What can I say about my past, for biographies should
be exciting and filled with the wonder that encourages one to explore the
written word as Hillary explored Everest or Livingston explored Africa.
But, alas, you are doomed to disappointment for I, as my family before
me, have led a dull and completely normal life.
My father was born in a railroad car within sight of the
Superstition Mountains, those same mountains where John Carter first transited
to the Red Planet. As a child, when he could escape the life of the
West and its duties, my father explored these mountains seeking the same
gold that had been found by both the Dutchman and Captain Carter.
At the tender age of fifteen, my father lied about his age to escape the
overly romantic ranch-life of a cowboy and enlisted in the Marines, carrying
a flame-thrower across the Pacific Theater, then later Korea, before he
settled down to the equally dull life of an Air Force police officer in
such locales as Vietnam and Arabia.
His father was the first white-man born in Northern Arizona
and worked as a telegrapher, a horse-drawn supply wagon driver to Jerome
and, of course, a cowboy.
His father was a Norwegian pirate upon the Barbary Coast,
eventually seeking the safety of Arizona, believing that the US Navy would
not chase him that far inland. And so traded the cutlass for lariat
and became the owner of the oldest working ranch in the West, a ranch whose
size increased with his entry into the Mormon Lake sheep wars.
My mother's life was equally dull, arriving as an illegal
immigrant from Ireland in 1925. Her mother was Irish Nobility of
Claire and was descended from the Great High King, Brian Boru. She
married into Irish Nobility from Antrim causing her children to argue between
the Orange and the Green. Being good Catholics, they gave half their
wealth and half their children to the Church and supported the IRA with
funds and sons back when these heroes were Freedom Fighters seeking to
form a Republic free from British rule.
this background, I grew up not only upon Arizona Ranches, but also on Eastern
Farms. My fondest memories, however, were growing up in Okinawa, searching
among the post-war ordinance that still littered the jungle and discovering
two Cryptids, a giant centipede and a supposedly extinct salamander.
I continued my father's explorations of the Superstitions only seeking
the gate used by John Carter and not the gold my father wished. And
when time allowed, I became politically active, fighting for and winning
various civil rights for oppressed minorities on both a state and federal
And so I grew up, living a normal and dull life, studying
Karate, Kung-Fu, Kendo, Fencing and Ninjitsu. I worked as a farmer
and cowboy when necessity called, exploring the jungles and deserts when
possible and seeking the crash site of that famous incident in Roswell,
New Mexico when desired.
I eventually achieved my Degree from a well-known institute
of learning in the field of Psychology and Sociology but left academia
shortly before achieving my Masters in Anthropology, choosing to marry,
enlist and follow my father's footsteps. However, as he chose the
life of action, I chose the dull life of a Construction Engineer satisfying
myself with building a school in Panama for Indians, repairing the homes
of the unfortunates on a leper colony, building a hospital in Belize, a
fire station for 16-year-old Apache smoke-jumpers in New Mexico, an office
for the Red Cross in Arabia and the like. Not particularly exciting
but satisfying on a spiritual level for my military career was based upon
making people's lives better. And exploring the forbidden areas of
these and other nations taught me that learning to say "please" and "thank
you" in the local dialect and a polite attitude saved me much trouble,
my Martial Arts training filling in on those rare occasions when courtesy
Defending the Free World or maybe sleeping on the
And so, 26+ years later, after leaking blood upon the
soil of nations most Americans cannot find on a map, I felt it time to
retire when my beliefs that every nation possessed the right of self-determination
countered the actions of both England and America.
So, I continue my dull life of retirement working in the
Justice system, teaching Witchcraft, paddling kayaks and running the occasional
river race, writing, Geocaching, martial arts, rebuilding my sailboat,
building 'toys' for my former girl-friend, who was a professional Dominatrix,
seeking a future Mrs who can bake a decent pizza and, of course, continuing
my researches into the wonderful worlds of The Master of Adventure, Edgar
Rice Burroughs, who could provide escape from the dull life into which
I was born and raised into the fantasy of adventure.
Making a house for bats
Now for the Important and really interesting stuff.
I first learned about Burroughs in High School and immediately
became a fan. So much so that when I entered a certain bookstore
and found two shelves of old ERB hardbacks (some first editions), I immediately
had my first real -- well, No woman ever made me feel as excited as the
sight of those books, And so I have been collecting and re-reading
the works of the master, replacing them as they wear out, buying extras
and preferring, always the older hard-cover editions. Not as a collector
but because I believe half the enjoyment of a good novel is the way it
is printed. Thus the older hardbacks possess a history of their own,
a history of fans that can be felt and which transcends that of the common
Plus, I photocopy any interesting article and have a couple
shelves filled with those articles in loose-leaf binders for reference.
It was when Phillip Jose Farmer wrote Tarzan Alive that I discovered
that we both had a relative in common, a fact that made me very happy.
Plus my daughter has the honor of getting into a fist
fight over Tarzan. She was pro, the other guy (much bigger) was con.
She won both fight and argument. She does, however, complain that
I write too much Barsoom Fan-Fic and clutter the living room with globes,
maps, reference books and art.
To date my favorites are Barsoom and Pal-ul-Don, though
I tried an occasional Tarzan story in my youth with poor success.
Oh yes, I am also divorced, raising my final and youngest
daughter, Cerridwen, whose life promises to be more exciting than mine
could ever be.
On the ranch I gave Cerridwen for graduation
P.S. Re the ERB & Canada page at ERBzine
1428, I served two tours with the U.S. Air Force in Canada. The
last on Vancouver. Beautiful country and friendly people but it snows
in July! I live in Arizona to avoid snow!