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.

Birthday Celebration For Stan Laurel At The Mayflower Club June 29th

At some point in each Laurel & Hardy comedy, Stan manages to exasperate Ollie. Sometimes a little bit and sometimes a lot. To celebrate Stan Laurel's 120th birthday, we will screen three Laurel & Hardy comedies where Stan exasperates Ollie a lot! Plus, Stan Taffel recently received a print of the rediscovered trailer for Beau Hunks, and he will screen it publicly for the first time on Tuesday night!

In our first film, Dirty Work (1933), the Boys are chimney sweeps, and Stan is the ultimate inept assistant to Ollie. As usual, the Boys are in the wrong place at the wrong time, as they are cleaning a chimney for a mad scientist (Lucien Littlefield) who is about to conduct his rejuvenation experiment on his butler (Sam Adams).

Stan and his wife (Linda Loredo) arrive unannounced at the Hardy's apartment, just as Ollie and his wife (Gertrude Astor) are about to enjoy an "evening without the Laurels," in our second film, Come Clean (1931). Things get even more tense when Stan and Ollie return from getting ice cream and get involved with a woman (Mae Busch) who seems to want to jump off a nearby bridge.

In our feature film, A Chump at Oxford (1940), Stan and Ollie stop an escaping bank robber as only Stan and Ollie can. As their reward from the bank's president, they receive "the finest education that money can buy" at Oxford University. After they arrive in England, Stan receives a bump on his head. To Ollie's surprise, Stan's intelligence greatly increases and he remembers his secret past at Oxford.

The Mayflower Club is located at 11110 Victory Boulevard in North Hollywood. We open the doors at 6:30 PM. Our meeting starts promptly at 7:15 PM. Fisher Frank hot dogs and your choice of chips will be sold at the Mayflower Club Kitchen and your choice of refreshments will be available from the Mayflower Bar. Free birthday cake for Stan will be served during our second break. Join us for the fun on Tuesday night, June 29th!

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

2010 and 2012 International Conventions

Laurel & Hardy fans from around the world gathered for the 17th International Sons of the Desert Convention in Sacramento, California, this past June 17-20. Delegates participated in trivia, golf, and pee-wee contests and heard several presentations from guest speakers. Stan Laurel's family was in attendance, including his daughter Lois, great-granddaughter Cassidy, and great-great-grandchildren Tommy and Lucy. A great time was had by all, including over 20 Way Out West members! The next International Convention will be hosted by the On The Loose Tent in Manchester, New Hampshire July 26-29, 2012. For a full report and photos from Sacramento, click here.

How Do You Say Goodbye To A Friend?

As many of you know by now, Dorothy de Borba passed away on June 2, 2010, after a long battle with emphysema. Dorothy appeared in 24 Our Gang comedies from 1930 through 1933. She also appeared in The Stolen Jools (1931), a film that also included Laurel & Hardy. Dorothy was a great friend of our Way Out West Tent. After attending the Hollywood '80 convention, she rarely missed coming to our annual banquets (even though she lived in Livermore in Northern California). She quickly became beloved by all our members for her friendliness and good sense of humor. She attended a total of 11 Sons of the Desert International Conventions, more than any other celebrity guest.

It wasn't until the 1984 Sons convention in England that my family and close friend John Duff got to know Dorothy on a personal basis, spending most of the convention with her, helping her up steps or on and off buses. For the 1986 Convention in Philadelphia, Dorothy and my family decided to take a trip together after the Convention. Kris, Jimmy III and I were together with Dorothy for 23 straight days. After the Convention and the official Post Convention in New York City, we traveled with Dorothy to Williamsburg, Washington DC, Gettysburg, and then back to Philadelphia. What a time we had! When you're with somebody that long, you really get to know them, and they get to know you.

Over the years, we visited Dorothy in Livermore, and became friends with her daughter Janet and her son Richard. When Dorothy came to Los Angeles, we often had dinner with Dorothy and friends. Kris talked to Dorothy regularly on the phone. If I was home, I would talk to her too. Dorothy would always call us on our birthdays and sing Happy Birthday.

At the beginning of this year, Dorothy's voice started sounding weaker and her calls on the phone became shorter, and we all knew that that wasn't a good sign. Even though her illness was getting worse, she was determined to attend this year's Convention in Sacramento. She once told me that if she couldn't be there, she would be there in spirit, which kind of shook me up. For her Birthday on March 28th this year, I decided that at our March meeting, I would have a birthday cake for Dorothy and have all of our members sing Happy Birthday to her. When I told her about my plan she was delighted and told me to tell everyone at the meeting that she loved them all and not to smoke. I did both.

On Kris' second to last call to Dorothy, Dorothy was worrying about what she would wear in Sacramento. Kris had an idea and later called Dorothy's daughter, Janet, and told her that she saw some housecoats on the Internet that would be perfect for Dorothy. Janet also thought it was a good idea. Kris ordered the housecoats and Dorothy got them about a week before she died. On Kris' last call with Dorothy, Dorothy told Kris that she loved the housecoats and couldn't wait for the Convention.

How do you say goodbye to a friend? The answer is you don't. You keep your memories of them in your mind. You cherish your memories of them. You tell other friends your memories. By doing those things, your friend lives on in your memory, so you never have to say goodbye.
-- Jimmy

Notes From Our April Meeting

Because of the strong possibility that our meeting would go long into the night because our Grand Sheik (me) took for granted that The Devil's Brother was only a little over a hour long (actually 1 hour 30 minutes), Bob Duncan and I quickly did all of the toasts ourselves and led everyone in the singing of the Sons of the Desert Song. Also with The Devil's Brother, we screened Leave 'Em Laughing and Scram! Each of these films had long scenes where Stan and Ollie laughed uncontrollably. Our members proved again that laughter is contagious, when they all started laughing along with Laurel & Hardy. We also had another Kneesy Earsy Nosey Contest. Once again it turned out to be good fun for everyone. By getting the loudest applause from our members, Allen Megarit won the contest. Congratulations Allen. Thanks goes to Stan Taffel for once again doing a great hosting job and also thanks to all the contestants for putting on a great show.

Sam Bomar Scholarship Fund

We are sad to announce the passing of Sam Bomar of the Utopian Tent, on May 4th from an accidental gun shot wound. Sam and his parents were to have been at the recent Sacramento Convention. Sam was graduating from high school within days of this tragic accident. Our condolences to his family. Anyone wishing to donate to a scholarship fund in Sam's memory may respond to: Sam Bomar Memorial Scholarship Fund, First National Bank, 11 Channing Way, Jackson, TN 38305.