PASSENGERS SAILING FROM: Southampton, 10th July, 1935
ARRIVING AT PORT OF: New York, 16 July, 1935
Note from the Editor
Arthur Jefferson, Stan’s Father, visited his son in Los Angeles in July 1935. He kept a diary of his visit, excerpts of which are printed below.
ARTHUR JEFFERSON'S DIARY - HANDWRITTEN EXCERPTS
...of our "Magic Carpet" visit to Los Angeles, California as the guests of my son, Stan "Laurel," and his, ten, wife "Ruth," returning via the Canadian Pacific route: July 1935 to July 1936.
Jo, house boy & general factotum, came in & cleaned up — very thorough at his job — & genial personality (Mexican). Stan & Ruth called about 5:30. They have had an exciting day viewing their new boat, named the ("Ida M") named after the previous owner's wife but to be changed to the "RUTH L" after Ruth. "Tony" (animal trainer for the Hal Roach Studios) & his wife, joined us for dinner. Stan & Ruth drove us home. Stan told us we're all going to the island of Catalina for a month, leaving on the 4th. Great excitement!
Albert came 1:30 to Stan's. Met Mr. Black & daughter, who are taking charge of the Laurels during Stan & Ruth's absence in Catalina. We, with Stan & Ruth, drove to Long Beach to view his new boat - went aboard, very thrilling! Introduced us to the captain - Mills - went for a short cruise - around the U.S. war ships & back. (We are the first visitors names in his log book!) Returned to Los Angeles - fed at a restaurant & home about 9. We carried on with the packing, which Ven had started this morning.
Up 4 a.m. finished packing. Stan & Ruth arrived 6 a.m. Also arranged (Yellow Cab Service) for our luggage which went ahead. Drove to Long Beach (boat moorage) on to boat & propeller started 8:30 for Catalina Island. A gorgeous morning & enjoyable trip across the Pacific. We are filled with wonder & interest. Safe crossing. Berthing about 9:30 at the Tuna Club landing. Introduced to the Club secretary - Mr. F. West. Drove to our temporary new home - a furnished house - Dr. White's. 4 p.m. settled in & drove to Club - the semi-nudity of the bathers & pedestrians rather embarrassing at first. est aboard & did a cruise around Island. Stan fishing for tuna but no luck. Home, dinner, bed.
Up 7:30. Discovered ants in bed - a shock! Stan and Ruth went fishing. we did a stroll & rode on a "toast rack" car to St. Catherine's Hotel - gorgeous surroundings. Stan & Ruth back, Ruth caught a fish (a Bass) Captain Mills, skipper of the Ruth L, joined us at dinner.
Stan & Ruth left about 8 - fishing. We breakfasted (Lilian in charge) then strolled around. Ven got her watch repaired. Took "toast rack" to Bird Park, back home (always by taxi, a stiff walk, up hill to the house) lunched, rested. Stan & Ruth back, dinner, after which we all did the Island & visited shops, etc. Met Charley Chase & his brother & several others. Drove to St. Catherine's Hotel, drinks & home.
Stan & Ruth & Ven went fishing, leaving about 8. I take it easy. My leg very painful, limping. Taxi to Tuna Club, chat with Mr. West. Then chatted with Dr. and Mrs. Maxwell (old pros, retired on a visit here). Taxi home, met Dr. White. Dr. Perske - masseur - came about 1 p.m. & put me through it. Lunch. Phone call from West that Stan had caught a tuna. Taxi to Club & West & I west to the Pier - big crowd assembled to welcome the fishers. But alas! It was not Stan's catch but Jimmy Parrot's (Charley Chase's brother). Better luck next time Stan! All home later. Met Otis Shepard (right hand man, practically in control of the island to the Wrigley's - of chewing gum fame - who own the island.) He dined with us.
Stan & Ruth went fishing. We strolled to the front - my ankle very bad walking with aid of stick. Took a trip on an alleged glass bottom boat to view ocean, fish, etc. Ghastly experience! Overlooked the real one - a paddle steamer. Home, rest. Stan & Ruth back 5 p.m. Dinner, card games, bed.
