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ERB 100-Word Drabbles
MAY IIIa Edition :: Days 16-31
See Days 1-15 at ERBzine 7383
by Robert Allen Lupton
With Collations, Web Page Layout and ERBzine Illustrations and References by Bill Hillman
May 16: On this day in 1952, the Bob Lubbers illustrated and Dick Van Buren written story arc, “The High Priestess of Zimba,” began running across America in the daily Tarzan comic strip. The story, part one and part two, lasted 74 days and was preceded by “Tarzan and the Loggers,” and followed by “Tarzan and the Inheritance.”
In the story, Tarzan saves two scientists seeking to prove the existence of the “Queen of Sheba.” The three find an ancient city, and reminiscent of Opar (complete with vaults of gold and jewels, in is inhabited by ‘ugly, hideous creature, with matted hair and receding brows, which bore no likeness to civilized man!’
Tarzan is captured and placed on a sacrificial altar – enter stage right, Wala, the beautiful high priestess of Zimba. Will she sacrifice Tarzan, or fall in love with him? Go to https://www.erbzine.com/mag53/5306.html, read the story, and find out. You might find a hint about the outcome in a book about the jewels of Opar, but that would be telling.
The drabble for today is, “Name Game,” based on the Bob Lubbers comic strip, which is a retelling of, “Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar.” Hats off to every song writer who put la – la – la in a song, with special thanks to Van Morrison and Stevie Wonder.
The beautiful Wala, the high priestess of Zimba, refused to sacrifice Tarzan and fled with he ape man from her beastlike subjects.
He refused to avow his love for her and she locked him away.
Tarzan said, “I feel trapped in the vaults of a dream. Walla Walla is a kind of sweet onion, but it’s not a woman’s name? Shouldn’t you be called La or Lala.”
“La is the priestess in the next valley to the north and Lala for a song refrain. I’m not Van Morrison’s Brown-Eyed Girl or Stevie Wonder’s My Cherie’ Amour, so Wala it is.
DID MY BEST
May 17: On this day in 1911, actress Maureen Paula O’Sullivan was born in Boyle, County of Roscommon, Ireland. She was a classmate of Vivian Mary Hartley, aka Vivien Leigh, at the Covent of the Sacred Heart in Roehampton, a London suburb.
While best known for playing Jane opposite Johnny Weissmuller in films, her career included many other films. Her first film in 1930 was “So This Is London,” where she played Elinor Worthing. In 1932 she appeared with Will Rogers in “A Connecticut Yankee” and in 1933 was cast as Jane Parker in “Tarzan the Ape Man,” the first of her six Tarzan films, and the role for which she will always be remembered.
O’Sullivan appeared in over 70 films, with her first appearance in 1930 and her last in 1988. Her television appearances included three soap operas, “All My Children,” “Guiding Light,” and “Search for Tomorrow.” Her last television appearance was in a 1994 episode of “Hart to Hart.”
Today’s drabble, “Did My Best,” is a series of comments attributed to Maureen O’Sullivan about being an actress.
I haven’t the mystery of Garbo. I haven’t the seductiveness of Jean Harlow. I haven’t the enigmatic beauty of a Dietrich, not the extra-ordinariness of a Hepburn. I’m just me – and that’s not star stuff. I didn’t pretend to be an actress. I just tried to be natural, and be the best I could. I knew that I was no beauty and I knew that I was sometimes being pretty bad on the screen. I felt painfully apologetic when people made a fuss over me. And then I grew a little more accustomed to it — and that was even worse.
DID MY BEST
May 18: On this day, the third episode of the radio drama, “Tarzan and the Diamond of Asher,” was broadcast on Friday evening. The fifteen minute episode, “A Wolf Among the Sheep,” featured Karlton Kadell as Tarzan, Ralph Scott as D’Arnot, Jeanette Nolan as Magra, and Don Wilson as Lal Taask. Victor Rodman played Wolf. A great cast.
