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My odyssey continued in 1964.
In May, U. S. Steel again sent me to Phoenix, Arizona for further program testing on our new communications-switching computer, which was being built by General Electric. For the trip I had two extracurricular plans. First, on the way to Phoenix, I stopped over in Kansas City to visit Vernell and Rita Coriell. Although Vern had visited me in Pittsburgh several times, this was the only time I was able to view Vern's great collection of books and artwork. He had original art by J. Allen St. John, Hal Foster, Burne Hogarth, Fortunino Matania, and others.
He had a book and illustration room on the main floor of their home, and a desk and more shelves of books in the basement. It has always thrilled me to study other great Burroughs collections and to examine how the books are filed. All collectors, apparently, have different filing arrangements, all different from my own system.
Vern and Rita were wonderful hosts, and I had a fascinating time there before going on to Phoenix to join the rest of the testing crew.
And, for my second extracurricular act, when the test period was complete and the group flew back to Pittsburgh, I flew to Los Angeles to visit with Hulbert Burroughs again.
He was a most, enjoyable friend. He and I located Frank Merrill, who played Tarzan in two movie serials, and drove to his home. Although Merrill was 70 years old, he was in great physical shape, with bulging arm muscles. Merrill gave me a short film of him as Tarzan. It was a 35-mm nitrate film. I was afraid of nitrate film because of its propensity to burst into flame, as happened in the ERB warehouse in 1958. So I turned it over to Hully who later transferred it to 16mm safety film, with prints for both of us.
The next day we made a visit to movie scriptwriter and producer Sam Peeples, to see his Burroughs collection. He was proud to show us his A. C. McClurg first edition of Tarzan of the Apes in a dust jacket. He had a complete set of Burroughs first editions, and again, filed differently from other collectors.
The following day we drove to the Malibu Beach home of John Coleman Burroughs, where I went swimming in the Pacific surf that was just beyond their home. I also had a chance to view a large group of his paintings, including the beautiful ones about Danton Doring. John Coleman is quoted in Russ Cochran's Edgar Rice Burroughs Library of Illustration, Volume 2: "Someday I'll write my novel [of Danton Doring] or I shall take Danton Doring's incredible story to my grave with me." Sadly, he did not write it.
Again Hully's hospitality toward me was peerless. I hated to leave, but had to go back to Pittsburgh to family, job, and collection.
In July, U. S. Steel sent our computer group on another trip to Phoenix. This time, on the way to Phoenix, all of us flew to Tucson first, then drove down to Nogales, Arizona. We crossed over to Nogales, Mexico.
In my very limited Spanish, I asked one of the dozens of shoe-shine boys for the location of a bookstore. After some confusion, he understood what I wanted, and I left the group as he guided me through the town to a bookstore. Inside, the clerks didn't speak English, but they understood "Tarzan." I was directed to the back room where there were dozens of Spanish language Tarzan books. I selected one of each title, plus some Mexican Tarzan comic books. The clerks seemed very happy to receive United States dollars for my purchases.
I walked out of the bookstore, and there, lying on the sidewalk was a page from a Sunday color comic section of a Mexican newspaper. Staring up at me was a Tarzan page, in Spanish.
On this last trip to Phoenix, I did not continue on to Los Angeles for another Tarzana visit, but went back to Pittsburgh with the rest of the group.
In September (1964) the annual Dum-Dum was held in Oakland, California, as part of the World Science Fiction Convention, with Hully Burroughs attending. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend that meeting, the first of several I was forced to miss.
Looking back, though, 1964 was a fortunate year in my life-long odyssey.
Copyright (c) 1994 Clarence B. Hyde
The author of this Odyssey was once, a good many years ago, a very young boy who climbed trees in Northern Ohio and taught himself to swim in Lake Erie. But, I was a reader. I read comic books such as Tip Top Comics and Comics on Parade (with Tarzan), the daily and Sunday newspaper comics (with Tarzan), and especially, Big-Little-Books -- Dick Tracy, Terry and the Pirates, Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon (and Tarzan).
One day a friend lent me a Grosset and Dunlap edition of Tarzan, the Untamed. After reading that novel I became stricken with "Compulsive Collecting," as related to everything concerning Tarzan and Edgar Rice Burroughs. About a year later, I discovered a home library, at a summer cottage on Lake Erie, containing about 25 Burroughs novels. Some of these were A. C. McClurg first editions, but the distinction between first editions and reprint editions was not part of my knowledge then. I was allowed to borrow these novels, one book at a time, over a period of two or three summers, thus expanding my education on many a rainy summer day. The sunny days I spent in the trees, or on the beach and in the lake.
The collecting obsession continues into the present, and has been told in previous chapters. The Odyssey continues.
I made no significant trips to visit people associated with Burroughs in 1965. The most important happening in 1965 was the Dum-Dum. The World Science Fiction Convention was held outside the United States that year, so Vernell Coriell, founder of the Burroughs Bibliophiles, made arrangements to hold our annual convention on Saturday and Sunday, September 4 and 5, in Chicago. If our organizational gathering in 1960 is not counted, this would be our fifth Dum-Dum. But it was the first that was not held in association with a science fiction convention. Vern wanted to see if we could get enough fans together for a Dum-Dum without the focus point of a science fiction convention.
Vern selected the Conrad Hilton Hotel for the occasion. One hundred guests attended. Vern announced that membership in The Burroughs Bibliophiles had reached 1162. Among the business items discussed was a campaign for an Edgar Rice Burroughs postage stamp, and we urged members to write letters to the Postal Service stamp-selection committee. So far we have had no success, but members are still writing.