We all went fishing, left 9:00, cruised around, several miles, very hot - choppy sea. No luck. Met Mr. & Mrs. Swaffield (Stan's lawyer) & their friends who had flown over. They dined with us. They are staying at local hotel.
Stan & Ruth and Lillian went for day fishing (left about 7 a.m.) under direction of Mr. Swaffield, to ensure a catch! My ankle bad. Very hot - 80° in our bedroom! Taxi to front, shopped, home, etc. Stan & Ruth back around 4. No luck. Lilian suffered from sea sickness. Stan bought me a Brownie camera & films. Al at St. Catherine's for dinner. The Swaffield's joined us. Stan bought Ven a kimono & me a large sea shell - mother o'pearl & lighter. "Toast rack" to front & taxi home.
Stan & Ruth away early, fishing. We had easy day. Ven busy day writing letters (Sunday). Stan & Ruth back about 4. Help see the Swaffields off by plane. Bed 9:30. Stan & Ruth leaving for home - until Wed. - tomorrow morning.
Stan & Ruth left about 4. We 'lazied' to front (a lift in Shepard's car) Club, shopped, etc., home, dinner, bed 9:30.
Thunderstorms heavy, early a.m. - developed gorgeous later. Easy day. Shopped. Ven to the casino (on her own), letters, etc. Uneventful day.
Up early. Stan & Ruth & Mr. & Mrs. Charlie Hall (Charlie & 'Foxy') arrived about 9 a.m. Breakfast. They all went fishing. Went front. Ven had her hair fixed. The Halls dined with us (they are engaged at the Hal Roach Studios principally on the Laurel & Hardy pictures) & left later for their hotel.
Stan & Ruth & the Halls went fishing - early. At last Stan's luck is in!!! He caught a huge tuna, weight 171 lbs.! Took him 45 minutes to land it. We went to Pier, watched its weighing, etc. (snaps & photos) Great rejoicing! Stan now secured the coveted Tuna Club button...
...did a stroll round Casino, etc. after which we saw them off - on boat for home. Went home, down to Club later & boarded the "Ruth L" from Tuna Club. Stan had no luck. Met Mr. Junip, his boat moored nearby. Came aboard - a member of the Tuna Club & an eminently successful fisher - a "character!"
Unhappy night. Both of us up chasing the ants! Stan & Ruth & we went fishing, no luck. Tiring day. Back. Mr. Junip paid us another visit.
Slept better. No ant trouble! Stan & Ruth went fishing. Ven & I to front, her glasses repaired, etc. Stan & Ruth back about 5. No luck with tuna - but avenged his honour by catching 57 sand crabs (with "umbrella"). Home, dinner, then all down to front. Met Mr. Junip & Mr. & Mrs. Horn. We all went on a trip in boat built for "flying fish." A wonderful experience for us. Lovely effect: shafts of shiny silver by boat search lights. Some of fish fell on the deck...
Stan & Ruth left with Lilian about 6:45. They are returning home (Los Angeles). Ven & I undertook some light domestic work. Down to front, shopped, etc. Home again. Lunch. Rest. Ven cooked chicken, etc. Splendid. Our first "English" dinner since arrival. Easy p.m.
Gorgeous weather. Ten letters. I went to Club, collected letters sent by Stan from our flat. I posted a big pile of Island view coloured post cards. Shepard called about 6. Drinks. He invited us to dine at his house to meet his wife, brother & young son tomorrow night. He drove us to the Casino, leaving us there. We saw the show (pictures) then home, bed.
Gorgeous breakfast & cleaning up & swarm of ants in kitchen. To front. Mr. White & friends viewed the house after. Shepard called for us about 6:30, drove us to his home - close by - chat with family, drinks, nice dinner, after which we all went to Casino (pictures), home 11:30.
