Edgar Rice Burroughs Tribute and Weekly Webzine Site
1996 ~ Over 15,000 Webpages in Archive
ERB'S LIFE and LEGACY :: DAILY
A COLLATION OF THE DAILY
EVENTS IN ERB-WORLD
FROM THE PAGES OF ERBzine
CREATED BY BILL HILLMAN
Collated by Bill Hillman and
With Web Design, Added Events,
Illustrations and Photo Collages
by Bill Hillman
JANUARY Part III
January 15 :: January
16 :: January 17
January 18 :: January
19 :: January 20 :: January
Vern Coriell: Burroughs Bibliophiles founder, with
ERB, Michael Pierce, Lex Barker - circus performer, headstone
David Burton: photos and art, his Tarzan of the
Apes illustrated edition
*** 1987: Vern Coriell died on this date. He was founder
of The Burroughs Bibliophiles and publisher of "The Burroughs
Bulletin" and "The Gridley Wave" along with many other pamphlets
and publications, as well as full-scale ERB books reprinting some of the
Perhaps one of the most desirable back issues of ERBapa
is No. 13, which came out after Vern's death and included a Vern cover
as well as a number of fan articles with recollections of Vern.
The group picture in my photo splash
bar shows a younger Vern at left, Mike
Pierce (son of James and Joan Burroughs Pierce) in the middle, Lex
Barker, and Edgar
Rice Burroughs, sitting.This was ERB's final appearance on a film set.
This photo was shared with me by Danton Burroughs.
I joined Vern's Burroughs Bibliophiles
back in the '60s. During our correspondence I mentioned that I collected
classic radio shows from 1920s-1960s and that I had 77 episodes of the
1932 Tarzan radio show he was very interested. I sent him tape reels containing
the shows and in appreciation he sent me a box of House of Greystoke publications.
Many years later in 2003 Sue-On and I were able to visit the House of Greystoke
in Kansas City. Rita Coriell -- Vern's ex-wife, now in poor health, lived
alone in the house -- Vern had packed up all the ERB-related material and
had left a few years before -- luckily the house was in her name. Rita
was a very gracious host and we had a great afternoon visit. She passed
away not long after this visit.
Vern tells his own story at:
Hillmans Visit Rita Coriell at the House of Greystoke
Rita Coriell Tribute
Vern Coriell Book Collection
Vern Coriell, Mike Pierce, Lex Barker, ERB ~ Vern
and Rita Coriell at House of Greystoke and Dum-Dums
Vern Portrait ~ Hillmans visit Rita at the House
of Greystoke, Kansas City, 2003
*** Jan. 15, 2007, was the
deadline for ordering the Leanta Books edition of "Tarzan
of the Apes," illustrated by David Burton. Earlier, David had
illustrated an edition of "A Princess
David wrote to his fellow fans on the web that this book
contained a map of Tarzan's Africa and the Ape Language dictionary that
ERB himself wrote. "It is also the most heavily illustrated
edition that's ever been published," he said. David had sent me
a copy which I featured in numerous pages across ERBzine.
The book sold out. However, like all
things, it shows up for sale on various sites on the internet from time
to time. David had severe heart problems and was awaiting a transplant
when he passed away suddenly on Dec. 3, 2011. He was 51.
ERBzine's Artist profile on DAVID BURTON
David's Artist's Journal for "Princess" and "Tarzan":
ERBzine Swag Promo for David's Leanta Books
*** 1941: ERB composed the poem "Skunk
in Defeat," expressing how revolting he believed the Nazis to
Patriotic Poems by ERB
*** 1923: Burroughs' hopes for success
in farming had long since dissipated. Soon to become a reality was his
planned incorporation and the end of farming. At a well-advertised auction
sale on January 15, 1923, most of the livestock and all of the farm tools
and equipment were disposed of. Seven saddle mares bred to the famous pedigreed
Arabian stallions Letan and Harara were sold, but Ed still retained a number
of other horses, including Colonel, his favorite saddle gelding, and Brigadier
Rex, a registered saddle stallion. Other livestock at the auction were
the dairy cattle and the herd of Berkshire swine, totaling more than one
hundred, all registered or subject to registry. Two days later Ed commented
to Bert Weston, ". . . it is over and I am through with farming, which
is worth the loss, and I believe I could write a book on Gentlemanly Agriculture
that would more than compensate me for all that I have dropped in this
line of endeavor...."
*** 1944: Ed's eagerness to have Caryl use
his name was evident. He wrote in letter to her on this date: "You
seem to have a bad time trying to remember to sign your letters to me,
Caryl Lee Burroughs. You don't have to use my name if you don't want to.
You said that you did. My feelings won't be hurt either way. Just keep
on loving me, as I do you." The following month he chided her, "I am glad
that you want to keep my name, but I think you should learn how to spell
it. It is not Bourroughs. You should know that."