Don Wilson was a well-known television and radio announcer and a regular on the Jack Benny Program. Jeanette Nolan was nominated for four Emmy awards, and appeared in numerous films over 300 television episodes of various programs, Victor Rodman came out of retirement to appear on several early episodes of Dragnet in the 1950s. Karlton KaDell performed on radio for over 40 years and suffered a heart attack during a broadcast of his program, “Classical Kaleidoscope” and died that evening.
To hear every episode of radio show visit: https://www. ERBzine.com/mag31/3140.html
The drabble for the day is “Bad Shepherd,” inspired by the third episode of “Tarzan and the Diamonds of Asher” aka “Tarzan and the Forbidden City.” Credit to the screenwriter’s of “The Magnificent Seven,” and to Eli Wallach for delivering the line that is the next to last paragraph.
Tarzan visited the village of Magra. A fortune hunter named Wolf had enslaved the tribe into servitude. Wolf demanded that Magra lead him to the forbidden city of Asher, home of the fabled father of diamonds. Tarzan insisted that Wolf release the tribesmen.
Wolf laughed. “Antelopes live to feed the lion. Horses exist to carry men. These things are as the gods will them.”
“I said to release them.”
“If the gods had not wanted them shorn, he would not have made them sheep.”
“You aren’t the first wolf to bite off more than he could chew. Release them, now.”
May 19: On this day in 1906, Harold Herman Brix was born in Tacoma, Washington. Brix played football and was a track athlete at the University of Washington. He won a silver medal in the shot put at the 1928 Olympics.
In 1931, MGM originally selected Brix to play Tarzan, but Brix broke his shoulder filming a football movie, with the clever name of “Touchdown,” and Johnny Weissmuller was chosen to replace him.
Aston Dearholt and Edgar Rice Burroughs production company, Burroughs-Tarzan Enterprises, Inc., cast Brix to play Tarzan in the serial film, “The New Adventures of Tarzan,” which was also released as “Tarzan and the Green Goddess.”
After filming Republic’s “Hawk of the Wilderness,” Brix changed his name to Bruce Bennett and continued his acting career, appearing in films with The Three Stooges, Buster Keaton, Anne Sheridan, Joan Crawford, Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Bella Lugosi, and James Stewart. He made a series of B movies in the 1950s including “The Fiend of Dope Island,” “The Alligator People,” “The Cosmic Man,” and “Bottom of the Bottle.”
His numerous appearance on television included five on “Science Fiction Theatre,” and five on “Perry Mason,”
The drabble for today is and was inspired by Bruce Bennett aka Herman Brix. He made a parachute jump at age 96 and lived to be 100. Happy Birthday!
“Bruce, what do you want to do for your 96th birthday?”
“I’d like to skydive one more time.”
“You can’t do that. You’re 96 years old.”
“Sure, I can. I learned from playing sports to never stop trying and believe that you can do anything.”
“Aren’t you worried that your age will be a problem?”
“I’m not worried about my age at all, but I’d be worried in the airplane or the parachute was 96 years old.”
“The pilot may not see it that way.”
“So we won’t tell him my age. I’ll say I'm not a day over 95.”
May 20: On this day in 1938, the unauthorized Bollywood film, “Tarzan Ki Beta” debuted at the Nishat Cinema in Lashore, Pakistan. “Tarzan Ki Beta” can be translated as “Tarzan’s Daughter,” or “Daughter of Tarzan.” Other films with the same name were released in in 1985 and in 2002.
The 1938 film, like several older American films, appears to be a lost film. It’s an Aurora Film Corporation and Kamla Movietone Productions movie directed by Roop K. Shorey featuring Shyama Zutshi, Manika, Baig, G. N. Butt, Matto, Zahoor Shah, M. L. Mattu, J. N. Dar, Hukum Singh, Nafiz, Begum, Manek Kapoor, and Majnu (Harold Lewis). Anapam Ghatak wrote the music.
