NOTE: This is an old issue of the Brushwood Gulch Gazette, which has been archived for reference purposes.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.
Tuesday, December 12th, will mark the final meeting of the Way Out West Tent for the year 2000. We'll be ending the year right, by screening some classic Laurel and Hardy films that we haven't shown for awhile. There will even be cake to indulge your sweet tooth.
Every year we ask all of our members and guests to remember the less fortunate by bringing a canned goods donation to the December Way Out West Tent meeting. All of these donations are given to the Maud Booth Family Center. We have been very grateful for your generosity in the past, and we are asking for your help once again. If you prefer, you may make a cash donation that will be given to the Maud Booth Family Center. In either case, we thank you in advance for your kindness during the holiday season.
Our meeting will be at the Mayflower Club in North Hollywood, located at 11110 Victory Boulevard...just west of Vineland Avenue. The doors will open at 6:30PM and the meeting will begin at 7:15PM. The Fabulous Fisher Franks and the Mayflower Bar will be ready to satisfy all of your edible desires. So come on by and join us on the evening of Tuesday, December 12, 2000.
Click here for a map to the Mayflower Club...
The Sons of the Desert Advisory Committee is offering a special Sons of the Desert Membership Certificate. Each certificate will be personally signed by the surviving founding members of the Sons, which consist of Exhausted Ruler John McCabe, Orson Bean, and Chuck McCann. Certificates will be numbered from 1 through 250. This will be a unique piece of memorabilia for you or a very nice gift for your favorite Son of the Desert. All proceeds from this sale will go to the Intra-Tent Journal, which will use the funds to resume their publication on a regular basis. Because this offering is strictly limited to 250 certificates, be sure to send in your order soon. Send $25 (plus $2 postage and handling) to Bob Satterfield, P.O. Box 448, Patton, CA 92369-0448. Make your check or money order payable to Bob Satterfield. Personal checks will be held 10 days for bank clearance.
In its ongoing effort to raise money for the financially strapped Intra-Tent Journal, the Sons of the Desert Advisory Committee has started a second round of auctions on eBay beginning November 15, 2000. New items will be added daily, and all proceeds from these auctions will go to the Intra-Tent Journal.
Every Sons of the Desert member with Internet access and an email address can be involved. Numerous personally autographed photos of Laurel & Hardy and Hal Roach stars will be auctioned on eBay. All autographs were obtained in person and are 100% guaranteed authentic. Please be generous with your bids, as all funds raised from this auction will go directly to the Intra-Tent Journal. You will be bidding on some rare and historical autographs from many of the stars that you have enjoyed for many years. You may even find some really great bargains!
Placing a bid on an item is very easy. All that is needed to register on eBay is an email address and Internet access. Registration is free and a credit card is NOT required. Payment for any items won will be sent directly to a member of the Advisory Committee, not to eBay. If you win an auction, you will be contacted by email and advised on where to send payment.
As a shortcut, we've set up the address ebay.sonsofthedesert.com to take you to a list of items that are currently up for auction. You'll be able to identify items being auctioned for the ITJ by the seller name CATSAFTERME. All items which benefit the ITJ will also specifically say so in their descriptions (in bold red). Good luck and happy bidding!
Pack Up Your Troubles co-star Muriel Evans passed away on October 26, 2000, at the age of 90. She had been living at the Motion Picture Country Home in Woodland Hills. A native of Minneapolis, Minnesota, she began her acting career in the theater at the age of 12 and was working in silent films by the time she was 16.
Muriel appeared in over forty films during her career. We know her for her role in the 1932 Laurel & Hardy feature film Pack Up Your Troubles. She also appeared in films with Charlie Chase. Among her other film credits were Frank Capra's Mr. Deeds Goes To Town, Manhattan Melodrama with Clark Gable and William Powell, and The Prizefighter and The Lady with Myrna Loy.
