POSTCARD - 849 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

                JULY 1st.'63.
Thanks Richard [Sloan], yours, 27th.ult. pleased to tell you the foot dept. is much improved - please convey my thanks to Joe Franklin for his kind sentiments - much appreciated. Just mailed you Stills of Dick Van Dyke titled 'ANY OLD IRON' !!
    Note your comments on "Cleopatra"?! you took the words right of my mouth.!
    Weather here lovely, reminds me of California. - "OH WHAT A BEAUTIFUL MORNING".!!
    Bye now - God Bless.
                As always:
Stan Signature                 STAN LAUREL.



POSTCARD - 849 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

                JULY 1st.'63.
Was thinking about you Kip [King] - have'nt heard from you for some time - trust alls well & Happy & making headway -
    Bestest from us both here,
                As always:
Stan Signature                 STAN LAUREL.


OCEANA LETTERHEAD - 849 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

Marvin Hatley composed a few bits of music, but most of the background music was taken from the Roach library.

Stan Laurel

                JULY 2nd.'63.
Dear Steve Ward:
                Thanks yours, 25th.ult.
Re the Boris Morros production - "Flying Deuces", at that time my contract had expired at the Roach Studio & I was in a position to Freelance on my own - Hardy was still under contract with Roach, so Boris made a deal to borrow Hardy for this particular film - Roach loaned Hardy on the condition that I return to the Roach Studio & make two more films with Hardy, which were "Chumps at Oxford" & "Saps at Sea", by that time Hardy's contract expired & Roach discontinued the L&H series.
    Marvin Hatley composed a few bits of music (incidental) but most of the background music was taken from the Roach library, old time popular tunes.
    Note you got "Way Out West" from Geo. Roesler & "Flying Deuces" from Mike Polacek also "Saps At Sea" - did you buy these prints - wondering what they cost you?
    The films you mention that are going to be on TV – we do'nt get those stations in this area. Pleased to know alls well with you.
    My regards to your Dad, self & family,
                As always:
Stan Laurel Signature                 STAN LAUREL.


OCEANA LETTERHEAD - 849 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

                JULY 5th.'63.
Dear Irene [Heffernan]:
                Enclosed a few more stamps for your collection.
Hope by now you're feeling lots better.
    Eda joins in love & bestest to Jim & your kind self -
                As always:
Stan Signature

OCEANA LETTERHEAD - 849 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

                JULY 6th.'63.
Dear Louis Sabini, Jr.:
    Thanks for your nice letter & snapshot of yourself with your Sister & Friends Joe Verrastro & Thomas Wilmott.
    The film "A Haunting we will Go" film you mention has nothing to do with a Frankenstein character whatsoever, its a story about a magician that gets involved with gangsters.
    Note you made two pictures of L&H also recorded on film your 10th.Birthday - should be very interesting. Hope too you had a happy Fourth.
    Again my best wishes.
                Sincerely always:
Stan Laurel Signature                 STAN LAUREL.


Postcard from Stan Laurel
POSTCARD - 849 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

                JULY 6th.'63.
Thanks Doug [Solomon] for the book of views of San Francisco recd. this AM. You certainly are hav[ing] a wonderful vacation traveling around - thanks again for your kind thought & remembrance.
    My regards & bestest to your Mom, Dad & family -
                Sincerely always:
Stan Laurel Signature                 STAN LAUREL.


Postcard from Stan Laurel to Bob & Marie Hatfield
POSTCARD - 849 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

                JULY 9th.'63.
Dear Bob & Marie [Hatfield]: Thanks your note,7th.inst. pleased to know alls well with you, have'nt been doing much corresponding of late - frankly, nothing to write about, have'nt been feeling too good anyway. GOOD. Weather here is lovely, in fact we've been having a lot of weather lately. - just like California is, MILD & SATISFYING TO THE TASTE.!.
    Eda joins in bestest to your Mother & selves,
    God Bless.
                As always:
Stan Signature                 STAN LAUREL.

