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Volume 5161
HILLMANS ON THE ROAD
Manitoba to Texas


THE EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS / BERT WESTON / BEATRICE CONNECTION

Herbert (Bert) T. Weston, Ed's lifelong friend, was from Beatrice (bee-AT-riss), Nebraska (original home of Beatrice Foods).
Burroughs and Weston, and possibly others from Nebraska, were on the MMA football team that ERB quarterbacked.
Weston and Burroughs corresponded regularly until Ed's death in 1950.
In a nod to Weston, Ed named Beatrice, Nebraska (Weston's hometown) as the birthplace of two of his main characters
in the books THE MAD KING and THE ETERNAL LOVER:
Barney Custer in the first and his sister, Victoria, in the second. Ref: ERBzine 0949

Ed Burroughs (with mustache) ~ A.T. Conners (with football)
The MMA Football Team
(Quarterback Ed Burroughs behind the mustache)


BEATRICE OF YESTERYEAR


BEATRICE OF TODAY




THE LOST LETTERS OF EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS
 http://www.erbzine.com/mag2/0219.html

A Sampling of the ERB/Weston/Beatrice Connection
in the ERBzine Bio Timeline
www.ERBzine.com/bio

The Burroughs-Weston letters trace a fascinatingly interwoven emotional and business relationship that evolved as the two men and their wives engaged in joint capital ventures, traveled frequently, and navigated the difficult waters of child-rearing, divorce, and aging. Brother Men includes never-before-published images, annotations, and a critical introduction in which Cohen explores the significance of the sustained emotional male friendship evident in the letters. Rich with insights related to visual culture and media technologies, consumerism, the history of the family, the history of authorship and readership, and the development of the West, these letters make it clear that Tarzan was only one small part of Edgar Rice Burroughs's broad engagement with modern culture.  Ref: Brother Men: The Correspondence of Edgar Rice Burroughs and Herbert T. Weston

January 12, 1908: Emma gives birth to daughter Joan at the Park Avenue Hospital. (The name is pronounced Jo-anne in the Burroughs family.) Lifelong friends, the Westons have a daughter two months later. Ed dotes on new baby: "Joan is a son-of-gun, she is THE BOSS of the ranch. She is spoiled, ruined curdled. But what do we care. We are proud of it."
March 12, 1908: Ed writes to Bert Weston after learning of the recent birth of baby Jane to the Westons: "I [now] know more about babies than the man who invented them. I can tell a baby where ever I see one. No one can fool me. I am getting so that I stop and inspect every baby I see on the street. I can tell how old they are without looking at their teeth. Many mothers with large families are coming to me for advice. So are fathers without any families."
March 29, 1908: Letter from 194 Park Ave., Chicago Ill. to Westons: "Sure I change Joan. If you dont know how to do it I will tell you. Insert eight safety pins in your face, grasp infant firmly by hind legs, place three cornered piece of cloth beneath stage entrance, put on shoe that has fallen off during scuffle, grasp one end of one corner of didy with teeth unoccupied by safety pins, take the other two corners in one hand, drop them and put on the other shoe, do it all over again, in the mean time say goo-goo and giggle-goggle. After pinning all securely feel of baby. You will find her wet again by this time and should immediately commence to change her again. Repeat."