*** 1930: ERB received a letter from Colonel
Laurence C. Brown, Ninth Coast Artillery District, Presidio of San Francisco.
He replied four days later writing that he recalled Brown as being one
of the enlisted men at Fort Grant when he was there and congratulated Brown
upon having achieved his goal of a commission: "I still have a bunch of
cancelled canteen checks that recalls the wild debauchery of `The May Have
Seen Better Days Club.' As I recall it if we got one square meal and a
bottle of red wine a month we were going some."
ERB Bio Timeline, ERB Journals and Porges
Stellan Windrow: First film Tarzan choice ~ Caroline
Munro: Photos as Dian in At The Earth's Core ~ ERB and his dictaphone
*** 1940: Burroughs wrote "Tarzan and the Madman,"
January 16 to March 22, 1940, producing a loose collection of incidents
and devices that were too stale for further repetition. ERB dictated the
story onto a Dictaphone wax cylinder. On the only remaining cylinder saved
by son Jack, Ed's voice can be heard dictating a brief section of the novel,
about 1,500 words. At the start, after announcing "Cylinder Sixteen," he
proceeded to dictate at a fairly fast rate. Although he was improvising
the story, he had sources, brief notes or references, prepared in advance.
In his notebook, for example, the story appears in a condensed form of
about fifty handwritten pages.
This served to fix the structure and
characters in Burroughs' mind. The notes were intended mainly as reminders,
especially to provide the continuity, to make certain he was following
the incidents he had already planned. Evidently, in most of his dictation,
he had the story elements well arranged in his mind and he could dictate
or improvise for long periods without glancing at any notes. On occasion
he glanced down at the papers on his desk, which might be mere glossaries
of characters and their roles.
The notebook reveals that from a summary
of one or two sentences he might improvise a long section as he dictated.
For example, in the notebook Burroughs wrote, "Next morning Gantry, Crump
and Minsky discuss the voice in the night. Gantry is afraid. He decides
to turn back." From this short statement Burroughs created and dictated
more than a page, some 350 words, mainly dialogue between the men.
The story was submitted to many magazines
but was rejected by all. It was finally published as a hardcover book by
Canaveral Press in 1964.
Tarzan and the Madman: History, Photos, Review, Articles
ERB Bio Timeline
*** ERB himself became a mad man in early December of
1918. He was irked at the movie industry and sold off his shares of stock
in National Film. Nonetheless, the company, on Jan. 16, 1919, wrote a letter
to ERB, inviting him to the premiere of "Tarzan
of the Apes," starring Elmo Lincoln. See the letter in the
ERB spurned the December 1918 invitation, but Stellan
Windrow didn't. The latter was the one originally cast to play Tarzan
and, indeed, appears in the movie, uncredited, in several tree-travel scenes.
Elmo Lincoln is generally thought
to be the first movie Tarzan because he starred in the first Tarzan movie,
Tarzan of the Apes, released in 1918. It is not generally known that
the man first contracted to play the movie role of Tarzan, and the first
to actually be filmed in the part, was Stellan Sven Windrow of Chicago.
When Stellan Windrow met producer
"Smiling Bill" Parsons, his six-foot, four-inch, 200-pound frame led Parsons
to exclaim "If we had met you three months ago we could have saved some
money searching for the right man [to play Tarzan]." He was signed, with
filming to wait until graduation that June.
After five weeks of shooting, the
treetop work nearly completed, his country called Stellan Windrow to World
War I, in which he served as an ensign in the Navy. National Film paid
him $1000 for his film rights, meaning he would not be credited in the
film. A frantic search began for his replacement, ending a few weeks later
when D.W. Griffith discovery Elmo Lincoln arrived from Los Angeles.
The Stellan Windrow page:
Tarzan of the Apes: ERB C.H.A.S.E.R. Bibliography
*** 1950: Born
on this date was Caroline Munro played Dia, the movie name for Dian
the Beautiful, in "At
the Earth's Core." Some ERB fans wouldn't have minded at all if
she had also played Dejah Thoris or Duare. She was born in Windsor, Berkshire,
Caroline Munro Gallery
At The Earth's Core - the movie
The screen shots:
*** 1944: ERB wrote an interesting
two-page letter home to Mike Pierce. I've scanned it and also typed it
out for easier read. A few excerpts:
". . . I visited a jungle training unit.
The colonel commanding took two public relations captains and myself in
a jeep and drove us around for about six hours. . . . The training is certainly
rugged. The men engage in personal combat without weapons, learning
all the dirty fighting tricks that gangsters, muckers, Apaches (the French
kind), and hoodlums ever devised, to which have been added some super-duper
atrocities heretofore unknown, plus judo. . . . Another unit was learning
jungle infiltration tactics. Two men at a time would sneak down a
steep, muddy jungle trail with fixed bay-onets ready for any emergency.