Note from the Editor

Starting in the late 1950s, Chesterfield cigarettes used the slogan: “Firm and pleasing to the lips...mild yet deeply satisfying to the taste—Chesterfield alone is pleasure packed by Accu-Ray.”



POSTCARD - 849 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

                JULY 15th.'63.
Thanks Howie & Jean [Mann] for the tape recording recd. this AM. Am unable to play it back - my machine is out of order & in the shop being fixed - will of course write you later. Note you have a print of "Leave 'em Laughing" - glad to know you are enjoying it. Again my thanks & bestest to you both.
                As always:
Stan Laurel Signature                 STAN LAUREL.


OCEANA LETTERHEAD - 849 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

                JULY 16th.'63.
My Dear Ben [Shipman],
    Enclosed cheque for rent deposit on 1111,Franklin St. endorsed for deposit.
    You will note a deduction in amount of $8.31 (this was for a new toilet seat) the receipt is also enclosed.
    Thanks Ben:
                As always:
Stan Laurel Signature

OCEANA LETTERHEAD - 849 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

                JULY 22nd.'63.
Dear Irene [Heffernan]:
    Sorry delay in acknowledging your letter, 8th.inst. Have'nt been feeling too good, have been having those weakness spells again plus a slight accident - scratched my ankle on the shower door, slight infection, so have been unable to to attend to my correspondence.
    So sorry to know about your pneumonia attack, trust by now you have fully recovered - feeling much better.
    Enclosed a few more stamps, one or two from behind the 'Iron Curtain' I do'nt think you have.
    Eda joins in love & bestest to Jim & self,
    Looking forward to seeing you again -
    God Bless.
                As always:
Stan Signature

Note from the Editor

The term “Iron Curtain” was coined by German politician Lutz Graf Schwerin von Krosigk, and made popular by Winston Churchill, who first used it in a public speech in March 1946. The term was first used to refer to the actual metal barrier that cut the continent in two (but it soon became a reference to the ideological barrier also) between the Communist countries of the former Soviet Union and the “free world.”



POSTCARD - 849 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

                JULY 23rd.'63.
Thanks Dean [Kaner] your note of the 18th.inst. What film were you planning to buy? did you try Blackhawk Films 1235,West 5th.St.Davenport,Iowa? if not they will send you a catalogue listing on request - maybe I could suggest some other dealers if I knew the title you wanted. Nice to hear from you again - trust alls well & having a good vacation.
                As always -
Stan Laurel Signature                 STAN LAUREL.


Postcard from Stan Laurel to Timothy Dalton - July 23, 1963
POSTCARD - 849 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

                JULY 23rd.'63.
Thanks Timothy [Dalton], your card, 18th.inst. The Hal E. Roach studio is being demolished, its possible the films you mention were acquired at the Auction sale that was held there sometime ago at the time of the sale of the property. Otherwise I would'nt know where they came from.
    My regards & best.
                Sincerely.
Stan Laurel Signature                 STAN LAUREL.


POSTCARD - 849 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

                JULY 23rd.'63.
Thanks Tony & Rita [Harrison] your letter 19th.inst. Wish you both a very happy Holiday in London. Glad to know alls well & happy.
    Love & bestest to you all -
    Take Care - God Bless.
                As always:
                'Uncle'
Stan Signature                 STAN LAUREL.


OCEANA LETTERHEAD - 849 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

Pleased to note Joe Franklin is going to pay tribute to ‘Babe’—I deeply appreciate the kind thoughtful gesture. He was of great value to the team and fully deserves a goodly share of the bouquets.

