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Volume 6725o

Envelope Packets 194 - 201
Plus Special John Carter Envelopes
by John Martin
My "other hobby," buying, exchanging, making and mailing postal art covers,
ties in with my Edgar Rice Burroughs hobby quite a bit.
I enjoy making covers featuring Tarzan or other ERB characters,
and friends of mine have made and mailed me such covers as well.

I thought it would be fun to start scanning and sharing such covers
on the anniversaries of the dates they were originally postmarked.


If I read this postmark date correctly, the cover has a caneellation date of Dec. 31, 1938, on its South Africa stamp. But a postal worker may have been anxious for the new year to come and changed the date on the cancelling machine early, because the letter inside is dated Dec. 31, 1937.

 It  took awhile for mail to cross the ocean in those days and when it arrived in Culver City, California, it was back-stamped on Feb. 3, 1938, another indication that the postmark on the front of the envelope has the wrong year. When it first arrived in the U.S., the New York post office thought it was underpaid so some postage-due notifications were added.
It was addressed to Johnny Weissmuller at MGM studios in Culver City but someone marked what was probably Johnny's home address on it, 732 Rodeo Dr., and added a Beverly Hills handstamp.

The letter inside is from Noreen French in Vredenberg, Liesbeck Road, Rosebank, Camp Town, and has that 31-12-1937, date.
"Dear Mr. Weismuller,
"I enjoyed your film 'Tarzan Escapes.' In fact, it is my favourite film I have ever seen.
"You and Maureen O'Sullivan acted marvellously. The other day I asked a friend of mine if she knew your address as I did not, so she gave it to me.
"I really wrote this letter to ask you for a photo of your fine physique, as my favourite pastime is collecting film stars photos.
"Yours hopefully, Noreen French."

Members of the Permian Basin Stamp Club in Midland, Texas, made covers such as this and sent one to the Texoma Stamp Club in Wichita Falls, Texas, postmarked in Tarzan, Texas, on Dec. 31, 1999, with the Baby New Years 2000 stamp that was issued in late December of that year.
Looks as if Tarzan and Jad-bal-ja have spotted an enemy to attack.

The Cover Monster of Elyria, Ohio, put the answer to this puzzler on the back, but we probably don’t need to look there to see who it is. Several others were also inducted into the ISHOF (International Swimming Hall of Fame) in 1965 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Tarzan Johnny Weissmuller, by the way, also was instrumental in setting up the HOF and Museum.
The Cover Monster had this postmarked in Elyria on Jan. 7, 2014, and it also received a machine cancellation from nearby Cleveland the same day.


It is not recorded in the canon if Tarzan ever encountered Curious George in the jungles of Africa before the little monkey had the opportunity to go on to fame. However, had there bean a meeting the spirit of it was well captured by Keith O’Brien, who was living in The Grand Canyon State when he did the artwork for this first-day cover postmarked Jan. 10, 2006, in Findlay, Ohio. George could well have been a relative of little Nkima, who accompanied Tarzan on many of his adventures.
The stamp was one of eight issued by the Postal Service to feature “Favorite Children’s Book Animals.” In addition to Curious George, those honored were The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Wilber, the Fox in Socks, Maisy, Wild Thing, Olivia and Frederick.

Curious George debuted in 1941 with George living in Africa. The book tells the story of his capture by the Man with the Yellow Hat, who takes him on a ship to "the big city" where he will live in a zoo. The second book, Curious George Takes a Job (1947), begins with George living in the zoo, from which he escapes and has several adventures before the Man with the Yellow Hat finds him and takes George to live at his house. The remaining five stories describe George's adventures while living at the house of the Man with the Yellow Hat.
Sometimes dubbed the "Original Adventures," these original seven titles are completely by the series creators, Margret & H. A. Rey.


Cats like to hop onto their owners’ beds but this big cat takes up almost the whole bed, cuddling with Steve (Hawkes) Sipek on this postal cover postmarked in Findlay, Ohio, Jan. 14, 2010, first day of issue for the U.S. Postal Service Year of the Tiger stamp. Dave Lemon, who made the cover, is former postmaster at Findlay.
Sadly, Bobo was already deceased at the time this cover was made, having been shot after escaping from Sipek’s Florida compound in 2004 or, as Sipek said, “Bobo was murdered.”
Sipek, who used the last name of Hawkes for roles as Tarzan in some foreign films, passed away June 23, 2019, at the age of 77.
An ERBzine Tribute