Gorgeous. Stan & Ruth & his friends arrived 9:30. (Expected 8:30, we were up at 6:30). Ven prepared breakfast, after which Stan & Ruth & friends went fishing. I went to Club. Snapped West & shopped. Met Ven on front & we took "toast rack" to Bird Park (snaps), then home & lunch. The party returned about 4. Drinks & all of us to the White Cap restaurant. Gay evening, drinks, games, dinner. Stan & I autographed our names on ceiling! Later we saw Hugh (film actor) one of Stan's friends on board the Ruth L where he is sleeping, keeping the skipper company. Note: the boat's new name now appears - with a new house flag designed by Shepard. Home, bed.
Rain early, cooler. Stan & Ruth & "Irene" (the other friend of Stan's) who slept in room adjoining ours, went fishing early. (Sunday) I went to Club, snapped West - again, as previous one a failure). We strolled around together (he is 63 Tuesday next: a charming man!) Ven busy packing, some task! which she practically completed & was much luggage. We went to Club about 6 & boarded boat from Club. Swaffield & friend aboard, drinks & chat. All ashore & fed at Spanish City restaurant. W saw the puppet show, excellently worked, but we did not relish the Mexican food. Still a very interesting visit & environment.
Stan & Ruth & Irene left 8:30 fishing. Mrs. Black & her daughter called chat - they left to look for rooms. Rest after. Went to Club & boarded boat. Home. Shepard & others aboard - lively chat. All ashore & to John's Café, then to Horne's house, rented, which Mrs. Black is taking over the lease expires - home, bed 12 (We return home 28th)
Stan & Ruth & Irene to boat. I phoned West b'day greetings. Down to front - Ven joined me later - "toast rack" to St. Catherine's hotel then home. Stan & Ruth & friends back early. All of us: Stan & Ruth, Irene & Hugh & of course the Shepards & ourselves invited to the Wrigley's/ Drove there (3 cars). Miss _____? (film actor & friend of the Wrigley's) drove with us. A wonderful home, high up in mountains, facing the home of Mrs. Wrigley (mother), general introductions, cocktails & gossip. The invocation: a compliment to Stan! Mrs. Wrigley - a perfect hostess: she returned with us, driving some of the party in her own car. A memorable occasion. Stan & Ruth packed all their belongings & Ven ditto, a sever task! I lost my wallet, a terrible state. Later discovered - Ven had packed it away!
Up 6, luggage left 4:30. Breakfasted at Cafeteria. We returned by Steamer - the "Avalon" - shortage of room on the Ruth L, which passed us en route. Ocean like a lake. Berthed at Wilmington 10:45. Took taxi to Los Angeles. Discovered loss of my address book & failed to remember our own flat- number, with result that we went miles around till eventually found. Though inquiries at a garage, which proved very sympathetic & "let us down lightly." Both of us thankful to get in! Stan phones that Ruth had scalded herself badly with kettle at breakfast table. I got semi-settled in, a rest. Stan called 5:30 en route from Studio & drove us to "The Laurels" - chatted with Ruth in bed, much easier. Stan drove us home, both of them very sweet.
General tidying up, the quietude much enjoyed. Wilson Benge called a.m. brief stay. Stan phoned about 4, arrived soon after, driving us to "The Laurels." A party there to greet us. Home. The Halls - Rogers & others., drinks on veranda. The party discussing points of a new "L & H" picture (Bohemian Girl). Ruth still in bed. STA & we dining alone. Left around 8:30. Stan drove us back to flat: we did a stroll (Beverly Wilshire hotel district & joyfully discovered two cinemas. Cheers! Respectively, Warner Brothers and the "Beverly.")
AUTOGRAPHED PHOTO - 1935
HAL ROACH STUDIOS LETTERHEAD - Culver City, CA - TYPEWRITTEN
July 25, 1935.
Mr. Stan Laurel,
Hal Roach Studios, Inc.
Culver City, California
Dear Mr. Laurel:
Under our agreement of April 8th, 1935, it is provided that upon the completion of a feature picture and a two-reeler, thereafter a contract will be in effect between us for period of one year.
It is agreed between us that said feature and two reeler were completed as of the 22nd day of July, 1935, and that said period of one year commences upon said date.
Very truly yours,
HAL ROACH STUDIOS, INC.
BY HENRY GINSBERG