The film is listed in the amazing well researched book, “Global Perspectives on Tarzan: From King of the Jungle to International Icon” edited by Annette Wannamaker and Michelle Ann Abate. Cinestaan.com lists the movie along with the cast and crew, but doesn’t have any pictures. Indiancine.ma’s listing includes a bio of the director, Roop Shorey. Mpaop.org has an article that includes the release date and theatre. Gomolo.com has a page dedicated to the movie, but it is almost entirely devoid of specific information. Osianama.com and funvils.com both have pages about this movie, but no details. Muvyz.com lists the songs from the film.
For details about the movie and its cast, read my article at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag67/6744.html
The 100 word drabble for today, not based on anything in particular, but inspired by the thought that Tarzan had daughters instead of a son is, “Full Plate.”
Tarzan returned from the Jewel Vaults of Opar with another load of gold. Jane greeted him. “Our child was born while you were away. This is Alice Marie Greystoke, our second daughter.”
“She’s beautiful, Jane. Not as beautiful as you, of course, but beautiful.”
“I know you want a large family and you keep making trips to secure more gold and more jewels. Let me ask you a question, Tarzan. Would you rather have ten daughters or ten million dollars?”
“Easy, my dear, I’d rather have ten daughters.”
“Why is that?"
“If we had ten daughters, it would be enough.”
LOVE IS LIKE THE MORNING STAR
May 21: On this day in 1939, the Tarzan Sunday comic strip began the story arc, “Tarzan and the Amazons,” illustrated by Burne Hogarth and written by Don Garden. The comic story and the 1945 Johnny Weissmuller film of the same name are completely unrelated.
The drabble for today is “Love is Like The Morning Star,” and inspired by the story arc, “Tarzan and the Amazons.” Thanks to Brian Holland, the songwriter, and the Supremes for the song, “You Can’t Hurry Love.”
Tarzan fought the savage Lingoo tribe and was knocked unconscious. A tribe of tree-dwelling women, led by Kuleeah interceded. The beautiful Kuleeah carried Tarzan to safety and placed him in her harem.
LOVE IS LIKE THE MORNING STAR
Tarzan rejected her. She said, “I can conquer any man. Love me or die!”
“Love’s force of nature. You cannot control or demand love. Love can’t be bought, bartered, or sold.”
“You will do as I say. Love me. Love me now.”
“My mother, Kala, told me, ‘You can’t hurry love. You just have to wait. You gotta trust, give it time, no matter how long it takes.’”
FAREWELL AND DON'T SMOKE
May 22: On this day in 1924, Edgar Rice Burroughs gave the handwritten draft of the graduation address he’d made to the 1894 graduation class at the Michigan Military Academy of Orchard Lake, Michigan to his daughter Joan, complete with his original drawings on the handwritten draft.
One illustration from his manuscrript is included here, although the reproduction isn't the best.
The document was reprinted in “The Burroughs Bulletin #34,” and online at https://www.erbzine.com/mag0/0031.html
ERB was president of the 1895 class, and his speech was a good-by to the departing senior class, one year ahead of him.
The drabble for today is “Farewell and Don’t Smoke,” 100 words excerpted from his speech.
“I thank the Senior Class of '94 for the honorable and impartial way they have treated us both as officers and Men.
FAREWELL AND DON'T SMOKE
“Our hearts fill and something rises in our throats as we look into the faces of the comrades about to leave us forever. But I wasn’t requested to deliver an obituary. Never was more valuable advice given than by Mr. Barry; abstain both from Cigarettes and Dramatic COs.
“Look at the horrible example brought on by twenty-five consecutive years of constant cigarette smoking presented in the pallid face and emaciated form of the Assistant Inspector General, Capt. Lee.”
May 23: On this day in 1896, Edgar Rice Burroughs, a young graduate from the Michigan Military Academy, began his hitch with the 7th United States Cavalry in Fort Grant, near Wilcox, Arizona. We visited the remains for the Fort in 2019. With the buildings reclaimed by the parched Arizona desert, the site was similar to what ERB would have found on his arrival, a collection of dirty ramshackle buildings and tents, poorly maintained, crumbling, and rotting in the harsh climate. In the movies, the cavalry is chasing Native Americans, saving wagon trains from bandits, and pioneer women from heartless renegades. The truth was that except for an occasional foray into the desert in search of Apaches, the soldiers spent their time in hard labor, digging ditches, clearing roadways, and removing the scattered boulders from the site of the Fort. “Making little rocks out of big rocks,” was hardly the excitement that ERB had expected.