March 1, 1918: During a visit to Coldwater, Ed looks for a cure for his seven-year bout of neuritis. He has tried everything, and even looked to Christian Science once. (June 22 letter to Weston): "This dope which I obtained is put up by a druggist in Coldwater from a prescription given to one of the Coldwater plutes (plutocrats) by a traveling salesman -- but where the traveling salesman got the prescription, deponent sayeth not. Anyhow, it cost one and one half bucks per bottle and is absolutely guaranteed to be harmless. Dr. Earle pooh-poohs the idea that it helped me and so do I; however it was a remarkable coincidence that immediately after commencing to take it the pain left me for the first time in years and I have been steadily improving since. To show what a narrow minded chump a man can be, I quit taking it because they doubled the price. . . "
August 12-26, 1918: Ed joins his company of six other Oak Park men in training at Camp Steever, Geneva Lake, Illinois. The training is physically demanding and they often work into the night with field maneuvers and trench work. A slow dresser, Ed takes advantage of thepermission granted swimmers to turn out for the Reveille formation in bathing suits and after the set-up exercises takes a dip in the lake. He looks forward to the frequent swims in the lake as a break from camp life. (Weston Letter Sept 4): Geneva is a deep, clear-water lake. The water is never warm and the swimming is fine. It is one of the deepest lakes of its size in the country and goes right off within a few feet of the shore into deep water. At one place Government soundings show it to be 1027 ft. deep but I did not go down to verify the report. I derived considerable benefit from the training, especially in the matter of the new spirit of military instruction. I believe three months intensive training in an officer's training camp would make me a regular guy again as I feel that I as after my five years at Orchard Lake. I notice in the new draft law that bald headed men with three children are to be put into A-1 class so I suppose you and I will soon be in the front line trenches."
             He is later promoted to major and to the command of the First Battalion, Second Infantry of the Illinois Reserves.
September 17, 1918: Ed, at 42, is too old to enter active service and he complains to friend Bert Weston that militia work was "the only military activity which Emma will permit me to indulge in...."
October 25, 1918: Ongoing correspondence between Ed and Bert Weston shows their passionate feelings about the war. Weston writes: "Major, I salute you!!! And a good little major I'll bet you are, and it is a doggoned pitty ou are not majoring over in Flanders where you'd be a credit to yourself, tribe and country, and not merely herding the "Park Ave Rifles" around." Ed replies from his Militia office: "If they put me in that class (Class G-1 to which Weston has been designated), I should go down and jump in the lake. It looks very much as though the filthy Hun would have to lie down and surrender within the next six months but I think he will only do it after a complete and thorough licking unless a gleam of intelligence manifests itself among the German people to the end that they rise up in their wrath and massacre the entire darned military class."
December 7, 1918: In response to Ed's plans to get into farming, Ed's friend, Weston, says he is toying with the idea of starting a farming enterprise in Canada but fears that the Saskatchewan prairies are the "doggonedest place in the western hemisphere to live.". He gives Ed the following advice on farming: "I look upon a farm as a factory. If I go farming, I'll run the damnedthing not with any idea of getting back to nature, but from the point of view ofmaking it produce so much stuff for a 5 year average.
December 7, 1918: Ed and Weston are staunch Republicans. Weston writes that a returning army major friend of his says that not a single officer will ever vote the Democratic ticket again. To Weston's knowledge no Democrat went into the army at all -- except by the draft route. Weston and son Collins admit to detesting Jane Porter, "Tarzan was mightily stung when he married her."
March 14, 1919: Ed urges old friend Bert Weston of Beatrice to buy ranch sites on either side of the Tarzana Ranch.  (Ed carries on with a full description of Tarzana Ranch which I have transcribed in the Bio Timeline)
April 29: Weston sends congratulations to Ed for having killed off Jane Porter in the Red Book serial of Tarzan the Untamed.


May 10, 1920: In a letter to Bert Weston Ed explains the reason for his killing off and then resurrection of Tarzan's Jane in Tarzan the Untamed:
 "... I left Jane dead up to the last gasp and then my publisher and the magazine editor rose up on their hind legs and roared. They said the public would not stand for it as I was having Tarzan fall in love with Bertha, so I had to resurrect the dear lady. After seeing Enid Markey take the part of Jane in the first Tarzan picture I was very glad to kill her."
April 26, 1927: Ed decides to not go through with a purchase of a new Lincoln through Weston who can get a good deal on it and decides instead to fix his old car up for $300 and use the money saved to make improvements on Tarzana. Ed, a Jack Dempsey fan, does not share Weston's admiration of boxer Gene Tunney (the Westons had met Tunney on a train trip from Grand Canyon). He considers Dempsey to be a true fighting machine.
July 19, 1927: Ed's receipt of Weston's Detroit Free Press clipping about the Oak Park (MMA) Academy prompts him to consider forming an association of Orchard Lakers that could bring pressure to bear upon the state of Michigan to re-establish a new Michigan Military Academy, preferably located at Orchard Lake.  He turns down Weston's offer for wholesale priced home movie equipment, saying: "I have purchased so many things that the family was hectic about only to find that they were nine day wonders. I now have three projecting machines and seven hundred and twenty eight thousand miles of film which are never used."
June 26, 1928: Ed orders a home movie camera and projector ($287.00 less a 30% discount through Owl Pharmacy) from Bert Weston (a few months later Weston gives a similar deal to Ed's friends the Rosenbergers). He wants it in time to experiment with it so he can get some good pictures of Joan's outdoor wedding on August 8. They plan to use the area between the chicken yard and the corral. He builds a cabinet similar to a small smoking stand that holds everything pertaining to the photo outfit.
September 17, 1928: Ed receives the wedding films and they view them at night. He has also taken film of Tarzana, Jack shooting a coyote and horses galloping around the paddock. Jack is experimenting with putting titles on the films.  He later sends the wedding films to the Pierces and then on to Westons.
Summer 1929: Ed makes unwise investments in a San Fernando Valley Airport (The Los Angeles Metropolitan Airport) and Apache Motors airplane engine company. Following Ed's advice, the Westons also have bought stock. The Government buys a dirigible base near Zelzah near Tarzana and General Motors is trying to get control of the Metropolitan Airport.
June 5, 1929: Ed and Emma return from a visit with Bert and Margaret Weston in Beatrice, Nebraska.
October 29, 1929: The Stock Market Crash signals that Ed and Weston's investments are in trouble.


