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ERB 100-Word Drabbles
JUNE III Edition :: Days 1 - 15
See Days 16 - 30 at ERBzine 7384a
by Robert Allen Lupton
With Collations, Web Page Layout and ERBzine Illustrations and References by Bill Hillman
STICKS AND STONES
June 1: On this day in 1940, Rene Auberjonois was born in New York City. Best known for playing Odo in “Star Trek Deep Space Nine,” Rene won a Tony award for his portrayal of Sebastian Baye in the musical “Coco.” He won a Drama Desk award for Roger Miller’s “Big River.”
He appeared in numerous films and television shows and was in high demand as a voice actor, appearing in several animated films and television series, including 12 episodes as Renard Dumont in the “Legend of Tarzan” and the direct to video, “Tarzan and Jane” in 2002.
Details about the Disney animated series are available at:
https://www.erbzine.com/mag0/0014.html#disneyToday’s drabble was inspired by the mixed reception that “Tarzan and Jane” received in the press. It received both good and bad reviews. “Sticks and Stones” is the title.
Olivia d’Abo, who’d played Jane, said, ‘Rene, we got good reviews and bad reviews for the “Tarzan and Jane” film. Some were wonderful, but some were so mean. I couldn’t believe they were printed.”
STICKS AND STONES
“Ignore the content. I’m happy they still write about me, good or bad. Controversy sells.”
“So they can write whatever they want?”
“Remember what people say about having opinions. Whether someone says your performance was good or bad doesn’t change reality. An apple, crisp or rotten, tastes the same no matter what the fruit vendor says. His words don’t make it any better or any worse.”
DON'T SAY IT
June 2: On this day in 1904, Johnny Weissmuller was born. A second Tarzan, Ron Ely, was born 34 years later in 1938 in the town of Hereford, Texas. Raised in Amarillo, Texas, Ely played Tarzan on the NBC television series and Doc Savage in the film “Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze. He appeared on several television shows including “Wonder Woman,” “The Aquanauts,” “Sea Hunt,” “Sheena,” “Superboy,” “Fantasy Island,” “Ironside,”and “Renegade.” He also appeared in a 1992 episode. “Tarzan the Hunted,” of the Wolf Larson Tarzan television series.
Ely did all of his own stunts when filming the Tarzan television series and was injured several times. His Tarzan was articulate and well-educated. There was no Jane in the series.
Today’s drabble is “Don’t Say It,” inspired by one on the episodes of the series.
Jai said, “Tarzan, the high priest has banned me from the village.”
DON'T SAY IT
“He built a new god from rotten wood wrapped in a jaguar pelt. He put a dead sloth’s head on top. I said that the new god was termite infested and the sloth skull filled with maggots.”
Tarzan said, “I’ve seen it. Looked pretty bad, but some folks like gods like that and some folks don’t.”
He called me a heretic and said it was dangerous to speak ill of the new god.”
Tarzan said, “I’ve never heard of anything so dangerous it couldn’t be talked about.”
I WAS LATE AND I MISSED IT
June 3: On this day in 1923, the Oakland Tribune published the article, “Dignity Complex, Author’s Foe” by Seth T. Baily. The subtitle of the article about Edgar Rice Burroughs is “Author Now Working on Wild and Wooly Western Story for London Publisher Using Own Experiences as Cowpuncher and Soldier.” The illustration is from the newspaper article.
Read the entire article at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag12/1265.html
And speaking of ERBzine, cofounder Sue-On Hillman was born on this day in - well, let’s just say that she was born the same year as I was and let it go at that. Happy Birthday!
Edgar Rice Burroughs is quoted as follows in the article – 100 words which make up the drabble for today, “I Was Late and I Missed It.”
"There is nothing interesting in what I’ve told you, but if we tell the truth about ourselves it isn’t likely to be interesting. All the interesting things in my life never happened. I’m always late for the thrill; I always get to a fire after it’s out. I’ve been shot at a couple of times, but the other fellow missed. I have almost shot a couple of men, but didn't. I’ve always survived, so I don't know what it's like to be killed, and thus it goes. I simply never connect with adventure and I can’t afford a press agent.”
