Ready Or Not Here Come The Holidays–December 9th at the Mayflower Club
Thanksgiving Dinner is over (now come the diets). We're all trying to cope with holiday shopping (soon comes the credit card bills). Hanukkah starts December 16th. Christmas is December 25th. Right in the middle of all of this, on the evening of Tuesday, December 9th, will be the final meeting of the Way Out West Tent for the year. To celebrate, we will have holiday music, holiday-themed films, and in appreciation for all your support this year, we will have drawings for free door prizes throughout the evening. The top prize will be a brand new DVD set of Laurel & Hardy: The Essential Collection. We will collect can goods for the Maud Booth Family Center. For something different, we will have our first (and maybe last) Ugly Sweater Night.
Our first screening for the evening will be The Fixer Uppers (1935). When Christmas card salesmen, Stan and Ollie, knock on the apartment door of artist Pierre Gustave (Charles Middleton) and are greeted by Pierre's distraught wife (Mae Busch), what could possibly go wrong for the Boys? The short answer is everything. Arthur Housman also has a pivotal role in the film. Enjoy the interesting French sets and, of course, all the snow.
Charley Chase's silent, There Ain't No Santa Claus (1926), hasn't been screened at a Way Out West meeting for five years. It really is a Christmas film. It was released right before Christmas 1926, it has presents, trees, dueling Santas, and even a Christmas turkey. After Charley tells his landlord (Noah Young) that he doesn't have enough money to pay his rent, Charley buys a watch for his wife for Christmas. When the suspicious landlord finds out, his fight with Charley begins. Laurel & Hardy co-stars, Kay Deslys (Young's wife) and Fred Kelsey (surprise - as a detective) also appear in the film.
Babes in Toyland (1934) is our final film for the evening. As Babes in Toyland (a.k.a. March of the Wooden Soldiers) is one of Laurel & Hardy's most famous and popular films, just about all of you know the plot by heart. Stannie Dum and Ollie Dee are Santa's helpers in his toy factory. All the nursery rhyme characters that you can think of live in Toyland. The only villain in Toyland is Silas Barnaby (Henry Brandon). Barnaby wants Bo-Peep (Charlotte Henry) for his bride. Only Stannie Dum, Ollie Dee, and Tom-Tom (Felix Knight) stand in Barnaby's way.
As we successfully did in 2011, we will again be screening the restored and colorized version of the film. Again, I know most Laurel & Hardy fans (myself included) usually don't approve of colorized films. But if any Laurel & Hardy film should have been filmed in color, I think that most of you would agree that film should have been Babes in Toyland. I received no complaints from our audience in 2011. In fact a lot of people mentioned that they were "blown away" by the sharpness of picture and brightness of color. Join us on December 9th and see for yourself.
The Mayflower Club is located in North Hollywood at 11110 Victory Boulevard in North Hollywood. We open the doors at 6:30 p.m. Our meeting starts at 7:15 p.m. "Fisher Franks" (100% beef hot dogs), with your choice of toppings and chips will be sold at The Mayflower Club Kitchen. Refreshments will be sold at The Mayflower Club Bar. As always free cake will be served at our second break. Don't miss out on a great evening of fun and prizes, see you on December 9th.
Mail In Your Dues For 2015
Once again, we encourage our members to mail their payment for annual dues directly to our Grand Vizier, Lori McCaffery. That way we can keep our check-in lines for our December and January meetings running at a normal speed. Our dues are unchanged from 2014 and are listed here. Please make out your checks to "Way Out West Tent" (THIS IS DIFFERENT FROM 2014) and mail them to Lori McCaffery, 4313 Woodland Avenue, Burbank, CA 91505. Thank you for your assistance.
Canned Goods For Maud Booth Family Center
For many years during the Christmas season, our members have donated canned goods to the Maud Booth Family Center of North Hollywood. We have always asked our members to bring one or two canned goods per person, but in recent years the number of cans that we have received has greatly decreased. Some members have stopped bringing any canned goods to a meeting. This year I'm asking that you bring 3 or 4 cans per person to our December meeting. I know that it's a hassle to bring cans to a meeting, but it is for a worthy cause and it is greatly appreciated by the Center. In lieu of canned goods, we can accept cash donations. To our members who always bring canned goods, thank you for your continued generosity. To our members who always seem to forget to bring canned goods or donate nothing, this year please help.
From The Grand Sheik - Ugly Sweater Night
I think that practically everyone has an old sweater tucked away somewhere that they no longer wear. They don't want to get rid of it because it was an expensive sweater or it was given to them by a close relative, or they have some sentimental reason for keeping it. But the fact is that they will never wear the sweater in public because it's either terribly out of style, too small or too large, or just plain ugly. For our December meeting, I'm inviting everyone that has a sweater, as I've described, to proudly wear that sweater in public. Ugly holiday-themed sweaters are even better! For their effort, we will take a group picture of everyone wearing their sweaters and put it in our next newsletter and on our Tent website. Viva Ugly Sweaters!
Notes From Our October Meeting
In October, we tried to scare our members by screening Habeas Corpus, The Live Ghost, Oliver the Eighth, Spooky Hooky (Our Gang), and Noche de duendes (the Spanish version of Berth Marks and The Laurel-Hardy Murder Case). I guess they really never got scared, as all they did was laugh…which was the plan anyway. We hadn't screened Habeas Corpus for a long time, and I was happy that it got a good response from our members. Everyone also seemed to enjoy the change of pace in screening Our Gang's Spooky Hooky. By the way, Buckwheat stole the film. Noche de duendes, with English sub-titles, was screened for the first time at a Way Out West meeting. The two films that the Spanish version was based on fit together nicely story wise, but Laurel & Hardy's scenes in the sleeping car seemed even more drawn out than they were in the original Berth Marks. All in all, our October meeting turned out good.
Thanks to Rick Greene, Alan Cohen, Bob Duncan, Ken Runyan, Bob Brauer, and J.T. Tropper for helping me with the Toasts and singing "The Sons of the Desert Song." As always, it was great to have Rick Greene join us at a meeting. Thanks Rick. Don't be a stranger.
To all our members, please have a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and a great New Year and thank you for all your great support and turnout for all our Tent activities in 2014!