Issue 1045

Edgar Rice Burroughs by Tom Yeates
Part V: Illustrated Version
Read the entire text without illustrations at: ERBzine 1040
by Bill Hillman

Burroughs Family reading sessionTarzana Ranch Living Room
After our mid-day repast we retired to the living room to watch the family pile onto the sofa where the elder Burroughses encouraged their three children to share and show off  their school work accomplishments. Listening in on them from across the room we got the impression that they all were especially interested in show business, acting, writing, geography, nature, art and photography. One chime from the grandfather's clock was the signal for everyone to rise and make their way to the garage to look over the fleet of shiny new Packards.
Ed and his roadsterThe Burroughs fleet of Packards in the main garageOur Packard overlooking the San Fernando Valley to the north
Ed moved some business documents from his roadster to the touring car and invited us to ride with him. A strange foreboding came over me and for some reason our party all decided to travel in our own vehicle. Since our arrival Ed had looked upon our motor car with curiosity and ill-concealed envy. He couldn't believe it was a Packard since he considered himself  somewhat of an expert on all the latest models and he had never seen one such as ours. He agreed that there were too many in our party for one car so he took time to give me a few pointers on driving in Los Angele traffic. He even lent me his favourite riding hat for the trip. Within minutes we were winding down the driveway on our way over to the State Highway.
Waiting beside Ed's PackardTarzana Baseball team with their sponsor, Ed BurroughsCameraman Ed taking photos during our LA trip
Our first stop was at a brick garage along Ventura where Ed had promised to get together with the Tarzana baseball team for a photo. The 11-member team was already assembled and dressed in their new uniforms when we arrived. They met their sponsor with a hearty greeting and then they all posed for the cameraman in front of the double wood doors of the garage. It was starting to become obvious that the generosity of the Tarzan creator was well known and appreciated throughout the valley. After the shoot Ed unpacked his own camera and did a bit of shop talk with the professional photographer before we carried on with our journey.
Northwest from Wilshire and La BreaBeverly HillsBel Air
The drive along the State Highway into Los Angeles was a scenic one -- along a tree-lined, smooth roadway, flanked by sunlit orange groves and irrigated crops of many colours. Traffic picked up considerably as we neared the city and it was evident that the city was starting to sprawl in all directions. When the Bel-Air area came into view, Ed mentioned that Emma had been pestering him to build a townhouse in this new development.
Ed the film directorThe National Film Lot at Santa Monica Boulevard and Gower Street.
Ed and Emma with the cast of Adventures of TarzanElephants
Ed and the family made a point of often visiting the film set whenever a Tarzan film was in production. Last year, during the filming of The Son of Tarzan, one of the visits proved to offer more excitement than they had bargained for. A lion escaped from a pen and menaced Ed and Joan who were in its path. Ed, taking a cue from his fictional heroes, had moved in front of his terrified daughter and they both stood stock still until the lion moved off and came under the control of the animal trainer.

The current production was being filmed on the National Films lot at Santa Monica Boulevard and Gower Street. They were making a serial, The Adventures of Tarzan, starring Elmo Lincoln, the original film Tarzan. Ed had mentioned privately that he was very disappointed that Kamuela Searle, the handsome actor who had played Korak for a rival film company, hadn't been hired for the role. But apparently Elmo's Tarzan of the Apes and The Romance of Tarzan had been such hits that many film fans had trouble accepting another actor in the role. There was also a rumour going around town that Searle had been seriously injured by an elephant during the filming of one of the scenes in "Son."  Today, Hulbert, the persistent photographer, insisted that his parents pose with the actors during a break in filming. He also took some great shots of the wild animals on the set.

La Brea Cave BearSabre Toothed Tiger that inspired JCB at La BreaMr. McWhorter and the Hillmans join in a toast to the Master of Adventure
Our next stop was the La Brea Tar Pits. Ed had spent quite a bit of time there last year during the writing of Tarzan the Terrible. He had taken Jack with him on one of his visits and ever since, the eight-year-old had been pasting sketches of sabre tooth tigers and prehistoric animals all over the house. We were greeted warmly by Mr. McWhorter, the curator and a long-time friend and supporter of Ed Burroughs.
Chaplin Studios near La BreaVan Der Kamps Restaurant
Joan, the budding thespian, had begged her father for weeks to attend the all-star vaudeville show in the newly opened Loew's State Theatre. On our way over to this luxurious monument to show business, Ed took us on a tour past the many new theatres that were either being built or had opened recently.
The Laughlin TheatreShrine AuditoriumQuinn's Rialto
Thanks to Hollywood and the burgeoning film industry, Los Angeles was experiencing an unbelievable building boom in entertainment palaces. The ones I remember seeing were Sid Grauman's Million Dollar Theatre, the Cathay Circle Theatre, the Follies, the Laughlin, the Lyceum,  the Grand Opera House, Palace Grand, Shrine Auditorium, and Quinn's Rialto. We had time for a snack before the start of the matinee performance so we stopped at the popular Van Der Kamp's Restaurant. The kids loved the high spin-around stools that lined the serving counters, but Emma wasn't too impressed.
New Loews TheatreLoews MezzanineLoews Theatre StageAdventures of Tarzan poster
Just the experience of viewing the palatial decor of Loew's State Theatre was worth the price of admission. Joan was in awe of the silks, the velvets, the lights, the carpets, the gilded carvings, and the overall splendor. When the curtain rose on the entertainers she was totally lost in her fantasy world. Ed and Danton were much more excited about the gargantuan, wall-sized, floor-to-ceiling, coming-attraction display in the lobby: a vivid full-colour poster for the new Adventures of Tarzan serial.
Downtown Los AngelesEd looking for parking spotMary Evaline Burroughs
It was late afternoon when we left the theatre but there was one more visit on the agenda. Emma had a passion for shopping in the downtown clothing stores. Today she was determined to take Sue-On on a tour of her favourite haunts. She hadn't bought a hat for over a year. The sadness surrounding the last quest for hats lingered still. She had treated Ed's mom, Mary Evaline, to a plumed delight during her stay at the ranch. Mother adored the gift but the dear lady never had a chance to wear it . . . she died a few days later. Ed had mentioned that he was thinking of building an aviary on the ranch in her memory.
Hollywood BoulevardEmma BurroughsSue-On Hillman
Fearing that this shopping spree would last till the merchants locked their doors, men and children returned to the cars to wait for the fury to run its course. We were pleasantly surprised when the ladies returned to the waiting cars in record time -- Emma wearing an elaborately plumed headdress and Sue-On wearing a new necklace and carrying a hat box -- presumably with a similar monstrosity. Our hopes were crushed when they left the hatbox and returned to resume the hunt. Ed, a veteran of Emma's shopping marathons had come prepared. He rummaged through a large leather brief case he had stowed in the rear compartment and handed me a well-thumbed book entitled "In Remembrance of the World's Columbian Exposition." Scattered throughout this large volume were attached photographs and stereoviews along with handwritten journal notes.  Apparently this was special memorabilia he had saved from his visit to the Fair during the summer of '93.  I settled back into the soft driver's seat to leaf through the pages while Ed talked about this event that apparently had been one of the great experiences of his life. It had been a long day. The last thing I remember was dimly seeing Danton take Emma's new hat out of the box and emitting a resigned low whistle. Then I must have dozed off.

