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ERB 100-Word Drabbles
FEBRUARY III Edition :: Days 1 - 15
See Days 16 - 28 at ERBzine 7380a
by Robert Allen Lupton
With Collations, Web Page Layout and ERBzine Illustrations and References by Bill Hillman
MY LIFE, MY BUSINESS
February 1: On this day in 1891, Actress Karla Schramm was born in Los Angeles, California. She had a short Hollywood career, acting in only four films other than small uncredited roles, two of which were “The Son of Tarzan” and “The Revenge of Tarzan.” Karla played Jane in both films. She was the second actress to portray Jane Porter on the screen and the only actress other than Brenda Joyce to play Jane in films with different actors playing Tarzan.
Karla and her older sister Paloma were both child prodigies and concert pianists. After her second film as Jane, she gave up acting and began teaching piano.
Karla is the shortest person in the photograph of Tarzans and Janes – the second from the right. From left to right, the Janes are Joyce MacKenzie, Louise Lorraine, Eve Brent, Karla Schramm, and Vanessa Brown. The Tarzans are James Pierce, Jock Mahoney, Johnny Weissmuller, and Denny Miller.
I briefly corresponded with her in the early-1970s - briefly being I sent her three letters and she responded twice.
“My Life, My Business” is the drabble for today. To be clear, it is pure conjecture. Unfounded rumors about why Karla Schramm retired exists, but no one really knows. After retirement she lived a quiet life and never married.
Miss Schramm, after you made “Revenge of Tarzan,” you retired and returned to teaching piano. Do you miss Hollywood?”
MY LIFE, MY BUSINESS
“The piano was my first love. I enjoyed touring the world playing concerts when I was young and I enjoy teaching children to play. Movies were briefly entertaining, but the constant attention was intrusive.”
“You didn’t like the fame?”
“Indeed. Photographers, reporters, prying gossip columnists, it was all too much. A girl needs some privacy.”
“I see. Were you sleeping around, perhaps with someone’s husband or perhaps, a much older man?”
“Behave yourself. Questions like that are the reason I retired.”
EVERY DAY'S A CLIFFHANGER
February 2: On this day in 1981, actress Louise Lorraine passed away in New York City. Louise was born as Louise Escovar in San Francisco in 1904. She was the third actress to play Jane Porter, starring alongside Elmo Lincoln in the the 1921 movie serial, “The Adventures of Tarzan.”
She became quite popular in the silent action packed serials, appearing in eleven of them, including “The Radio King,” “With Stanley in Africa,” “Elmo the Fearless,” ”Winners of the Wilderness,” and “The Wild Girl.” She had over one hundred screen credits, including silent short films. Lorraine reportedly insisted on doing even the most dangerous of stunts herself -- until she witnessed an automobile overturn during the filming of “The Great Circus Mystery” (1925) that killed the passengers.
She made only five talking pictures. She appeared in 1930s “Near the Rainbow’s End” with Bob Steele. Her last film was the 1932 film, “Moonlight and Cactus,” a comedy directed by Fatty Arbuckle.
In her personal life, Louise was married three times and had two children. She retired from the film industry after the birth of her second child.
For details and photographs from “The Adventures of Tarzan,” visit:The drabble for today is, “Every Day’s a Cliffhanger,” and it was inspired by Lorraine’s many film serials, especially, “The Adventures of Tarzan.”
J. P. McGowan, director of, “Near the Rainbow’s End,” said, “Lorraine, please reconsider your decision to retire.”
EVERY DAY'S A CLIFFHANGER
“I promised Fatty Arbuckle I’d appear in his new comedy, but after that I’ll be a full time mom.”
“But you’re one of the best action film female stars in the business.”
“I’ve done jungles, deserts, westerns, circuses, lost explorers, and maidens-in-distress more times than I can count. Daily life will be my only cliffhangers. Can Lorraine get breakfast on the table and the kids off to school on time? Don’t miss the next exciting chapter of “Mother in Control’ for the answer.”
