Laurel and Hardy, a comedy duo that is still making us laugh nearly 100 years after their first film release in 1921. I think though to be fair, they will always make future generations laugh with their easy watching comedy. It’s funny, before I went to Harlem, GA I was I interviewed by a travel magazine, and one of the question they asked was, what do I do to relax and unwind? Amongst another things, I easily replied by saying “I have a Laurel and Hardy box set, I put that on, and 30 minutes later my head is all clear and I’m back focused again. My favourites are “Music Box” and “Block Heads” they have me in stitches!” It’s incredible! they made 106 films together both short and feature long over a 30 years period from 1921 to 1951. I wonder if they ever thought that even in 2017 they will still be as popular?? It’s a fine tribute to the boys as fan clubs are growing in ever increasing numbers, from the UK to the USA and even as far away as New Zealand and Australia.
It was very accidental that I came across Harlem, I was driving along I-20 East towards Augusta, GA when I saw a sign advertising a Laurel and Hardy museum. So, I pulled off to check it out, and I’m glad I did. The museum was full of memorabilia from all over the world and to my delight the town’s water tower had the face of Oliver Hardy on it. I learnt that Oliver was born in Harlem and his relatives are buried in the local cemetery here! I met the famous Gorilla “Ethel” from the short film “The Chimp” and I watched one of my favourite movies by the guys, “The Music Box” it was simply incredible the amount of stuff you could read and learn about the duo. The Laurel and Hardy experience wasn’t over yet though, after talking to Gary (the museum representative) he informed me of another museum (which was at his house) that is devoted to the memory of the boys and the cars that they drove from their films!
“The Ollie Also and Stanie Too Fine Mess Old Car Museum of Harlem” is just simply fantastic, A MUST SEE. I have never seen or will more likely never see again, such talented work. Gary and his wife Jean built these cars from scratch! All to scale and in immaculate condition, there are cars that need steam, pedal power and of course gas to work. Then there was” the General” a fully working 26-foot-long train, all made by hand…! I was completely blown away by this guys work. Gary you’re a bloody genius! Jean (Gary’s wife) was such a lovely host, showing us around the museum and informing us of stories about the cars and their memorabilia. It was a wonderful day, and I really encourage you to stop off next time you are in the Augusta or East Georgia area. Harlem is a great town, a town that I will keep visiting on my travels, and a town that I will never forget.
The Laurel and Hardy Museum is located off I-20 @ exit 183 (Appling/Harlem)
Address : 250 North Louisville Street, Harlem, Georgia, 30814
Telephone Number : (706) 556-0401
Opening Hours – Tuesday through Saturday – 10am – 4pm
The Ollie Also and Stanie Too Fine Mess Old Car Museum of Harlem, Georgia
Located in Harlem just 2 minutes from the Laurel and Hardy Museum and by appointment only. Please call Gary and Jean on (706) 556-1419 (You won’t be disappointed)
I really encourage you to check out their great looking Facebook Page and hit the like button folks! It means a lot to Gary and Jean and their lovely little American town.
Gary and Jeans link to their page – https://www.facebook.com/Ollie-Also-and-Stanie-Too-Fine-Mess-Old-Car-Museum-of-Harlem-Georgia-143247865716008/
Both museums are free to visit, but a little donation is gratefully accepted and every dollar received does help with the up keep of these great museums. So that we can preserve them for our future generations.
In loving memory of Lois Laurel Hawes – 10th December 1927 – 28th July 2017
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