Perhaps she is best known for her many appearances in westerns with Hopalong Cassidy, Buck Jones, and Tom Mix. Ms. Evans received a Golden Boot Award for work in these films. Her final feature film was Westbound Stage with Tex Ritter in 1940. In 1946 she made an uncredited appearance in a Pete Smith short titled Studio Visit.
Over the years, Muriel appeared at many of our tent's banquets. In 1994 she was awarded the Way Out West Tent Lifetime Achievement Award. Donations can be made in her memory to the Motion Picture and Television Fund, 23388 Mulholland Dr., Woodland Hills, CA 91364-2792.
Our good friend Eugene "Pineapple" Jackson suffered a slight stroke on November 20th. He was able to return home for Thanksgiving and he is currently recovering. If you would like to send him a get well card, you may send it to 830 Plum Street, Compton, CA 90221.
Image Entertainment's ten volume collection of Laurel and Hardy DVDs is now complete. Volumes seven, eight, and nine have been recently released and should now be available for sale in stores and on the Internet. Disappointingly, Volume 10 is simply a reissue of the Laurel & Hardy and Friends DVD. Films that have never been released to commercial home video are now available, including With Love and Hisses (Vol. 7), From Soup to Nuts (Vol. 8), The Second Hundred Years (Vol. 8), and Why Girls Love Sailors (Vol. 9). This is great news for anyone who collects Laurel and Hardy videos, as these have been very difficult to obtain in the past. Each disc contains six films, most of which are classic Laurel and Hardy shorts. They also contains several solo efforts by either Stan Laurel or Oliver Hardy. The disc may be ordered online from Amazon.com from one of the following links:
Well, we made it through the 1990's and into the 2000's, but we never could have done it without the help of some very special people. I just wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the many people who have contributed to our tent's success. From the birth of this tent, Lori "Mama Hen" McCaffrey has been here. Her devotion to our tent and all of the work that goes unnoticed is gratefully appreciated. Over the years, Bob Satterfield's contributions to the WOW tent has given us all a chance to visit the film locations and meet the celebrities that has helped bring us closer to what actually went on during those history making days at the Hal Roach Studios. Members of the Wiley family have been active, working helpers for over 25 years. Whether he's leading us in the Sons of the Desert song and the toasts at the meetings or just giving his all around help, Jimmy has been doing a great job as our Vice-Sheik. Kris Wiley can usually be found at the sales table cheerfully greeting everyone as well as doing a million other behind the scenes chores. The next generation of the Wiley family, Jimmy III, has redefined the club website. He created the website from scratch and is constantly updating and adding new points of interest for the world to see. His work on our newsletters and banquet programs is quite impressive. Bob Duncan adds a lot to our meetings with his introductions of the films being screened by sharing a lot of behind the scenes information. He has also created the trivia games that we play from time to time. His creative, traditional toasts at our banquets help to get the evening off to a great start. Jayne Barnhart has been keeping track of our tent's history with her one of a kind scrapbook for several years now and for that, we tip our derbies to her. Our founding Grand Sheik, Bill Patterson, can be seen at every WOW meeting. To him, we owe a big thank you for starting up the tent in 1967 that we continue to enjoy today. Sharron Fisher still carries on the tradition of the "Famous Fabulous Fisher Franks" and we all keep coming back for more. Colin McCaffery has captured so many memorable moments of the tent's history with his camera and he has helped out with many other duties as well. To him, a big thank you. Gloria Brigante, the co-creator of the Way Out West Tent banner that we proudly display at each of our meetings and banquets, was the featured player in our tent video for Sea-Tac 2000 in July. Stan Taffel has joined us as our emcee for the meetings, bringing along his sense of humor to keep us all laughing. Former WOW Grand Sheik, Earl Kress is back with us as well to lend a helping hand. A special thank you to all of our dedicated "Board Members at Large;" Alan Barasorda, Dorothy Barnhart, Steve Nelson, Neal Pinyan, Tom and Debbie Hopkins, and Dorothy Bellina, you have all been ready to give a helping hand at the meetings and banquets and you have always been there when we need you the most. We really appreciate all of your help because we cannot do what we do without your support. To our celebrities, we always enjoy your visits to our tent functions and will always admire your contributions to the films that we never get tired of watching. Last but not least, I want to thank my wife, Janet, for standing by me and supporting all of my life's experiences. Being married to her is special and having her as my best friend makes it even more special. In closing, here's wishing everyone a very happy, healthy, safe and prosperous 2001. We'll look forward to seeing all of you again soon.
