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Volume 6854

ERB Leaves Chicago for Tarzana ~ 1919

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Early in 1919, ERB bid farewell to his hometown of Chicago and moved to Tarzana ranch in San Fernando Valley, California. By this time, he was world famous for his Tarzan books and his first Tarzan movie. His friends at the White Paper Club of Chicago (a private club devoted to artists and writers . . . anybody who put pen to white paper to create art) gave him a farewell dinner and an early form of a "celebrity roast". 

Ed told them he was moving to California to raise purebred hots on his new farm, so they made this the central theme of their send-off program. J. Allen St. John designed the front cover with a winged hog flying to California with a monkey on his back at a typewriter, strewing new Tarzan pages across the landscape (Burroughs held the rank of major in the Illinois Militia). Dom M. Lavin (who illustrated ERB's "Oakdale Affair" for Blue Book Magazine in March 1918) drew a full-page cartoon of ERB smoking his pipe. 

Speeches were made, tributes (mostly tongue-in-cheek) were declaimed, an original play was given as a Tarzan spoof, songs were sung to familiar tunes such as "K-K-K-Katy" (with Tarzan lyrics), a humorous pig poem was included with appropriate cartoon by William Donahey, the impressive dinner menu was published with simian embroidery, and a monkey tailpiece adorned the program. The members signing Ed's program included J. Allen St. John and Joseph E. Bray (Ed's McClurg editor to whom he dedicated The Outlaw of Torn in 1927). All of this showed how much his pals admired him and his accomplishments. 

Ref: Gridley Wave ~ Danton Burroughs ~ Porges ~ George McWhorter, et al

Edgar Rice Burroughs, was born under the sign of the Chinese Astrology Pig or Boar in 1875.

For some reason, after ERB gained fame and income as a writer in his thirties, he became fascinated with Berhshire hogs and one of the major reasons for his purchasing the 540 acre General Otis country estate in the San Fernando Valley in 1919 was to become a gentleman hog farmer. This decision made Burroughs the butt of many jokes from friends and fellow writers. 

The program booklet for ERB's send-off banquet put on by his Chicago author and journalist friends -- The White Paper Club -- had included a number of pig jokes. The cover art by St. John depicted a monkey riding a winged pig flying west. Another illustration inside the booklet showed a pig playing harp followed by an humorous poem with pig references.

    Upon his arrival at the estate he would later name Tarzana Ranch, he immediately made plans for building up a herd of the finest Berkshire and Hampshire stock that he could secure. His preposterous attempt to make a fortune as a hog farmer ended in disaster.  Rather than making money on his grade Duroc Berkshires he lost as much as thirty-nine thousand dollars in a single year. He eventually had to sell off the prize winning herd in 1921.
Hillman Chinese New Year: Year of the Pig
Tarzana Ranch
Tarzana Ranch Articles and Hog Sell-Off.


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Back to Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzana Ranch 1921
An Illustrated Docu-Novel by Bill Hillman
 A rare booklet from the '20s 
 written and published by Edgar Rice Burroughs 
The Tarzana Ranch Story
Home  by Edgar and Mary Evaline Burroughs
Article and Letters describing Tarzana 
Ranch Tour: ERBzine 0064
Farewell Tarzana
A Last Photo Tribute and Poem
Tarzana Ranch Mosaics:
ERBzine 0954 and ERBzine 0955
El Caballero Promotional Booklet 
Photos ~ Text by ERB ~ Art by Studley Burroughs
ERBzine 1091 ~ ERBzine 1092 ~ ERBzine 1093
Tarzana Trek
A Photo Diary by Bill Hillman
Tarzana Ranch Estate
Then and Now
Tarzana Ranch 1922

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