Robert Benchley Society
Boston "We've Come for the Davenport" Chapter

BOSTON, April 10, 2011 -- We've Come for the Davenport" (Boston) chapter news.

The Boston "We've Come for the Davenport" Chapter of the Robert Benchley Society gathered on Saturday afternoon April 9th, for a visit to the Boston Athenaeum to see the "Elegant Enigmas: The Art of Edward Gorey" exhibit, followed by viewing of several Benchley short subjects ("How to Figure Income Tax," "How to Sleep" "How to Sub-Let," "Music Made Simple," "Opening Day," and "Music Made Simple") in the church hall of The Church on the Hill (Swedenborgian). Present for the festivities were Sharon Clarke, Jimmy and Eileen Keck, Jim and Lisa Micali, Christopher Morgan, David and Mary Trumbull, Larry Stelmack, and Jean Wilson.

After the films some of the members repaired to David and Mary's Beacon Hill home for 1930s through 1960s show tune sing-along with Chris on the piano.

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DISCLAIMER. The Robert Benchley Society assumes no responsibility for any loss, trauma, or mental stress arising from attendance at Society events. This declaimer of responsibility includes, but is not limited to, bodily injury, memory loss, loss of consortium, or hangover.

BOSTON, September 3, 2007 -- We've Come for the Davenport" (Boston) chapter news.

The "We've Come for the Davenport" chapter of the RBS met on Saturday, June 23, at the home of Christopher Morgan to view the film "International House" (1933, Paramount). The drink of the evening was the Black Velvet. A good time was had by all and only minor injuries were reported. The owner of the daschund has agreed not to press charges. Plans are underway to gather on or about Mr. Benchley's birthday (September 15) for an evening the memory of which will be forever lost in a gin-induced fog.

BOSTON, June 30, 2004 -- "We've Come for the Davenport" chapter holds Benchley movie night.

    On a gorgeous evening, Saturday, June 26, 2004 the Benchley Society chapter known as “We’ve Come for the Davenport’ met in the South End, Boston, home of Chris Morgan member extraordinaire. Among the members in attendance were David Trumbull, chairman David and Sharon Lyon, Treasurer and Secretary respectively, and members Harriet Finkelstein, Anita Turner, Joan Helfman, Liz Simons, Steve Burack, Stephen Baldwin, David Richardson, Guy deAngelis and Mary Trumbull.

    The group dined on antipasto, pizza and chicken wings while quaffing wine and beer.

    We viewed "How to Sleep", a Benchley short from 1938, and a couple of scenes from Marx Brothers’ movies. During the evening several wireless broadcasts were enjoyed. There were the ditties by Beatrice Lillie and Tom Lehrer (and another singer) and the interviews and skits by Bob and Ray.

    The evening ended with nightcaps all around and a dessert buffet.

      Respectfully submitted,
      Sharon Lyon

BOSTON, January 17, 2004 -- "We've Come for the Davenport" chapter holds Benchley movie night.

    On the 17th of January the We've Come for the Davenport chapter of the Robert Benchley Society gathered at the Boston home of Mr. Chris Morgan to view two Benchley short films and his role in You'll Never Get Rich. In attendance were the chairman Mr. David Trumbull, the vice chairman Miss Pamela Siska, the Secretary Mrs. David (Sharon) Lyon, our host and member Mr. Chris Morgan and members Mrs. David (Mary) Trumbull, Miss Susan Imrie, Mrs. Harriet Finkelstein, Miss Laura Cowan, Mr. William Desmond, and new members Mr. Stephen Baldwin, Mr. James Belpedio (and his friend Dan).

    The group was cheered by Earl the parrot and brushed by Dundee the cat. The society dined on gourmet pizza and chicken wings and quaffed Black Velvets and other libations.

    The group settled down to see Robert Benchley in The Treasurer's Report, created in 1928. It is a 10-minute film following a bumbling person trying to read a treasurer's report, standing in for the treasurer who had fallen ill.

    The short film Music Made Simple was made in 1938. It showcased the antics of Robert Benchley trying to simplify for a radio audience a piece of music that was to follow and almost running out of time doing so.

    The last film was about a role Benchley played in the movie You'll Never Get Rich. Benchley plays a philandering husband of 15 years.

    Mr. Trumbull reported that the Robert Benchley Society is planning a contingent to New York on March 9 to see Mr. Nat Benchley in his one-man show about his grandfather Robert Benchley.

    Several ideas surfaced about visiting Worcester and Mr. Belpedio said he would find out where Robert Benchley's childhood house is. Miss Siska is trying to set up a visit to BU’s Mugar Memorial Library so the Society can view some of the library’s Benchley materials. Mrs. Finkelstein visited Nantucket and Robert Benchley’s house there and saw some of his originally owned books. A trip to California was discussed on a date to be decided.

      Respectfully submitted,
      Sharon Lyon (Mrs.)

BOSTON, September 15, 2003 -- Boston RBS Chapter Celebrates Benchley's Birthday.

    RBS chairman Mr. David Trumbull and Miss Mary DiZazzo hosted a Robert Benchley birthday party at their Beacon Hill flat. One new member, Mr. Allan Kelly attended as a result of the notice of the event in the Beacon Hill Times and RSB Vice Chairman, Miss Pamela Siska brought another new member, Mr. William Desmond. RBS Secretary, Mrs. David (Sharon) Lyon and Treasurer, Mr. David Lyon were among the fourteen people at this event of the We've Come for the Davenport chapter of the RBS. Mr. Chris Morgan, Mrs. Harriet Finkelstein, Mr. William Desmond, and Miss Pamela Siska entertained with readings from Benchley essays.