The 2004 Year of the Monkey stamp was issued Jan. 13 and a few days later Dave Lemon of Ohio stuck one onto a cover on which he’d printed a montage of Ace Tarzan paperbacks and mailed it on Jan. 21 from Lima, Ohio


The Postal Service issued its annual Love stamp on Jan. 14 of this year, giving first-day cover makers a whole month to make cover designs in time for Valentine's Day.
For an Edgar Rice Burroughs fan, images of "The Eternal Lover" are a natural tie-in for a stamp like this. Shown is the All-Story Weekly cover for the story's original appearance in 1914, the A.C. McClurg dust jacket image for the hardcover book which followed, and the paperback Pinnacle cover from Great Britain. No point showing the Ace edition on this first-day cover since the editors changed "Lover" to "Savage" and, while it's a word that may sell books better, with its promise of brutal stone-age action, it doesn't quite fit as well with Valentine's Day!


Jan. 27, 2021, marked the 103rd anniversary of the first Tarzan film, "Tarzan of the Apes," starring Elmo Lincoln and Enid Markeyi.
John Colasanti, Dora, Missouri, made a montage cachet to celebrate the 100th anniversary in 2018.
One of the cachets I made for the centennial is also pictured.
In addition, another Jan. 27 cover, this one postmarked in 2017, was by Dennis Gelvin, Olympia, who loves a good pun!
1. John Colasanti, Dora, Missouri, made a montage cachet to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first Tarzan film in 2018.
2. Here's a cachet I made for the centennial of the first Tarzan movie, which rolled around on Jan. 27, 2018.
3. This cover, postmarked Jan. 27, 2017, was by Dennis Gelvin, Olympia, who loves a good pun!


  As every ERB student knows, it was in the second Carson Napier adventure, "Lost on Venus," that the subject of golf came up. It amounts to only a passing remark and one might raise eyebrows at my elevation of it to the status of a cachet on a first-day cover's what I do!
  The remark is "Golf is a mental disorder."

  Why did Edgar Rice Burroughs put those words into the mouth of Carson? He enjoyed all kinds of activities -- camping, flying, horseback riding…and golf.  He purchased the vast Mil Flores estate owned by L.A. newspaper publisher Otis Chandler and later divided it into tracts for houses and a golf course in what would become Tarzana. ERB designed the golf course along with nephew Studley. He was also a member of other country clubs and, presumably, played golf on many courses. He may not have been particularly proficient at it, even though he may have enjoyed playing it. It may be one of the practices that kept him active enough to enjoy the rapid-fire game of tennis, which he played in his later years in Hawaii. Burroughs was playing tennis at the age of 65 on Dec. 7, 1941, when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and he and his guests watched from the tennis courts as the planes attacked Navy ships. That led to Burroughs’s next adventure: He became the oldest war correspondent in the Pacific.

   Burroughs often took his real-life experiences and blended them into the activities of his characters, probably something every author does.

  It is in the second book, "Lost on Venus," where golf is mentioned. The book opens with Carson and Duare both prisoners of the socialist Throrists in the land of Noobol. Carson manages to escape "The Room of the Seven Doors" and rescue Duare, and then both flee into the wilderness, where they are captured by, and escape, hungry beasts known as kloonobargan. It is then that they decide they need a fire and Carson, whose fire-making skills are about as good as, apparently, his golfing skills, struggles to ignite a blaze, coming up with the comparison that trying to make fire is like trying to become good at golf: "Most people never learn to play it but very few give up trying." Perhaps Burroughs was thinking of his own golfing skills and, with tongue in cheek, poking fun at himself.

  Duare, of course, has never heard of golf, so she asks about it, which is when Carson quips, "Golf is a mental disorder."

  Once I had the idea for the cover, my next challenge was to find a suitable image for the cover. I remembered there had been a comic book adaptation of the first two Venus books with art by Michael Kaluta. I used that scene for this first-day cover for the stamp issued March 4, 2020, honoring golfing legend Arnold Palmer.

  I was also fortunate to find an image of a golf ball imprinted with the name “Burroughs” on which to place the postmark.
  I continued the comic strip on the back of the cover.


It was back on March 4, 1866, that John Carter lifted off from a ledge outside an Arizona cave to experience an “instant of extreme cold and utter darkness” as he was swept through space to the planet Mars.

Here’s a bunch of first-day covers I made, a couple with the Arizona statehood stamp issued Feb. 14, 2012, and the rest with the Edgar Rice Burroughs commemorative stamp, issued later that same year on Aug. 17.

Click for full size
From our ERBzine M.A.P.L.E. Series
Montages ~ Art ~ Photos ~ Legacy ~ Events


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