Stan Laurel

                JULY 29th.'63.
Dear Richard [Sloan]:
    Thanks for the Hal Roach Auction pamphlet which I am returning - very interesting - whoever thought this would happen? its sad.
    Do'nt recall getting the Bob Maxwell Tape - what was it about? Think I already acknowledged the Dick van Dyke Stills with the Placque.
    I heard that Hal Roach Sr. was to appear on the "TODAY" program - doubt if I'll see it, too early for me. Pleased to note Joe Franklin is going to pay tribute to 'Babe' - I deeply appreciate the kind thoughtful gesture, there has been TOO LITTLE mention of 'BABE', he was of great value to the team & fully deserves a goodly share of the bouquets.
    The foot dept. is OKay now but have been having one or two of those weakness spells recently, a bit disturbing at times. Feeling pretty good now thank goodness.
    Bye Richard.
    Bestest from us both here.
                As always:
Stan Signature

OCEANA LETTERHEAD - 849 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

                JULY 30th.'63.
Thanks Dean [Kaner], yours 17th.inst. I do'nt know of any dealers that handle 8mm.prints except Blackhawk. Why do'nt you get other L&H 8mm.that Blackhawk have - would suggest "Leave 'em Laughing" or "Big Business" - "Finishing Touch" - "Two Tars" - "You're Darn Tootin" - I think you'd enjoy any of these as well as the ones you mention. Do you have a Blackhawk listing catalogue? If not, request one be sent you.
    Wish you luck -
    Bye Dean.
                As always:
Stan Laurel Signature                 STAN LAUREL.


OCEANA LETTERHEAD - 849 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

The film you refer to on the construction girders, was ‘Liberty.’ Some of the shots were actually made up there and some on a special set built on top of another building which was about 12 stories high.

Stan Laurel

                JULY 31st.'63..
Dear Howie & Jean [Mann]:
    Finally got my machine & able to run your most interesting Tape - enjoyed very much the copies of disc recordings & so nice to hear you personally & your very kind expressions & thoughts. Got a big kick out of Justin Wilson, Alan Funt, & Stan Freeberg's satire on Lawrence Welk, a very funny skit.
    I think the title of the film you refer to on the construction girders, was "LIBERTY" - some of the shots were actually made up there & some on a special constructed set built on top of another building which was about 12 stories high, (this had a safety platform - about a 12 foot drop.) I remember the film quite well.
    Enclosed is some information concerning the Coat of Arms you mentioned, hope your ancestry can be traced.
    Have'nt been feeling to good, so pardon my being brief.
    Again many thanks for the tape - a very good recording.
    Bestest to you all.
    God Bless.
                As always:
Stan Signature                 STAN LAUREL.

Note from the Editor

Justin Wilson (1914-2001) was a southern American chef and humorist known for his brand of Cajun cuisine-inspired cooking and humor and storytelling.

Allen Funt (1914-1999) was an American television producer, director and writer, television personality, best known as the creator and host of Candid Camera from the 1940s to 1980s on CBS.

Stan Freberg (1926-2015) is an American author, recording artist, animation voice actor, comedian, radio personality, puppeteer and advertising creative director, whose career began in 1944.



Orson Bean’s Laurels for Stan and Oliver

Never Too Late Playbill

By Milt Freudenheim

Delighted memories of old Stan Laurel end Oliver Hardy movies are never far from the mind of actor Orson Bean.
    He even sees his yelling contests with Paul Ford in the Broadway comedy Never Too Late as echoing the Laurel and Hardy relationship.
    This view is not shared by Ford, however, who prides himself on being “an instinctive actor who never thinks about his work,” Bean admits.
    Bean has organized a Laurel and Hardy appreciation society named “Sons of the Desert” after an early film by the pair.
    He collects prints of their 30-year-old two-reeler sound films and corresponds with Laurel.
    “I’m an enormous fan of theirs,” he says. “They symbolize all of life for me—they can’t get along with or without each other. The fact that in the next picture they’re together is always reassuring to me. It’s a classic comic relationship.”
    Bean has signed for a year's work in Never Too Late, but says he'’ll probably stick with it into the uncharted future in view of its popularity as Broadway’s hot ticket for the middle-aged set.
    The comedy revolves around the surprise late-In-life pregnancy of Ford’s stage wife, Maureen O'Sullivan. Bean plays the comically irate son-in-law.
    A thinker whose apartment is loaded with books and paintings, Bean writes his own night club material. Lately he has turned out articles for the slick ladies magazines.
    “I’d like to switch to writing eventually,” he says with the innocence of an actor starring in a Broadway hit. “I’m not all that nuts about the theater.”

