Birthday Bash For Oliver Hardy at the Mayflower Club January 14th
Join us Tuesday night, January 14th, at The Mayflower Club, to celebrate Oliver Hardy's 122nd birthday. Our film program for the evening will be a silent short Babe Hardy appearance, an early L&H sound short, a classic L&H sound short, and a popular L&H feature. All that and birthday cake too!
In the silent Charley Chase short Isn't Life Terrible (1925), Hardy (with no Laurel) plays Charley's lazy brother-in-law. When Charley's wife tells Charley about a sales contest that gives the winner and the winner's whole family an all expense paid ocean cruise, Charley quickly enters the contest. You have to look closely for Babe's character, as he is clean shaven with a short haircut, and he acts nothing like the "Ollie" we all know and love. Also, be on the lookout for some very familiar "steps" and a young Fay Wray. This film was directed by Leo McCarey.
A few of Laurel & Hardy's very early sound shorts, even though they are good films, sometimes get a little overlooked by their fans. One of those films is They Go Boom (1929). The setup for the film is simple: Ollie is suffering with a cold, Stan tries to help Ollie, and Charlie Hall is their landlord. Need I say more?
Troubles start quickly for Ollie in the Boys' classic sound short, Hog Wild (1930), when Ollie decides to put a radio antenna on the roof of his house with help from Stan. The house used in the film was not a real house, but only a temporary structure build specially for use in the film. Since most of the real houses that appear in the film are still standing in Culver City and are still very recognizable, the site of the temporary Hog Wild house is one of the most popular stops on our Way Out West location tours.
In their feature film, Swiss Miss (1938), Stan and Ollie are unsuccessful mouse trap salesmen in Switzerland. When they finish having a meal at a local hotel, they find out that the money they got from their last job is no longer legal tender, so they can't pay. To work off the cost of their meal, they are forced to work as waiters and dish washers in the hotel's kitchen. When they keep breaking dishes, it looks like they will never be able to leave the hotel. While at the hotel, Ollie meets and quickly falls for a beautiful guest (Della Lind) that he doesn't know is married to another guest at the hotel (Walter Woolf King). Look for Anita Garvin early in the film.
The Mayflower Club is located 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 chips will be sold at The Mayflower Club Kitchen. Refreshments will be sold at The Mayflower Club Bar. Free birthday cake will be served on our second break. Don't miss out on the celebration, see you on January 14th!
Don't Forget To Pay Your 2014 Dues
In 2014, we will again have six regular meetings at The Mayflower Club. Once again, our due rates have not been increased. Our upcoming meeting dates and due rates are printed in the column to the right. The dues that you pay cover rental fees that we pay to The Mayflower Club, postage, envelopes, and paper for our newsletters, cakes for all our meetings, and for some of the prizes in our raffles. All other work done for and at our meetings by any of our board members is strictly on a volunteer basis.
Please note that we will not have a Way Out West Special Event this year. This will give our members that are working on The Laurel and Hardywood Convention this summer, extra time to work before the Convention and extra time to rest after the Convention. We hope many of our members will be able to attend the convention, in place of this year's special event.
If you want to pay your dues by mail, which is much easier for us, please make your checks out to Sons of the Desert and mail them to: Lori McCaffery, 4313 Woodland Avenue, Burbank CA 91505.
Notes From Our December Meeting
To start off our December meeting, we screened The Brave Tin Soldier, a Ub Iwerks' color cartoon based on a Hans Christian Andersen story, with a Laurel & Hardy cameo. I remembered, as a kid, that the cartoon was always shown on TV at Christmas time. It always put me in a good Christmas mood, and though it was sad to begin with, it had a great happy ending. As I hoped, it got a good reaction from our members. Our next two films were "wintery snow films", Below Zero and Laughing Gravy. For Laughing Gravy, we also screened the long ago deleted third reel ending that was discovered a few years ago. Our final film for the evening was Sons of the Desert, which we screened just a few weeks before the film's 80th anniversary!
Before our second break, we sang Happy Birthday to Lois Laurel Hawes, in celebration of her birthday that just happened to be on the exact date of our December meeting. We did invite Lois and her family to our meeting, but unfortunately as December 10th neared, our weather for the 10th was forecasted to be one of Southern California's coldest nights of the year.
Thanks to J.T. Tropper, Bob Schilling, Ken Runyan, Jayne Barnhart, Bob Duncan, and Bob Satterfield for helping me with the Toasts and the Song. Thanks to Bob Satterfield for giving us an update on The Laurel and Hardywood Convention. Finally, thanks to all of our members who braved the cold weather and donated canned goods for the Maude Booth Family Center. The great generosity of our members is always appreciated.
July 2014 Convention Update
The itinerary and registration forms for the Hollywood 2014 International Sons of the Desert Convention are now available. The convention will take place this summer from June 30 to July 6, based at the Loews Hollywood Hotel (formerly the Renaissance Hotel). Some highlights scheduled for the convention are: tours of all known surviving Laurel & Hardy filming locations; a stop at the Petersen Automotive Museum; film screenings at the Egyptian Theater; a private banquet at the Hollywood Museum with rare Hal Roach Studios related artifacts on exhibit; plus convention activities such as the Pee-Wee Contest, Putting Contest, and Trivia Contest. In addition, there will be two days of pre-convention activities. Space will be limited, so if you are interested in attending please pick up a registration form at our meeting or visit the convention web site at: http://www.laurelandhardywood.com/