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.

Pick Your Favorite Laurel and Hardy Landlord or Landlady

Landlords and landladies were one of the favorite targets of Laurel & Hardy's comedy. Five different actors and actresses filled those roles in seven films. On the evening of Tuesday, March 24th, you will not only see four of those films, but you be able to vote for your favorite landlord or landlady.

Our film program will begin with the silent short, You're Darn Tootin' (1928). In the film, Stan & Ollie play inept musicians who are fourteen weeks behind in paying landlady Agnes Steele their rent. The film also has a shin-kicking and trouser-ripping ending that you won't want to miss.

In the second silent short for the evening, Angora Love (1929), Stan & Ollie can't seem to get away from a goat that follows them everywhere. Eventually the goat even follows them home to their boarding house. The Boys decide that they can hide the goat in their room, without landlord Edgar Kennedy ever finding out.

It's the middle of Winter in Laurel & Hardy's classic short Laughing Gravy (1931). Charlie Hall is The Boys' landlord who puts Stan's dog, Laughing Gravy, out in the cold because he doesn't want a barking dog in his boarding house. So Stan & Ollie sneak Laughing Gravy back into the boarding house. As a special bonus, we will also screen a reel of the Spanish version of Laughing Gravy (Los Calaveras), that ends differently than the English version. The reel is not dubbed, but actually has Stan and Babe speaking Spanish. Babe's Spanish is not too bad, but Stan's...well, you be the judge.

Our final film of the evening will be The Chimp (1932). This three reel film starts with Stan & Ollie working as stagehands in a circus, as always in their own unique way. When the circus goes bankrupt, the owner decides to give each of his employees a part of the circus as their final pay. Stan gets a flea circus and Ollie gets Ethel, The Human Chimpanzee. The flea circus is easy to sneak into Billy Gilbert's boarding house, but Ethel is another matter.

If you're wondering who played the other landlord/landlady, Charlie Hall was once again Stan and Ollie's landlord in both Leave 'Em Laughing (1928) and They Go Boom (1929). Mary Gordon played Stan and Ollie's landlady in Bonnie Scotland (1935), when the Boys grilled a fish in their room on bedsprings with a candle!

As usual, the doors will open at the Mayflower Club at 6:30 PM. Our meeting will start at 7:15 PM. The Mayflower Club is located at 11110 Victory Boulevard in North Hollywood. There will be "Fisher Frank" hot dogs and assorted chips for sale at the Mayflower Kitchen, and drinks of your choice sold at the Mayflower Bar. Free cake will be served at our second break. Laurel & Hardy memorabilia will be on sale at our dealer's table. See you Tuesday March 24th.

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

Don't Forget To Pay Your 2009 Dues

Annual dues for Way Out West Tent membership are due each January. For anyone who hasn't yet paid their 2009 dues, please pay them now. We need your continued support to pay our rental fees to the Mayflower Club, to print and mail the Brushwood Gulch Gazette, and to continue to offer discounts to our members when we have banquets and other special events. Thank you for your continued support.

Volunteers For Toasts at Our Next Meeting

For WOW members that wish to give a toast to either Stan, Babe, Fin, Mae, Charlie, Marvin, or Mr. Roach, please see our Grand Sheik Jimmy Wiley Jr. or our Vice Sheik Bob Duncan by 7:00 PM at our next meeting.

Notes From Our January Meeting

The Mayflower Club was packed for our January 27th meeting, which celebrated the 117th birthday of Oliver "Babe" Hardy. The opening toasts and song were jointly done by Grand Sheik Jimmy Wiley Jr. and Vice Sheik Bob Duncan. Grand Vizier Lori McCaffery also gave a special toast to Alf Hickman, who recently passed away. As bartender at the Mayflower Club, Alf served our members for over twenty years!

Laurel & Hardy author and historian Randy Skretvedt was our special guest for the evening. Randy graciously brought several albums full of rare personal photos of Babe and Stan that were given to Randy by Babe's second wife, Myrtle. As always, when Randy joins us at a meeting, he always has something interesting to show and talk about. Thanks again Randy! Also joining us were Chris Craven (grandson of Sons of the Desert writer Frank Craven), John Huck (son of Chuck Huck, who founded Chicago's Bacon Grabbers Tent), actor Curtis Armstrong, and Steve Wichrowski of the Massachusetts Air Raid Warden's Tent.

Our films for Babe's birthday were Charley Chase's silent film, Isn't Life Terrible (which also featured Babe as Charley's unlikable brother-in-law), Going Bye-Bye!, and Sons of the Desert.

Shirley Jean Rickert

Our Gang's Shirley Jean Rickert passed away in New York on February 6, 2009, at the age of 82. Shirley Jean made five Our Gang comedies in the early thirties. She was the girl with the very blonde hair and spit curls. Shirley Jean worked in movies until the early fifties. She attended the Sons of the Desert International Convention in New York in 1994. In 2001 she became an honorary member of the Way Out West Tent when she attended our annual banquet at the Pickwick Banquet Center in Burbank. Shirley Jean was a very friendly "down to earth woman," who was a delight to talk to. We at Way Out West will miss her.

Vaudeville Lives! Evans and Rogers

Jazz vocalist Sharon Evans and vocal impressionist Rick Rogers, who have often entertained us at Way Out West meetings and banquets, are now starring in a Vaudeville show at the Mayflower Club. Their special guest will be "Mr. Tin Pan Alley," Richard Halpern. The show will be performed on Friday, March 27th at 8:00 PM. Tickets are $18.00 each. For reservations, call (818) 769-9805. For more information, go to

"Sharon has a beautiful voice, Rick does a great Eddie Cantor, and Richard does a great Al Jolson. We saw all of them perform last year and really enjoyed the show. They sing. They dance. It's great entertainment. We'll be there, join us."
--Jimmy & Kris Wiley

Laurel & Hardy Statue

For well over a decade, members of the Sons of the Desert in the United Kingdom have raised funds in order to place a statue of Laurel & Hardy in Stan's hometown. Many members of the Sons from around the world have contributed. They have now completed the project, raising over £60,000. The statue will be unveiled in Ulverston, England, on April 19th.