Laurel and Hardy Society Sons of the Desert Way Out West Tent Los Angeles
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The Brushwood Gulch Gazette is the newsletter of the Way Out West Tent. It is published six times a year, shortly before regular tent meetings. Members receive the complete printed edition in the mail. The online edition features most of the articles found in the printed version, minus photos.

Way Out West-ern Barbecue October 18th

Join us on October 18th for a Saturday night barbecue at the Mayflower Club. This special event will include your favorite Laurel & Hardy films, special guests, door prizes, raffle prizes, and our Laurel & Hardy Trivia Jeopardy Game.

Click here to download the registration form

Our barbecue will be prepared by Rick Royce Premiere BBQ Catering. Rick Royce has been called “L.A.’s best kept secret” by Elmer Dills, “The premiere BBQ caterer in Southern California!” by Merrill Shindler, and “The Rolls Royce of BBQ” by Larry Lipson of the Daily News. The generous buffet meal will include BBQ Beef Tri-Tip and Chicken, hickory smoked and served fresh from the grill with green salad, red potato salad, barbecue baked beans, and garlic toast. The meal will include a soft drink; additional drinks will be available from the Mayflower Bar. Vegetarian lasagne will also be available.

Along with the screening of our club’s namesake film, Way Out West, we will also screen three of your favorite Laurel & Hardy shorts. Just list your favorite Laurel & Hardy short (sound or silent) below on our reservation form, and we will screen the three shorts with the most votes. For your enjoyment with our films for the evening, we will give everyone free popcorn and candy.

As our special guests, Stan Laurel’s daughter Lois, his great-granddaughter Cassidy, and his great-great grandchildren Lucy and Tommy have been invited. They will join us, schedule permitting.

We will have a drawing for two free door prizes, in addition to a paid raffle of unique Laurel & Hardy collectibles. In our Laurel & Hardy Trivia Jeopardy Game, Stan Taffel will select three members from our audience to play a Laurel & Hardy trivia contest, based on TV’s famous show Jeopardy.

The cost for this special evening will be $25.00 per person. Again, this price includes an award winning barbecued dinner, plus three hours of entertainment (including an opportunity to meet Stan Laurel’s family, our Jeopardy game, and the screening of your favorite Laurel & Hardy films).

We will open the Mayflower doors at 5:00 PM. Dinner will start at 5:30 PM. The Mayflower Club is located at 11110 Victory Boulevard in North Hollywood. There is free parking behind the Mayflower and on Victory Boulevard.

Click here for a map to the Mayflower Club...

Anita Garvin Night - Rare Films and Special Guests August 19th

On the evening of Tuesday, August 19th, we will devote our entire meeting to Anita Garvin. In our forty one years as a tent, Way Out West has been fortunate to have many of Laurel & Hardy's supporting actors and actresses attend meetings and banquets. Anita Garvin was always one of our favorites!

Joining us for the evening will be authors and longtime Way Out West Members Randy Skretvedt and Jordan Young, who will both reminisce about Anita and her film career. Randy will screen a very rare interview film that he made with Anita in the 1970s. If you have any special stories or remembrances about Anita that you would like to share with us, we would like to hear them at the meeting too.

Our film program will include From Soup to Nuts (1928). In this silent short (directed by Edgar Kennedy), Stan and Ollie are hired as butlers for a formal dinner hosted by Anita and her husband (Tiny Sandford). The Charley Chase short, Whispering Whoopee (1930) will be screened for the first time at a Way Out West meeting. This film features Anita, Thelma Todd, and Kay Deslys, as "good time girls" who Charley hires to help him close an important business deal. A Pair of Tights (1929) stars Anita and a very young Stu Erwin (remember The Stu Erwin Show on TV in the early fifties?). Anita, Stu and their two friends stop for ice cream before having dinner with Stu's boss, Edgar Kennedy. In their attempt to get ice cream, anything that could go wrong does go wrong. To complete our film tribute to Anita Garvin, we will screen what most fans think is Anita's best film with Stan and Babe. In Blotto (1930), Stan and Ollie tell Stan's wife (Anita) that they going out for a business meeting, but instead they are really going out for a night on the town.

