Memories from the
LOST WORDS OF ERB
January 13 1941
June 3 1941
August 5 1942
February 14 1945
October 23 1945
Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.
1298 Kapiolani Boulevard
Honolulu T H
June 3 1941
It seems ages since I heard from you, but I know that your time
must have been fully occupied with your new house. I suppose
you have been as busy as a bird dog.
There is not much for me to write about. It seems that my letters
are all about myself; but as I go practically nowhere and see no
one, that is not strange. For the past two months I have been
out twice socially, and both times in the daytime. Once I drove
over to Kaneohe and called on the Mitchells for an hour, stopping
at the Pfluegers' for half an hour on the way home; and last Sun-
day I drove over to call on Eleanor and Jack Halliday; because I
had run into them down town a couple of days before and they had
bawled me out for not coming to see them when I went over to the
Mitchells'. They were out; so I called on the Mitchells again.
That has been the extent of my social activities.
For the past two Sundays I have taken in a couple of baseball
games at the stadium. They play double-headers every Sunday.
There is a Navy team, a Chinese team, a Japanese team, and a Port-
uguese team in the league. The games are a lot of fun. The aud-
iences are of all shades from black to yellow. Everyone is good-
natured and excessively vocal. They razz hell out of the umpires,
concerning whose past lives they seem to know as much as Walter
Winchell might if they frequented the Stork Club.
The weather here is warming up; it is quite hot to-day, and I am
dripping. We have had very decent weather since Christmas, but I
know from past experience that it will soon be godawful. However,
I seem to have become acclimated. It doesn't get me as
it did at first.
Now that the Navy has started taking over some of our passenger
ships, there is no telling when I shall be home. Every boat for
the mainland is crowded, and reservations are almost impossible to
get. Soon there will be no one left here but the Army, the Navy,
and me (or I; take your choice).
I wish that I had something interesting or amusing to write you,
but I'm afraid I haven't. I did have a little excitement the first
Sunday that I went to a ball game: the grandstand got on fire al-
most directly under me. Some one poured part of a bottle of coca
cola on it without noticeable results, but finally a hero came
with a bucket of water and put it out. I enjoyed the whole thing
immensely, and then the following Sunday I set fire to it myself!
The only thing I could find with which to extinguish it were a number
of peanut shells, which almost immediately caught fire themselves;
but I finally got it out before the fire department arrived. It
has been a long time since I so ardently craved a Murad.
Has Jim got his instructor's assignment yet? Ralph, or some one,
wrote me that they thought Jim's age was against him. Maybe a
friend in a high place might help you. Do you recall the day we
visited Marsh Field and Colonel Arnold took us around? I wrote
him relative to Hulbert and got a very swell letter in reply. I
know that if you wrote him, telling him whose daughter you are,
he might be able to advise you the best steps to take and would do
so. This is only a suggestion. His address is General Henry H.
Arnold, War Department, Washington, D.C.
I hope you are all well and happy in your new home. Give Jim my
best and kiss the children for me.
With lots of love,
Edgar Rice Burroughs
1298 Kapiolani Boulevard
Honolulu T H
January 13 1941
Your very welcome letter of January 2nd just received, but it
didn't come any faster because of the 6 cent air mail stamp; it is
20 cents from the mainland to Honolulu, and if less postage is on
the letter, it comes by boat. But yours came only one day later
then one written by Jack on the 4th and mailed with 20 cent postage.
Clipper mail is very irregular this time of year on account of
adverse weather conditions. About half the time they get part
way over and have to turn back.
I was very sorry indeed to hear of Bill Therhune's death. Please
convey my sympathy to Mrs. Terhune. It is too bad a lot of old
fools can't be taken instead of useful young men.
Yes, it is too bad I cannot know the children better; but maybe
it is just as well, for I am an irritable and grouchy old so-and-
so. More so than formerly.
God and Ralph only know when I will be home; and, speaking of
Ralph, he never told me about his election to the presidency of
the Chamber of Commerce. That's Ralph all over.
Jane and Jack have written me about your wonderful Christmas. I
am so glad. Our moving rather broke into ours.
How nice that you get picture work occasionally. I know
how much you enjoy it, and also that the money comes in handy. I
think I shall take up singing; I may need a job pretty soon.
In fact I do now.
I hope Jim got his appointment as flying instructor. That would
be fine, especially because that is something he would like so
Miss Ralbe's calling you amounts to something of a coincidence.
