Saturday, September 18, 2010

Photo of Some Friends, Sons of the Desert

Below is a photo that I took at a 1979 banquet of the Two Tars Tent of The Sons of the Desert.  I have spoken of the Sons before, but if any readers are new, the SoD is the international organization dedicated to the films of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy.

Each city has a local group called a tent.  The Two Tars meet in the Philadelphia, PA area.  At the banquets they always try to have guests who were involved in some way with L&H or at Hal Roach Studios, or were active in the era.  These days they are getting much older and hard to find.

Here is the pic -

Copyright 1979 Allen Hefner

In the picture (from left to right) we see Red Stanley (1900 - 1980), his wife Anita Garvin (1906 - 1994) and Rosina Lawrence (1912 - 1997).

Red Stanley was a musician and appeared in only nine movies.  He was a delight to talk with.  He worked in films with Betty Grable, Fred MacMurray, Harriet Hilliard (of Ozzie and Harriet), Penny Singleton and Arthur Lake in Blondie Goes Latin (1941), and was uncredited as a trombonist in The Horn Blows at Midnight (1945) with Jack Benny.  He married Anita in 1930.

Anita Garvin was one of the most endearing supporting actors used by Laurel and Hardy.  She appeared in 94 films from 1924 to 1940, including about 11 with The Boys, plus some films with Laurel or Hardy, sans the other.  About a third of her films were made at Hal Roach Studios.  My favorite of hers with The Boys was Blotto, a 1930 short where Anita played Stan's wife.  Stan and Ollie thought they would put one over on her and take her hidden liquor to a club.  She had replaced it with cold tea before they left, but they got blotto anyway.  It is one very funny movie.

Rosina Lawrence was one of the nicest people you could ever meet!  Someone once said that she was so sweet, if she went out in the rain, she would melt.  Rosina made 30 films from 1924 to 1939, when she married and became a housewife.  She was popular in some Our Gang comedies as well as some of the best Laurel and Hardy movies.  She had a major role in Way Out West (1937), considered one of their finest feature films.

Rosina's first husband died in 1973.  She married John McCabe in 1987.  McCabe (another acquaintance of mine) was the founder of The Sons of the Desert.  Look for his books about Laurel and Hardy and also Charlie Chaplin.

I have fond memories of all these people, and I will continue to share them with you.  Back in those days I shot these pics on film.  I am in the process of scanning them, which is quite a project!  I just picked up a negative and slide scanner (Thanks, eBay!) and have loads more to go.

Please respect the photographs I have taken.  If you want to use them, please ask first.  It's probably OK, I just want to know and maybe receive credit under the pic!

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