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Volume 3158
Edgar Rice Burroughs Fans Meet in Oak Park
80 fans -- including Burroughs' descendants -- gather to pay homage to the 'Tarzan' author.
Article and Photos by Derek Walker
Oak ~ August 25, 2010

Though Dejah Burroughs never met her great-grandfather, novelist and "Tarzan" creator Edgar Rice Burroughs, she is more than insistent on keeping his name alive.

"Before my dad passed away, he made sure I would take this legacy on," Dejah Burroughs said. "This is part of my life and my heritage and I should be thankful for what I have and what he gave me. It's a very important thing that we need to keep going for our young kids."

Along with older sister Llana, Dejah took the torch she now bears to the Pleasant Home in Oak Park, 217 Home Ave., on Aug. 20. There, she was joined by about 80 Burroughs fans from all over the world – some as near as Burroughs's hometown of Chicago and others as far as Columbia – as part of Dum-Dum 2010, the annual gathering of the Burroughs Bibliophiles.

While the "Tarzan" series is by far Burroughs' most popular creation, it is but a blip on the author's creative radar. Considered by many, including his great-grandchildren, to be the "grandfather of science fiction," Burroughs generated mega-hits generations before the likes of "Star Trek" and "Star Wars" reaped box-office success.

"He was the inspiration for a lot of those properties, and it shows the impact and the influence of how his work helped so many people," said Cathy Wilbanks, executive assistant at Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc. in Tarzana, CA.

"They've learned to read through him, they've changed their lives because of him," she added. "He's such an incredible inspiration and a lot of people can really identify with his characters. It's been fantastic."

Wilbanks, who resides in Santa Clarita Valley, CA., also serves as the archivist at the Burroughs House, where she handles the licenses for many of the creative properties.

Comic book artist Thomas Yeates has dealt with Wilbanks and Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc. on numerous occasions to secure licenses for his illustrations. Yeates said he was inspired by the author's views on society, which further translated to a love of his work.

"Being a man who had failed at every business you could imagine, and many you couldn't, before he started writing at 35 or 36, he was very critical of society, as I am," said Yeates of Jenner, CA. "I relate to his brand of escapism because he was so out of sorts with our society."

Devoted fans like Yeates were treated to an opening reception, replete with food and drink, and an extensive display of Burroughs memorabilia to cap off the afternoon.

The faded Depression-era newspaper clippings, movie props and first-edition "Tarzan" magazines making up the collection were more than enough to keep the bibliophiles energized. According to Wilbanks, it was exactly what Dejah's forefathers would have wanted.

"It's exciting," Dejah Burroughs said of the event. "It makes me feel like my dad. He really wanted to [preserve] this legacy, and everyone is helping it come along and put it out there. It feels very comforting to me. He's a great man, Edgar Rice Burroughs."

Looking for more info about Burroughs? Make sure to check out our series "Oak Park Influences."

Copyright © 2010 Patch. All Rights Reserved
Oak Park Influences
Ray Bradbury on Edgar Rice Burroughs
"Oak Parker Burroughs is "probably the most influential writer in the entire history of the world."
By Robert K. Elder ~ Oak Park Patch ~ August 25, 2010

Ray Bradbury, author of  The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man and Fahrenheit 451 (among many other books) loves the work of Oak Park's Edgar Rice Burroughs.

In an excerpt from Sam Weller's recently published book, Listen To The Echoes: The Ray Bradbury Interviews, Bradbury talks about Burroughs, creator of Tarzan and his own set of Mars adventures featuring John Carter. "I love to say it because it upsets everyone terribly—Burroughs is probably the most influential writer in the entire history of the world," Bradbury said.

"By giving romance and adventure to a whole generation of boys, Burroughs caused them to go out and decide to become special. That's what we have to do for everyone, give the gift of life with our books. Say to a girl or boy at age ten: Hey, life is fun! Grow tall! I've talked to more biochemists and more astronomers and technologists in various fields, who, when they were ten years old, fell in love with John Carter and Tarzan and decided to become something romantic. Burroughs put us on the moon. All the technologists read Burroughs."

Copyright © 2010 Patch. All Rights Reserved

Photo Gallery by Derek Walker

Bill Hillman of Manitoba, Canada, 
examines a Burroughs newspaper clipping.

Edgar Rice Burroughs enthusiast Bill Hillman
takes a snapshot of a newspaper clipping.

Cathy Wilbanks, who handles licenses for using Edgar Rice Burroughs material, 
studies artifacts during the gathering.

A bust of Edgar Rice Burroughs is displayed 
at Oak Park's Pleasant Home.

Llana (left) and Dejah Burroughs, great-granddaughters of Edgar Rice Burroughs, 
pose outside the Pleasant Home in Oak Park.

Frank Puncer (left) of Tucson, Ariz., and Henry Franke 
of Yorktown, Va., discuss movie memorabilia on display.

A reception gave Burroughs Bibliophiles time for discussions 
at the Pleasant Home in Oak Park.

Jairo Uparella and Adriana Garavito, of Columbia
get their picture taken as Tarzan and Jane.

J.G. Huckenpohler of Washington, D.C., 
analyzes a Burroughs display at the Pleasant Home in Oak. Park.

A collection of Tarzan items are on display
in the Burroughs exhibit.

Vintage Tarzan are featured among the artifacts 
on display at the Pleasant Home in Oak Park.

Some older items are among collected 
artifacts at the Burroughs exhibit 

First edition Tarzan magazines are displayed in
the Edgar Rice Burroughs exhibit at the Pleasant Home in Oak Park


3320 Dum-Dum 2010 Overview I 3321 2010 Overview II 3322 2010 Arrival 3323 2010 Spannrafts | II
3324 2010: Chicago Blues 3325 2010 Dealers | Huckster Wares 3326 2010 Oak Park I | II 3327 2010 Banquet | II | Awards
3328 2010 Special Events 3329 Farewell Breakfast | Picnic 3157 Oak Park News I 3158 Oak Park News II
ERBzine 3333: LIFE
ERBzine 3334: WORKS
ERBzine 3335: FILM
ERB Museum At Pleasant Home: 2005 Visit

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