Ralph forwarded me a letter from Tarzana addressed to Miss Ralbe
and her sister. It was postmarked Houston, Texas, and had no
return sister. It was postmarked Houston, Texas, and had no
return address. I hadn't the faintest idea that Miss Ralbe's
address was; so, after wracking my brain until it rattled, I
forwarded it yesterday to the Board of Education, New York City,
as I recalled, perhaps erroneously, that she taught school in
New York. If you will give her this information, she will have
time to write to New York and have the letter forwarded, as it
will go by steamer and not reach the mainland before this letter.
Lots of love, my dear.
As I wrote Jack last, I'll inflict this one on you. Am enclosing a
couple of snap-shots I thought might interest you and Jack, though why
in hell they should, I don't know.
I had lunch and spent all afternoon yesterday with officers of an Anti
Aircraft artillery regiment. Gave a talk to twenty-five or thirty
officers at an officers' school after lunch relative to possible co-
ordination of BMTC and AA units in event of an emergency. The idea was
theirs, not mine. I felt that the BMTC had been highly honored. I met
the commanding AA general and innumerable other officers, and was taken
to some very interesting and one very secret place. Met two Negro AA
majors. I saw no distinction shown between white and black.. White
officers told me that these men were tops. Two of the interesting
places I was taken were officers quarters where highballs were served.
Sunday, I was guest speaker at a dinner given by the Schofield Barracks
Quarterbacks Club at the Chun Hoon residence. General Green and I
drove over together in his car. The club is composed of officers and
enlisted men interested in athletics. It is run much along the lines
of civilian service clubs, with a lot of hooey and joshing. Although
there were generals, colonels, and what not present, there was no def-
erance to rank. A sergeant was mc, and he kidded brass hats and non-
coms quite impartially. Fortified by numerous highballs, I got
through my speech without being thrown out on my ear.
Oscar Oldknow sent me a clipping of a Winchell column and it was in
the Honolulu Advertiser this morning, also. Do you know who the lucky
man is? I hope it is true.
Saturday, I am to spend the day with a Lieutenant Colonel and his Tank
Group. I shall probably be a hospitable case before night. From what I
hear, the sensations are much like those experienced by a die in a dice
box. However, I am looking forward to the experience.
Also, the colonel of an AA artillery regiment has invited me to come
out to AA target practice. They fire at a target towed by a plane.
I am looking forward to that, too. Can you blame me for rather enjoy-
ing it here?
Hulbert was in the other day. He wouldn't stay all night, but before
he left he took $6 away from me at poker. We also played a little
tennis and went to see The Man Who Came to Dinner. Hulbert is looking
and feeling fine. He has been recommended for a first lieutenancy, but
that doesn't mean that he will get it.
Am enclosing a check, with which please buy Mike a birthday present.
I can't think of anything to get him here, and you know better what he
would like to have.
Lots of love to you all,
Edgar Rice Burroughs
1298 Kapiolani BoulevardFebruary 14 1945
Honolulu 42 Hawaii
Hulbert got back day before yesterday, and came in and had dinner
with me yesterday. He looks and feels fine. He told me that you
had been quite ill. I shall worry until I hear that you are all
right again. I hope that someone has written me about you. You
must take good care of yourself.
Hulbert and I finished some 12 year old Scotch I had, sampled
some Bourbon and then went to the Outrigger Canoe Club for dinner.
He seemed happier than usual. Perhaps a sheaf of letters from
Ella Mae could have been responsible. He has decided that married
life is the proper estate for every man. He even asked when I
was going to get married!
Have had a letter from Ralph since I returned, but nothing more.
And I am still avid for letters from those I love. But I sup-
pose that now that you have a telephone again all your time is
devoted to that.
Tonight I am going to dinner at Louise Rogers'. She is having
the Ramseys, an important couple here, and Peggy Gohlaen, buyer
for a big book department. Peggy is a tiny gray haired gal in
her sixties (I guess), a lovely person and a very good sport.
Lots of fun.
I just phoned Louise to ask what time I was to come, and she
said, "Any time between 5:30 and 4:00!" When I laughed, she
insisted that she was not drunk - just working too hard. You
will like her when you come over to visit me after the goddam
Phil Bird has been after me for a long time to write my auto-
biography; and today, with that in mind, I read my 1934 diary.
It was rather tragic, yet there were many bright spots - the
birth of Mike and my visits to the hospital to see you, and I was
surprised to see how many times I saw you and the boys, and that
several times you came to one of my numerous homes.