From behind a tree, a Jap would leap out and swing a mean haymaker at the
leading man. . . . At the bottom of the ravine, a Jap sniper hid behind
a tree. As a soldier bayoneted him, another Jap swung, down from
a tree on the side of the ravine and knocked him sprawling into the mud.
While I was watching, I saw a captain get it - and how."
ERB Wartime Letter Home to Mike Pierce
ERB's WWII Laugh It Off Columns in ERBzine
~ Karla Schramm and Gene Pollar:
Jane and Tarzan in silent films: Revenge of Tarzan
and Son of Tarzan
*** 1980: The second actress
to play Jane on the screen, Karla
Schramm, (1891.02.01-1980.01.17) died on this date in Los Angeles.
She had that role in "The
Revenge of Tarzan" with Gene
Pollar and then played Tarzan's mate in "The
Son of Tarzan" with P. Dempsey Tabler. Karla was only one
of two women to play Jane opposite two different Tarzans.
Though a child prodigy on the piano,
Karla Schramm is remembered today for being the second 'Jane' in the two
Tarzan movies of 1920. She travelled as a child pianist and composer through
US, Canada, Mexico and Europe. She made her debut as a matured artist in
Chicago at Music Hall. She was an accomplished swimmer and dancer. After
retiring from the film business she taught piano.
Even before filming began, the producers
were under pressure to conform to new industry moral standards regarding
nudity. At issue was not Miss Schramm's apparel, but rather Pollar's. To
satisfy the moral guardians, Pollar had to wear an over-the-shoulder animal
skin to hide most of his torso, and leggings that covered his thighs.
The Revenge of Tarzan
The Son of Tarzan: Silver Screen Series
*** During World War II, many citizens might have been
surprised to learn that one day Americans would be driving the German Volkswagen
and signing Japanese players to their baseball teams, but such is the way
it goes when wars are over and enemies become friends again. ERB took his
shots at the enemies of the U.S., not only in some of his stories, but
also in his daily column, "Laugh It Off," in the "Honolulu Star
Bulletin." On Jan. 17, 1942, ERB put together a couple of column items
which tarred the foe in both the Pacific and the Atlantic.
His first target was the Germans:
could better insure the post war peace and prosperity of Europe and the
world than the replacing of the German state by a Jewish republic under
a new name? It might conceivably settle the Jewish question for all time,
and it would most assuredly settle the nazi question."
Then, he went after the Japanese:
Streeter says that she understands that the United States and Japan have
decided to divide the Pacific ocean between them. Japan is to get the bottom
He was much easier on US citizens of Japanese Heritage
in the article he wrote two years later: The
"I cannot forget
that there are thousands of [Japanese] in Italy, fighting and dying
at the side of other Americans; and I cannot conceive of America repaying
them by disenfranchisement and deportation. There must be found a better
way, a more American way."
ERB wasn't correct about the location,
but he did see the establishment of a Jewish state, which happened
when Israel was born in 1948.
ERB's Laugh It Off columns of 1942:
ERB Article: The Japanese Problem
*** 1919: On this date Ed commented
in a letter to Bert Weston about the problem of moving to Los Angeles
and leaving parents behind: "Every time we go away,
and we have gone a great many times, there is always that same suggestion
that we shall never see our surviving parents again but we always do."
had been concerned about leaving his in-laws, the Collinses, in case he
decided to come to California. Ed pointed out that, as an example,
Hulbert, living in Coldwater, Michigan, only 150 miles away from Chicago,
was still isolated and could become ill and die before any members of her
family could reach her. Before departing for Los Angeles, Ed placed both
of his homes for sale; these, in Oak Park, were at 700 Linden Avenue and
414 Augusta Street. A vacant lot on Ridgeland Avenue north of Augusta was
also listed for sale.
ERB Bio Timeline, Journals and Porges
*** 1929: Popeye the Sailor
is a cartoon fictional character created by Elzie Crisler Segar. This long-lived
cartoon character appeared on this date -- 10 days after Tarzan was introduced
to the comic strips with Hal Foster art. Like Tarzan, Popeye has appeared
across all media ever since: comic strips and books, animated cartoons,
real life movies and television, radio and stage, arcade and video games,
merchandise and ads, retail foods and beverages, franchises, etc. Many
consider Popeye a precursor to the superheroes who would eventually come
to dominate US comic books. There have been some unlikely cross-overs through
the years, such as the Poopeye parody by Kurtzman and Elder in MAD comic
Tarzan Meets Poopeye: Mad Comic 21
*** 1994 Frances Gifford
- Jungle Girl (Nyoka) and Tarzan Triumphs (Jane)
- died on this date.
Jungle Girl - as Nyoka
*** In other ERB news of Jan. 17,
Rex Maxon's art for "Tarzan
the Fearless" began appearing in newspapers this date in 1938.
