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.

Come Celebrate Oliver Hardy's Birthday at our January 15th Meeting

It's a great time to be a Laurel & Hardy fan! The film Stan & Ollie is playing in a theater near you. Word-of-mouth for the film is good. The media seems interested in the film and Laurel & Hardy. Now, just maybe, when you meet new friends and tell them that you're a member of a group that loves a skinny comic and a fat comic, who made comedy films 80 years ago, they will understand. Or maybe not. Anyway, please join us for our first meeting of the year at The Mayflower Club on the night of Tuesday, January 15th, to celebrate Mr. Oliver Norvell Hardy's 127th birthday.

Our first film for the evening will be That's My Wife (1929). In this silent short, Ollie's wife (Vivien Oakland) has just had all she can take of Ollie's freeloader friend, Stan, who also lives with them. In fact, she is so upset that in the beginning of the film, she packs up and leaves Ollie. Shortly after she leaves, Ollie hears from his rich uncle that he is about to visit Ollie and his wife, who his uncle has never met. Ollie knows that his morally strict uncle will disinherit him, if Ollie isn't happily married when his uncle arrives. So what does Ollie do? He asks Stan to dress up as a women and pose as Ollie's wife. Will Ollie fool his Uncle?

In Twice Two (1933), by using wigs, dresses, and dubbed voices, Stan's wife (Ollie) and Ollie's wife (Stan) are planning a surprise anniversary party for their husbands (Stan and Ollie). If I've confused you, let me try to simplify it. Stan's wife is played by Oliver Hardy and Ollie's wife is played by Stan Laurel. Both couples were married on the same day (of course), so they both celebrate their anniversaries on the same day. Got it? As we all know, Laurel & Hardy planning something means trouble. Can two sets of Laurel & Hardys planning something mean "double trouble?"

In the Boys' classic short, Helpmates (1932), Ollie's first mistake was to have a wild party, while his wife was out of town. Ollie's second mistake was even worse, when he seeks Stan to help clean up the mess from the party. In the film, everything seems to go wrong with their cleanup. The film is a delight to watch from Ollie's first scene, where he talks to himself in the mirror, until the bitter end of the film. This is Laurel & Hardy at their very, very best. Helpmates was released on January 23, 1932--almost 87 years ago. This is an amazing film that is timeless!

Our feature for the evening will be Block-Heads (1938). In the film, Stan & Ollie are in the Army, in France during WWI. When Stan's platoon pulls out of their trenches for battle, they leave Stan behind to guard the rear. His platoon never returns, but Stan stays. Years later, Ollie reads about a man, now famous, who guarded his post in the French countryside for twenty years, never knowing that the war was long over. Ollie puts two and two together and soon realizes that that man has to be his long lost friend Stan. Ollie finds Stan in an old soldiers home and invites Stan to meet Ollie's wife (Minna Gombell) and have dinner with them. Will Ollie's wife like Stan? Has Stan adjusted to how the world has changed in twenty years? Is Stan less dumb than he used to be? Those questions and many more will be answered in the film. James Finlayson, Billy Gilbert, and Patricia Ellis also are featured in the film.

The Mayflower Club is located at 11110 Victory Boulevard in North Hollywood. Doors open 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 at our second break. See you January 15th at The Mayflower Club. Hope your New Year is going well! See you soon.

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

2019 Dues Are Due

Thank you to all of the members who have already paid their 2019 dues! If you haven't, please remember that our annual dues for Way Out Tent Membership 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. Your dues will cover admission to all five regular meetings and a discount for our Special Event. Rates are listed in the column to the right and have not changed from last year. Please make your checks out to "Way Out West Tent" and mail your checks to Way Out Tent, PO Box 1918, Burbank, CA 91507 or bring your check to our January meeting. Thanks for your continued support of our Tent.

From The Grand Sheik

I hope by now a lot of you have seen Stan & Ollie. It's now playing in a handful of theaters in our area. Just check the internet. Kris, Jimmy III, and I all liked the film a lot. The film is not a documentary, so don't expect a documentary. The actors that play Laurel & Hardy look like Laurel & Hardy, walk like Laurel & Hardy, and talk like Laurel & Hardy. Both actors do a magnificent job of acting. The film looks good, moves quickly, and has a lot of laughs. Warning! Don't leave before the credits finish. The credits have some great photos of our Boys on the side of the screen that just might bring a tear or two to you.

Burbank Temporary Aid Society (BTAS)

Jayne Barnhart reports that besides the many, many canned foods that we received at our December meeting, we also received $95.00 in cash. Also, thanks to Henry "Butch" Sorenson for sending us a cash donation from his "Going Bye Bye Tent" in South Miami, Florida that we included in our donation to the BTAS. The organization was very grateful for the donations.

Notes From Our December Meeting

Once again, Jim MacGeorge did a great stand-up routine that got a standing ovation. Our films for the evening were: The Brave Tin Soldier (Christmas cartoon), The Fixer Uppers, Big Business, and Tiembla Y Titubea (Spanish version of Below Zero). Thanks to Bob Duncan and everyone who helped him with the toasts. Also, thanks to Frank Salzberg, who again gave our Tent a very generous gift of postage for our newsletters.

A couple of days before our December meeting, my son got an e-mail from CBS News asking if they could film at our meeting for a story they were doing on Stan & Ollie. Some members got filmed singing our Sons song. The footage was included in a segment of CBS Sunday Morning which aired on Sunday, December 30th.