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Volume 1680
Robert Brookins Cook Sr.
The Wazirian




Tom Yeates art for Bob Cook's
Wazirian Series in ERBapa

Tracy Griffin Remembers

I'm sad that ERB fandom has lost one of it own. I'd like to share this story about him for fellow ERB fans and his family.

I met Cookie at the 1996 Dum Dum the SubERBs hosted in Tarzana, California, although I felt I already knew him from our ERBAPA correspondence. He was among Wednesday's early bird arrivals, and took me aside after dinner to share something.

Remember Binti Ė the gorilla that saved the child who fell into the ape exhibit of the Brookfield Zoo several weeks prior? The media frenzy spawned by Bintiís heroic and innate actions gave Cookie (as he usually referred to himself to fellow fans) an inspiration. He had gone to a trophy shop and had a plaque dedicated to honor Binti for her heroism.

Bob was extremely self-effacing, almost shy about his idea, suggesting that it might be a silly notion, and that I need not act on it if I felt it to be inappropriate.

I thought it was a marvelous idea, and the following day (Thursday) released a media alert announcing the presentation of the award at Saturday eveningís Dum Dum banquet.

Now, some backstory: This was my third media advisory regarding the Dum Dum. Two weeks prior, I released an advisory to all local media (television, radio, print, and wire services) with general information on the convention, with no response. One week prior, I released a second advisory, again with no response from the media. I was a bit disappointed at the lack of interest in our Con, since it was being held at a premiere location and featured a huge slate of local celebrities as guests, including our keynote speaker, the renowned writer Harlan Ellison. Having worked in public relations and event planning, I had carefully crafted these media advisories, and had vetted them with other PR professionals, I was a bit saddened that there was so little interest in Tarzan and Edgar Rice Burroughs, both significant Southern California icons.

All of that changed immediately, thanks to Cookie. Within minutes of faxing (things were much lower-tech back then) the media alert detailing Bintiís tribute, my phone began ringing off the hook.

Everyone who attended the Con can remember what a hotbed of media activity it became. We received healthy coverage in the Friday edition of both local papers and had several television and radio stations broadcast live remotes. The wire services picked up the story; soon, bits about Tarzan fans honoring Binti appeared in major-market newspapers throughout the US, including Portland, San Diego, New Orleans and Memphis, and probably many more -- these four were confirmed by excited friends across the country who called to notify me about them.

Numerous Tarzan fans outside the Bibliophiles who heard or read the reports showed up on Saturday, and my goal of reaching the public at large with news that Burroughs fandom was alive and well was realized -- all thanks to Cookie and his "silly" idea. Though the Brookfield Zoo dropped the ball by not accepting the plaque gracefully (they said they had received too much attention by this time), Cookie's contribution had far greater impact than he probably realized, by honoring a noble ape and Edgar Rice Burroughs in nationwide media.

Though there are always so many friends to catch up with, and never enough time to spend with them at our Cons, I always enjoyed my visits with Cookie immensely. And fandom? It will be emptier without him.

Tracy Griffin
aka "Lord Passmore"

Bob with Bob Cook and Danton & his daughters
From Bob Hyde's Odyssey of a Tarzan FANatic
Chapter LXIII ~ ERBzine 1664

At the suggestion of Bob Cook, a "Kala Award" was presented to the Brookfield Zoo (in or near Chicago). This was in honor of the chimpanzee that rescued a very young boy who had fallen into the ape enclosure. She picked up the child and took him to the gate used by the keepers to enter the enclosure, thus protecting the child, as did ERB's Kala. But the Zoo refused to accept the award. They didn't want any more publicity about the happening, although it had been widely reported in newspapers, radio and TV news reports, with video clips shown on TV.