The Way Out West tent held its 33rd anniversary banquet on Saturday, October 21, 2000, at the 94th Aero Squadron in Van Nuys. A social hour gave everyone a chance to greet one another before the dinner, which consisted of chicken dijonaise, Caesar salad, roasted potatoes, vegetable medley, and a dessert of chocolate mousse pie.
Vice-Sheik Jimmy Wiley began our program by leading us all in the singing of the Sons of the Desert song. WOW Toastmaster Bob Duncan then offered a tribute to the late Tony Hawes by dedicating the traditional toasts to his memory as we all raised our glasses to Stan, Babe, and the rest of the honored Hal Roach stars.
Long time member, Bart Williams, was next at the podium as he performed a satire of "The Night Before Christmas," which received a great response from the audience. Stan Taffel followed with his own original "Lost Last Interview with Stan Laurel" made up of questions from Stan Taffel and answered by Stan Laurel (with sound clips from the boys' films). Stan also shared his video musical tribute to Our Gang.
Earl Kress then took us on a trip down memory lane with a look back at the Sons of the Desert's 2nd International Convention, better known as Hollywood '80. We had a chance to view some slides and video clips from the Real People television program, local news clips, and local television interviews. For those of us who attended Hollywood '80, it was wonderful to relive those memories. For those who were not there it was a great chance to see what really happened 20 years ago.
Introductions of our celebrities followed. One of the highlights featured the comedy of Jim MacGeorge, who was joined later with Sons of the Desert Co-Founder, Chuck McCann. Their entertaining moments included a Laurel & Hardy routine with a rendition of "Trail of the Lonesome Pine."
This year's Way Out West Tent Lifetime Achievement Award went to Our Gang's Tommy "Butch" Bond, who attended with his wife Polly and their son, Thomas, Jr. Edith Fellows also received the WOW tent's Lifetime Achievement Award for 1998. We had planned to present it her at the 1998 banquet, but due to scheduling problems we were not able to present her with the award until this banquet. We updated our traditional "Honolulu Baby" award by renaming it the "Honolulu Buddy" award. This year's recipient was Our Gang's Gordon "Porky" Lee. Also attending the banquet were L&H costumer, Jay Dare, Lois Roberts (widow of Hal Roach Prop man Thomas Benton Roberts), Trudy Marshall (The Dancing Masters), Our Gang's Dorothy "Echo" Deborba, Margaret Kerry (Peggy Lynch), Leonard Landy, and Delmar Watson. The Way Out West tent's worker awards were presented to Stan Taffel ("Why Don't You Do Something To Help Me?" award), Earl Kress ("The Good Egg" award). The Furthest Traveled award went to David Morley from England.
The raffle that followed produced many happy winners. The evening came to a close as we screened the Laurel & Hardy feature, Pack Up Your Troubles.
We want to extend a special thank you to all of the tent workers who contributed their time and effort to make this banquet a success: Lori and Colin McCaffery (check-in duty, centerpieces and Hollywood '80 photos); Bob Satterfield (celebrity contact); Bob Duncan (toasts, 1940's music, and raffle prizes); Earl Kress (Hollywood '80 presentation); Jayne Barnhart and Neal Pinyan (raffle sales and prizes); Jimmy Wiley, III (banquet program); Tom and Debbie Hopkins (raffle prizes); Stan Taffel (video projection equipment); Jimmy Wiley, Jr. (slide projection equipment); Kris Wiley and Janet Duff (sales table); Dorothy Barnhart, Steve Nelson, Alan Barasorda, and Gloria Brigante (for their all around help). All of you are very much appreciated.
