Happy One Hundred Sixteenth Birthday Babe!
As any longtime Laurel & Hardy fan knows, Oliver “Babe” Hardy was born in Harlem, Georgia on January 18, 1892. Join us on the evening of Tuesday, January 15th to celebrate.
In their movies, Ollie often asked Stan, “Why don’t you do something to help me?” But as often happens in life, you should be careful what you ask for. On January 15th, we will screen films where Ollie gets more help from Stan than Ollie can handle. In Busy Bodies (1933), Stan helps Ollie working at the sawmill, where they make wooden window frames. Stan helps Ollie and the beautiful Dulcy elope, in Our Wife (1931). In Hog Wild (1930), Stan helps Ollie put up a radio antenna on Ollie’s roof. Finally in the short feature Beau Hunks (1931), Stan helps Ollie try to forget Ollie’s love, Jeanie Weenie, when they both join the Foreign Legion.
As a special opening film for the evening, fresh from the film vault of Stan Taffel, we will screen Married to Order (1920). This is the first time that this film has been shown at a Way Out West meeting. This silent short, released by Reelcraft Pictures, also stars Charley Chase. In the film, Babe plays a very nearsighted father of twins (a girl and a boy). Babe doesn’t approve of his daughter’s boyfriend, Charley. First Charley disguises himself as the family milkman to fool Babe. Then Charley’s girlfriend disguises herself as her twin brother to fool Babe, so she can elope with Charley. Confusing? You bet.
As always we will meet at the Mayflower Club, located at 11110 Victory Boulevard in North Hollywood. Doors will open at 6:30 PM and our meeting will start at 7:15 PM. There will be Fisher Franks with your choice of chips sold at the Mayflower Kitchen, and drinks will be sold at the Mayflower Bar. Free birthday cake will be served at our second break. So please join us at our first meeting for 2008, on Tuesday January 15th, when we celebrate the one hundred sixteenth birthday of Babe Hardy!
Dues For 2008 WOW Members
Our annual dues for Way Out West memberships are due each January. In 2008, they are the same as they were in 2007, with singles ($28/year), couples ($44/year), and families (all living at the same address) ($48/year). Nonmembers will still be subject to a $7.00 door charge. However, we need your dues to be paid on time, as we have to cover current expenses for rental fees to the Mayflower Club, for paper and for postage to mail our newsletters, and to continue to be able to offer discounts to paid members when we have banquets and special events. Please pay you dues on time! We thank all of our members for their continued support.
Dates For Upcoming Meetings Announced
All of our meetings for 2008 will be on Tuesday nights at the Mayflower Club, starting at 7:15 PM. Our March 11th meeting will feature a screening of some of the rarer Laurel & Hardy films on video. On May 6th, we will screen The Devil’s Brother to commemorate the film’s 75th anniversary. June 17th will be our annual Stan Laurel birthday celebration. We will honor Anita Garvin at our August 19th meeting. The year will conclude with a special holiday meeting on December 9th. Admission to all of the above meetings are included in your annual dues. In additional to our six regular meetings this year, we are planning a special event for Saturday October 18th. The location, time, and theme will be announced.
From the Grand Sheik
As most of you know we lost our Founding Grand Sheik, Bill Patterson, on December 1st last year. On December 10th, we had a memorial service with our members and Bill’s family and friends at the Mayflower Club. A family minister said a few words and offered a prayer for Bill. John Duff and Lori McCafferty each had nice stories about Bill to tell. Bill’s daughter Karen talked about her father and gave a great slide presentation of pictures from Bill’s life.
I spoke a little about my friend Bill and introduced the video that my son Jimmy and I did for WOWs 40th Anniversary last July. In the video, we interviewed all seven past WOW Grand Sheiks, myself, and Lori. While it played, all the good feelings that I had while we did the interviews came back to me. Bill was the first Grand Sheik that we interviewed. I remember the happy looks on his face when he spoke about the club. He was proud that he started the Way Out West tent, and also praised Lori for all her help. It was hard to start the club and even harder to keep it going.
Bill, by starting Way Out West, brought a lot of good people together to enjoy Laurel & Hardy, and to enjoy each other. Stop and think about all the meetings and banquets that Way Out West has had in forty years and all the people that have attended those meetings and banquets. That’s a lot of happiness that Bill brought to a lot of people! After talking to some of Bill’s family and friends at the memorial, it was easy to conclude that Bill had a family that loved him and a lot of friends that have fond memories of him. Isn’t that simply what most of us want out of life? We ended Bill’s memorial by showing Helpmates. I know Bill would have liked that.
Notes From Our November Meeting
On November 13th, we had our last meeting of 2007. Jimmy Wiley Jr. opened the meeting and was joined in giving toasts and doing the Sons of the Desert Song by members: Pete Fraley, Randy Johnson, Bill Knickrehm, Dave Griem, Bob Duncan, Stan Taffel, and our special guest of the night, Rick Greene.
Rick’s new book Shroom! A Funny Book is about the adventures of Arnold Miracle who receives Allpowers from a nine-foot tall mushroom named Shroom. The problem is that Shroom never tells Arnold exactly what the powers are or how to use them. The book includes a time travel adventure to the Laurel & Hardy days at the Roach Studios around the time that Thelma Todd accidentally died or was murdered.
The films for the evening were Twice Two, You’re Darn Tootin’, Oliver the Eighth, and Swiss Miss. Four free drawing for Laurel & Hardy collectibles were done throughout the evening, in appreciation to our members.
Way Out West also received a large collection of canned food and cash donations from our members for donation to the Maud Booth Family Center. Thanks to everyone in attendance for being so generous, as you are every year!