The strips were later reprinted in a magazine-size paperback:
Maxon's Tarzan the Fearless: 96 Strips
Artist John Celardo: Photos through the years and
examples of his
Tarzan as he drew them in the strips: 4,350 dailies
and 724 Sundays
*** 1943: War Correspondent ERB On Assignment in New Caledonia:
Ed was awarded a new rank, "Assimilated 2nd Lieutenant". He met Commander
Sherman Everett Burroughs, Jr. USN, after which he drove to the top of
a promontory at the north entrance to Noumea harbour. This location offered
a beautiful view of the area and an opportunity to explore an old abandoned
French fort with its battery of guns made in 1850. Gazing around the countryside
below he marvelled at the buildings, hospitals, air fields and road network
that the US military had built on this French colonial island. In
the inner harbour, protected by a submarine net, lay battleships, flat
tops, cruisers, destroyers and merchantmen. On the way back to the hotel
he passed a well-kept leper colony for natives with its barracks, hospital
buildings and elaborate church. Beside the road he was shocked to see a
young patient partially rotted away.
Note: After Danton Burroughs
shared ERB's 50-page Wartime Journals with me back in 2003 I went
to work summarizing each day's entry and added photos that I thought were
related to the events. I think that the results make for interesting reading
for my ERBzine readers and researchers interested in ERB's
ERB: Wartime Journals - Illustrated Timeline of Events
*** Artist John Celardo's
first Tarzan daily strip appeared in newspapers on Jan. 18, 1954. This
was followed by his first Sunday strip, Feb. 28 of that year.
According to ERBzine, "He probably
had been inking Bob Lubber's Tarzan strips for quite some time before
these dates. This early work was very similar to Lubbers' but he gradually
developed a more simple, less complicated and perhaps 'lazier' style. He
produced a total of 4,350 daily strips (#4507-#8856) and 724 Sunday strips
(#1199-#1922) - an output second only to Rex Maxon."
He first illustrated,
then took over the “Tarzan” comic strip, a task he worked at for 15 years,
keeping the material fresh by adding relevant social themes like race relations
and modern living. He also inserted current events affecting Africa, where
the comic strip was set, such as socialism, Peace Corps efforts on the
continent and the spread of new religions. President Eisenhower once wrote
him, saying “I find your work.... almost too perceptive,” in regard of
Mr. Celardo’s themes.
In the 1950s
Mr. Celardo produced the Tarzan comic strip for United Features Syndicate,
and it appeared in 225 daily and Sunday newspapers in 12 different countries
at the height of its popularity. Before and after World War II, he also
worked as an assistant art director for Fiction House, and from 1973 to
the mid-1990s he was a comics editor for King Features Syndicate, a division
of the Hearst Corporation. He also illustrated comics on packages of Topps
Chewing Gum. January is significant in the
life of Mr. Celardo for another reason. He passed away on Jan. 6, 2012.
As a Canadian
prairies farm kid I faithfully followed the Tarzan Sunday pages featured
on the front of every Star Weekly colour comics section -- starting with
the Hogarth strips in the late '40s and all the way through the Lubbers
period and then into the Celardos. I enjoyed them all and clipped out and
collected many of the Celardo Sunday pages. This early influence has inspired
me to collect and share thousands of strips in ERBzine.
JOHN CELARDO TARZAN CONTENTS
All the Daily Strips in ERBzine.com
Celardo Off-sites Page
*** 1924: Early in the year, Ed committed
himself to the most ambitious of his business projects, the sale of 120
acres of the Tarzana Ranch, including the large house and other buildings,
for a country club. To his brother Harry, on January 18, he confided the
"It is to be
called El Caballero Country Club, and the aim of the promoters is to make
it the finest and most exclusive country club on the Pacific coast. There
will be two golf courses and a polo field. Our residence will be used as
the nucleus of a larger club house... ."
He explained that the club promoters
were also purchasing one hundred acres from the adjacent Woodrough property
on the west, and at the end, commented, "We do not
feel so badly about giving up the place . . . since we will have the use
of it, without any of the responsibility, and really can enjoy it just
as much, if not more than before." Ed informed his brother George,
now living in Burley, Idaho, that if the sale were completed, the family
would have to leave Tarzana by June 1. He provided a vivid account of the
changes taking place in the Tarzana area:
were way out in the country, while now everything is rapidly moving in
our direction. . . . With the exception of one or two tracts, everything
between us and Los Angeles has been subdivided. . . . It is nothing unusual
for lots to jump in two or three resales from six thousand and eight thousand
to fifteen and twenty thousand dollars."
I was in Tarzana to give the eulogy at Danton's Memorial, Dan's old friend
Ralph Herman spent a day showing me around the valley and Hollywood. We
dined in the luxurious El Caballero Dining Room and then rode a golf car
all around the club course and off to many of the places that had all been
part of ERB's Tarzana Ranch. The main Tarzana mansion was taken down in
the '30s but Ralph, who owned much of the property, had bought and renovated
what used to be ERB's large theatre and garage building near the location
of the main house and pool.