The meeting of August 15th, 2000, began with Bob Duncan introducing our first film of the evening, The Chases of Pimple Street starring Charley Chase. Next up, Vice-Sheik Jimmy Wiley led us in the singing of the Sons of the Desert song and the traditional toasts to the boys and company.
Jimmy Wiley and Stan Taffel shared some news from this summer's convention in Tacoma, and Jayne Barnhart contributed some Laurel & Hardy news. Bob Duncan then introduced the next two Laurel & Hardy comedies, Twice Two and Midnight Patrol.
After the break, our feature for the evening was Swiss Miss. Also joining us for this meeting was our good friend, Jay Dare, who worked as the costumer for the boys on The Dancing Masters and The Bullfighters.
January will be here before you know it and that means it's time to bring your dues up to date. Fees are due every January, regardless of when you join during the year. For example, if you joined during the final quarter of 2000, your dues were prorated through the end of 2000. The dues cycle then begins again in January 2001. You can get a jump on the new year by paying your dues at the December 2000 meeting. The prices will remain the same as they are this year. See dues schedule and meeting dates below.
2001 Meeting Schedule
Our meeting schedule for 2001 will include five regular meetings at the Mayflower Club, plus our Annunal Banquet. The dates of these events are as follows:
- January 16 - Tuesday Evening Meeting
- March 27 - Tuesday Evening Meeting
- June 5 - Tuesday Evening Meeting
- August 14 - Tuesday Evening Meeting
- October 27 - Saturday Evening Banquet
- December 11 - Tuesday Evening Meeting
Occasionally, meeting dates need to be changed. Please be sure to check all future newsletters for any changes that may be made to this schedule. The cost of the banquet is not included with your annual dues.
2001 Dues Schedule
Your 2001 dues will allow you free admission to all of the meetings, but as always, the cost of the banquet is extra. "Family" dues are only available if all members live at the same address.
- Single - $28
- Couple - $44
- Family - $48
- Non-members - $7.50 per meeting
Dues are prorated quarterly when you join during the year and are primarily used to cover postage and to rent our meeting hall. Dues also help to support the celebrity flower fund, which provides flowers for the graves of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy.
She was born on May 16, 1882 in Glasgow, Scotland. It was while working with a touring stage company that she came to the United States. One of her earliest films was the 1917 version of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. From the mid-1920's and throughout her career, she played many character roles. Some of her film appearances include The Bride of Frankenstein, Mutiny on the Bounty, After the Thin Man, Damsel in Distress, and Captain Fury. She is best remembered as Mrs. Gordon in many of the Sherlock Holmes features and radio episodes from 1939 to 1946. Her final feature was West of Wyoming in 1950. She died on August 23, 1963 in Pasadena, California at the age of 81. With Laurel and Hardy, she played Mrs. Bickerdike, the innkeeper in Bonnie Scotland. She was also one of the cooks in the kitchen in Way Out West. But she is probably best remembered as Mrs. MacTavish, the baby sitter for Eddie's little girl in Pack Up Your Troubles...Mary Gordon
Sources for Did You Know?:
Who Was Who on Screen, by Evelyn Mack Truitt
Silent Film Necrology, by Eugene Michael Vazzana
The Film Encyclopedia, by Ephraim Katz
Laurel & Hardy, by John McCabe, Al Kilgore, and Richard W. Bann
Movie Star Mickey
Released 1933 as Mickey's Gala Premiere. One of the "Hollywood Shorts" starring Mickey Mouse and a host of Hollywood celebrities that include, Laurel & Hardy, Jimmy Durante, Wallace Beery, Marie Dressler, Eddie Cantor, Greta Garbo, Buster Keaton, and many others.