March, 1930: Ed starts to suffer from severe abdominal pains which interfere with his plans to visit with the Westons during their California visit.
 March 3: Rothmund, acting as proxy for Ed and the Westons, attends a stockholders'  meeting of the troubled Metropolitan Airport.
April, 1930: Jack pursuing his interest in photogaphy enlarges many of Bert Weston's 35mm photos.
July 14, 1930: Ed sends Weston one of many letters expressing his regret over having persuaded him to invest in the failed Metropolitan Airport and aircraft engine stock.
September 13, 1930: Ed writes to Bert Weston: "Emma, Hulbert, Jack and I just returned from a trip up the Redwood Highway to Grant's Pass in Oregon and back down the Pacific Highway, which follows the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys. We made the trip in two Aerocars. They are trailers that hook on behind a car, with a special hitch. The big one, which is called a Pullman and is twenty feet long, was hauled by my old 1921 Packard Roadster. This car contains two lower berths, two upper berths, long divan, lavatory, toilet, refrigerator, clothes press and various drawers and compartments for clothing or what have you. The other trailer, which we used as a commissary car, was hauled by a Ford Pick-up car that I bought for the purpose. It was our dining room and kitchen. We took the cook and his wife, who slept in the commissary car. It makes a very easy way of camping out and the whole outfit worked out very nicely. I think one of these cars would be a great thing for you and Margaret, who are always tearing around the country."
April 20s, 1931: Bert and Margaret Weston visit -- use trailer. Notebook entries for Xontron, Dr. Science, etc: lost unpublished works.
March 27, 1932 (circa): The Westons visit Tarzana. They have been wintering at Hotel Del Coronado, Coronado Beach. Weston is glad to see that Ed is looking much better than the year before when he appeared to be depressed. Weston's son Jeff gets along well with Hully and Jack.
May 25, 1932: Bert Weston writes that he and everyone he knows are thrilled with the new MGM Tarzan picture. . .  but. . .."I think you took too little for the next three Tarzans. Also, where did Metro get the Tar-ZAN pronounciation? I have been around a whole lot with Tarzan's papa, and know all you Tarzan folk fairly well, even to being well acquainted with two Tarzans of the canine species, and I have never noted any accent on the ZAN!"
May 25, 1932: Weston writes: "I do not know whether it is the climate, or what, but you certainly have shaken off at least ten years since '31. I hate to see you guys, who are my seniors, looking a good ten years younger than I do, but, someway, all the rest of the family seem to like it, and even go so far as to twit me about it.". . . "Hulbert is a real golfer, if I ever saw one. He has got whatever a golfer has to have. That little final wiggle, before he starts his swing, is just the sort of thing that all rating golfers have, in some form or another. That is just a warning that here goes a long one straight down the center!" . . .  "I cannot imagine being better situated than you are, with your ranch-house in the San Franando, and that fine beach location.
March 14, 1934: Ed breaks the news of his separation to the Westons: "I doubt very much that Emma and I will drive up to see you. I suppose you have to know it some time, so I might as well tell you that we are not living together. Emma is still at the beach, and my address is Tarzana.
June 25, 1940: Ed writes Bert Weston that Florence is discouraged with the cost-saving measures, as well as the condition of the house and its rats and scorpions.  Ed relays a chain letter which contains a long list of famous names: Senator Heflin, Bernard Shaw, Henry Ford, Col.  Lindberg, Dorothy Dix, John Barrymore, etc.
March 20, 1941: Ed writes Bert Weston of having met long-standing fan, pulp writer, and professional wrestler, Prince Ilaki Ibn Ali Hassan. He says Florence left the islands because of the increasing Japanese threat.


FURTHER ON DOWN THE ROAD




Beatrice, Nebraska

The Homestead Acts
The first of these acts, the Homestead Act of 1862, was signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln.
The act granted private citizens who had never borne arms against the U.S. government the right to claim 160 acres of surveyed government land.
As part of this provision, they were required to improve the plot by building homes and cultivating the land.
After five years, the claimant could receive the deed to the land for free, except for a small fee.

My great grandfather took advantage of a similar provision in Canada and homesteaded in Manitoba in 1878.
We still own that homestead land and I some of the songs I wrote for our Prairie Saga album were inspired by these early years.
A verse from my JOHN CAMPBELL - PIONEER song refers to this early homesteading venture.
Westward bound the year was '78
John Campbell - Pioneer
Steamin' by train and rolling by wagon
To Manitoba's wild frontier
His daddy built a house of sod just for the winter
Come summer built a house of stone
Cleared the virgin land and they did it by hand
Workin' aching fingers to the bone
>>More
 


Another major attraction closer to Beatrice

The Strategic Air and Space Museum
is a museum focusing on aircraft and nuclear missiles of the United States Air Force.
 


PONY EXPRESS STATION :: MARYSVILLE, KS

We stopped at the historic town of Marysville, KS, a short distance from Beatrice.
Pony Express Home Station No. 1 is the only home station on its original site.
This statue of a horse and rider sits on the site where the Pony Express route passed through Marysville, KS.



The 2014 Bryan and Texas A&M Dum-Dum

ERBzine 5160
Intro/Series Contents
ERBzine 5161
Hillman Road Trip Hilites
ERBzine 5162
Arrival at Bryan TX
ERBzine 5163
Huckster Room I Sellers & Showmen
ERBzine 5164 
Huckster II: Buyers and Bidders
ERBzine 5165
Downtown Safari Walk
A&M U Collections
In Preparation
Vinson Art Collection
In Preparation

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BRYAN, TEXAS
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