Remembering Walt Daugherty


Walt coined the term "triviabilia" to describe those bits and pieces of information that are interesting or novel, but not exactly in the world shaking historical category. He was truly pleased with that word, and used it frequently, so here, in that spirit, is some assorted Daugherty triviabilia...

* Nickname: “Doc” (he much preferred it to “Walt”)
* Favorite films included: The Mummy (1932), King Kong (1933), Things to Come (1936), Captains from Castile (1947), The Egyptian (1954), Valley of the Kings (1954), An Affair to Remember (1957) (yes, really), Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Star Wars (1977), The Hunt for Red October (1990)
* All time favorite comedy: Mr. Hulot’s Holiday (1953)
* Favorite songs: (#1) “Te Quiero Dijiste” (“Magic is the Moonlight”). While working as Red Skelton’s stand-in on Bathing Beauty, Walt first heard it sung by Carlos Ramirez. His favorite version was recorded by Javier Solis. Runners up: Sinatra’s “My Way” and in later life, “September Song”
* Mary Ellen & Walt’s song: “You Are My Sunshine”
* Favorite music genre: Big Band
* Favorite big band: Benny Goodman
* Favorite filmed dance routine: Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse “Dancing in the Dark” in The Band Wagon (1953)
* Walt saw and got to know most of the big bands in person while working as a bouncer at the Palomar Ballroom (he also gave dance lessons and did intros there)
* Best man at Walt and Mary Ellen’s wedding: Forrest J Ackerman
* Schools attended: Hollywood High, LAJC, USC

Publicity portrait

Walt & Mary Ellen's wedding day
with Best Man Forry Ackerman

Nope, he didn't really play the violin. The photo plus a fanzine
article were an elaborate practical joke on an east coast sci fi fan
to convince him that Walt was a master violinist.

Smiley Walt looks just dandy.

* He didn’t like to smile in photos, saying his mouth looked odd (ME disagrees, see pix)
* He was the only person ever to get 4E to smoke... a scene in the lost 8mm classic amateur film “The Return of the Frankenstein Monster”, starring 4E as the cigar hating monster, with WJD as the blind hermit (and also serving as the film’s director).
* Favorite foods: lobster, chocolate
* Favorite beverage: milk, with root beer a close second
* Skill never mastered: tap dancing
* Favorite reading: anything on ancient Egypt or pre-columbian Mexico
* Favorite author: H.P. Lovecraft
* Favorite poem: “Vagabond House” (Don Blanding)
* Favorite prayer: Traditional Irish Blessing
* Favorite pastime: people watching, especially in later years in the Danish-inspired town of Solvang
* Loved all animals, especially dogs
* Had a good singing voice, but rarely used it
* Favorite colors: Blue and Gold
* According to the Chinese zodiac, he was a Fire Dragon (hence the name "Dragon's Lair" for our home)

Still smiling...

Walt opining.

Walt with new friend in Solvang.
(One of my favorite pix of all.)
Walt the Clown
Walt was noted for his well developed
sense of humor. From notorious puns to amazing joke sessions to hamming it up for wacky camera gags, he loved to inspire laughter.

Whether hanging from a tree as an apeman (early LASFS pic) or being “scalped” by pal and fellow photographer Iron Eyes Cody or hanging out with the “other kids” on Halloween, he loved getting laughs.

In the later years new pal Harpo the Clown dubbed Walt “Walt the Clown”, adding the official red nose of clowndom to honor the event. Harpo and Walt made a terrific team, spending time together at two local fairs, Harpo officially entertaining the crowds, Walt unofficially, and emailing ever after that.

Halloween at Dragon's Lair was ever a festive occasion.
All the kids (especially Walt) loved the holiday.

Walt with pals Kevin and Kyle Smith

Harpo the Clown and Walt at the
Santa Barbara County Fair
Young Cheri Pinckard
summed it up well,

“Dear Uncle Walt,
You make everyone
happy like the flowers
and the sun.
Love you,
C Copyright Mary Ellen Daugherty 2013

"Watch the Vulture" logo drawn for Walt by Ron Cobb
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