DUM-DUM 1996
From ERBzine 0196: Dum-Dum Locations
Dates: 22-25 August 1996
Venue: Warner Center Marriott Hotel, Woodland Hills, Calif.
Hosts: The Los Angeles SubERBs
Guest of Honor:  Harlan Ellison
Guests: Joanna Barnes, Eve Brent, Vanessa Brown, Denny Miller, Chuck Pogue, Marcia Lincoln Rudolph, Gordon Scott, William Stout, Tom Yeates
Awards: Harlan Ellison (Golden Lion); Binti, the Chicago Zoo Gorilla (the "Kala" award)
Panels: ERB and the Inner Earth --Aplewhite Minyard; History of the Tarzana Ranch -- Ralph Herman
Banquet Speaker: Harlan Ellison
Photo by Robert Cook, Jr.
Bob & Peggy Cook
Bob Cook
July 20, 1928 - June 12, 2006
The last correspondence we received from Bob
expressed his words of sympathy for the recent passing of his friend Bob Hyde:
"I know you all will miss him, such a grand fellow.
I will miss knowing he is not somewhere on the same planet with me and
will look forward to seeing him again, one day. ~ Bob Cook, The Wazirian"
Our ERB family have lost another friend. . . and grand fellow. We will miss the Wazirian.
Bill & Sue-On
On August 16, 1996, Binti Jua, the 8-year-old western lowland gorilla of Chicago's Brookfield Zoo rescued a 3-year-old boy who had climbed a railing and fell 18 feet into the zoo's exhibit. Binti rushed to the unconscious boy before zoo officials arrived, shielded him from other curious gorillas, carefully cradled the boy, and brought him to the keeper's door, where she left him so he could be rescued. Her own 17-month-old baby, Koola, clung to her back throughout the incident. The boy spent four days in the hospital and recovered fully

Binti Jua was born in 1988 at the Columbus Zoo.  Binti Jua was hand-reared at the San Francisco Zoo and in 1991 she was moved to Chicago to be trained for motherhood. Prior to Binti giving birth to Koola in 1995, zoo keepers trained Binti to do several useful behaviors, including sitting at the front of her off-exhibit area and presenting her chest as well as allowing a breast pump to be placed on her chest to familiarize her with the sensation of a nursing baby.  That training, along with her observations of other good mothers in the gorilla troop, helped to make Binti into a great mother. She learned her lessons well -- her gentleness in rescuing the human child made her a hero.

Binti's Aunt is Koko who lives at the Gorilla Foundation in Woodside, California, where she is famous for her extensive knowledge of American Sign Language, which she uses to communicate with humans and her Gorilla-friend, Michael.


Robert Brookins Cook Sr. 

Robert Brookins Cook Sr., 77 years old, died peacefully on Monday, June 12, 2006, at the Baptist Medical Center - Beaches in Jacksonville, Fla.

He was born and raised in Evansville, Indiana, and moved his family to the Jacksonville Beaches in 1963. Appointed a Lay Reader for the Diocese of Florida in January, 1973, he was an active member and leader of Saint Paul's by the Sea Episcopal Church for 43 years. He was also chaplain for the Brotherhood of St. Andrew's.

Bob graduated from Evansville College in 1951, with a degree in business, and he was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity. Bob worked in the restaurant business with his father at Cook's Barbeque in Evansville, Indiana. His love for the restaurant business brought him and his family to Atlantic Beach, where he become a seven-year Golden Spoon Award recipient while running the Sea Turtle Inn and Restaurant, Bob's happiest days.

He went on to become a member of the Association of Realtors and agent with Pam Bingemann Realty in the mid-80s and was the Associate Realtor of the Year in 1989 and 1995. He was an Atlantic Beach City Council Member and a 40-year member and past president of the Kiwanis Club.

Bob was especially proud to be a member of The Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Indiana for more than 50 years. One of Bob's fondest passions was reading. He was also proud to be a member of Burroughs Bibliophiles, a group dedicated to the work of Edgar Rice Burroughs, the author and creator of "Tarzan of the Apes." Bob maintained a lifelong interest in genealogy, and he had devoted much time to tracing his family tree back many generations.

He is survived by his loving wife of 54 years, Peggy; his sons, Robert Cook Jr., Thomas (Dawne) Cook, William (Diane) Cook; grandchildren, Adam and Aaron Cook, step grandchildren, Samantha, Brittany and Alyssa James, his brother, William (Molly) Cook, and many dearly loved ones; nieces and nephews and good friends. The memorial service was held at St. Paul's by the Sea Episcopal Church in Jacksonville Beach on Friday, June 16 at 3 p.m., with the Reverend Penny Pfab officiating. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the American Cancer Society or the American Diabetes Association.

Arrangements by Quinn-Shalz, A Family Funeral Home, Jacksonville Beach, Fla.
Published in the Courier Press on 2006.06.20

Animal Hero
The Gorilla Haven Site
ERBzine News: Brookfield's motherly gorilla has another baby of her own
Binti Jua entry in Wikipedia Online Encyclopedia
Binti's Baby Registry I
Binti's Baby Registry II
Bintiís Baby

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