I WAS LATE AND I MISSED IT
SIGH, SY, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE
June 4: On this day on 1963, Life Magazine published the article, “Tarzan in Thailand,” about Jock Mahoney and the new Tarzan film, “Tarzan’s Three Challenges.” Complete with color photos from the new film and black and white stills of other movie Tarzans - Gene Pollar, Gordon Scott, and Frank Merrill, from days gone by, the article points out “Gone are the pals of yesteryear” in one headline and “Goodby Cheetah…So long, Jane…See you later alligator” in another.
The article appears to be written by Metoy Gesectsky, at least that’s how the writer’s name appears to me on the old scan I have of the article. I’m sure that I have the name wrong.
The complete article is available to read at https://www.erbzine.com/mag67/6785.html
The drabble for today, “Sigh, Sy, What Have You Done,” is taken directly from the article.
“Ex-TV producer, Sy Weintraub, in 1958 bought the Tarzan movie rights for almost three million dollars. To get adults, particularly women, interested in Tarzan, out went Jane. Weintraub is convinced he’s found the formula for making Tarzan a household word again. Under his deal with the Burroughs estate he has the movie rights till 1984. He must make a movie once every 18 months and he may neither kill off nor seriously injure Tarzan -- physically, that is. Admirers of the old Tarzan may feel that the changes wrought on his character have already injured the ape man beyond repair.”
SIGH, SY, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE
June 5: On this day in 1997, American Movie Classics presented the U. S. premiere of ‘Investigating Tarzan,” a documentary including interviews with Scott Tracy Griffin. After the premiere, AMC began a Tarzan film marathon and broadcast 32 of the 49 Tarzan films. The marathon lasted from June 5, 1997 through June 7, 1997. Considering that some of the older films are considered ‘lost,’ that’s pretty good.
The drabble for today is “Seven Seconds,” and it features my old friends and ERB aficionados, John and Pat.
“John, we’ve watched six Tarzan movies in a row.”
“I know, Pat. Only twenty-six more to go.”
“I’m tired and hungry.”
“Order pizza and make some coffee. “Tarzan and his Mate” starts in fifteen minutes.”
“John, we’ve seen that film a dozen times.”
“I read that this cut restored seven seconds to the swimming scene that have never been seen before. Critics say that it changes the whole movie.”
“Seven seconds? What can happen in seven seconds?”
“If you were in the jungle confronted by hungry lion, seven seconds is long enough say, ‘Damn, I wish I was somewhere else.’”
I'LL GO ON DOWNTOWN
June 6: On this day in 1982, The Mike Grell illustrated Sunday Tarzan Comic strip, was a one shot. In “Jane Awakens.” Jane wakes in the middle of the night to find that Tarzan has responded to the full moon and the call of the jungle. He’s gone to dance the Dum-Dum with the Mangani.
All the Mike Grell Tarzan pages are available at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag29/2968.html
The short vignette reminded me of a Robert Earl Keen song, “I’ll Go On Downtown.” I thought that the lyrics could apply to a werewolf when I first heard the song, but I just listened to it again and the lyrics fit the full moon call of jungle just fine. Consider that for the Mangani (Great Apes), the Dum-Dum Tree is the heart of their downtown. Good beat – you could dance the Dum-Dum to it.
If you don’t know who Robert Earl Keen is and you’ve never heard this song or “The Road Goes On Forever,” I respectfully suggest that you open YouTube or Amazon Music right now and give him a listen – because the road goes on forever and the party never ends.
The drabble for today is a selection of lyrics from “I’ll Go On Downtown” by Robert Earl Keen. Buy his music, pick a nice tree on a moonlit night, and dance.
I'LL GO ON DOWNTOWN
I ain't been drinkin' for a month now or so
I tell everybody that I've nothin' to hide
I keep the devil locked deep down inside
And tonight I'll be out there a runnin' around
Tonight by the light of the moon on the ground
Tonight while the neighbors are sleepin' so sound
Tonight I'll slip off and I'll go on downtown.
The lights are all down and the moon's hangin' high
And the stars are all shining way up in the sky
And if anyone's askin' where I'll be found
It's home in the mornin' but tonight I'm downtown.