—The New York Times
    July 21, 1963

Hal Roach Laugh Factory Put On Auctioneer's Block

Hal Roach Auction Catalog

By Christian Clausen

Hal Roach sat in the breezeway at the studio named after him—the weight of 40 years and a million laughs behind him—and talked in spurs about all that had come to pass.
    Occasionally, as he described particular funny episode, he would smile vaguely, but it was clear that he would infinitely prefer to cry. He looked like a melancholy Alfred Hitchcock.
    He described the days of youth and glory—his eyes staring into the middle distances—of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, of Harold Lloyd, Will Rogers Bebe Daniels, Theda Bara, Lupe Valez. Those were the days when Hal Roach Studios were known as the laugh factory.
    Roach, a native of Elmira, N.Y., started motion picture work as a dollar-a-day man at the old Universal Studios, rose rapidly from extra to assistant director and then director. In 1911, with savings of little more than $100, he started his own company. The parks of Los Angeles served as his studio, the cast was hastily assembled and the story generally was written on the way to the location.
    In 1917, Roach was successful enough to buy six acres of land in Culver City and established what was to become the oldest continuously-operated movie and television production studio on the West Coast.
    In August the Hal Roach Studios, the birthplace of comedy in the United Slates, the laugh factory, the consumer of countless creamed custard pies, will go under the auctioneer’s gavel.
    Haunted by TV, and a seemingly steady drop in motion picture theater attendance, other major studios have managed to survive by retrenching or by lopping off huge segments of themselves.
    Roach told how the studio met the threat of television by rapidly converting from a motion picture basis to a large producer of TV films.
    “Why,” he said with pride and indignation, "“at one time we had 11 TV shows being made here. We were turning out twice as much film as all the other major studios combined.”
    Then in bewilderment and shock he described the complicated financial maneuvering that led to bankruptcy proceedings, the impending auction and the ultimate disaster—the complete obliteration by next October of all the buildings on the 14-acre lot.
    “They say they want the earth bare by October,” he snorted. “I don’t know what they’re going to put up here. Why even they don’t know.”
    Behind him busy, efficient workmen, carrying radio sets in their pockets for rapid communication, swarmed like ants through the yawning sound stages and even through the stately white-pillared colonial main building which fronts the main street and which stands out incongruously in its setting of flat-roofed one story commercial buildings.
    The workmen, on the staff of well known West Coast Auctioneer Milton J. Wershow, were collecting the debris of almost half a century, dusting and polishing in preparation for the four-day public auction.
    One of the men preparing the studio for the auction is Byron “Bones” Vreeland who started with Roach in 1923 delivering mail on a bike and is now studio manager.
    A worker dropped by to tell Vreeland with some incredulity that he had just unearthed a large safe filled with machine guns.
    “They’re in operating condition, too,” he said with a slight note of hysteria in his voice. Placidly, Vreeland accepted the news. “We never threw anything away,” he said pridefully. “Why we got stuff here that goes back to the early ’20s.”
    The vast stages, closets, attics and hiding places on the lot are crammed with props, cameras and sound equipment and memorabilia of almost half a century.
    “We had to make most of the stuff ourselves,” Vreeland said. “If the director asked me for a bottle that smokes, or, a cane that squirts water, where could I go to buy it? I had to have it made right here, and then after it was used, we saved it.”
    A walk through the lot recalls memories of time faintly flicking silent movies to a visitor lucky enough to have lived in the era of the Laurel and Hardy and Our Gang movies.
    There is the now green and murky pool in which Laurel and Hardy alternatingly took pratfalls, the breakaway bottles and furniture, the old ocean liner, the Our Gang cafe, the ancient touring cars and fire trucks used in impossible chase scenes.
    Vreeland spotted the door to a huge closet that held the toys used in the Our Gang comedies. It was a tangled, musty snarl of horns, guns, dolls, drums, hobby-horses—the closet of any small boy, multiplied 100 times.
