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.

Celebrate the Holidays With Way Out West December 12, 2006

As this newsletter is written, it is cold in Southern California. It’s a time for jackets and sweaters, heaters in your car, fires in your fireplace, and the first Winter meeting of the West Out West Tent. Even though the temperature may be in the 90’s by the time December 12th gets here, our theme for the meeting will be Christmas, snow, and lots of great films.

We’ll start the evening with the Charley Chase short There Ain’t No Santa Claus (1926), which follows the trials and tribulations of Charley trying to surprise his wife with a special Christmas gift. We’ll also screen Laurel & Hardy’s silent Christmas classic, Big Business (1929). The short quickly answers the question of why Stan and Ollie should never go into business for themselves.

For the snow portion of our program, we have Below Zero (1930), featuring Laurel & Hardy as street musicians who find a wallet full of money lost in the snow. In Laughing Gravy (1931), Stan and Ollie attempt to hide their barking dog from their landlord on a snowy night. Our feature film for the evening will be The Bohemian Girl (1936). In the film, gypsies Stan and Oliver raise little Arline. But unbeknownst to Stan and Oliver, Arline had been kidnapped by their fellow gypsies from her father, Count Arnheim. There’s lots of snow in the last reel of this film!

At this meeting there will also be a holiday collection for those in need at the Maude Booth Family Center. Please bring a donation of canned goods to support this worthy cause.

So join us for a cold and Wintery night at the Mayflower Club on Tuesday, December 12th. Doors will open at 6:30 PM and the meeting will start at 7:15 PM. Fisher Franks may be purchased at the kitchen and drinks at the bar. There will be cake and hot chocolate (weather permitting) served at our second break. The Mayflower Club is located at 11110 Victory Boulevard in North Hollywood. See you there!

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

From the Grand Sheik

As my first year as Grand Sheik comes to an end, I would like to thank those who helped me make our meetings possible. My wife Kris, who worked the dealers table, helped in the kitchen, and also helped with the newsletter. My son Jimmy, who edits and publishes every issue of this newsletter. Vice-Sheik Bob Duncan, who introduced our films and who always was there to help anytime, anywhere. Grand Vizier Lori McCaffery, who checked in members, collected dues, and always gave me sound advice. Keeper of the Celluloid Stan Taffel, who supplied and screened all of the films that we enjoyed this year. Board Members Janye Barnhart, Neal Pinyan, Steve Nelson, and Allan Barasorda, who were always ready to help. Marjorie Campbell and daughter Robin, along with Elaine and Stan Schulman, who manned the kitchen. David Rodriguez, who helped out behind the dealers table. And finally Bill & Michelle Cassara, Glenn Kennedy, and Randy Skretvedt, all special guests during 2006.

October Meeting Notes

Our October 8th meeting took place on a sunny Sunday afternoon at the Mayflower Club. A number of games and contests were scheduled and free raffle prizes were awarded to six lucky attendees throughout the meeting. The games began with a Golf Putting Contest. The contest was played indoors in the back of the Mayflower’s main room and was hosted by Bob Duncan. The portable “Putt’n Hazard” putting green, the balls, and the putters were paid for with a generous donation from our long-time member, Neal Pinyan. Thank you Neal! The winner of the contest was Mike Nowland and the runner up was Jayne Barnhart. Unfortunately, our Pee Wee contest had to be postponed because the park across the street from the Mayflower was unusually crowded.

After some pleasant conversations and the delicious catered meals of barbecued Tri-Tip Steak and Chicken, we started the regular meeting. Following the toasts and song, we screened Helpmates. Then Stan Taffel hosted our first ever Jeopardy-style Laurel and Hardy trivia contest. The Jeopardy board was made by Stan, who also did a great job of hosting. After a close finish, Bill Burgess won the contest in “Final Jeopardy” over Sally Carpenter and Allen Megarit. It was fun to watch and I’m sure fun to participate. After screening Men O’War and Going Bye-Bye!, we finished the meeting and went bye-bye.

The Wax Apple Web Site

A new web site called The Wax Apple is devoted to Laurel & Hardy and the Hal Roach All-Stars. You can visit it at

Old Town Music Hall

The Old Town Music Hall will be showing Laurel & Hardy’s March of the Wooden Soldiers on December 15th at 8:15 PM, December 16th at 2:30 PM and 8:15 PM, and December 17th at 2:30 PM. The theater is located at 140 Richmond Street in El Segundo. For more information phone (310) 322-2592 or visit

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

More August Meeting Notes

In the August Meetings Notes, we forgot to thank Suzy Williams (vocal), Brad Kay (piano), and Steve Bartel (bongos) for their rendition of Honolulu Baby.


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