February 3: On this day in 1966, the John Celardo written and illustrated Tarzan daily comic story, “The Man Without A Face,” came to an end after fifty six episodes. Mr. Slam, a fitness junkie, kept his face hidden. He wanted revenge on Tarzan. Years ago, Mr. Slam was poaching diamonds. Tarzan stopped him. A bomb in the mine exploded and damaged Slam’s face.
Afterwards, he wore a mask to hide his disfigurement. He blamed Tarzan for the loss of his stolen diamonds and for his damaged appearance. He want revenge. He found Tarzan, but the jungle lord overcame the Man Without A Face, who decided that he had nothing to live for and killed himself by diving from a high cliff. Suicide, interesting fare for a daily comic strip.
The entire strip and several more are available at:The drabble for today is “Hidden Identity,” and it was inspired by the John Celardo’s “The Man Without A Face,” which was in turn, based on Tarzan – created by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
The masked man tracked Tarzan through the jungle seeking revenge for an imagined long ago event. He caught Tarzan and they fought. Tarzan won and ripped the mask off the man.
The masked man was afraid and purposeless without vengeance to pursue. He flung himself off a cliff.
Jane asked who he was.
Tarzan said, “A coward whose identity doesn’t matter. He wasn’t a Zorro or a Lone Ranger, and he didn’t fight like the Batman. Just a man who hid his face thinking it made him stronger and safer. Bravery comes easy when actions come with freedom from consequences.”
HEADS WILL ROLL
February 4: On this day in 1934, the Hal Foster illustrated Sunday Comic page, “In the Ravine,” was published as the first page of part six of “The Egyptian Saga an ongoing story that began November 290, 1932 and concluded June 10, 1934. Part six, the concluding chapter was titled, “The Pharoah’s Command.” George Carlin is credited with writing the story.
Tarzan and the Giant Kamur were confronted by apes when they tried to escape the Egyptians with Nikotris, a female who’d befriended Tarzan. The apes dislodged a log bridge over the ravine as Tarzan and his companions were crossing. They leaped to a narrow ledge for safety. The alert apeman inspected a hole in the rock wall. Suddenly, two sinewy hands darted through the opening and closed around Tarzan's throat.
A door opened in the side of the cliff -- and four fierce men seized Tarzan. They’d been captured by dread brigands of El Ka-Nur, who said, “"Only three men before you have discovered our secret lair," he said. "There are their heads. The males among you shall share their fate. The woman we shall keep as slave!"
The complete Sunday pages for this story, and indeed, all of “Egyptian Saga” are available to read at www.erbzine.com. This link is a good place to start: https://www.erbzine.com/mag22/2292.htmlThe drabble for today, “Heads Will Roll,” was inspired by “In the Ravine,” and by Tarzan, created by Edgar Rice Burroughs. The bandit, camel thief, slaver, and all-around bad guy, El Ka-Nur, confronted Tarzan and his companions. “It is fortunate for me, but unfortunate for you that you’ve discovered our secret lair.
HEADS WILL ROLL
Tarzan replied, “We’ll leave. We mean you no harm.”
El Ka-Nur leered. “But, I mean you harm. See the skulls of the first three men who found my hideaway. Your heads will join theirs and your woman will be my slave.”
Kamur whispered to Tarzan, “Stay calm. We mustn’t lose our heads and panic.”
Tarzan growled, “If you are staying calm, you don’t understand the seriousness of our situation.”
MOVIE NIGHT ON SET
February 5: On this day in 1995, actor Douglas Osborne McClure died in Sherman Oaks, California. During his long career, he had the distinction of starring in three Edgar Rice Burroughs films as two different leading characters.
Doug played Bowen Tyler in “The Land That Time Forgot” and “The People That Time Forgot,” as well as David Innes in “At the Earth’s Core.” Information about all three films is available at www.erbzine.com/movies
The link, https://www.erbzine.com/mag30/3031.html, is a good place to start.
He is best remembered for his role as Trampas during the long run of “The Virginian,” but he appeared as several characters on different episodes of “Death Valley Days,” 70 episodes as Jed Sills on the 1960s television series, “Checkmate,” and co-starred with William Shatner in “The Barbary Coast.”
