Monday, January 30, 2012

Me and The Sons of the Desert

It has been a rather busy week for me. As a card-carrying member of the Sons of the Desert, I was increasingly disturbed by the lack of a web site for my own local Tent. I spend a fair amount of time on the Internet researching Bit Actors, and I expect many other people do as well. We need a presence.

A word of explanation may be in order, if you are unfamiliar with the Sons. In 1933, Laurel and Hardy released what was probably their very best feature film, Sons of the Desert. It was about a fraternal organization The Boys belonged to, and they were having a convention in Chicago. All of the California members took a solemn oath to attend...without consulting their wives! You can imaging what they went through to make the trip (without their better halves) and the consequences they reaped upon their return.

Fast forward a few years to the 1960s. Writer and historian John McCabe was working on his biography Mr. Laurel and Mr. Hardy, and in speaking with Stan Laurel at his home, McCabe suggested creating a group of Laurel and Hardy admirers who would celebrate their films. The Sons of the Desert was born. Other founding members included Al Kilgore, Orson Bean and Chuck McCann.

The first meeting took place in New York City in 1965, a short time after Stan passed away. The SotD grew and each new city was to start what is called a Tent, and they would name it after one of the L&H films. I am in the Philadelphia, PA area and ours is the Two Tars Tent, named after a silent film from 1928.

Our Tent is now in its 41st year. We had a web site a few years ago, but since this is a completely volunteer organization (based on Laurel and Hardy!) the web site was not looked after properly. It was nobody's fault because people get busy. Then, I opened my BIIIG MOUTH (sorry for stealing your line, Jackie Gleason) and got the job! The important thing is that The Two Tars Tent now has a functioning web site, thanks to the ease of Google Sites. I was helped by two of our board members, Roger Gordon and Bob Rooney. Thanks, guys!

The address is a bit unwieldy, but Google Sites is free, so I won't complain.
Google Sites has a number of nifty features and it should be easy to maintain.

On the site you will find a calendar that I hope will fill with important events regarding old movies, especially in the Southeastern PA area. I am also adding the birthdays of many old stars. I am still posting photos from past events, and there are some links to other movie related web sites on the links page.

I hope you will stop by the new web site and let me know what you think. If you love to laugh, you may want to look for a Sons of the Desert Tent in your area and get to some meetings. You will find a welcoming atmosphere and a great bar where you can park your camel and have "one for the desert."

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations on your new site for the tent. I will hoist a toast in your honour.


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