His hitch at Fort Grant was short, but it did give him the background for his two Apache novels, “Apache Devil,” and “The War Chief.”
Details about ERB’s tour of duty at Fort Grant are located at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag34/3469.html
Edgar Rice Burroughs speaks for himself about the experience in the 100 word drabble for today, “Leadership.”
“Sgt. Lynch would have been nice to me if I’d bought beer for him and if I had it to do over again, I would keep him soused indefinitely, for by that route would come favors and promotion.”
“Tommy Tompkins, our troop commander, was a first lieutenant then. Tommy had a set of mustachios that were the pride of the regiment and the yellow cavalry stripes on his breeches were so wide that little of the blue could be seen. He called us long-eared jackasses and a great many other things, but this is the only one that is printable. “
May 24: On this day in 1963, Hugo, Nebula, Sidewise, and Pulitzer Prize award winning writer, Michael Chabon was, born in Washington DC. Chabon was credited as one of the three screenwriters for the Disney film, “John Carter,” released in 2012. The other two screenwriters were director, Andrew Stanton, and Mark Andrews.
“The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay,” published in 2000 received the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Great book – you should read it.
An interview of Chabon concerning his work on “John Carter,” and his opinion of ERB as a writer, was conducted by the late Richard Lupoff in 2010. The entire interview and a bibliography are located at http://www.erbzine.com/mag30/3047.html.
The drabble for today is 100 words taken from that interview, hopefully not out of context. “Different Media” reflects on reasons why, oft times, the movie and the book aren’t the same.
“The books weren't written with a two-hour, 21st-century major studio motion picture in mind. There are changes that have to be made. Nor is it a complete departure, not by any means. The idea was to gather up the important threads of story from the first three novels and weave them into a coherent, three part whole. As if ERB had conceived the first three books as a trilogy, which he didn’t, since even with his wild imagination he had no reason to believe, as he was writing the first John Carter novel, that there would ever be a second.”
May 25: On this day in 1918, ‘Oak Leaves,’ a local newspaper for Oak Park, Illinois, published an article / guest editorial by Edgar Rice Burroughs titled, “Patriotism By Proxy.” In the article, Burroughs gives credit to Oak Park for the 1400 men serving in WW1, but he continues to make an impassioned plea for men of all ages to join the Illinois Reserve Militia. The militia was tasked with “discouraging lawlessness and freeing up government soldiers for duty elsewhere.” I assume the militia would step in if the Germans threatened Elk Grove or Wrigley Field.
The entire article is available at; https://www.erbzine.com/mag16/1696.html
The medal with this article was not ERB’s medal.
Burroughs wrote the drabble for today, “Duty,” and the 100 words are taken from his column. Somethings never change.
Are you in the service of your country? If you aren’t and might be, you’re either a traitor or a slacker. The higher your social position and the greater your wealth, the worse you are, since these entail greater responsibilities to the community where you live. It is our example that is followed by others less fortunate than you.
Think you’re too big a man for the reserve militia. Forget it. There‘re privates in some of the Oak Park companies who could buy and sell you several times. Furthermore, the bigger you think you are, the smaller you really are.
May 26: On this day in 2016, according to author, Michael A. Sanford, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. released the second offering in "The Wild Adventures of Edgar Rice Burroughs" series - "Tarzan on the Precipice."
The novel takes place between “Tarzan of the Apes” and “The Return of Tarzan.” Tarzan has not disclosed his identity of Lord Greystoke to Jane Porter, leaving her to marry his cousin, William Clayton. Tarzan heads north to Canada – he wants to be alone – and he encounters a lost civilization of Vikings.
The book's cover and interior illustrations are by Will Meugniot.
