - The Life and Times of Our Gang, by Leonard Maltin and Richard W. Bann
Laurel and Hardy - The British Tours, by A. J. Marriot
The Charley Chase Filmography, by Richard M. Roberts, Joe Moore, Robert Farr and Steve Rydzewski.
2 Lona Andre Our Relations 3 Jean Harlow Double Whoopee 3 Charlotte Henry March of the Wooden Soldiers 5 Walter Long Pardon Us 7 Babe & Lucille Hardy Wedding Anniversary (1940) 9 Peggy Ahern Our Gang 10 Baldwin Cooke Perfect Day 12 Bill "Buckwheat" Thomas Our Gang 15 Frank "Junior" Coghlan Our Gang 21 Broncho Billy Anderson Producer of The Lucky Dog 24 Tony Hawes 24 Venice Lloyd Mrs. Art Lloyd 26 Jackie Condon Our Gang 27 Philbrook Lyons Our Gang 28 Dorothy "Echo" Deborba Our Gang 29 Bobby "Wheezer" Hutchins Our Gang 31 Eddie Quillan Hollywood Party 31 Eddie Dunn Me and My Pal
3 T. Marvin Hatley L&H Composer 5 Grady Sutton Pack Up Your Troubles 7 Anthony Caruso Jitterbugs 9 Sharon Lynne Way Out West 13 Jay Dare 20th Century Fox Costumer 16 Billy Benedict Great Guns 16 Charlie Chaplin Fred Karno Troupe 17 Otto Lederer You're Darn Tootin' 23 Lucille Hardy Price 26 Edgar Kennedy Night Owls, Perfect Day 28 Sidney Toler Our Relations