In an interesting tribute, in the episode of the British Science Fiction Sitcom, “Red Dwarf,” “Backwards,” the lead characters, Rimmer and Kryten land on Earth. When Rimmer asked what the time period was, his question was "Do we expect to see a herd of flesh-eating dinosaurs feeding off the bones of Doug McClure?" Interesting tribute.
The drabble for today is “Movie Night on Set,” and it was inspired by Doug McClure and the Edgar Rice Burroughs characters he portrayed. The quote attributed to McClure is real.
With filming done for the day, Caroline Monro, Doug McClurg, and Peter Cushing walked toward their dressing rooms. Director Kevin Conner said, “It’s Friday night. Six people on the crew have birthdays. We’ve ordered fish and chips and have two kegs of beer. Plenty of birthday cake. We’ll screen a film after we eat. Join us.”
MOVIE NIGHT ON SET
Monro said, “It’s too late to go anywhere else. I’m in.”
“Sounds like fun,” said Cushing.
Doug wiped off his makeup. “What’s the film?”
“Sound of Music.”
“I’ll pass. Watching the “Sound of Music” is like being beaten to death by a Hallmark card.”
LOVE TAKES TIME
February 6: On this day in 1937, Argosy Weekly published part five of “Back To The Stone Age,” the fifth novel in the Pellucidar series. Argosy used the title, “Seven Worlds to Conquer.” Each of the six installments contained a single black and white interior drawing by Samuel Cahan.
Samuel Cahan was born in Kouno, Russia and immigrated to the United States as a child. His career as a newspaper artist began when an editor from “The World’ saw Cahan drawing a chalk illustration of the sinking of the Maine on the sidewalk in front of a famous restaurant, Mouqin’s.
The cover art is for the Theodore Roscoe serialized novel, “Z is for Zombie,” and was drawn by V. E. Pyles. Other contributors to the issue included L. Ron Hubbard, Stookie Allen, and Donald Barr Chidsey.
Publishing history and several illustrations for “Back to the Stone Age” may be viewed at:The drabble for today, “Love Takes Time,” was inspired by the novel, “Back to the Stone Age,” by Edgar Rice Burroughs, with credit to Mariah Carey for the title.
Lieutenant Wilhelm Von Horst, abandoned in Pellucidar, battled flying reptiles, cavemen, and other giant predators before meeting the beautiful La-ja. He promised to take her to safety. They encountered a small Tyrannosaurus in the Forest of Death.
LOVE TAKES TIME
Wilhelm shot the creature, but it survived long enough to knock him unconscious.
He woke to the ministrations of La-ja and professed he liked her “a lot.” She ignored him. He pleaded. “Could you ever learn to care for me?”
She shook her head, “No, you aren’t very good at this. I expect that you’ll be dead before I would have enough time.”
STICK THE LANDING
February 7: On this day in 1919, Jock Mahoney was born in Chicago, Illinois. His birth name was Jacques O’Mahoney and his first appearance in a Tarzan film was as the villain, Coy Banton in “Tarzan the Magnificent.”
Jock, a well-respected Hollywood stuntman went on to star as Tarzan in “Tarzan Goes To India” and “Tarzan’s Three Challenges.” He appeared in four episodes of Ron Ely’s television series, “Tarzan,” and supervised the stunts for Bo Derek’s “Tarzan the Ape Man.”
Jock, a Marine pilot in World War Two, was the oldest man cast as Tarzan. He was 44 when “Tarzan’s Three Challenges” was released.”
On television, he played the unnamed lead in “The Range Rider” a 79 episode TV series produced by Gene Autry, as well as the title character in “Yancy Derringer.” The third actor in the photograph of Autry and Mahoney, is Dick Jones, who was the voice of Disney’s Pinocchio.
The drabble for today is “Stick The Landing,” inspired by Tarzan actor, Jock Mahoney.
Gene Autry asked, “Jock, I’ve always admired your stunts. I don’t understand how a man can jump from a second story window onto a running horse and not get hurt.”
STICK THE LANDING
Mahoney laughed. It’s best not to land on the saddle horn.”