The Mayflower Club is located at 11110 Victory Boulevard in North Hollywood. We will open our doors at 6:30 PM. Our meeting will start at 7:15 PM. Fisher Franks and your choice of chips will be sold at the Mayflower Kitchen, and drinks will be sold at the Mayflower Bar. Free cake will be served at our second break. Please join us on Tuesday evening, August 19th, at the Mayflower Club for a very special tribute meeting to Anita Garvin.

Click here for a map to the Mayflower Club...

Lois Laurel Hawes & Family at August Meeting

We are pleased to announce that Lois Laurel Hawes is planning to attend our August 19th meeting, along with her granddaughter Cassidy and her great grandchildren Lucy and Tommy. Lois and Cassidy have recently had new Laurel & Hardy T-shirts and night shirts made, using the artwork of Lois' late husband, Tony Hawes. Shirts in various sizes and colors will be for sale at the meeting. Don't miss this opportunity to take home a nice T-shirt and to meet Stan Laurel's family.

August 23rd: 24 Hours of L&H on TCM

Turner Classic Movies will devote nearly 24 hours to Laurel & Hardy films as part of its "Summer Under the Stars" programing. On the morning of Saturday, August 23rd, they will start with Night Owls at 3:00 AM (PDT). The marathon will end just before 3:00 AM (PDT) early Sunday morning with Air Raid Wardens. Go to for a complete schedule and times.

From the Grand Sheik

Recently, I read that the prop oil painting of Dean Williams (Wilfred Lucas) from A Chump at Oxford was up for auction. As I read I thought, "wouldn't that be a cool thing to add to my Laurel & Hardy collection?" At least for a few seconds. As I read on, I saw that the estimated going price for the prop was $3,000 to $5,000! A little too rich for my budget (actually a lot too rich for my budget). However, since the auction house (Bonhams and Butterfields) was within easy driving distance, I decided to see the prop for myself, when the lots were available for viewing.

My first impression of the prop was not very positive. First off, the prop isn't a real oil painting. It looks like a copy of a painting made on cardboard. The frame was also very beat up. The area around the eyes of the Dean had been cut out and then glued back. I had read that the prop was later used in Who Killed Doc Robbin (Hal Roach, 1948), where it was used by a "mad scientist" character to spy on visitors to his "haunted house." The Dean also now has a goatee. Then I looked at the prop for signs of damage (remember Stan and Ollie used the Dean's portrait as target practice for their seller bottle). I saw water damage. As everything I knew about the prop was checking out, I started gaining respect for the prop, not as a piece of art but as a piece of movie history. I left the auction house happy, but wondered if the prop would sell at any price. I later found out that the prop sold for $3,600!

Notes From Our June Meeting

After Jimmy Wiley Jr. opened the meeting, he was helped with the toasts and song by Alan Cowen, Stan Taffel, Bob Duncan, Sally Carpenter, Bill Burgess, "J.T." Tropper, and Jayne Barnhart. The film program included Flying Elephants, The Live Ghost, Any Old Port, and Scram!. Richard Bann brought our special guest for the evening, Booth Colman. Booth, a long time personal friend of Stan Laurel, graciously took questions from our members. His thoughtful answers to our questions were wonderful. Bill Burgess, Ralph Marks, and Alan Cowen also told us their stories about how they met Stan Laurel. Thanks to everyone!

News From the 2008 International Convention in The Netherlands

I went to the Convention, had a swell time, came home, and nobody is any the wiser! Except, unlike Ollie in Sons of the Desert, my wife, Kris and my son Jimmy, and five other Way Out West members came with me (see photo from The Netherlands). Some of the things that we liked best at the Convention were the entertainment and films at the Tuschinski Cinema, the luncheon at the world famous Restaurant d'Vijff Vlieghen (The Five Flies), and the guided tour of the historic "Red Light District" in Amsterdam. All of the food that we had at the Convention was very good. It was great to see old friends again and make new friends. My family and I give a big "thank you" to the Perfect Day Tent of Amsterdam for all their hard work and a great Convention. We're looking forward to going to the next International Convention in Sacramento in 2010!

Click here for a complete day-by-day report from the convention...