The book, along with the other 7 books in the “Wild Adventures” series are available at: https://edgarriceburroughs.com/store/print-books/
The drabble for today is “Community Standards,” and it was inspired by “Tarzan on the Precipice.”
Tarzan wandered into the Canadian wilds and was captured by a tribe of Vikings, who had settled in the wilderness hundreds of years before. The Viking chief said, “You have invaded our territory and must join our tribe or die. You will face a gauntlet of axes and swords. If you survive, you join us tomorrow when we take our children with us to raid a nearby Intuit settlement. We’ll take everything of value and burn the rest.”
Tarzan prepared himself. “Why would you take your children on such a vile expedition?”
“It takes a pillage to raise a child.”
May 27: On this day in 1954, Mark Wheatley, an American illustrator, writer, editor, and publisher in the comic book field, was born. He’s won the Inkpot, Speakeasy and Mucker awards, and has been nominated for the Harvey and Ignatz awards for his comic book and pulp creations that include 'Breathtaker', 'Radical Dreamer', 'Frankenstein Mobster', 'Hammer Gods', 'Mars', 'Jimgrim ‘Devil at Ludd' and 'Titanic Tales'. His illustration work has also appeared in magazines, books, comic books, games, and ERB fanzines such as “The Panthan Journal.”
Recently, Mark illustrated the cover and interior of “Swords Against The Moon Men,” by Christopher Paul Carey and illustrated and published “Songs of Giants,” containing poetry by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Robert E. Howard,” and H. P. Lovecraft. Both books are readily available from online publishers.
Today’s drabble has nothing to do with Mark, but was inspired by Edgar Rice Burroughs first western, “The Bandit of Hell’s Bend.” The drabble is “Naming Rights.” There’s a point within a pun, don’t give up until you find it.
Jim guided the stagecoach through the sharp twists on the narrow trail down the mountainside. Suddenly he whipped the horses into a mad frenzy.
Ben, riding shotgun, saw outlaws chasing them as they raced through the tight curve. The stagecoach tilted, passengers screamed, and wooden wheels screeched, but Jim left the highwaymen behind and reached town safely.
Ben said, “I glad you spotted those highwaymen in time.”
“A hornet stung me on the damn nose. I didn’t see no bandits, hell, Ben, I’m surprised I didn’t wreck the stage.”
And that’s how the pass and the outlaws got their names.
May 28: On this day in 1902, Edith Augusta Dunbar was born in Cripple Creek, Colorado. Using the stage name, “Dorothy Dunbar,” she appeared in silent films during the 1920s, including playing the role of Jane in “Tarzan in the Golden Lion.” James Pierce, ERB’s future son in law, played Tarzan.
She retired from acting after 1927. She was probably too busy. Dunbar had seven husbands including actor/ boxer Max Baer. She is credited with writing a collection of murder mysteries, “Blood In The Parlor,” published in 1964 by A. S. Barnes and Company.
Another writer, named Dorothy Dunbar wrote “Eastwood,” and “The Magic of Eastwood” – two books listed for sale on Amazon.
Today’s drabble was inspired by the life of Dorothy Dunbar, the fourth woman to play Jane Porter on film. It’s called “Never Settle.”
Director John Ford called Dorothy Dunbar. “I saw you in “Tarzan and the Golden Lion” a few years back. I’m making a film with John Wayne called “The Quiet Man.” He’s a retired boxer.”
“How nice for you.”
“You were married to Max Baer, the boxer. I thought you could give me some insight and play a small role.”
“I’ve given up acting. So many husbands.”
“I heard. Why so many?”
“I knew there was a perfect man out there and I was going to keep getting married until I found him."
“How’d that work out?”
“I’ll let you know.”
HAIR CLUB FOR MEN
May 29: On this day some years ago, the website www.goodshowsir.co.uk, announced that the Tandem Book edition of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ “The Cave Girl,” made the list of one of the worst Sci-Fi / Fantasy book covers ever. The year is not identifiable on the website, but the book was published in 1977.