    Auctioneer Wershow has separated the objects into 10,000 lots but he has no way of knowing how many separate items are involved. He will conduct the auction from a portable stand, rolling from one place to another in front of his audience.
    One of the few performers who bridges the gap between the old days and the present is actor Chill Wills.
    “Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy were two of the funniest men in the world,” he said. “And they were always on—always working out another gag.
    “I remember one day I was working in a picture and I got a telegram from my children, wishing me happy birthday. About 40 minutes after I got the wire, I got a birthday cake from Laurel and Hardy with candles and everything.
    “Well, cousin I’m here to tell you that you never saw, a bigger mess when I stuck that knife into the cake. It just exploded custard cream all over the lot, right up to the ceiling.
    “Those rascals went to all the trouble to build a birthday cake around a big inflated balloon. When I punched the knife in there, powee!”
    Wills, who is a large tumultuous man with an engaging cowboy accent, agrees with Vreeland’s contention that practical jokes played on fellow performers on the lot were ideas polished off-stage for possible use in the next film.
    “Most of them were sight gags,” he said. “They relied for their effect on the audience being able to see them, A man had to be terribly careful working on that lot. You never knew when somebody would sneak up behind you and put a lighted candle under your chair, or set fire to the newspaper you were reading.
    “I claim that the hotfoot was probably originated here at this studio. Maybe I’m wrong, but I’d like to think it was, anyway.”
    Phony telegrams and telephone calls abounded on the lot, Wills recalls. He remembers the time he got an urgent telegram from his agent, asking him to immediately get in touch by telephone.
    “Not a single phone on that lot was in working order,” Wills said. “They turned them all off, so I had to go down the street. I should have known by then, of course, that my agent knew nothing about the wire.”
    Every once in a while, somebody would get a telegram with the chilling instructions, “Disregard last telegram,” signed by an agent or friend. Of course, there was no “last telegram,” but it always took a long time to establish this as fact.”
    Wills recalls how, motion pictures were slapped together in the old days, revised on the spot with plot worked out as the action went along.
    “Why,” he said, “Laurel and Hardy used to work out their routines and turn out the funniest pictures you ever saw. And they’d only run 15 or 18 minutes. Remember those? They used to be called ‘selected short subjects,’ and they were a lot funnier than the big expensive pictures being made today.
    “I wish we’d get back to selected short subjects. but motion picture exhibitors now won’t buy a film unless it runs for an hour and a half.
    “I was watching an old Laurel and Hardy movie on TV the other night with my kids.” Wills said.
    “It just broke them up, they were screaming with laughter. But I know if I tried to do one of those routines, my son would think I was out of my head.”
    Roach was known for his willingness to disregard costs in favor of getting comedy into his pictures. Many times, after a film was completed an idea would occur to the director or one of the comedians that might have brightened up the film had it been used. But it would cost $500 to go into the completed film and install the idea.
    “Roach used to say a good laugh was worth $500 any time,” Wills said.
    Wills looked reflectve1y around the huge sound stage, fingers of sunlight poking into its dark corners, the auctioneer’s workmen busily labeling and tagging the props neatly laid out on the table.
    From one corner loomed a richly rococo nude, glowing in glorious technicolor as the sun struck the canvas.
    “Who painted that” was the awed question.
    “A Frenchman who was never heard from again,"” was the answer.
    A workman went by, his pocket radio peevishly summoning him to “Report to stage two.”
    The metallic squawk of the radio seemed to hang on the words in the air.
    “You know,” Wills said, “I reckon if you could package all the laughs that came out of this place and let them go all at once, it’d be a lot bigger than the biggest hydrogen bomb. I just reckon it would.”

—Chronical Telegram
    July 27, 1963

Stan Watermark