The National Lum and Abner Society
This article was originally published in the August 1988 issue of The Jot 'Em Down Journal (Volume 5, Number 1)..  It has been reformatted for this
website in a format to benefit our blind members with text on the left, photos on the right.
   Once again, Chet and Tuffy's home town of Mena,
Arkansas took a deep breath and braced itself for yet another
invasion by the NLAS during the fourth annual convention
on Saturday, June 18, 1988.  Members and guests began
arriving on Friday, and there were quite a few sessions of
"gittin' to know each other," but everyone's sights were set
on the main event, the dinner on Saturday night.
A beautiful full-color portrait of L&A by Bobb Lynes (at right)
marked the meeting room of the Best Western Lime Tree Inn,
and over 35 members managed to show up from all parts of
the country by the time the meal began at 6 p.m.  A special
guest in the audience was Mrs. Eloise Plaster of Mena,
whose husband Oscar was the photographer who took the
very first publicity photos of Lum and Abner in makeup in
May 1931.  He also was responsible for most of the photos of
Waters/Pine Ridge commissioned by Dick Huddleston during
the 1930s.  Mrs. Plaster spoke briefly and told how they went
about devising L&A's makeup for those early photos.
Then, on to the business of the evening.  Prez Uncle Donnie
Pitchford introduced the other Zecatif Ossifers, then turned
the program over to Jerry Hausner, who have us a comical
introduction to the evening's speaker, Elmore (Phinus
Peabody) Vincent.
 Mr. Vincent proceeded to demonstrate his talent as a
"toastmaster," with gags poking fun at the Ossifers and even
some of the members.  He also gave a short monologue as
Phinus Peabody, and presented his impersonation of one of
his classic friends, Charley Weaver (Cliff Arquette), complete
with glasses and little hat.  Then came the historic moment...
the uniting of two original L&A characters, appearing for the
first time TOGETHER:  "Phinus Peabody Meets Spud
Gandel," written by that old veteran "Uncle Donnie" and
starring Elmore Vincent and Jerry Hausner in the title roles.
It seems that our old friend Phinus was running the Jot 'Em
Down Store while L&A were away at the county seat for a
convention ("National Vic & Sade Society or sumpin' like
that... some old backwoodsy radio program," according to
Phinus), when con man extraordinaire Spud Gandel, absent
from Pine Ridge for many years, returned with a new plan to
gyp everyone:  selling franchises in a chain of Spud Gandel
Miniature Golf Courses!
  "You've heard of GOLF?  Mini-golf?" Spud asked Phinus.  
  "Oh, sure!  They run the wholesale house at the county
seat!"  the old man replied, their boy Tuffy was just in here
today!  But I don't recollect no 'Minnie Goff.'"
  When Phinus learned that Spud hailed from Cleveland, he
became alarmed that the Yankees were invading the
Confederacy, and forced Spud (at gunpoint) to sign a
surrender.  After Spud left, Phinus revealed that what he had
made Spud sign was a C.O.D. order for 12 cases of beaded
handbags with "Come to Memphis" on them!  (2008 note:  
This was based on an element of the original Phinus
Peabody storyline, in which the confused old fellow ordered
these cases of handbags for Lum and Abner to sell in their
store, and the partners wondered aloud several times
regarding just what they could do with this inventory!)
  Immediately following the performance, Uncle Donnie
presided over the presentation of awards.  The Lum and
Abner Memorial Award this year went to Los Angeles radio
personality Bobb Lynes, who has tirelessly promoted the
NLAS on his show each week since our founding in August
1984.  He also designed our official logo that appears on the
return address of each
Journal (2008 note: until the final
printed issue was mailed in the summer of 2007).   As Mr.
Lynes  was unable to be present, Zekatif Seketarry Tim Hollis
had made the announcement over the phone during Lynes'
broadcast the week before, catching Bobb totally off
  Jerry Hausner, in appreciation for the tons of original
photos and other
L&A memorabilia he has been sending our
way, was presented with an engraved desk set as a token of
our esteem.  Then, since it was only a week before Elmore
Vincent's 80th birthday, out came a large birthday cake
decorated as a Confederate flag, while everyone sang
"Happy Birthday" to the guest of honor, who then served the
cake himself.  Prizes for the members who came the longest
distances to be present went to Mr. and Mrs. Don Clayton of
Cincinnati and Mr. Kenneth Pendergrass of Chattanooga;
each received a videotape of one of the AETN L&A
documentaries.  The final event of the evening was the
showing of a few of the numerous TV commercials featuring
Elmore Vincent from the past two or three years.
Much admiration was made over member Don Clayton's
exquisitely detailed miniature reproductions of the Jot 'Em
Down Store and Caleb Weehunt's blacksmith shop, which
were complete to the enth degree.  Mr. Clayton's projects will
be the subject of an article in an upcoming issue of the
Journal.  (2008 note:  Was such an article ever written?  
Memory fails ye webmaster...)
   An inordinate amount of fun was had by all, and everyone
began marking his or her calendar to attend next year's
meeting on June 17, 1989, when we will observe the NLAS's
5th Anniversary!  Be sure YOU'RE there too!  
                             -Tim Hollis
Mrs. Eloise Plaster and Professor Harold Coogin.
Elmore Vincent and Jerry Hausner performing
"Phinus Peabody Meets Spud Gandel"
The 1988 Lum and Abner Memorial Award was
presented to radio historian and artist Bobb Lynes for
his many contributions to the NLAS and the overall
preservation of Old Time Radio.
Actor Jerry Hausner, a two-time celebrity guest at
the NLAS Convention (his first appearance being
in 1987) was presented this engraved writing set.
Don Clayton's detailed miniatures of the Jot 'Em Down
Store and Caleb Weehunt's blacksmith shop
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National Lum and Abner Society "Ossifers"
Sam Brown, Tim Hollis, and Donnie Pitchford.