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 Stan Laurel's 117th Birthday at Our June 12th Meeting

As most Laurel & Hardy fans know, Stan Laurel was born on June 16, 1890 in Ulverston, England. Join us on Tuesday, June 12th, to honor Stan Laurel, the creative genius behind the team of Laurel & Hardy.

We will screen four classic Laurel & Hardy shorts. In One Good Turn (1931), Stan fights back when Ollie falsely accuses him of doing a "dastardly deed." The silent film classic Liberty (1929) shows Stan and Ollie on the run from the law and in trouble high atop a building under construction. In Perfect Day (1929), Stan helps Ollie to prepare for a Sunday picnic with their families. And Stan and Ollie try to escape from their prison chain gang in The Hoose-gow (1929).

Have you ever wondered what a sound comedy short starring James Finlayson (without his trademark mustache) would be like? If you come to our June 12th meeting, you will be able to find out. In addition to the films already listed, we will also screen the rarely seen Finlayson short, Dog-Gone (1939). In the film, Mr. Jones (Fin) overhears his wife, Mrs. Jones (Muriel Evans) talking to their veterinarian about a new diet for their dog, but Fin thinks she is talking to their family doctor and the new diet is for him.

The meeting will be at the Mayflower Club, located at 11110 Victory Boulevard in North Hollywood. The doors open at 6:30 PM and the meeting starts promptly at 7:15 PM. As always, the Mayflower Kitchen will offer our "Fisher Franks" and assorted chips, and the Mayflower Bar will offer drinks. We will serve birthday cake for Stan Laurel during our second break. Hope to see all of you on the evening of Tuesday, June 12th!

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

Stan Laurel Bowler Auctioned

In May, bids were placed on a variety of motion picture memorabilia offered by Christie's auction house in New York. Of special interest to Laurel & Hardy fans were several items which belonged to Stan Laurel, including three bow ties, a binder of jokes, and a bowler hat said to have been worn in Swiss Miss. The auction was featured in a segment on ABC's Good Morning America, where the hosts carefully handled Stan's derby and remarked that it looked very small to them. However the small hat did not carry a small price tag. It sold for a high bid of $26,400.

Notes From Our April Meeting

At our last meeting, Way Out West was screened exactly 70 years (plus one day) after its release in 1937. It is one of Laurel & Hardy's greatest films and a joy to see again and again! Also on the film program were Putting Pants on Philip, County Hospital, and Our Gang's Framing Youth. All films screened were 80, 75, or 70 years old this year to tie in with our 40th anniversary this year. Special thanks goes to Rick Rogers and Sharon Evans for entertaining us with two western songs. Rick and Sharon, you are always delightful!

On a sad note, we learned that Gerald Pike, a twenty-five plus year member of Way Out West, had recently passed away. In Sons of the Desert tradition, Lori McCaffery led a toast and a moment of silence for Gerald.

Banquet and Tour Reminder From the Grand Sheik

I'm happy to announce that many people have already registered for our tent's 40th anniversary celebration which will take place July 28-29th. In addition to many local members, over 30 people have registered from out of town. There are several new bonuses, deadlines, and updates that I'd like to make you aware of.

BONUSES: At the banquet we will give away a signed Stan Laurel check (graciously donated by Lois Laurel Hawes, so you know it's authentic). It will be a free door prize, and all attendees to the banquet will be eligible to win the check. I am also currently in negotiations with the Culver Hotel to have a special lunch there on our July 28th tour. The restaurant is under new management, so we have been unable to finalize the deal, but hope to make it official soon.

DEADLINES: The tours will be sold out, if you wait too long to register. Both of the tours are well on their way to filling up their second 50 seat bus, and a third bus will not be added unless there is substantial interest. We are extending our special rate of $115.00 to June 18th, if you register for all three events (both tours and the banquet). That's a savings of $20 over registering individually. If you wish to stay the weekend at the Westin Hotel, our block of special rate rooms is almost filled. Book your room now, if you want the discounted rate of $109 per night.

UPDATES: I have located all seven of our previous Grand Sheiks and all of them will appear on video at the banquet to share their stories. You'll be surprised by all of the interesting things our tent has done in the past 40 years! Myself, my son Jimmy, Bob Duncan, and Stan Taffel have recently spent time going to all of the locations that will be on the tours. I am happy to say that in addition to many new locations some old locations have improved. For example, after some recent hedge trimming, the Wrong Again mansion is now clearly visible from the street, so we can now point out things that we couldn't even see before. We also found a place to park the buses downtown, so you can get out for a great view of the Liberty building and the surrounding buildings seen in the film.

This will be the last meeting and the last newsletter before the event takes place in July. It has been 10 years since we've done an event like this, and it will probably be 10 years before we do it again. Don't wait to register or you may be too late!

Click here for details/registration form about the Anniversary Weekend...