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Volume 1645
The ERB Fan Profile Series
Presents
Rick Johnson

In Arabia
Rick Johnson in Arabia

 
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.

Rick at full moonWith 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 level.

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 job
Defending the Free World or maybe sleeping on the job

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.

Kayaking at La JollaSo, 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
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 computer screen.

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
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!

Rick Johnson
PO Box 40451, Tucson, AZ 85717
.

ERBzine Refs
Rick Johnson Feature Articles and Fiction in ERBzine

Worlds of ERB
Barsoom
ERBzine 1645: Johnson: ERB Fan Profile
ERBzine 1522: Sociology of the Wieroo
ERBzine 1527: Maltheusian Decimation in Pal-Ul-Don
ERBzine 1547: Opar
ERBzine 1710: Conflict!
ERBzine 1974: Anatomy of an Alien
ERBzine 2304: Prelude to Weir-Lu of Caspak
ERBzine 2388: Bright-Eyed Flower of Pal-ul-don
Pellucidar ~ At The Earth's Core

ERBzine 1965: Rescue In Pellucidar
ERBzine 2296: Where is the Opening to Pellucidar
ERBzine 2394: Dinosaur Survival On Earth
ERBzine 2855: Journey to the Centre of the Earth
ERBzine 3036: How To Get To The Earth's Core I
ERBzine 3037: How To Get To The Earth's Core II
ERBzine 3671: Zealandia
ERBzine 3643: Doorways to Pellucidar : Zanthodon
ERBzine 3649: Doorways to Pellucidar: Island of the Skull
ERBzine 1578: Barsoom Questions
ERBzine 1370: Mapping Barsoom I: Can It Be Done?
ERBzine 1562: Mapping Barsoom II: Compromises
ERBzine 1565: Mapping Barsoom III: The Past
ERBzine 1633: Valley Dor
ERBzine 1634: Swords On Mars
ERBzine 1711: A Panthan of Mars
ERBzine 1712: Spy: Arrival On Mars
ERBzine 2165: Battle at U-Gor
ERBzine 2166: Lost On Barsoom
ERBzine 2167: Meeting of the Panthans: Pt. I
ERBzine 2168: Meeting of the Panthans: Pt. II
ERBzine 2169: North to Barsoom
ERBzine 2196: Jahar
ERBzine 2294: Vegetation on Mars
ERBzine 2303: Return to Barsoom I: Letters.
ERBzine 3682: Verdun to U-Gor
ERBzine 4140: Slave Girl of Mars
Rick Johnson's Stories For Adults (Sexual Content)
ERBzine 0645ax: Jurassic World

ERBzine 0645bx: Lions and Tigers and Bears
ERBzine 0645cx: Going Home
ERBzine 3422: Vampire King of U-Gor
Other
Who Are The Sleestaks. . . 

And What Are They Doing On Earth

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