Autry smiled, “I suspect that would make a man yodel in a higher pitch.”
“Will I need to sing on “The Range Rider? I don’t sing.”
“Not a problem. You’ll jump on the horses and I’ll sing the songs.”
“Good. I only hurt myself with a bad landing, but bad singing is like stupidity – it hurts everyone within earshot.”
February 8: On this day in 1997, actor Robert Ridgely (born Robert Ritterbush) died in Toluca Lake, Los Angeles, California. Ridgely voiced Tarzan in all episodes of the animated television series, “Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle.”
Prior to his television work, he was a recording artist for Decca Records in the early 1950s, however, his best known singing appearance was for the line “There is nothing as clean as my burger machine,” in a McDonald’s commercial. His recordings included “Annie.” “In His Hand,” and “Raindrop.” His numerous television credits include episodes of ‘Sea Hunt, “Maverick,” “Surfside Six,” “Bonanza,” “WKRP in Cincinnati,” “Coach,” “Night Court,” “Wings,” “Kung Fu,” “Get Smart,” and ‘Designing Women.”
He was in several movies including “Something Wild,” “Heart Like a Wheel,” “The Wild Life,” and Boogie Nights.’ He was a favorite of Mel Brooks and his movie career included, “Blazing Saddles,’ “High Anxiety, “Life Stinks,’ and the executioner in “Robin Hood Men in Tights.” In addition to “Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle, his countless voice appearances included the title roles on the animated series “The New Adventures of Flash Gordon,” and Thundarr the Barbarian.”
The drabble for today, inspired by Tarzan voice actor Robert Ridgely, includes at least twelve titles of series or movies that he appeared in. I didn’t mention of them in this article. The title of this drabble is “Multiplicity.”
Mel Brooks said, “Robert, in this next scene, you’ll run through the forest while everyone chases you.”
Ridgely answered, “It’s raining and I’m not the lord of the jungle. I hate rain. Something wild could get me, after all forests have wildlife.”
“Starting the countdown to the take. Places."
“Trying times, this. I’m having some high anxiety. My life stinks on days like this. My lines, please?”
“Just do that thing that you do. Wing it.”
“Fine, but if there’s a flash of lightning or one peal of thundarr, I’m outta here like there’s a fire down below my backside.”
February 9: Happy Birthday Frank Frazetta. On this day in 1931, the Rex Maxon daily comic strip, “Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle” began. The adaption of the eleventh Tarzan novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs ran for 96 daily episodes and ended on May 31, 1931. Maxon’s illustrations were used in Whitman’s Big Little Book #1407.
Maxon illustrated the daily comic from June 10, 1929 until June 20, 1936 – seven years and ten days. Read every episode at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag22/2293.html
The drabble for today, “Détente,” is based on the Rex Maxon daily comic and inspired by the writings of Edgar Rice Burroughs.
Two neighboring tribes had declared war on each other. Crops were burned, wildlife frightened away, and wells were poisoned. People on both sides were starving. The fleeing great apes asked Tarzan for help.
Tarzan secretly visited both villages and captured both chiefs. “This must stop. What are you fighting about? There must be a peaceful resolution.”
One chief spit on the ground. “Peace. We want peace. That’s why we fight.”
The other screamed, “Liar, it is my people who fight for peace.”
Tarzan thought. “Listen to how foolish you sound. Peace was what you had before you started to fight.”
February 10: On this day in 1934, Edgar Rice Burroughs picked up his newly purchased airplane. He bought the single-wing open cockpit aircraft from Jim Granger who operated a flying school at the Santa Monica Airport. Son in law and Tarzan actor, James Pierce, described the aircraft, a Security Airster, as stable, not that speedy and perfect for beginners. Burroughs named the airplane, “Doodad” and painted the colophon from the spine of his books on the tail of the plane. ERB did obtain his private license, but after a while lost interest and stopped flying.
James Pierce on the other hand, saw a new career in the air and became a commercial pilot and flight instructor, operating a flying school that employed several people. He also bought and sold airplanes.
To put this in perspective, remember that airplanes didn’t exist when ERB was a young man and weren’t really commercially available until after the First World War.