El Caballero Country Club Booklet
ERB Bio Timeline and Porges
*** 1919: The Oak Parker
reported on this date that Burroughs would leave on January 31 for a ranch
near Los Angeles and remarked that it was "a far cry from stories to swine."
In the same issue there was a story of a farewell party for Joan Burroughs,
with the "hosts assisting" listed as Hulbert and Jack Burroughs,
and with story-telling contributed by Ella Burroughs. Joan, age
eleven, was shown in the photo of a group of children.
*** 1927: In a letter written on this date, Ed explained
that his beloved stallion Brigadier Rex had been sold to the Mexican government:
"I hated to part with him . . . but as I ride a great deal in company with
Mrs. Burroughs, our daughter and our two sons, I found it undesirable to
ride a stallion."
The letter contained much of Ed's
philosophy about animals and his desire to protect them: "The coyotes come
down every night close to the house, and on many mornings during the summer
I could shoot them from my bedroom window, but I would much rather see
them than kill them." He described the situation at Tarzana where the wildlife
had been protected for many years: ". . . hundreds
of quail live the year round on the property and are quite tame. We have
counted as many as forty on our lawn just before sundown feeding with cotton-tail
rabbits and occasionally a jack-rabbit. By putting in lily ponds on my
property, I have been able to attract a great deal of beautiful bird life.
The birds seem to quickly learn that they will not be molested."
His most perceptive statement, like
a confession, revealed the understanding that comes to many individuals
only through maturity: "When I was a boy and young
man, I wanted to kill things as I think most boys and young men do, but
as we grow older we take more pleasure in life than death."
1930: In a letter to Elser about Tanar, Ed requested: "He
should have a shock of black hair, long but without any suggestion of effeminacy.
If permissable, he should wear only a G-string of dark fur, the end hanging
down almost to his knees in front. . . ."
*** 1942: ERB's
son Hulbert enlisted on this date as a photographer in the Army
Air Corps. While visiting Danton we viewed many of his Uncle Hully's photos
and films taken during the war. Hulbert had a love for photography for
the rest of his life. When Sue-On and I first met him in the ERB, Inc.
office in 1971 we compared cameras - I had a new Pentax. I wasn't aware
of his military background at the time but he mentioned that his current
hobby was taking photos of cactus plants around the old Burroughs ranch
area and through the valley.
Hillmans' Tarzana Quest I
Hillmans' Tarzana Quest II
ERB: The War Years
ERB Bio Timeline and Porges
Ronald Reagan: Feeding Bonzo the Chimp plus a ERB-related
letter to George McWhorter
Tarzan's Quest: J. Allen St. John DJ ~ Morrow
Tarzan Strip ~ ERB vs Hitler in his WWII column
*** 1955: Thomas
Yeates was born on this date. Thomas is an American comic strip
and comic book artist best known for his many years of illustrating the
works of Edgar Rice Burroughs.
Award-winning illustrator Thomas Yeates was among the
first graduates of the prestigious Joe Kubert School in 1978. He has worked
for almost every major publisher, but his favorite subjects are the great
adventure characters like Tarzan, Zorro and Prince Valiant. On April
1, 2012, Yeates began drawing the Prince Valiant comic strip . . . previous
to this he had done the Zorro strips.
Thomas is also a respected guitarist
and singer and we've enjoyed many jam sessions with him during or after
ERB Conventions around the country.
Our opening ERBzine
Webpage proudly displays the the sketch that Thomas did of Sue-On
and I . . .as the Jeddak
and his Princess on Barsoom :)
Our Thomas Yeates Tribute Pages
Thomas Yeates visit Chicago Blues Clubs
with the ERB, Inc. Staff and Hillmans
Yeates At Work: Hillmans as Jeddak and Princess
*** 1988: From at least a
year after he took office, to about a year before he left office, President
Ronald Reagan found time to remember one of his boyhood heroes, Tarzan
of the Apes, and other ERB protagonists as well. Among the documents
presented at ERBzine
is a letter Reagan wrote this date, Jan. 19,
1988, a year and a day before his term expired. The letter was addressed
to our own George T. McWhorter and thanked George for sending him a copy
of yet another letter.
Reagan's letter said: "Dear Mr.
McWhorter: Thanks very much for sending along the letter that you had
in your collection from Edgar Rice Burroughs. And, you're right,
it still has relevance today. It reminds me of the responsibility that
we have to make this world a safer and better place for generations to
come. He had a lucky grandson, didn't he, to have much wisdom imparted
at such an early age. I hope that, looking on, Edgar Rice Burroughs knows
that this country is still keeping strong and that the generation coming...will
keep the spirit that he conveyed....