The site’s comments were “From St. John to Krenkel to Frazetta to this. The most egregious example I’ve ever seen of a publisher using an amateur artist to save a little money.”
The site contains several comments about the cover: https://www.goodshowsir.co.uk/?p=7504 – most centering the scene’s similarity to a dance move by John Travolta in “Saturday Night Fever.” At least Travolta wasn’t bald like the creature on the cover.
A little credit to the Bee Gees and their song, Night Fever,” for today’s drabble – “Hair Club for Men.”
HAIR CLUB FOR MEN
“I got fire in my mind
And I’m tired of talking
I’m screaming in the dark
You better be walking.
Sweet pretty woman
She dances in the light
I just reach out for her
When the feeling is right.
She resists me today
Won’t go to my lair
Things aren’t the same
Since I lost my hair.
Here I am
Living on this island was a blast
Hair blowing in the wind
But none of its mine!
Hair do, hair do,
I know how to comb it
Part it in the middle, the middle,
If only I could grow it.
WHEN ANIMALS ATTACK
May 30: On this day in 1920, the film, “The Revenge of Tarzan,” was released. The Goldwyn Pictures Corporation release of the Numa Pictures Corporation produced film was originally titled “The Return of Tarzan.” Burroughs had been assured that the film would follow the storyline of his book, “The Return of Tarzan,” but the final script by Robert Saxmar had little, if anything, to do with the original book. There’s no direct evidence that the title was changed because of ERB’s objections to the script, but there’s no evidence that it wasn’t. The Motion Picture News had this to say about the title change in a July 24, 1920 article:
The Return of Tarzan' is NOT a working title. It IS an original release title. "Goldwyn Changes Title of Tarzan Picture Because of its greater strength and exploitation possibilities Goldwyn Pictures Corporation executives have decided to change the title of Edgar Rice Burroughs' motion picture thriller from 'The Return of Tarzan' to 'The Revenge of Tarzan.' The original title is that of the book, and was used when the film ran four weeks at the Broadway theatre, New York."
The film featured Gene Pollar as Tarzan and Karla Schramm as Jane. Despite rumors to the contrary, no copy of this film is known to exist.
Details about the film are available at https://www.erbzine.com/mag5/0588.html
Gene Pollar gets the credit for today’s drabble, 100 words taken from one of his interviews, dated February 28, 1920 (Motion Picture Review). Let’s call it “When Animals Attack.”
“Joe Martin, the almost human monkey who seemed to understand my Harlem English better than some native Californians, and I were jumping, from bough to bough. I made a leap and as my weight relieved it, a bough snapped back and hit Joe’s face. He thought I’d done it on purpose, started jibbering, and the first thing I knew he was after me, ready for fight. It took some effort to pull him off, and it took triple the amount of effort and all of the pastry included in my lunch-box, to put him in friendly humor with me again."
WHEN ANIMALS ATTACK
May 31: On this day on 1932, Edgar Rice Burroughs commented on the new Tarzan film, “Tarzan the Ape Man,” which starred Johnny Weissmuller and Maureen O’Sullivan. The film also featured C. Aubrey Smith (The Prisoner of Zenda), Neil Hamilton (Commissioner Gordon on TV’s Batman) and Angelo Rossitti, whose last role was "Master" opposite Mel Gibson in ‘Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.”
A wealth of information about the film is available at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag6/0611.html
The drabble for today is “Maureen or Maurine?, and it was written by Edgar Rice Burroughs. The spelling of O’Sullivan first name in the drabble was as it was written by ERB in 1932.
“I thought Maurine O'Sullivan added quite a bit to the picture, she is far more attractive off screen than she is on, which is unusual for motion picture actresses. Their pronunciation of Tarzan was their own. I don't give a damn what they call him as long as their checks come regularly. One reason they didn’t premier Tarzan and roadshow the picture is because they all underestimated its value. One of their publicity men told me yesterday that it was their biggest money maker so far this year. As a matter of fact, it just swept them off their feet."
MAUREEN OR MAURINE?
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