The drabble for today is, “Final Flight,” was inspired by the flying career of Edgar Rice Burroughs and airmen around the world.
Edgar Rice Burroughs said, “Jim, today was my last flight as a pilot.”
“Was it a bad flight, Ed? Did something go wrong?”
“No, great flight and I’m fine. I renewed my medical certificate last week, but it’s time for me to give it up. I’m going to sell old Doodad. Interested?”
“Maybe, but I don’t understand. You love to fly.”
“Indeed, but it’s time. I’ve learned that there are two kinds of pilots, the ones who know when a flight is going to be their last flight and the ones who don’t know. I’ve chosen to be the former.”
GREYSTOKE, THE LEGEND OF THE MOVIE
February 11: On this day in 1977, the Valley News of Van Nuys, California published an article by Mark Davidson titled, “Tarzan.” Davidson begins with a lovingly written recap of Tarzan’s international fame, followed by pointing out that the ERB headquarters is located in Tarzana, a town where the most famous resident was ERB, himself.
He mentions 99 novels, (The number is not correct, but it's what's in the article), 42 films, 52 television dramas, countless radio episodes, comic strips, and comic books, along with an avalanche of coloring books, puzzles, yo-yos, greeting cards, necklaces, rings, t-shirts, and the list goes on and on.
Davidson interviewed Danton Burroughs about the newly planned Tarzan film which would ultimately become “Greystoke, the Legend of Tarzan.” The movie was written by Oscar winner, Robert Towne, who eventually became so upset with the final script that he removed his name from the credits and substituted his dog’s name, P. H. Vasak, instead.
What Danton had to say is the drabble for today, “Greystoke, the Legend of the Movie.” Read the entire article at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag11/1196.html
“The new movie will be a million dollar production staring an Oscar-winning actor (whose name will soon be revealed), and that will be produced on location in an actual tropical rain forest in Sri Lanka. You'll see a real Tarzan as a brilliant orphaned son of Lord and Lady Greystoke, instead of the inarticulate oaf previously pictured by Hollywood (to the disgust of my grandfather). You'll see a scientifically researched dramatization of the relationship between infant Lord Greystoke and apes that raised him and named him, Tarzan, meaning white skin. The movie will show the authentic story of Tarzan's origin.”
GREYSTOKE, THE LEGEND OF THE MOVIE
February 12: On this day in 1955, actor Paul Geoffrey was born in Surrey, England. Geoffrey played John (Jack) Clayton, Tarzan’s father, in the 1984 film “Greystoke, the Legend of Tarzan.”
For details about the film, I suggest: https://www.erbzine.com/mag21/2152.html
Paul has over 40 film and television credits, including Perceval in ”Excalibur,” “The Thomas Crowne Affair,” television’s “Inspector Morse,” and “Robin Hood.”
In 1991, Paul moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he is an associate real estate broker, so if you’re thinking about moving to New Mexico ….
The drabble for today is, “Tree House,” inspired by Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan novels and the many films based on them.
The pregnant Alice Clayton and her husband, John, were abandoned on the African coast. John worked diligently building a home before she gave birth. . Alice asked, “John, why build the house in a tree? Will we be safer?”
John replied, “I’m not sure. Leopards and snakes can climb. So can the great apes that we’ve seen in the jungle. Somehow, a shack on the ground seems rustic, but the same shack in a tree is magnificent.”
“So we won’t be safer?”
“Perhaps a little. We should seek ever advantage. There’s no reason to be foolish dumb dumbs about it.”
CALL IT MACARONI
February 13: On this day in 1933, the set of Tarzan figures commissioned by the Foulds Macaroni Company was copyrighted on this date. The figures were given away by the company as a promotion. They came unpainted, but children painted them to suit themselves and as a result, the figures are found painted in several ways with varying levels of competence. A standup background stage was available. It proclaimed "Tarzan in Jungle Land." The stage is illustrated with a jungle scene which shows a tropical bird, monkey and hut which has a door that opens.