During the visits that Sue-On and
I had with George at his huge Memorial ERB Collection in the Ekstrom Library
at the University of Louiville this was one of the items he was very proud
of. I took a photo and displayed it on one of my ERB McWhorter pages. Unfortunately
this was at the turn of the century and my early version digital camera
was of fairly low resolution and Internet storage and speeds were low,
but the letter is still readable at ERBzine 0440 and in the splash bar
Reagan's ERB-related letter to George McWhorter
George McWhorter Tributes
*** 1943: War Correspondent ERB
On Assignment in New Caledonia: On his way to Tontoura for a story
from Commander Burroughs at the Carrier camp, he picked up a filthy Fighting
French courier with mail sack, two CBs and two coloured men from an Engineer
Corps unit. He messed with Burroughs and several officers of his command,
Air Group 3 of Aircraft Carrier Saratoga which was docked at Noumea
On the way back to the hotel he picked
up a Javanese woman with baby and a boy with dog. Back in his room he discovered
cause of an itch that had annoyed him all day: spider bite welts across
his back. He believed that his health started to decline from this point
on and that he was affected by this poison for the rest of his life. He
later learned the island tap water he had been drinking had not been chlorinated,
but he suffered no apparent affects from this.
ERB: Wartime Journals - Illustrated Timeline of Events
*** Nineteen on nineteen: ERB began
writing Tarzan and Jane (which became "Tarzan's
Quest") on May 13, 1934, and finished it -- his 19th Tarzan novel
-- on Jan. 19, 1935.
See May 1934 entry at: ERBzine
In the early days of my collecting
back in the '50s ERB books were very hard to find. I searched all the local
bookstores in my Western Manitoba area and then went farther afield and
sent letters to booksellers in other parts of Canada, USA and England.
A dealer in the UK replied that he had a copy of Tarzan's Quest
so I immediately sent for it. What arrived on February 15, 1958 was a strange
hardcover edition that I later learned was a library bound edition. I was
thrilled to see that it contained J. Allen St. John art.
Tarzan's Quest: Our ERB
C.H.A.S.E.R Biblio Info
ERB's May 1934 Journal Entry
*** The "Laugh It Off" columns were
nearing their end, but ERB was still taking potshots at America's enemies
while he could. On Jan. 19, 1942, he quoted "The Bible" to Hitler with:
in Mein Kampf
and elsewhere, has often bragged of being a 'have
not.' It won't be long before Adolph will have to admit that Saint Luke
was right when he wrote, 'and whosovever hath not, from him shall be taken
even that which he seemeth to have.' "
It was interesting
to read this quote from ERB since he was not in the habit of quoting the
Bible. He was not a church goer and in discussions with his sons
Hulbert and Jack, Burroughs stated his religious attitude clearly: he did
not believe in the Bible, Christ, the Immaculate Conception, or God. He
called himself an atheist. To his sons, Burroughs, who did not attend church,
had often expressed his dislike for any form of organized or sectarian
fans of the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs have been of every age and occupation,
nationality and culture, faith and belief. It is quite amazing how each
one so uniquely interprets ERB's themes and beliefs. He has been labelled
as being ahead of his time in his progressive ideas on conservation, feminism,
animal rights, free-thinking, reason vs. superstition, humanitarianism,
championing of all races, writing trends (science fiction, adventure, fantasy),
mechandising, artists' rights, fatherhood, creativity and imaginative thinking.
On the other
hand, there are those who see in him characteristics contrary to all of
the forelisted: placing of women in subservient roles, butcher of wildlife,
intensely religious and spiritual, shallow thinker, racist, hack, plagiarizer,
business failure, homewrecker, opportunist, and a dreamer of wild and worthless
I have noticed
in my contacts with so many fellow-ERB fans that a great many of them like
to cloak ERB in religious values and belief systems which are a reflection
of their own. I believe that this popular writer, born in 1875, has done
a quite remarkable job of presenting himself in a way that straddles his
own free-thinking attitudes and the strict religious and traditional mores
of his audience during the first half of the twentieth century.
"With the acquisition
of wisdom, man is more inclined to be skeptical in matters of religion."
"Laugh It Off," 1942:
Burroughs' Thoughts on Science and Religion
***"The Fossil Hunters and the
Terrorists," by Gray Morrow and Desaro & McKay, began Jan.
19, 1997, and ran for 16 weeks.
Fossil Hunters and the Terrorists: 16 Gray Morrow
Johnny Weissmuller grave markers in Acapulco, Mexico
~ Edgar Rice Burroughs
US Commemorative Stamp ~ ERB's Boys Clubs ~ Weissmuller:
Tazan in 12 Films
*** 1984: An era ended on this date in 1984. Johnny Weissmuller,
the most well-known Tarzan actor, in fact -- the man who owned the role
-- passed away.
