Someone at Bionicon spent $6,000 to eat dinner with
the original "Bionic Woman," Lindsay Wagner, and the winning bid was $5,300
for lunch with actor Richard Anderson, according to Nancy Miller. I spent
$13.15 for my own breakfast with tip and had a very nice meal with the
wife of "Tarzan, The Ape Man" actor Denny Miller during the last day of
the 2007 Dum-Dum, Aug. 2-5, in Louisville.
Let’s start with the end of the convention.
Having arrived close to 9 a.m. Sunday in the Magnolia Café of The
Galt House for the farewell breakfast, I found my friends and fellow Muckers
already had filled up tables. Left with vacancies at large tables with
people I did not know well -- although Burroughs fans are very friendly
people -- I spotted a "two-top" where Nancy Miller was sitting alone. Denny
was at the two-top behind her and eating with a fan. The lovely Nancy graciously
said I could sit with her and I learned more about her and Denny.
Nancy said she had worked in public relations,
at Nordstrom department stores and recently as a substitute teacher in
Las Vegas where they live. She and Denny met in California and her former
husband was Denny’s doctor. He also was divorced, from an actress.
They travel a lot, mostly in August and September,
when there seems to be the most conventions; many are western-oriented.
Denny does not get many royalties from television shows anymore, she said.
A highlight of the convention was meeting my
first Tarzan actor, Denny, and having him sign his autobiography, Didn’t
You Used to Be What’s His Name?, and a Tom Weaver article about him
in Burroughs Bulletin No. 47.
After breakfast, we checked out. Jim and Yoko
Hadac, French visitor Philippe Badre and I piled into the Ford Taurus
rental car and headed back to Chicago.
It took us only 5-1/2 hours to drive from Chicago
to Louisville, with food and gas stops, along I-65 through Indianapolis.
It took 8-1/2 hours back, because we/I decided to take a different way
-- on I-64 west toward St. Louis and up I-57 into Chicago. We wanted to
stop in Superman's hometown of Metropolis but that was at least one hour
south of where we intersected I-57 and would have cost us two hours there
and back to where we started. We barely made it to Chicago in time to get
Philippe on his plane at O’Hare Airport for a 7:15 flight. We went directly
to O’Hare and arrived with 1-1/2 hours to spare.
The trip down on Thursday took a slight detour when
we had to stop at an Office Depot so Jim and Philippe could make copies
of their Muckers Magazine submissions.
In Louisville, when we turned off River Road
onto Fourth Street, we could not find the Galt House hotel. We went maybe
10 blocks, turned around and asked a passer-by. She pointed us to this
big building that had Galt House painted on the side that we couldn’t see
coming from the other direction.
It was a long walk to the huckster room at
the farthest end of the hotel tower on the third floor. But it was bigger
than Oak Park's, my only previous Dum-Dum.
I was disappointed Thursday when we arrived
at 5 p.m. and most of the huckster tables already were covered for the
night. Hearing the room would be closed Friday because of the panels in
the William F. Ekstrom Library at the University of Louisville, I was worried
I would have only one day to shop – on Saturday. But the huckster room
opened after 5 p.m. Friday and I made plenty of purchases that day and
the next. There were plenty of items, such as biographies of Maureen O’Sullivan
and Glenn Morris, that I wanted to buy but felt I could not afford.
At registration, I got an official Dum-Dum T-shirt
and a canvas goody bag containing a program; badge; banquet ticket; auction
bidding card; copy of a photo autographed by Eve Brent to Gordon Scott;
a 2008 calendar courtesy of the Bibliophiles; 2007 Dum-Dum pinback
button; and Bibliophiles pin. The badge, T-shirt and other printed
materials had a Venus drawing by cover artist Richard Hescox on them.
The Mucker contingent included Ken Manson;
Jeff "Elmo" Long and girlfriend Karen; Greg Phillips; Jim and Yoko Hadac;
Joan Bledig; Ray and Shirley LeBeau; Jerry Spannraft and Candy. Also
Laurence Dunn, Mike Conran, J.G. Huckenpohler and Bill Ross, who have contributed
to the magazine. Philippe also contributed an article to Muckers Magazine
No. 4, which was assembled at the convention. We put together 25 copies
of a 48-page issue and sold the extras to non-members.
I wanted to recreate the cover for Muckers
Magazine No. 2, drawn by Greg with sketches of all of us as Muckers. Everyone
was there but Ellen Vartanoff and Bruce Wood. It never worked out. Maybe
next time and we’ll wear vintage hats, like in the drawing.
I skipped dinner at Joe’s Crab Shack because
it was a walk of couple blocks away (at least double that, say those who
went) but had a nice dinner with Ray and Shirley; Jerry and Candy; Tyner;
Philippe and Fred (whose last name I didn’t catch).
The first event Friday, at 10 a.m., was Muckers
Jeopardy. I thought it was too early because I had trouble rounding up
Muckers for the 23-block drive to the Ekstrom Library. We thought the game
was well-received even though we had only two, instead of three, members
on each of the three teams.
Another highlight was seeing the Burroughs and Bob
Hyde-contributed collections in the Rare Book Room of the library during
tours. Other Friday events included meet the artists and hearing from Hescox
and Denny; and a slide show by Dorothy Howell of Tarzan-era fashions.
During a lunch break, about three dozen of us walked to the student center
with a choice of Subway or Wendy’s. Bob Hyde’s children and grandchildren
later helped dedicate his collection and a reception followed.
On Saturday, Tyner hosted a panel on the past, present
and future of the Burroughs Bibliophiles, followed by the Bibliophiles
board meeting. Then the annual auction with proceeds (more than $2,000
as I recall) going to the Bibliophiles.
The high point of Saturday was the separate auction
in which the Muckers raised $1,750 selling the last issue of Muckers Magazine
No. 1 for $200; materials from Muckers Jeopardy for $250 and Muckers Monpoly
for $1,300, all to Brad Vinson in spirited bidding. I heard one man
say the Muckers game we worked on is beautiful (thanks, Joan and Greg).
That night's banquet featured a few Southern
dishes. Richard Hescox got the Golden Lion award; Denny got a painting
of him. Mike Chapman talked about Herman Brix (Bruce Bennett) and Gordon
Scott, former Tarzan actors who died this year. Sky Brower read a tribute
to Scott from actress Eve Brent. Hescox talked about his work. Dunn and
George McWhorter hosted the ceremony. Denny Miller also talked.
Overall, I acquired 43 items during the Dum-Dum,
none at the auction, although I bid. They included a sketch by Richard
Hescox for Lost on Venus – he also signed BB No. 19; the signed
Denny Miller autobiography; Johnny Weisimuller bio signed by Johnny Sheffield;
Canaveral Press first edition of The Moon Men; four more Burroughs
Bulletins (new series) to try to close the run; six Dell and nine Gold
Key Tarzan comics; seven ERB-doms; seven Tarzines, Erbania or ERB
News Datelines; and five French comics from Philippe.
Other memories: Getting and eventually reading the
Bob Hyde memorial book; trying to say Lou-uh-ville, instead of Lou-ee-ville;
socializing in lounges on the third-floor walk between towers; people remembering
me although I haven’t seen them since the 2005 Oak Park Dum-Dum (a name
badge helps); and spending $7 in the third-floor lounge for a mint julep
that didn’t even have a sprig of fresh mint in it.
I brought a small box of books to sell at the Muckers
table, hoping to offset some of my costs, or at least the $65 registration.
I sold only $28 worth, but that was fine. It paid the cost of my two dinners.
I look forward to Waterloo, Iowa, proposed as being
the next Dum-Dum, and Dayton, Ohio, the next year.