Richard W. Bann Letter of 13th November, 1999
The twelfth international convention of the Laurel & Hardy appreciation society is looming large. SONS OF THE DESERT is the name of the organization, as many who read these pages already know. The next SONS extravaganza we are all anticipating will take place next summer. Mark your Laurel & Hardy calendars. The dates are July 20 through July 23. The location is the Pacific Northwest in the United States, more specifically a region near the Pacific Ocean including the cities of Seattle and Tacoma in the great state of Washington. Hence the convention is called SEA-TAC 2000. Fans will be travelling from all over the world to attend. It is still early, but several hundred delegates have registered so far.
More than two decades after the group was formed, the first SONS convention was held in Chicago. That was only fitting since Chicago was where Laurel & Hardy traveled in their film about fraternal organizations made in 1934 and entitled SONS OF THE DESERT. They had fun making it, we had fun watching it, and now every other year we have even more fun living it.
Each convention since 1978 has been unique, and unforgettable, reflecting the character of the host-city as well as the interests and emphasis of those dedicated fans sponsoring the show. The SONS chapter hosting next summer's event is the BEAU HUNKS tent. Convention co-chairman Jack Taylor was in town last month attending the annual WAY OUT WEST banquet held at the Culver City Hotel where Stan and Ollie appeared so often in their silent shorts. Jack gave everyone the latest news about SEA-TAC 2000.
We encourage you to investigate: After attending that first SONS get-together, you will never want to miss another one. You will forge new lifetime friendships, acquire Laurel & Hardy memorabilia and accessories, revitalize your interest in the films, and experience a vacation everyone in the family can enjoy.
In the opinion of some - possibly a minority view - there are too many activities at these things. Besides screenings (100 hours of films!), a dealers room, and banquets, there are games, costume parties, seminars, celebrities, field trips, and a vaudeville show. All this will take place as a four-day event. It may well keep the wonderful spirit and tradition of Laurel & Hardy fandom alive, but with everything that's planned it may well kill some of the members.
So go. Just go. Pattern your life after Oliver Hardy, just as he himself advised his partner to do in SONS OF THE DESERT when he said, "I go places ... and then tell my wife. Every man should be the king in his own castle!"
So it was. Later Mr. Hardy got crowned.
Laurel and Heartily Yours,