Laurel and Hardy Society Sons of the Desert Way Out West Tent Los Angeles
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On the occasion of out tent's 44th anniversary, the Way Out West Tent hosted a special event at the Mayflower Club on Saturday, November 5th.

Way Out West Goes to Prison

Our November 5th Special Event turned out to be a big success, when over 100 members turned out for our prison theme event (photos on next page). About a quarter of those in attendance came dressed in “prison garb.” We’re not sure, but we suspect several may have been actual escaped criminals.

The prison guard had told us we would dine on “a big roast turkey with chestnut dressing, and sweet potatoes Southern style, great big pans of hot biscuits, strawberry shortcake smothered in whipped cream, sprinkled with powdered sugar, with a nice, big maraschino cherry on the top of it.” But the Way Out West Tent is on a budget, so our prison-like dinner included bread and water, along with Beef Stew, Cole Slaw, and Chocolate Pudding. Thanks to David Rodriguez, Kris Wiley, Ellen Wiley, and Jimmy Wiley III for their work in the kitchen.

After dinner, the captive audience was entertained with a prison “fashion show,” showing the latest styles in prison beach-ware, athletic-ware, and evening-ware. Thanks to Debbie Hopkins and Richard & Dorothy Schneidmiller for putting on the funny presentation, and additional thanks to the Tom & Debbie Hopkins and for providing the table decorations.

Following the Sons of the Desert Song and toasts, I gave a special toast to Earl Kress, our former Grand Sheik who passed away in September. We had one of our cakes decorated to honor Earl, because whenever Earl came to our recent meetings he would always ask my wife Kris to save him a corner piece with lots of frosting.

Authors Richard W. Bann and Randy Skretvedt joined us on stage to discuss the newly released box set of Laurel & Hardy films on DVD, upon which they both provided new audio commentary. Big thanks to Dick and Randy for joining us for the meeting and giving us a spirited discussion about the new DVD’s and the DVD’s effect on the future of Laurel & Hardy’s popularity.

Our film program that evening had a less than subtle theme. We screened The Second Hundred Years, The Hoose-gow, and Pardon Us. We also screened Brats in honor of Earl Kress, as this was one of his favorite shorts.