Friday, June 20, 2008

Spanky McFarland - What a 'Rascal'!

It was in the Fall of 1991, my very good friend Jack called me and invited me to come along with him, to meet Spanky McFarland. Spanky was the most popular and well-known of "The Little Rascals". He was currently in New York to promote the video (vhs) release of many of those movies, I believe for Republic Home Video.

I drove to Jack's house in Yonkers, where he and another friend, Steve, were waiting for me. Jack drove us to the LaGuardia Airport, where we picked up Spanky at his hotel. He sat in the back with me, and we had a pleasant chat about various subjects. One of the things I was 'into' at the time, was exploring businesses worthy of investing in, via the stock market. Spanky suggested I buy some stock in King World Entertainment, which had tv syndication rights to 'The Little Rascals" movies, as well as many other shows. Spanky said "You can make money with King World, it's a well-run company and has lots of good things going for it". (I did look into it further, but being short of funds, I didn't follow through with a stock purchase).

Jack drove us back to Yonkers, where we had dinner at an Italian restaurant on South Broadway (I don't recall the name, and I believe it may have new owners and a new name now). We were quite full after the hearty meal (which was preceded by appetizers), and none of us wanted dessert, except Spanky. He wanted some ice cream, but since Jack, Steve and I weren't having any, he decided to forgo dessert.

After dinner, we went to Jack's house, where Jack showed some memorabilia to Spanky. It was during our time here where Spanky autographed this photo to me.

Soon after, we took Spanky back to his hotel. As we neared the hotel, he pointed to a 7-11 store, and asked Jack to stop. Spanky ran in, and in a few minutes came out with a small bag. None of us asked him what he'd bought, but we think it was a container of ice cream.

Spanky McFarland died less than two years later, June 30, 1993. Here is a video with the news of his passing, and a retrospective of his career.


Peter said...

Another wonderful story Bill. Thank you for sharing it with us. Spanky is one person I very much regret never having the chance to meet.

catsafterme said...

Spanky was a great guy, pleasantly grumpy just like his character on film. He never outgrew that.

Although I met him on a couple of occasions, none were as initmate as the setting you had with him. Cool story.