1934 was the year that Hully and Jack and I learned to fly, and
Hully cracked up, and Jim Granger was killed in a crack-up.
That wrote finis to my flying, but I hadn't remembered that I
had over 30 hours of solo flights or how many fields I had made
more or less decent landings on. But there was not much in it
that would make an autobiography interesting to any one but my-
I wonder if this kind of letter, devoted to myself and people
you don't know, can possibly interest you. But what else is
there for me to write about? You can read all about the war
in the papers; and, anyway, I don't know anything about the
Boris Karloff is here and wants to meet me. Phil is taking
Mildred Rathbone, Edith Peterson, General Fielder, and me
(and, of course, Wilma) to see him in Arsenic and Old Lace.
I was at the Bird's for dinner the other night, and if Wilma
can make it ahead of the stork I shall be surprised.
When Ernie Pyle comes back this way, Phil is going to see that
I meet him. I am reading his BRAVE MEN now, the copy that
Joan II gave me. Every day I re-read what she wrote on the fly
leaf, and my heart swells - "To the best Grampaw in the world."
It is now 5:10, and I have to shave, shower, dress, and get to
Louise's between 5:30 and 4:00. Can I do it?
Lots of love, darling, for you, Joan II, and my first grandson.
Aloha nui nui!
Edgar Rice Burroughs
Tarzana, California Honolulu
23 October 1945
Thank you so much for your letter of the 18th. Don't think that I
do not appreciate your willingness to take me in, but I know that
you must agree with me that it is better otherwise. Those things
just do not work out. And I want you all to keep on loving me,
which you couldn't do if you had to live with me. I am a cantank
erous old so-and-so.
It is not just my family that I wouldn't inflict myself on - it is
all and sundry.
You ask how much I want to pay for a place. All I can afford. Ask
Ralph how much that is. He probably knows better then I do, but
I'd go pretty high for a nice place to live, having no wives to support.
Just his minute had a radiogram saying that Jack would meet me in
SF. That is good. Only a few more days! I am sure that none of
you can imagine how much I want to be with you. Good judgment told
me, as it did you, that I should stay on over here for a while longer;
but I am fed up, and I had to get back to you. I have many good
friends here - wonderful friends - but they are not MINE.
So the Major and the Mrs are not back yet! What a honeymoon! They
must be having a wonderful time. Hulbert deserves one. He is a
grand guy. When his eight hundred smackers are gone, he'll come
home and be just what he has been calling me : "A goddam civilian."
I hope that Marian, being a non-drinker, will have a beneficial in-
fluence on Hulbert, the souse. I am sure that you will love her,
even on Coca Cola.
Phil Bird and Capt. Johnson were in a little while ago. Phil
brought me two cartons of Camels and I ordered some more steaks.
The Army has kept me fed for weeks. This is my 37th day confined
to my room, and most of the time in bed. Every one is wonderful
to me. You would love them all. Mildred Rathbone, whose car I
bought and never have driven, has done all my errands for me.
Mary Howard and Sue Brown have furnished me with an electric fan
and a wonderful two burner electric plate on which my nurse, Miss
Wilson (she is almost as old as I) cooks my luncheons. Gracie
( Gracie Tomeko Nagaro Correles) brings my breakfasts and dinners.
Anselmo Augustin Felipe, my room boy, brings me clean sheets and
towels every day (contrary to hotel rules). But for them, I should
be sunk. I should have married Gracie long ago so that I could have
had a good waitress and an extra bottle of booze every week when it
was rationed, but George Correles beat me to it, getting Gracie
"that way" and having to marry her.
So Millie came in, and Texas came in, and the Doctor came in; and
now it is time for (cont. below)
Gracie to come in with my cold dinner.
I'll be seeing you.
Lots of love to you all
Oh! I nearly missed this. Hi! DEN MOTHER! There isn't anything
that you could do for my Mike that would be enough. I show his
picture to everybody and brag about him and Johnny and Danny just
as though I had had something to do about it. If I wanted fame,
all I'd have to do would have been to show my three grandsons and
my glamorous Joan II to the goggle eyed world. If that didn't
flatten them, I'd have trotted out you and the rest of my pulch-
The last time I wrote Dorothy I told her that the best thing she
could do was to go back with Dick to George and let things work
themselves out. I haven't heard from her for a long time.
Gracie should now be here.
Good night and much love,
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