His Wooden Wedding
Released December 20, 1925. Starring Charley Chase, Katherine Grant, Gail Henry, Fred De Silva, and Lassie Lou Ahern. Charley is all set to get married until he receives a note saying that his bride-to-be has a wooden leg. Charley's imagination gets away from him and he tries to avoid getting married.
Love Em And Weep
Released June 12, 1927. Starring Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Mae Busch, James Finlayson, Charlie Hall, Vivien Oakland, and Charlotte Mineau. Mae Busch plays Fin's old girlfriend who threatens to expose Fin, a well-to-do businessman, as a two-timer with women. Fin's aide, Stan, is told to keep her in check. However, she still breaks away from Stan and heads over to Fin's house to cause some trouble. Oliver Hardy plays a bit role as Judge Chigger in this two-reeler. This film was later remade as the three reel comedy, Chickens Come Home.
Released April 26, 1930. Starring Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Tiny Sandford, Frank Holliday, Leo Willis, Blanche Payson, and Bobby Burns. Stan and Ollie are down on their luck musicians playing in the streets during the winter. Their luck changes when they find a wallet filled with money. A policeman helps them out of a bit of trouble, so the boys decide to treat him to a meal.
Nothing But Trouble
Released March 1945. Starring Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Henry O'Neil, Mary Boland, Philip Merivale, and David Leland. Trying to hire a chef and a butler is almost impossible, but the well-to-do Hawkley family manages to snag the boys as their permanent staff. During their stay at the Hawkley residence, Stan and Ollie befriend a young boy, who they think is an orphan. It turns out that the boy is the King of Orlandia. The boys manage to lose their jobs, but are hired by the King's uncle, who is trying to kill off the King.
85 Years Ago
80 Years Ago
75 Years Ago
70 Years Ago
65 Years Ago
60 Years Ago
50 Years Ago
20 Years Ago
Sources for Looking Back:
Laurel or Hardy - The Solo Films of Stan Laurel and Oliver "Babe" Hardy, by Rob Stone
Laurel & Hardy - The Magic Behind the Movies, by Randy Skretvedt
Laurel & Hardy - From the Forties Forward, by Scott MacGillivray
The Little Rascals - The Life and Times of Our Gang, by Leonard Maltin and Richard W. Bann
1 Jerry Tucker Our Gang 1 Felix Knight Babes in Toyland 2 Walter Wolf King Swiss Miss 2 Dennis King The Devil's Brother 4 Darla Hood Our Gang, The Bohemian Girl 6 June Marlowe Pardon Us 7 Joe Cobb Our Gang 9 Gertrude Astor Come Clean 14 John McCabe Sons of the Desert founder 19 Roy Seawright L&H Optical Effects Specialist 21 Vivian Blaine Jitterbugs 21 Dorothy Granger Hog Wild, Laurel-Hardy Murder Case 23 Boris Karloff Pardon Us (French Version) 27 Robert Youngson Documentary Filmmaker 29 Richard Bann Laurel and Hardy/Our Gang author
3 Ferdinand Munier Babes in Toyland 5 Gordon Douglas Zenobia (director) 8 Frank Faylen A Haunting We Will Go 8 Norma Drew Churchill Chickens Come Home 10 Lois Laurel Hawes Stan's Daughter 11 Marie Windsor The Fighting Kentuckian 14 James W. Horne Way Out West (director) 16 Harry Spear Our Gang 18 Leonard Maltin Laurel and Hardy/Our Gang author 18 George Stevens L&H Cameraman 19 Al Kilgore Sons of the Desert founding member 20 "Sunshine Sammy" Morrison Our Gang 25 Eugene "Pineapple" Jackson Our Gang 27 Mary Kornman Our Gang 29 George Marshall Pack Up Your Troubles (actor/director) 30 Rosina Lawrence McCabe Way Out West