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Peggy & Lassie
Lou Ahern Join Us In April
April 7th marks the date for the next Way Out West Tent meeting. In addition to the Laurel and Hardy film program, we will also be joined by some very special celebrity guests. Peggy Ahern and Lassie Lou Ahern, who were both featured in Hal Roach comedies during the silent era, will share their memories and take questions from the audience. This will be followed by a screening of some of their films.
The Ahern sisters made their motion picture debuts in Hal Roach's production of A Call of the Wild. Peggy went on to appear in such Our Gang comedies as Circus Fever (with Pineapple Jackson), War Feathers, and Olympic Games. She worked for other studios in such films as Excuse Me, Human Wreckage (with Mrs. Wallace Reid), and Some Pumpkins (with Charles Ray).
In addition to her work in the Our Gang comedies, Lassie Lou also played Charley Chase's daughter in several shorts&emdash;most notably The Family Entrance and Sweet Daddy. Her credits include such features as Mr. Big and Top Man, and television programs such as Love American Style and The Odd Couple.
Lassie Lou and Peggy are both long time members of the Way Out West Tent, and as always we are pleased to have them join us for this special evening.
Our next meeting will be Tuesday, April 7th, and it will begin at our new starting time of 7:15 PM. These extra few moments will allow us to better organize the meetings and offer some bonuses...such as a small raffle to be held at the upcoming meeting.
We will continue to meet at the Mayflower Club, located at 11110 Victory Boulevard (west of Vineland Avenue) in North Hollywood. As always, the Famous Fabulous Fisher Franks will be on hand and complimented by the Marvelous Mayflower Bar. The doors will still open at 6:30 PM and the meeting will start at our new time of 7:15 PM.
So, come on by and spend the evening with the Ahern sisters and the rest of the Way Out West Tent. It promises to be a meeting to remember.
Map to the Mayflower Club...
This past February, Apple Computer, Inc. broadcast a new television commercial which features the Le Roy Shield tune "In My Canoe." This song accompanied numerous films made at the Roach Studios, including those made by Laurel & Hardy and Our Gang. The name of the song may not be familiar, but fans will surely recognize it immediately.
The commercial is very simple, consisting only of a snail crawling across the screen accompanied by Sheild's tune. The point is to show that other computers work at a snail's pace compared to the new Apple computers. The slow, carefree spirit of "In My Canoe" matches perfectly with the snail and is really a pivotal part in communicating its message. The commercial has been very successful, helping Apple to sell a record number of Macintosh computers. Clearly, Mr. Shield would never have foreseen this use of his music!
Le Roy Shield came to Roach at the beginning of the sound era. He remained there for about two years, composing most of the studio's background music. He returned several years later to score Our Relations. Most of the music heard in Laurel and Hardy films was composed by either Le Roy Shield or T. Marvin Hatley.
The commercial may be seen (and heard) on the Internet by
If you haven't already done so, please be prepared to renew your membership for 1998 at the next meeting. The Way Out West Tent relies on your dues to rent our meeting hall, publish and mail our newsletter, and to provide flowers for the graves of Laurel, Hardy, and other celebrities who were dear to our tent. Dues are responsible for most of our yearly operating budget, so the sooner you pay the sooner we'll be able to pay our bills. We have not raised dues in many years; this year's dues are the same as the last year's. We thank all of our members for their support.
The 11th Sons of the Desert International Convention will take place this summer in Birmingham, England. Currently, eight members of the Way Out West Tent are signed up for the event. If you wish to go, but haven't registered, now is the time to do so! Registration forms will be available at the next meeting. Convention schedules have been published previously in the Intra-Tent Journal, which you can also pick up at the next meeting. Or you can find out more by visiting the convention's web site, located at: http://freespace.virgin.net/sp.smith/1998ic/ [link inactive]
The meeting of January 27, 1998 began with the traditional toasts to the boys and company. Our special guest for the evening, Dean Mora (leader of Mora's Modern Rhythmists), started us off accompanying the singing of the Sons of the Desert song. He then performed his musical magic on the first half of the film program, which featured Charley Chase in Mighty Like A Moose, Max Davidson and the boys in The Call Of The Cuckoo, and Stan and Ollie in The Second Hundred Years. After the break, Lori "Mama Hen" made some announcements and introduced our new members and out of town guests. Also joining us for the evening was Eleanor Keaton, widow of Buster Keaton. The second half of the program found the boys doing what they do best in That's My Wife, Should Married Men Go Home?, and We Faw Down with Dean once again adding his talent to the films. Many thanks to Dean for a job well done and for helping 1998 get off to a great start.
Charlie Chaplin and The Great Train Robbery have been included in the first two Celebrate the Century stamp series, sponsored by the U.S. Postal Service.
Celebrate the Century is a new stamp program designed to give Americans a chance to vote on the most notable events, people, places, and trends of the 20th century. Subject matter for the first five decades (1900s to 1940s) has been recommended by the Citizen's Stamp Advisory Committee (CSAC), while the American public will vote on subject matters from the 1950s to the 1990s.