Johnny was living in Acapulco,
Mexico, at the time, and he selected that area as his final resting
It's often been noted that Johnny's name is spelled incorrectly
on his marker. Actually, it is spelled properly on his actual gravestone,
which is a marble slab with a book with his name on it. Very close by is
a tall "marker," with the word "Tarzan" and his name spelled with only
one "S." Photos show the gravestone to the left of the tall marker-plaque
(also called a "stela" or "stele," a closeup of the plaque, and the gravestone
slab itself. Although Johnny played Tarzan in 12 movies, it is fitting
that the marker shows Johnny's name on a book, the medium in which Tarzan
*** Here's some facts about Johnny's passing
and other "Trivia" from Bill Hillman's ERBzine page on "Tarzan
and the Mermaids":
* In 1973, in the final ravages of fame that also befell
actor George Raft and boxing great Joe Lewis, Weissmuller worked as a greeter
at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. A broken hip led to a series of
illnesses and he went back to Acapulco to retire at his round-house in
the Hotel Los Flamingos. He died in his sleep on January 20, 1984, five
months before his 80th birthday.
* Weissmuller died of pulmonary edema (water in the lungs).
* Johnny is buried in the Jardines del Tiempo (Gardens
of Time) cemetery just outside of Acapulco
* Co-star Linda Christian was the only person
from Johnny's Hollywood days to attend his 1984 funeral in Acapulco. Linda
Christian was also the first Bond girl, playing the love interest in the
1954 television production of "Casino Royale" opposite Barry Nelson.
* Former actor John Gavin attended the funeral
in his official capacity as U.S. Ambassador to Mexico
* In accordance with his wishes, a recording of Weissmuller's
famous Tarzan cry was played as his coffin was lowered into the
Tarzan and the Mermaids: The ERBzine Film Page
The Johnny Weissmuller story:
Weissmuller On Location in Florida
Johnny Weissmuller and Friends
Johnny and Lupe Photo Collage
*** 2012: An Edgar Rice Burroughs
commemorative stamp was issued in August of 2012, and many had written
letters over the years urging there be such a stamp. One such person was
Sofian, writing for the Historical and Museum Committee of the
Community and Cultural Center, who wrote a letter dated this date,
Jan. 20, in 2004. His letter said, in part:
"Although it is impossible to determine
how many copies of Burroughs' books have been published worldwide, with
translations into thirty-two languages. Burroughs' works have engrossed
legions of fans throughout the world through the Tarzan newspaper features,
radio programs, comic magazines, motion pictures and television series.
The motion picture version of "Tarzan
and His Mate" was recently selected for the Library of Congress'
National Film Registry. His popularity continues to the present day with
a current version of a Tarzan animated feature to be released this year.
" Sofian was active in community causes up until his death in 2016
at the age of 94.
Many indeed wrote letters, but the
thing that finally accomplished the goal was an evening of friendship and
sharing when Denny Miller,
star of 1959's "Tarzan
the Ape Man," made the suggestion in person to the chairman of
the Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee.
Back in January 2011,
my ERBzine office received a very large, advance illustration by Sterling
Hundley of the proposed 2012 ERB stamp, questions, etc., with a request
to serve as a consultant to the USPS. This I gladly did since the release
of this special stamp was of great interest to all ERB fans. I helped with
the text, admired the layout, but provided a rather scathing one-page critique
of the artwork - especially of the Tarzan image, suggesting artwork
more in line ERB's description of the Ape Man and with the depictions created
by the master ERB artists from the past and present. USPS decided, however,
to go with what they had already commissioned. Actually, in small image
it looks a bit more acceptable.
In any case, the release of
this special 2012 stamp recognizing the Master of Fantasy Adventure and
the Grandfather of SF is of special significance during the ERB Centennial
Year . . . USPS should be commended.
Sue-On and I attended the special
release celebration of the stamp in Tarzana and we were glad that the ERB
community showed their appreciation . . . and lined up to buy these stamps.
ERB Stamp: Hillman Reflections
Hillman First Impressions of the Stamp
ERB Stamp: Sofian's letter
Denny Miller Suggestion to the Stamp Committee
Official ERB Stamp Presentation at Tarzana: 3 Pages
*** "All-Story Weekly" of
Jan. 20, 1917, reported "The boys of Staunton, Virginia, have organized
the first Tribe of Tarzan. They would like to hear from boys in
other cities and towns who are interested in forming tribes in their own
jungles. The men of Staunton are helping the boys of Stuanton. The latter
have a Tribe Room where they hold their meetings; they have grass ropes,
bows and arrows, hunting knives, and the author of "Tarzan of the Apes"
is having medallions struck for them symbolic of Tarzan's diamond-studded
golden locket. Boys who are interested are invited to write to HERMAN NEWMAN,
Acting Chief of THE FIRST TRIBE OF TARZAN, 113 North Jefferson Street,
"The editors of the All-Story extend their heartiest congratulations
and best wishes to Herman Newman and the Tribe, and assure them that they
will do all in their power to help make the organization such a brilliant
success that, in a short time, it shall rival, in membership and popularity
even, the Boy Scouts. It is the earnest hope and belief that in a few years
Tribes of Tarzan will exist in every city and town in the United States,
and will have become, not only a source of keen joy and amusement to the
youth of the country, but also a powerful influence for good."
