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.

Ready For The Christmas Season? It starts at The Mayflower Club December 6th

Can you believe that Christmas and the end of the year are only a few weeks off? It's Thanksgiving weekend, and I'm writing my last newsletter for the year. I'm thinking about a theme for our Tuesday night, December 6th meeting at The Mayflower Club. It's actually cold outside and Southern California's version of snow (rain) is expected this weekend. Let's see, we'll first screen The Fixer Uppers. It's Christmas time and there's snow. For a change of pace let's go for a French film, Les Carottiers, the last half of the film is the Boys' English subtitled French version of Laughing Gravy. There's lots of snow in Laughing Gravy. To finish the evening's film program we'll screen Babes in Toyland. Even though there's no snow and Barnaby "spills the beans" that it's really July in Toyland, the film does take place at Santa's Toyland and Santa even makes an appearance in the film. Think about it though, if it was winter in Babes in Toyland would you want to watch Little Bo-Peep look for her sheep in a blizzard or see Ollie Dee dunked in a frozen lake? I think not.

In their short, The Fixer Uppers (1935), Stan and Ollie try their luck selling Christmas Cards door to door. When the Boys meet a distraught wife (Mae Busch), she tells them that she feels like her husband (Charles Middleton) doesn't pay enough attention to her. She thinks that if she could just make him a little jealous, she would get a lot more attention. Ollie offers to help her.

Les Carottiers (1931), is a French Laurel & Hardy featurette that combines two Laurel & Hardy shorts, Be Big and Laughing Gravy. To keep with the theme of the evening and time restraints, we are screening only the second half of the film. The film is completely subtitled in English, so don't worry if you don't speak a word of French. In the film, down and out Stan and Ollie are forced by their landlord (yes, still played by Charlie Hall) to put Stan's barking dog, Laughing Gravy, outside on a cold winter's night. The Boys quickly bring the dog back indoors, but spend the rest of night hiding the dog from their landlord. The film also includes a scene that isn't included in the American version of Laughing Gravy.

Our feature film for the evening will be the ever-popular Babes in Toyland (1934) (also known as March of the Wooden Soldiers). The film follows the adventures of Stannie Dum (Stan) and Ollie Dee (Babe) who work in Santa's Toyland and live nearby every nursery rhyme character that you could ever imagine. Henry Brandon plays the evil Silas Barnaby and steals all the scenes he's in. Charlotte Henry and Felix Knight play Little Po-Peep and Tom-Tom. Since it seems that everyone in Southern California is screening Babes in Toyland in black and white this Christmas season, we are gong to be different. Our presentation will be in high definition color. See for yourself how great it looks!

The Mayflower Club is located in North Hollywood at 11110 Victory Boulevard. Our doors will open at 6:30 p.m, and our meeting starts at 7:15 p.m. "Fisher Franks" (100% beef hot dogs) and your choice of chips will be sold from The Mayflower Kitchen. Refreshments will be sold from The Mayflower Bar. Free cake will be served on our second break. Don't miss out on a lot of fun, see you at The Mayflower Club on Tuesday, December 6th!

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

Don't Forget To Pay Your 2017 Dues

The annual dues for Way Out West Tent Memberships are due each January. We need your dues to be paid on time, so we can continue to cover our expenses for renting The Mayflower Club, purchasing hot dogs and condiments, cakes, and postage to mail our newsletters. Our dues for a single membership is $30, for couple memberships $45, and for family memberships $50. In 2017, we will have five regular meetings and one Special Event meeting. Your dues will cover admission to all five regular meetings, You will receive a membership discount for our Special Event meeting, a meeting that will include a full meal and entertainment.

Please make your checks out to "Way Out West Tent" and mail those checks to Lori McCaffery, 4313 Woodland Avenue, Burbank, CA 91505 or bring your checks to our January meeting. Mailing your check is preferred and you can pay in December or January, so we can avoid long check-in lines at our January meeting. Thanks for your continued support of our Tent.

Canned Goods For Maud Booth Family Center

Each year at our December meeting, we collect food for the Maud Booth Family Center of North Hollywood. This year we're asking that you bring at least three items per person for the Center. The three items can be either canned goods or dried food, such as pasta, beans, or even granola bars. I know that it's a hassle to bring food to a meeting, but it is for a very worthy cause, and it is greatly needed and appreciated by the Center. To our members who always bring canned goods, thank you for your continued generosity. To our members who always seem to forget to donate anything, this year please help. In lieu of canned goods or packaged food, we will accept cash donations.


In Memoriam - Jerome Schatz (Jerry Tucker)

I'm sad to report that Jerry Tucker passed away on November 23, 2016, just after his 91st birthday. To Our Gang fans he will always be remembered as the "rich kid" with the fancy fire engine in Hi'-Neighbor (1935). His first Our Gang film was Shiver My Timbers (1931). His last Our Gang film was Three Men in a Tub (1938). Though he enjoyed his movie years, his friends say that he was most proud of his Navy career, where he was awarded a Purple Heart after suffering a permanent leg injury in the Battle of Okinawa in 1945. In later years, Jerry and his wife Myra attended many Sons of the Desert meetings and Sons Conventions all over the country, including some at the Way Out West Tent. Jerry was always friendly and had a great smile that would "light up a room." We'll miss him.


Notes From Our October Meeting

At our Saturday night meeting in October, we screened Liberty, Busy Bodies, Their Purple Moment, and Politiquerias (the Spanish version of Chickens Come Home). For Liberty and Busy Bodies we experimented with using a 3-D effect on the films. The effect worked for some members and not for other members. It just seemed to matter where you sat in reference to the screen. Enough members saw the effect, so we might try it again in the future. Of the films for the evening, I think the Spanish Politiquerias got the best reaction, especially for Hadji Ali's segment.

From our raffle, we raised $225.00 to donate of the UCLA Laurel & Hardy Film Preservation Fund. I want to thank young Charles Yungul, Rick Greene, Bob Duncan, and Jayne Barnhart for helping me with the raffle and all our members who bought raffle tickets. Thanks to Randy Skretvedt for talking about his new book Laurel & Hardy: The Magic Behind the Movies - Special Edition and allowing me to interview him a little bit about Marvin Hatley and Anita Garvin. Thanks to Margaret Kerry for joining us at our October meeting and donating a copy of her new book, Tinker Bell Talks for our raffle. Thanks to Sharon Evans and Rick Rogers for once again entertaining us with a song. Thanks to Bob Duncan, J.T. Tropper, Randy Skretvedt, Jayne Barthart, Rick Greene, and Bob Brauer for helping me with the toasts and song.

To all our members: Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Holidays, and thank you for all your great support throughout this past year. May 2017 be even a greater New Year for you and all your families!


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