    It is auspicious that we are gathered on this auspicious occasion to celebrate the birthday of an author whom we all revere. As I was saying to Mary—you all know Mary, my fiancee?—As I was saying to Mary just the other day, “Isn’t it auspicious that the date of this gathering falls precisely on the birthday of the revered author whom we all, er, revere. It’s positively, um, auspicious.”

    So, well, here we are, to celebrate the birthday of an author known to all of you; an author we all revere—yes, Mr., er, Mr. ah, PETER Benchley, yes, Peter Benchley whose essays will live through the ages, the incomparable Peter Benchley who gave us such memorable sayings as—What’s that? Oh, my, why yes I guess I seem to have misspoken, surely I meant to say ROBERT Benchley. Ha-ha. After all Peter Benchley was not an essayist; he wrote a great adventure tale—shall I say a “whale” of a tale? Yes, of course, it was ROBERT Benchley’s son PETER who wrote “Moby Dick.” There was of course that nastiness when someone claim prior authorship of the story and, oh, well, you all know how it ended with Peter denied the honor due him. And now schoolboys the country over are taught that “Moby Dick” was written by that other author—Nathaniel Hawthorne.

    But be that as it may be (or may be isn’t) we are here on this auspicious occasion to celebrate that founder of the Algonquin Round Table, essayist, theater critic for The New Yorker, and Hollywood actor—our toast of the evening, Robert Benchley. Skol!

      Respectfully submitted,
      David Trumbull

BOSTON, June 28, 2003 -- Boston RBS Chapter Movie Night and Plans for Parkerfest.

    The "We've come for the davenport" Chapter of the Robert Benchley Society met Saturday, June 28, 2003, at the gorgeous Vistorian home of member Mr. Christopher Morgan on a balmy evening in Boston to view the rare copy of Robert Benchley's tour of the Disney offices and "The Reluctant Dragon" packaged together in 1941. In attendance were: In attendance: RBS Chairman, Mr. David Trumbull; RBS Secretary, Mrs. David (Sharon) Lyon; RBS Treasurer, David Lyon; RBS Members Mr. Chris Morgan, Miss Mary DiZazzo, Mrs. Harriet Finkelstein, and Miss Susan Imrie.

    Warming to the task and chatting in earnest about Robert Benchley the Chapter drank in the surroundings that contained numerous Robert Benchley books and memorabilia with Martinis and glasses of wine. The members nibbled on cold water shrimp, gourmet pizza and chicken appendages and sweet biscuits while socially engaged.

    The evening was special in that the host and society member Chris Morgan played the elegant music of the 1930's and 1940's on his grande piano.

    The members' next task is to arrange the trip to New York City to participate in Parkerfest, the annual gathering of the Dorothy Parker Society of New York, August 22-24 at the Algonquin Hotel, New York, New York.

      Respectfully submitted,
      Sharon Lyon (Mrs.)

BOSTON, May 22, 2003 -- New RBS Chapter forms, selects name, has fun.

    Boston members of the Robert Benchley Society arrived at the Beacon Hill home of Mary DiZazzo and David Trumbull at 6:30 p.m. We toasted Robert Charles Benchley with a rousing "Parkbench" with very dry martinis sporting tipsy olives. The group dined on gourmet appetizers and gourmet pizza and gourmet chocolates and sweets. The group drank wine and liqueurs to properly salute the occasion. In attendance: RBS Chairman, David Trumbull; RBS Secretary, Mrs. David (Sharon) Lyon; RBS Treasure, Mr. David Lyon (arriving at 9:30 P.M. from a prior engagement); RBS Members Miss Mary DiZazzo and Miss Susan Imrie.

    The group convened to view the movie Foreign Correspondent. Chapter Secretary Sharon Lyon submits the following movie review:


    Foreign Correspondent, 1940 (2 hours, black and white)

    Here is a movie that truly stands the test of time. In black and white but a colorful story none the less, it is about a hapless employee at a newspaper who is ushered into service as a foreign correspondent just weeks before WW II is declared. He is put into the experienced hands of our man Benchley who plays the real foreign correspondent now side-tracked with the diversions and trappings of his job.

    The foreign correspondent – Joel McRae becomes involved with a public murder of the chairman of an important committee working for peace in Europe. He uncovers the duplicitous plot to foil the participants of the peace meeting and extract information from the chairman of the peace committee in a way that only director Alfred Hitchcock can portray.

    The movie was nominated for best picture and a host of other awards."


    Afterwards the group voted to organize as a local chapter of the RBS. This is the first, or alpha, chapter; future chapters will be similarly designated with Greek letters indicating the chronological order of formation.

    Continuing with the Chapter’s business, "We've come for the davenport" was adopted for the chapter name after considering and rejecting several other fine suggestions. The name is quotation from Robert Benchley and is found on page 38 of Robert Benchley, a Biography, by Nathaniel Benchley. The "We've come for the davenport" Chapter of the Robert Benchley Society adjourned sine die, pleased with the events of the evening.

      Respectfully submitted,
      Sharon Lyon (Mrs.)