Some believe the Tribes of Tarzan was a passing
fad, and some other efforts, such as the Tarzan Signal Club and
ERB's own "Tarzan Clans of America" were not lasting, but one could
also say that the tribes continue today under such names as The Burroughs
Bibliophiles, the Edgar Rice Burroughs Chain of Friendship, the Edgar Rice
Burroughs Amateur Press Association, Tribue Websites, Fanzines and Facebook
The ERB / Boy Scouts Connection
ERB and his bride, Florence Gilbert: Honeymoon Cruise
to Hawaii ~ Swords of Mars: J. Allen St. John DJ Art
ERB at his Honolulu Office ~ Danton Burroughs and
Lee Chase ~ Ed with Flo and his Stepchildren: Lee and Caryl Lee
Chase was a stepson of Edgar Rice Burroughs, acquired in
his marriage to Florence
Gilbert. After Florence passed away, Lee found himself with some
of her books, and of particular interest were ones ERB had personally signed
The most "particular" was probably
"Swords of Mars,"
with an inscription that read: "To Florence, all my love, Ed, Tarzana,
Jan. 21, 1936." The inscription is found twice in the book, once
on the flyleaf, where ERB wrote it, and again as a code, with the first
letter of the Prologue and of each following chapter spelling out the inscription.
Puncer interviewed Lee Chase, and those books were discussed
FRANK: Irwin Porges asked your mother whether
ERB ever discussed any of his stories with her, and I assume he meant while
he was writing them. The response was negative. Yet Ed gave Florence many
copies of his books. Here is a first edition of "Swords of Mars," an intriguing
title in that it contains a secret message: "To Florence with all my love
always, Ed," spelled out by stringing together the first letter of the
first word in each chapter.
LEE: Mother was very fond of that book. She found
the hidden message to be an extremely romantic gesture. There was even
a specially bound, light-tan pigskin covered copy that Ebbie gave to her.
It was the first bound copy that came from the printer which Ebbie must
have had re-covered. It's not around anymore and I don't know what became
of it. It wasn't with my sister's things, and I don't believe Uncle Eddie
had it either.
The inscription actually begins with the Prologue and
then continues on through the numbered chapters. It ends after "Ed," and
does not include "Tarzana" and the date.
The interview itself contains an error, when Frank mentions
that the inscription has the word "always" in it. A look at the first letters
of each word shows that word is not there.
We were thrilled to meet Lee Chase
at a Tarzana Dum-Dum and thoroughly enjoyed his presentation in which he
recalled memories of his early years with his step-father Edgar Rice Burroughs.
He generously allowed me to snap photos of all the photos, papers and memorabilia
he had brought for his presentation. I've shared much of this material
in my ERBzine pages.
Lee Chase: ERB's Stepson
Swords of Mars: Full Biblio Info
Lee Chase Shares Family Photos in Tarzana
The Frank Puncer / Lee Chase Interview
Lee Chase Family Scrapbook Collage
*** On this date the first edition
of ERB's "Swords of Mars," was released. It contained a secret
message: "To Florence with all my love always, Ed," spelled out
by stringing together the first letter of the first word in each chapter.ERB
probably had fun concocting that code with which to surprise Florence.
ERB was famous for having fun with
a lot of things, including counting cars, as noted in this "Laugh It
Off" column from Jan. 21, 1942
"It is amazing
how amenable to suggestion we motorists are. Take for example Colonel Green's
suggestion that we pick up pedestrians going our way.. I had a demonstration
of the cooperative spirit of motorists when I had to walk to my office
Sunday morning. I was the sole pedestrian on Ala Moana, sticking out like
a sore thumb -- or a couple of sore feet; yet thirty two cars going in
my direction passed me; and gosh! how I hate to walk. Anyway, I had fun
In the same column, ERB added: "A
lot of us are going to be able to sympathize with the sufferings of W.C.
Fields, who once had to stay three days in a dry town where he had "nothing
to eat but food and nothing to drink but water."
Swords of Mars: Full Biblio Info
More from Laugh It Off at:
*** 1943: War Correspondent
ERB On Assignment in New Caledonia: Yesterday Ed had reported the "Bouncing
Baby" jeep stolen -- "one of the major outdoor sports on the island." He
hitched a ride to the post office to mail off a story and then over to
the hospital for spider bite treatment. While there he got stories from
some of the 521 Guadalcanal casualties who had just been brought in by
Today he walked to the Signal Corps
Photo Lab to get the Pack Artillery blow-ups and returned to find that
Bouncing Baby had been returned. COMSOPAC promised to set up an interview
for him with Jap war prisoners.
ERB: Wartime Journals - Illustrated Timeline of Events
VISIT THE PHOTO ALBUM FOR JANUARY WEEK THREE
NEXT WE WILL FEATURE EVENTS FROM JANUARY WEEK IV
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