"Bill! Time to go!  John's waiting for the car. It's already 8 o'clock. We gotta be back in time." Danton was shaking me by the shoulder.

ERB, Inc. Offices ~ 21 CenturyJoN on sidewalk beside wrought iron fence and ERB, Inc. frontERB, Inc. Offices Ventura Boulevard, Tarzana, California
I looked around in a daze, trying to shake out the cobwebs. To our right was a wrought iron fence and a jungle of trees and shrubs, behind which lay a 1920s bungalow style building -- the offices of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., 18354 Ventura Boulevard. Burroughs had built this building in 1927. Today, it stands as a time capsule from the past, surrounded by a maze of 21st century asphalt, concrete, traffic, lights, high rise buildings and strip malls.
Jon and Danton unpacking the Westervelt Time MachineJohn Westervelt and his Packard Time MachineVentura Boulevard - 21st Century
Things were starting to come back to me. We had promised to return the vintage '20s Packard to our friend John Westervelt before dark. Finally shaken out of my daydream and gaining full control of my senses, I pushed down on the clutch pedal and struggled to grind the obstinate gearshift into first gear. As we rumbled out into the speeding four-lane traffic of Ventura Boulevard I glanced down quizzically at a pair of hats on the seat beside me: one an old style cavalry type and the other a ladies hat with plumes that were high fashion back in the '20s. I was even more startled at what lay on my lap -- a leather-bound book with an elaborate cover.  Inside were many old photographs and journal entries under the title: "My Remarkable Summer of '93 -- The Chicago World's Fair and Columbian Exposition"
Cavalry HatMy Remarkable Summer of ''93Plumed Hat

"Yes . . .  back in time . . ."

Bill Hillman

By Bill Hillman
Entire Text
Faster Loading
Pt. I: Illustrated
The Arrival
Pt. II Illustrated
Ed's Inner Sanctum
Pt. III Illustrated
Mansion & Ballroom
Pt. IV Illustrated
Trail Ride
Pt. V Illustrated
Hollywood Visit
Remarkable Summer of '93
A Docu-Novel by Bill Hillman
Ch. I: Welcome to Chicago's
Columbian Exposition
Ch. 2: Invasion of the 
Boys from Orchard Lake
Ch. 3: Grand Adventure
Strange New Worlds
Ch. 4: Magic City
The White City
StereoViews: Chicago
StereoViews: Buildings
StereoViews: Exhibits I
StereoViews: Exhibits II
Ch. 5: Midway Adventure I
The Great Wheel
Ch. 6: Midway Adventure II
Exotic Lands
Ch. 7; Master Mind of 
The World of Tomorrow
Ch. 8
Ed and His Electric Flyer
StereoViews: Midway
StereoViews: Peep Shows
StereoViews: Ed's Tour I
StereoViews: Ed's Tour II
Ch. 9
Complete All-Text Version
Ch. 10: Jessie's Log
People ~ Plots ~ Places
.Ch. 11
Web Refs & Appendix
StereoViews: Ed's Tour III
StereoViews from ERB Library

ERBzin-e Weekly Online Fanzine
Bill Hillman's ERB Cosmos
ERB C.H.A.S.E.R. Online Encyclopedia
Danton Burroughs Family Archive
Burroughs Family Letters from the John Coleman Burroughs Archive
The Girl From Hollywood by Edgar Rice Burroughs
The Moon Maid by Edgar Rice Burroughs
The Big Swingers by Robert W. Fenton
Tarzan Forever by John Taliaferro
Interviews with Danton Burroughs and Burroughs Family Members
Bill Hillman Photo Library
Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.
McWhorter Memorial ERB Library ~ University of Louisville
Edgar Rice Burroughs: The Man Who Created Tarzan by Irwin Porges
Burroughs Bulletins (Second Series) edited by George McWhorter
Burroughs Bulletin (First Series) edited by Vern Coriell
ERBdom Fanzine edited by Camille Cazedessus
ERBANIA Fanzine edited by Pete Ogden
ERB and The Silver Screen: Volumes I & IV  by Jerry Schneider
Los Angeles Public Library On The Web
Danton Burroughs
From Tarzana, California
Memories from the
Danton Burroughs
Family Album 

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