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The Roots of Shep's Tales

Last Update: 05-19-2019
Gravy Boat Riot
It's dish night at the Orpheum. This week everyone gets a free Ronald Colman Gravy Boat and after a few shipping problems everyone ends up with a dozen gravy boats after weeks of promises by the manager to set things straight. Only enough is enough and the ladies set sail to their 'boats' - right across the theatre. Shep fan Alan Angerbauer came across one of these Ronald Colman gravy boats at a Goodwill store in Arizona and bought it. (See photos) Not much is known about the story behind this and its use as a prop in the movie "My Summer Story". Here's what we know: In the movie, the Ronald Colman gravy boat was one piece of a set of dishes offered each week at the Orpheum. You can see the display of the "112 piece set of genuine artistic deluxe pearline Dinnerwear Table Service to the Stars" in the theater lobby. Each piece had a different movie star. Hundreds of these appeared in the movie as you could see all the women sitting in the audience holding them. The image of Colman clearly visible. When they were all being tossed up at Leopold Doppler, the manager, on the stage, they appeared to be bouncing, none of them breaking, indicating they were made of plastic or rubber? A search of eBay and other web sites comes up blank with the only mention of them being in connection with this movie on flicklives. There is a trademark on the bottom which could be "Bell-Terr" but nothing positive could be found about it being made by them. So wat can we conclude? Perhaps several of these were fabricated from plain gravy boats by adding a logo for the movie close ups and then hundreds more were made from plastic or rubber for the scene where they are tossed. And one complete set of dishes were also logo'd for the movie display shot. It is possible that some of these wound up in the hands of cast members or studio workers after shooting was completed and kept as souveniers. One eventually ended up at Goodwill when an atic or basement got cleaned out. Who knows??? Does anyone have any first hand knowledge? There is nothing bout the dishes in the closing credits. ********************************************************** Shep told an early variation on this story on the Jack Parr Show on May 2, 1961
Where Shep Made Reference To This Subject
Links to Further Information:
• "In God We Trust All Others Pay Cash" • 5-2-1961 Jack Parr Show
• Playboy, Oct 1965 "Leopold Doppler and the Orpheum Gravy Boat Riot"
• Shepherd's Pie Tape Collection Slice # 4 - 1988
• "Phantom of the Open Hearth"
• "My Summer Story"

January 29,1935
The Hammond Times

Courtesy: Steve Glazer

February 12,1935
The Hammond Times Ad

Courtesy: Steve Glazer

May 25,1936
The Hammond Times Ad

Courtesy: Steve Glazer

January 19,1943
Dish Night at the real Orpheum

May 04,1961
Post Times Star - Shep tells Butter Dish story on Jack Parr

Courtesy: Steve Glazer

September 23,1994
"Special Promotion"

September 23,1994
The "set up"

September 23,1994
"Dinnerwear Table Service to the Stars"

September 23,1994
Can never have too many gravy boats!

September 23,1994
The gravy Boat

September 23,1994
Close-up of Ronald Colman

Courtesy: Damien Housman

September 23,1994

September 23,1994