Sons Of The Desert
The Sons Of The Desert organization was named after the 1933 Laurel & Hardy film of the same name and began in 1964 when author John McCabe (Mr. Laurel & Mr. Hardy) sent a letter to his friend, Stan Laurel, proposing the idea about forming an organization to honor the work of Laurel & Hardy. Stan was very much in favor of this plan, offering ideas such as a coat of arms with the motto “Two Minds Without A Single Thought”. Cartoonist, Al Kilgore, created the Sons Of The Desert escutcheon, which honors Stan’s words (translated into Latin). Stan also felt that the organization should have “a half-assed dignity”. Not too long after Stan Laurel’s passing in 1965, the first meeting of the Sons of the Desert was held at the Lamb’s Club in New York City with founding members John McCabe, Orson Bean, Chuck McCann, Al Kilgore and John Municino. Since then, more than 300 chapters known as “tents”, each named after a Laurel & Hardy film, have been formed all over the world.
In 1978, the Sons Of The Desert held their first International Convention in Chicago and have met in different cities around the world every two years since then. Among the hosts of past conventions are Los Angeles (two times), New York, Las Vegas, Stan Laurel’s birthplace in Ulverston, England and Oliver Hardy’s birthplace in Harlem, Georgia. The Chimp Tent of Cincinnati, Ohio - Oasis 279 played host the 21st International Convention in July of 2018. Sadly, The 22nd International Convention in Providence, Rhode Island which was planned for June of 2020 was canceled due to the pandemic. The Sons Of The Desert's 23rd International Convention is scheduled to take place in Albuquerque, New Mexico in August 2022.
Sons Of The Desert Constitution
The Sons Of The Desert is an organization with scholarly overtones and heavily social undertones devoted to the loving study of the persons and films of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy.
The founding members are Orson Bean, Al Kilgore, John McCabe, Chuck McCann and John Municino.
The Sons Of The Desert shall have the following officers and board members who will be elected at an annual meeting:
Vice - Sheik [ Sheik in charge of Vice ]
Sub - Vice Vizier [ Sheik Treasurer , and in charge of sub - vice ]
Grande Vizier [ Corresponding Secretary ]
Board Members - at - large [ This number should not exceed 812 ]
All officers and board members-at-large shall sit at an exalted place at the annual banquet.
The officers and board members-at-large shall have absolutely no authority whatsoever.
Despite his absolute lack of authority, the Grand Sheik or his deputy shall act as chairman at all meetings and will follow the standard parlimentary procedure in conducting same. At the meetings, it is hoped that the innate dignity, sensitivity, and good taste of the members assembled will permit activities to be conducted with a lively sense of deportment and good order.
Article VI is ridiculous
The annual meeting shall be conducted in the following sequence:
1 - Cocktails
2 - Business meeting and cocktails
3 - Dinner [ with cocktails ]
4 - After - dinner speeches and cocktails
5 - Cocktails
6 - Coffee and Cocktails
7 - Showing of Laurel and Hardy film
8 - After film critique and cocktails
9 - After - after - film critique and cocktails
10 - Stan has suggested this period. In his words: "All members are requested to park their camels and hire a taxi; the return for 'One for the desert'!"
Section '4' above shall consist in part of the following toasts:
- " To Stan "
- " To Babe "
- " To Fin "
- " To Mae Busch and Charlie Hall - who are eternally ever - popular".
Section "8" above shall include the reading of scholary papers on Laurel and Hardy. Any member going over an 8 1/2 minute time limit will have his cocktails limited to fourteen.
Hopefully, and seriously, the Sons Of The Desert, in the strong desire to perpetuate the spirit and genius of Laurel and Hardy, will conduct activities ultimately and always devoted to the preservation of their films and the encouragement of their showing everywhere.
There shall be member societies in other cities called "Tents", each of which shall derive its name from one of the films.
Stan has suggested that members might wear a fez or blazer with an appropriate motto. He says "I hope that the motto can be blue and grey, showing two derbies with these words superimposed: 'Two minds without a single thought'.