Tolley ERB Collection Stolen
November 8, 2004
Bad timing: Tom Tolley's car picked a bad time to get stolen. The car
was packed with 25 boxes of Tom's priceless Edgar Rice Burroughs collection
- silent-film ads, books, music scores, even $100 worth of Mylar covers
to protect the goods. "One of the items stolen was a book I worked on,
an Edgar Rice Burroughs bibliography, available only online from myself
and a dealer in Grass Valley," Tom said. "No one else should have them."
Him Tarzan. Want stuff back. ...
vaulted into Hall
Sunday, November 07, 2004
By Giuseppe Ungaro
ended his acceptance speech at the Southern New Jersey All Sports Museum
with a Tarzan yell. It might sound like a strange thing to do, but those
that know Bragg well or at all understand it was a perfect ending for him.
Bragg, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame Saturday, along with Robin
L. Sheppard, for his accomplishments as a pole vaulter has been a big fan
of Tarzan for roughly 62 years.
In fact, the 1953 Penns Grove
High School graduate had several chances to play the role, even signing
a contract once, but something always seemed to get in his way of living
out his life-long fantasy. Bragg has been known as "Tarzan" since his childhood
because he could be seen swinging from tree to tree in the woods behind
his house in what he called "Tarzanville."
"You see the television series,
and we used to come down from the movie theater in Penns Grove, there were
some trees down there and next door was (a meat market) and they used to
wrap boxes with this fuzzy string," said Bragg, 69. "We used to get the
string off the boxes and tie the string together and use that. That didn't
last too long because they would break occasionally. But that started it."
Playing Tarzan in his backyard
helped Bragg get into shape, and he eventually would become the best pole
vaulter in the world. He won the gold medal in the 1960 Olympics, was the
only vaulter to hold all of the world records in the metal vault competition,
and was a three-time national All-American at Villanova before graduating
"People always ask me what
it was like to be on the victory stand (at the Olympics), but no matter
what I say they can only semi-vicariously feel what it's like," said Bragg.
"It's a feeling that very little in life feels like that." Bragg expected
to have an opportunity to go for gold four years earlier, but missed the
Olympics because of am injury. "You almost cry for four years and when
you finally get back and win you say, 'The gods were just messing with
me,'" said Bragg. "It's almost impossible to define it." "The gods have
to be smiling on you, but I also worked like hell. I worked harder than
any other pole vaulter. That's why I won the gold medal."
During his speech Saturday,
Bragg spoke more of his experiences than his accomplishments. The track
and field star traveled the world and made lasting friendships with some
famous athletes, including Muhammad Ali and Johnny Weissmuller. "Amateur
athletes in those days visited foreign countries when professional athletes
didn't even know anything more than their own state," said Bragg. "Our
depth of knowledge increased fantastically because of our exposure to different
Sheppard, a 1970 Bridgeton
graduate, coached field hockey, lacrosse and basketball, at Trinity College
(Conn.). She won more than 200 games in both field hockey and lacrosse
and coached Trinity to two Final Four field hockey appearances. Sheppard,
who also has the Trinity field named after her, thanked the coaches she
had, including Sophie Amarento, Louise Corson, Sara Livingston, and Fanny
Cowell. "People at Trinity have said that that I'm a pioneer for women's
sports," said Sheppard, 52. "But that is not the case. There were people
before me. I had role models that were the real pioneers."
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