June 7: On this day in 1922, Edgar Rice Burroughs began writing “The Moon Maid.” Actually, he began dictating the story into his Ediphone. The first part of the “Moon’ trilogy wasn’t written (dictated) first; part two, The Moon Men was.
The Moon Maid was published in five parts by Argosy All-Story Magazine in May and June of 1923. Later combined with “The Moon Men” and “The Red Hawk,” the first edition was published by A.C. McClurg on February 6, 1926 with print run of 5,000 copies, with a cover by J. Allen St. John.
The cover illustration attached is by Patrice Sanahuja for a French paperback.
For more publishing details and several illustrations, visit https://www.erbzine.com/mag7/0767.html
The drabble for today, number 1100, is “Passing Phase,” and it was inspired by the novel, “The Moon Maid.”
Julian and the beautiful moon maid, Nah-ee-lah, had been captured by the horrible Va-gas, sentient, centaur like creatures who dwelt inside Earth’s moon along with Nah-ee-lah’s birdlike people the U-gas. The Va-gas tribe argued loudly among themselves.
Julian said, “I don’t understand their words.”
Nah-ee-lah answered, “Some want to eat us now and some want to wait until latter, but all of them want to eat us.”
“All they always like this.”
“No, their desire for flesh waxes and wanes. Sometimes, their desire to breed eclipses their desire for our flesh.”
“Good, I was hoping it was only a phase.”
BABY NEEDS NEW SHOES
June 8: On this day in 1924, “Why I wrote Tarzan and the Ant Men” was published in “The Atlanta Constitution.” The very short article was reprinted in “Edgar Rice Burroughs Tells All,” published by ERBville Press and available from Lulu publishing.
I’ll let ERB speak for himself in today’s drabble, 100 words from an article that was less than 150 words long. The title is “Baby Needs New Shoes.”
“I might tell you that I was prompted by an artistic urge that would not be denied expression, or that clamoring readers from Herschel’s island to Patagonia and east from Oshkosh insisted upon another classical interpretation of the jungle life, but the truth of the matter is that Joan is sixteen and loves to dance, which is an expensive pastime with shoes at eighteen dollars a pair, and that Hulbert blossomed forth in long trousers and evening clothes all in the same year, while the demands of Jack for rifle ammunition, marbles, and kite strings threatened to exceed the supply.”
BABY NEEDS NEW SHOES
WISDOM OF THE YOUNG
June 9: On this day in 1961, American actor George Benjamin French died in Hollywood. French appeared in 116 feature and short films according to IMDB, including the 1918 “Tarzan of the Apes,” “The Romance of Tarzan,” and “The Adventures of Tarzan.” He played a shipwrecked sailor named “Binns” in “Tarzan of the Apes” and “The Romance of Tarzan.”
French also appeared in ‘Our Gang” comedy shorts, aka “The Little Rascals,” and “The Battle of the Century” in 1927 with Laurel and Hardy.
I'm pretty sure that the The photograph is of French portraying Binns, the shipwrecked sailor, but I could be wrong about that.
The drabble for today is “Wisdom of the Young,’ and it was inspired by George B. French’s career.
“Mr. French, you appeared in three Tarzan films. You don’t look like Tarzan.”
WISDOM OF THE YOUNG
“No, sir. I don’t look like Jane either. I played a shipwrecked sailor named Binns in the films, who mentored and raised Tarzan.”
“I found that interesting. It was a significant departure from the books.”
“I played the role, I didn’t write the script.”
“We’ll be filming comedy shorts about a group of wholesome but mischievous children called the “Our Gang” comedies. We’re looking for a reoccurring adult foil for the kids to outsmart.”
“Should be simple. Most kids are smarter than me. They don’t have jobs.”
BAD GIRL ART
June 10: On this 92 years ago in 1929, Rex Hayden Maxon took over from Hal Foster as the illustrator of the Tarzan daily comic strip. R. W. Palmer continued to script the series. Maxon would continue to draw the strip until August of 1947, with one short break in 1936/1937. Basically, 6 days a week for 17 years, over 5200 daily strips. Wow!
