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.

One Day Mini-Convention at the Way Out West Tent Oct. 8

Ever wonder what happens at a Sons’ International Convention? Come to the Mayflower Club on the afternoon of Sunday, October 8th and find out. For our adventurous members, arrive at 2:00 PM to join in on the Golf Putting Contest and the Pee Wee Hitting Contest (after a few tips from our experts). For the less adventurous, just come and watch!

Afterwards we will be served a professionally catered meal. You will have your choice of Barbecued Tri-Tip, Barbecued Chicken, or Ziti Pasta. All meals come with salad, vegetables, and dinner roll (mashed potatoes are included with the Tri-Tip and Chicken). The cost of these meals will be $15.00 for Tri-Tip and Chicken and $10.00 for Ziti. To let the caterers know how much food to bring, please complete the form and return it with your payment by October 4th. The cocktail hour will follow the contests at 3:00 PM, and meals will be served at 4:00 PM. There will be cake served after our first film. Hot dogs will not be available at this meeting.

At 5:00 PM sharp, our regular meeting begins. Our three films will be: Helpmates (1932), Men O’War (1929), and Going Bye-Bye! (1934). In Helpmates, Ollie decides to ask Stan to clean up Ollie’s party mess while Ollie prepares to pick up his wife from the train station. In Men O’War, sailors Stan and Ollie decide to spend an afternoon at a park with a lake. In Going Bye-Bye, Stan and Ollie decide to quickly get out of town to avoid trouble.

In keeping in the spirit of Sons Conventions, in-between films Stan Taffel will host a trivia contest and Lori McCaffery will organize team games. Beginning at 3:00 PM. and continuing every hour on the hour, we will have a free door prize drawing so be sure to sign up with Jayne Barnhart when you arrive.

Join us for this unique convention experience at the Mayflower Club, located at 11110 Victory Boulevard in North Hollywood. Doors open at 2:00 PM, the Mayflower Bar opens at 3:00 PM, meals will be served at 4:00 PM, and films will begin at 5:00 PM. See you October 8th!

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

From the Grand Sheik

I hope you enjoyed our tribute to Marvin on August 22nd. It was a lot of fun to plan the meeting and great to hear his recordings again. My goal for the meeting was to give our newer members some insight into why we do a special toast for Marvin at our meetings. The Laurel & Hardy films that Marvin wrote and scored music for are some of Stan and Babe’s greatest work. Stan and Babe are unquestionably the stars of those films, but just think how different those films would be without Marvin’s great musical talent of composing and selecting music. Thank you Marvin. Thanks also to Randy Skretvedt for his presentation. Wasn’t it great to see Randy again? You can be sure that we’ll invite him back again soon.

I also would like to thank Elaine and Stan Schuelman for  their  continued help in the kitchen. It’s an important job that is easily overlooked. It is still my hope to have at least two teams working in the kitchen that could alternate meetings. That way the same people won’t get burnt out by having to prepare and sell Fisher Franks every meeting. If you’re interested in helping in the kitchen, please see me at our next meeting.

August Meeting Notes

Our August 22nd tribute to T. Marvin Hatley began with members Stan Taffel, Terry DuFoe, Tiffany DuFoe, and special guest Randy Skretvedt joining Jimmy Wiley Jr. and Bob Duncan in giving our opening toasts. In honor of T. Marvin Hatley, everyone sang “Honolulu Baby” in place of the regular “Sons of the Desert Song.”

After playing Marvin’s recording of “KuKu Baby,” we heard Marvin’s arrangements in a screening of Brats. Following the break, Jimmy introduced our special guest of the evening, author and historian Randy Skretvedt (Laurel & Hardy: The Magic Behind the Movies). Randy gave us an interesting and insightful talk about Marvin’s life and Randy’s work producing a record with Marvin. Randy then took questions from the audience. We heard Marvin’s recording of “Aunt Emma’s Got Ants in the Pantry,” then saw Marvin in a cameo appearance in Charley Chase’s Midsummer Mush.

During our final break we heard Marvin’s recording of “Sunflower Waltz,” which we used as an overture for the screening of our final film of the night, Block-Heads. At the closing of the meeting, we played Marvin’s recording of “Goin’ To Town.”

Way Out West Website 10th Anniversary

On September 19th, the Way Out West Tent’s website celebrated 10 years on the Internet. With over one million visits to our home page and over a billion hits site-wide, we remain one of the largest resources for Sons of the Desert information on the world wide web. We were one of the first tents to have a presence online, and have continued to expand and update our offerings over the past decade. Just some of our online resources include film, video, and book databases; weekly trivia contests; online virtual postcards; newsletters and convention reports; and email reminders for upcoming Way Out West Tent meetings.

New Laurel & Hardy DVDs

A second volume of Laurel and Hardy DVDs from 20th Century Fox was released in September. The three feature films included in this set were A Haunting We Will Go, The Dancing Masters, and The Bullfighters. The set also includes Laurel and Hardy’s educational short Tree in a Test Tube and some newsreel footage. Scott MacGillivray, author of Laurel and Hardy: From the Forties Forward, provides commentary on all three features.

Click here to order L&H Collection Vol 2 DVD from

Birthday Wishes

Birthday wishes go out to Billy Naylor, long time member of the WOW tent. Billy was in Our Gang and has attended meetings and banquets in the past. Best wishes Billy for a very special birthday on September 29th.


We will no longer be including celebrity birthdays in the online version of our newsletter. If you wish to see the full listing of celebrity birthdays, please visit our separate birthdays web page.

Click here to see our birthday listings