Starting off that convention, Frank Brueckel spoke on "Burroughs and the Fan Writer," discussing the use of Burroughs' characters in different media, both professional and amateur. Ed Wood moderated a panel on the 1960's "Burroughs boom." Darrell Richardson gave a speech on Burroughs fandom prior to The Burroughs Bibliophiles, his own early interest in Burroughs, and how he started his collection.
Henry H. Heins, whose invaluable Golden Anniversary Bibliography of Edgar Rice Burroughs had been published the previous year, was another speaker at the Dum-Dum. Rather than discussing his book, he told us of Richard Lupoff's forthcoming book Master of Adventure, a critical review of Burroughs' stories. Also, Camille Cazedessus and Mike Resnick both spoke about "Burroughs booms," past and future. The first day closed with a viewing of part of the seldom-seen serial, Son of Tarzan, from Stan Vinson's collection.
Sunday opened with Darrell Richardson again speaking, this time about his Burroughs collecting efforts in foreign countries. Our luncheon (then only $4.25!) was held on Sunday, with James and Joan Pierce, who were Tarzan and Jane in the early Tarzan radio series, as Guests-of-Honor. Jim Pierce, of course, was also the star of the 1927 film, Tarzan and the Golden Lion. They were presented with the Golden Lion Award, which at that time was an engraved, purple-lined silver bowl. After the luncheon there were long lines of autograph seekers for both of them. Allan Howard followed with a talk on "ERB Victorian," citing examples from various stories that ERB wasn't quite as Victorian as early critics had labeled him. Sunday evening Stan Vinson presented an illustrated slide talk of his rare Burroughs items and the beautiful artwork of J. Allen St. John.
The first Dum-Dum held independently of a science fiction convention was called an unqualified success" by founder Vern Coriell.
So, ending another year of my continuing Odyssey, but always looking forward to further journeys in following years.(c) 1994 Clarence B. Hyde
My show business career continued in 1965.
In the early 1960s, one of our local TV stations had an early Saturday morning program titled "Safari," with a host calling himself "Bwana Don." He showed jungle adventure films of all types, even the old Martin and Osa Johnson ones. They were great! He included all the Tarzan films that were then available.
I had been a guest on his program twice in 1961. In 1965 I received another request from his producer to appear again. The 1918 Elmo Lincoln film, Tarzan of the Apes, was part of the Tarzan package, and they wanted me to discuss aspects of it with "Bwana Don." They even brought in their studio piano player (Johnny Costa) to provide background music for this silent movie. He had not seen the film ahead of time, but his talent was great for adding "mood music" for the different scenes of the movie.
For this show they taped the whole hour and a half on Thursday evening, to be shown the following Saturday morning.
I had seen this version of the film before, so I knew what to say about it. I gave some history of the film and of Elmo Lincoln. I also did a brief narration during the show.
Advance notices were printed in both of Pittsburgh's daily newspapers, and afterwards the program was given favorable mention. Years later, I met people who remembered me from that program.
An unusual event that followed in April of 1966 was the publication of the "25th" (so marked) Tarzan novel. This was a novelization of the Mike Henry film Tarzan and the Valley of Gold, written by the Hugo-award winning science-fiction writer, Fritz Leiber. Other Tarzan films had appeared in book form, some as Big Little Books, plus the Whitman editions of Gordon Scott's Tarzan and the Lost Safari. Valley of Gold was published by Ballantine Books, authorized and approved by Hulbert Burroughs, and listed as the 25th novel in the Tarzan series, part of the "sacred canon." This will become a problem for future cataloging and filing.
We held the 1966 Dum-Dum in Cleveland, Ohio, Saturday and Sunday, September 3 and 4, as part of the 24th World Science-Fiction Convention. Our Guest of Honor was Hulbert Burroughs. On Saturday 105 people attended our annual luncheon, where Hulbert gave a speech. He had great hopes for the Ron Ely TV series, which was to debut the following week. He informed us that John Coleman Burroughs' book Treasure of the Black Falcon would be published by Ballantine the following February .
Hulbert was presented the Golden Lion Award by Stan Vinson, but in a different form for this Dum-Dum. He received a silver cigarette box, with the award notation engraved on it.
After his speech, Hulbert presented a slide show of art work (cartoons and sketches) done by ERB from as early as age 10. He also included photos of ERB taken throughout his lifetime.
On Sunday a panel discussion was held with Dick Lupoff and Vern Coriell, with questions from the floor on the subject - "Should Special Fandoms (including The Burroughs Bibliophiles) be separated from the World Science-Fiction Conventions?" No definite conclusion was reached, but the general consensus was that the Burroughs group should, and would, stay within the Science-Fiction group.
However, in later years this idea proved to be generally an unworkable arrangement, due mainly to the Convention Committees of the World Cons.
At the Hugo Award banquet, Frank Frazetta won a Hugo as Best Professional Artist, and ERBDom, published by Camille Cazedessus (Caz) won for Best Amateur Magazine.
The following week, the premiere showing of the Ron Ely Tarzan TV series began, on Thursday night, September 8, with the episode "Eyes of the Lion." In a strange coincidence, this 7:30 "sneak preview" was followed at 8:30 with the premiere episode of the now world-famous Star Trek. The regular Tarzan showings appeared on Friday nights after that first week's premiere.
In October, once again, as an evangelist of the true words, I was invited to give my talk to a church group in a Pittsburgh suburb. I talked about my hobby, displayed some Tarzan items, and presented a short movie of parts of Elmo Lincoln films to an audience of 45 somewhat interested people.
Except for free dinners, I never found a way for these talk shows to produce any financial gain.
(c) 1995 Clarence S. Hyde
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