our old friends encounter a gang of train robbers
headed by "Sidewinder Skimp," and help to rescue a
badly wounded Tonto. In the second act, the Lone
Ranger himself arrives for plenty of action, which
includes exciting gun battles and fistfights with Skimp
and his gang. With the evildoers arrested, L&A return
to 1999 via the amazing time machine, to be greeted
by their Pine Ridge friends.
Fred Foy, who received a standing ovation as the
final strains of William Tell galloped off into an audio
sunset, was a recipient of the Lum and Abner
Memorial Award for his contributions to radio history,
and his friendship and enthusiastic involvement with
the NLAS. Due to the presence of several small
children (mostly belonging to a certain family soon to
be discussed), a new prize was offered to the
"youngest attendee!" Little Miss Ashton Spradlin was
awarded the two tiny boxes of Cheerios used in the
above-mentioned commercial, both of which were
"Cheeri-ly" autographed by Fred Foy.
In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Lum
and Abner Monument in Mena (see the June issue of
the Journal), Saturday's 10:00 a.m. program honored
retired Mena businessman Doy Grubbs, a major force
behind the implementation and 1979 completion of
the project. Thanks to charter NLAS member David
Miller of Texas, a rare videotape of the dedication
ceremony was available for viewing. Mr. Grubbs'
memories of the event, and of meeting and working
with Chester "Lum" Lauck, were extremely
informative. In addition, he presented the NLAS with
an original souvenir program and related newspaper
clippings. For these achievements, as well as for the
years of assistance Mr. Grubbs has given the NLAS,
he was honored with the second 1999 Lum and Abner
Mr. Grubbs informed the attendees that
additional names were being engraved on the back of
the L&A Monument, and we were overwhelmed when
NLAS member Bob Flood of Texas donated a cash
amount to have the National Lum and Abner Society
added to that list!
Eddie Huckaby of the Ouachita Little Theatre
(housed in Mena's historic Lyric Theatre where L&A
themselves once performed) introduced a video clip
of their recent performances of L&A scripts (see our
installment of "And Now..." elsewhere in this issue),
and donated archival material to the NLAS, including a
rare copy of the 1946 Hail Arkansas sheet music,
which sports a photo of Lum and Abner, and some of
the original newspaper coverage of the song's Mena
Walter Graves, a former Frigidaire dealer,
presented the NLAS with a priceless souvenir of his
experiences in California over 50 years ago: an
original Lum and Abner broadcast script from the
Christmas program of 1948! As he explained, he had
tickets to the show (since Frigidaire was the
sponsor), and afterward made the request to visit
with Lauck and Goff. A CBS employee told him "no,"
but Mr. Graves insisted she inform Tuffy Goff that "I
moved here from Cove, Arkansas" ("Abner's"
birthplace), and before long, the two were united! As
a gift, Mr. Graves received Tuffy's personal script,
which is now preserved in the NLAS archives.
As we reported last issue, no recording has been
located for the L&A program of June 12, 1949. A bit
more than a half-century later, the NLAS staged a
(continued on the next page!)
|WHEN YOU SEE THIS
IMAGE, CLICK IT TO
"TURN THE PAGE."
|This cast recreated the LUM AND ABNER script of
June 12, 1949: Sam Brown (Honeyboy Davis), Laura
Pitchford (ZaSu Pitts), Fred Foy (Wendell Niles),
Verla Huckaby (Widder Abernathy), Tim Hollis
(Lum/Mose Moots), and Donnie Pitchford (Abner).
Not shown is Robert Cates, who enacted the
role of his father, Opie Cates.
|Robert Cates tries to emulate his dad Opie's talent
with the clarinet... which, by the way, is the very
clarinet Opie used on LUM AND ABNER.
|Sam Brown presents the Opie Cates family with one
of the 1999 Lum and Abner Memorial Awards. L to R:
Robert, Dixie, Dinah, Linda, and Liza.