The 1932 Foulds basic set of statues included Tarzan with Cheeta, Kala holding baby Tarzan, Jane Porter, Numa the Lion, Sheeta the Panther, Witch Doctor, Pirate with treasure chest, Lt. D'Arnot, Cannibal Warrior and a monkey trio. The statues measure between 1" and 4.5" tall. They were made by GEM Clay Forming Company for distribution by sponsors of the 1932 Tarzan radio show which starred ERB's daughter Joan and her husband James Pierce. The statue sets were offered as a premium by Foulds, Heinz and other sponsors.
To see the figures and brief descriptions, check out the ERBzine links:Today’s drabble, “Call it Macaroni” features John and Pat, longtime ERB fans, publishers, collectors, historians, and New Orleanians.
Pat said, “I got the next to last one of the Foulds Macaroni statues I needed today. It’s the pirate sitting on a treasure chest. I still need the Jane statue.”
CALL IT MACARONI
John looked at the figurine. “It’s made from clay, not macaroni.”
“Of course it’s not made from macaroni. Macaroni is food. Children shouldn’t play with their food.
“Well, stick a feather in my hat. It’s painted red and green. More like a Christmas ornament than a Tarzan toy.”
“You don’t like red and green, I’ll paint it purple, green and gold for Mardi Gras.”
“Laissez le bon temps rouler.”
DINNER AND DRINKS
February 14: On this day 94 years ago in 1927, actor / director, Ashton Dearholt, and his wife, Florence Dearholt, met with Edgar Rice Burroughs to discuss turning his novels into movies.
The date of the meeting looks quite significant in retrospect. Edgar Rice Burroughs and Florence fell in love and were married in Las Vegas in 1935.
The business meeting must have also gone quite well, Burroughs and Dearholt reached an agreement and Burroughs Tarzan Enterprises was formed.
In 1935 Dearholt finally convinced Burroughs to allow him to make a Tarzan film. Dearholt offered, with two partners, to set up a single corporation under which Burroughs could absorb and personally manage his various Tarzan franchises, in exchange for allowing Dearholt to make a Tarzan serial, set in Guatemala, with his new love appearing in the lead female role under the screen name of Ula Holt (her real name was Florence Eugene Watson, not be confused with Florence Dearholt Gilbert whose birth name was Florence Ella Gleistein. It is unconfirmed when (or if) Ashton ever actually married Ms. Holt/Watson and, if so, how long the marriage lasted.
The drabble for today is “Dinner and Drinks” and was inspired by that Valentine’s Day meeting in 1927.
“I like the idea of having some control over films based on my novels, Ashton, but I won’t write any scripts,” said Edgar Rice Burroughs.
DINNER AND DRINKS
“I can hire script writers, but I need your stories and characters to give them a place to start and a roadmap to success, as it were.”
“We can make this work,” said Burroughs.
“We’ll need lawyers to write it up.”
“May I propose a toast? Ashton, Florence, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”
Florence touched Ed’s glass with hers. “You have no idea. I agree with Ashton, we’ll need lawyers.”
February 15: On this day in the 1930s, ERB Inc. published first editions of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ novels including the publication of “The Oakdale Affair and the Rider” in 1937. The first edition had a small print run, 3000 copies and is missing the last 174 lines of the magazine version. The dust jacket was drawn by John Coleman Burroughs with Jim Pierce, Jane Ralston Burroughs, and Hulbert Burroughs modelling for the illustration.
For details and cover art, do to:The drabble for today is “Possessions,” and it’s based on the philosophy of Bridge in “The Oakdale Affair,” written by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
Abigail Prim, disguised as the Oskaloosa Kid, sat near the fire in the hobo camp. Bridge, a man of the road sat near her. She shifted a bag of belongings away from him.
He handed her a cup of Mulligan stew. “Where you from, Kid?”
“Around. And you.”
“My clothes are my home. I live where I put on my shoes. What’s in the bag?”
“My stuff and it’s none of your business.”
“A hobo don’t own nothin’ ‘cept what he can protect and tote. Folks would own less stuff it they had to carry it around all day long.”
See Days 16-28 at ERBzine 7380a
FEBRUARY III ILLUSTRATIONS COLLAGE
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