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,
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 failed.
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
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
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!