The first two decades, 1900s and 1910s, have now been issued. Each series contain fourteen 32-cent stamps that celebrate their respective decade. The 1900s includes: the St. Louis World's Fair; Crayola Crayons; Theodore Roosevelt; the Model T Ford; Ash Can School of Painters; Kitty Hawk; the Pure Food and Drugs Act of 1906; John Muir, Preservationist; Immigrants Arrive at Ellis Island; Robie House; baseball's first World's Series; the Gibson Girl; W.E.B. Du Bois; the American "teddy" bear; and The Great Train Robbery, one of the first successful story films.
The 1910s series includes: George Washington Carver; the Panama Canal; the Federal Reserve System; Transcontinental Telephone Line; the 1913 Armory Show; Woodrow Wilson; the Boy and Girl Scouts; World War I; the Grand Canyon; Jim Thorpe; Child Labor Reform; Construction Toys; Jack Demsey; Crossword Puzzles; and Charlie Chaplin.
Chaplin first assumed his famous costumes for the Little Tramp in 1914. The clothes, mustache, cane, and walk came to identify one of the most familiar icons in the history of film. This is the second stamp to honor Chaplin in the past four years. The first, part of the Legends of the Silent Screen, was issued in 1994.
For more information check out the U.S. Postal Service online, at http://www.usps.com/
He was born on July 7, 1871 in Sommerville, Massachusetts. After spending thirty years on the stage, he entered motion pictures in 1916. This versatile character actor appeared in many films, usually portraying very prosperous men. Some of his credits include Madame X with Ruth Chatterton, Flying High with Bert Lahr and Pat O' Brien, The George White Scandals with Rudy Vallee and Jimmy Durante, and San Francisco with Clark Gable and Jeanette MacDonald. His final film, Million Dollar Baby, with Priscilla Lane and Ronald Reagan, was released in 1941. He died on June 28, 1941, just days before his 70th birthday, in North Hollywood, California. Laurel and Hardy fans remember him best as the rather eccentric Professor Padilla in the boys' 1928 two-reeler, Habeas Corpus ... Richard Carle.
Released January 4, 1930. Starring Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Edgar Kennedy, Anders Randolph, and James Finlayson. To escape an arrest by Officer Kennedy, the boys agree to break into the chief's house with the understanding that "Kennedy will fix it!" Kennedy's plan backfires as he winds up with the stolen goods and the boys run off. This film is based on "The Nutty Burglars," a vaudeville play in which Stan performed in 1914.
Another Fine Mess
Released November 29, 1930. Starring Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, James Finlayson, Thelma Todd, and Charles Gerrard. As bums on the run, Laurel and Hardy ditch the police by hiding in Colonel Buckshot's basement. When Lord and Lady Plumtree arrive and inquire about renting the temporarily vacant home, Ollie becomes Colonel Buckshot and Stan becomes Hives, the butler, and Agnes, the maid. They just about pull it off until the real Colonel Buckshot returns home. Another Fine Mess is a reworking of the boys' 1927 short, Duck Soup.
The Love Bug
Released April 5, 1925. Starring Mickey Daniels, Mary Kornman, Joe Cobb, Jackie Condon, Allen "Farina" Hoskins, Johnny Downs, Eugene "Pineapple" Jackson, Peggy Ahearn, Wadell Carter, William Gillespie, and Ernie Morrison, Sr. While the boss is away, the Our Gang kids find mischief in a beauty salon. They find plenty of trouble to get into, from the steam cabinet to various cosmetics and hoses. When the owner returns to his store, he has no choice but to call the cops.
This screening is subject to availability of the film. If unavailable, Our Gang's Olympic Games is a likely alternative.
Uncle Tom's Cabin
Released 1927, by Universal Pictures. Starring Gertrude Astor, Louise Beavers, Virginia Grey, Lucien Littlefield, Nelson McDowell, Vivien Oakland, John Roche, George Siegmann, and Lassie Lou Ahern. Based on the classic novel by Harriet Beecher Stowe. A clip will be shown, featuring Lassie Lou Ahern, will be screened.
This screening is subject to availability of the film.
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2 Lona Andre Our Relations 2 Jean Harlow Double Whoopee 3 Charlotte Henry Babes in Toyland 5 Walter Long Pardon Us, Going Bye-Bye! 7 Babe & Lucille Hardy Wedding Anniversary (1940) 9 Peggy Ahern Our Gang 10 Baldwin Cooke Perfect Day 12 Bill "Buckwheat" Thomas Our Gang 13 Fred Knoth L&H Special Effects 15 Frank "Junior" Coghlan Our Gang 16 Florence Roberts Babes in Toyland 21 Bronco Billy Anderson The Lucky Dog (Producer) 24 Tony Hawes 24 Venice Lloyd Mrs. Art Lloyd 28 Dorothy Deborba Our Gang 29 Robert "Wheezer" Hutchins Our Gang 31 Eddie Quillan Hollywood Party
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 L&H-20th Century Fox Costumer 16 Billy Benedict Great Guns 20 Harold Lloyd 23 Lucille Hardy Price 26 Edgar Kennedy Night Owls, Perfect Day 28 Sidney Toler Our Relations