Palmer plotted “The Return of Tarzan,’ and Maxon did the first ten weeks without compensation. The strip was then sold nationally to “United Features Syndicate.” Over the years, Maxon did illustrations for pulp magazines and occasionally even a drawing for the big guys, Colliers and the like. One such pulp illustration is included with this article. The Cleveland Plain Dealer would never have permitted the drawing to appear in the funny pages.
All of the Maxon dailies are available at https://www.erbzine.com/mag22/2293.html.
The drabble for today is “Bad Girl Art,” inspired by Rex Maxon’s pulp illustrations with a shout out to “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” acknowledging the last line in the drabble.
R.W. Palmer asked, “Rex, who was your favorite character in “Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar?”
BAD GIRL ART
Maxon said, “I really like La, the high priestess. Good character, conflicted and confused. Trying to be the strong ruler, but in love with a man for the first time.”
“Rex, I didn’t see her that way at all. She was a cruel woman, who’d kill anyone to get her way. She was a savage, ruling savages, and perpetuating a religion that required human sacrifice to the flaming god.”
“No, you misunderstood her. La wasn’t a bad girl, I just drew her that way.”
June 11: On this day in 1975, the Los Angeles Times published a movie review written by Linda Cross and titled “Fantasy Trip to a Long Lost Word.” The article reviewed the film, “The Land That Time Forgot,” an American International Picture release. The article contained a publicity still of with the caption “STRANDED – Susan Penhaligon, Doug McClure in “Land That Time Forgot,” opens today citywide.
The review was less than kind to the film, saying, “The Land That Time Forgot” is much too long and certainly less than logical. The volcanic smoke looks like cotton candy. The special effects creak and so does some of the dialogue.
The entire review may be read at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag70/clip31.jpg
The drabble for today is “Self Image.” and it was inspired by the film version of “The Land That Time Forgot,” and the review in the Los Angeles Times.
Susan Penhaligon, who was playing Lisa in the “Land That Time Forgot,” sat next to Douglas McClure during a break in filming.
“Doug, I feel silly. The head came off a dinosaur costume in the last scene. My dialogue is stilted and unimaginative. I’m embarrassed.”
“Relax. This isn’t live television. The director will edit out the bad stuff.”
“I hope so. I intend to be a serious actress, you know.”
“I’d take the advice of Edgar Rice Burroughs, the man that wrote this book. He said, ‘You are here for but an instant, and you mustn’t take yourself too seriously.’”
BUT DON'T GO NEAR THE WATER
June 12: On this day in 1940, Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote a letter from Hawaii to his daughter, Joan Burroughs Pierce. In the letter he talked about swimming or not swimming in the ocean and being concerned because step daughter, Caryl Lee, had been stung twice by Portuguese Men-O-War, a poison jellyfish, and a neighbor had caught five sharks fishing the day before. Caryl Lee Dearholt (Burroughs) was never formally adopted by Edgar Rice Burroughs, but she considered him her father. She had a long career as an animal trainer and worked for all the motion picture and television studios. She was the primary dog trainer on the Bemji films.
Read the entire letter at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag10/1049.html and a detailed biography of ERB’s stepdaughter, Caryl Lee at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag16/1637.html...
Of course, the drabble for today was written by Edgar Rice Burroughs and is taken from that letter to Joan. Here’s “But Don’t Go Near the Water.”
" I was tickled how quickly the children learned to swim and dive. It’s wonderful they have this opportunity. Hulbert gets a big kick out of instructing such apt pupils. I’ve been sixty-four years trying to learn, and up to now have arrived nowhere. I go in the ocean with the children and jump up and down as the rollers come in. I'm too damned scared to swim out. I don't know why. Caryl Lee has been poisoned by Portuguese Men-o-War only twice so far, and a neighbor caught only five sharks day before yesterday practically in front of our house."
BUT DON'T GO NEAR THE WATER
A NEW WORLD EVERY DAY
June 13: On this day in 1997, Dark Horse Comics released the final issue in its three part adaption of “The Return of Tarzan.” Edited by Peet Jones, and written and adapted by Thomas Yeates, the comic featured 25 pages of story. Gotta love Tom’s artwork! The publisher is Mike Richardson. Over the years, Dark Horse has published nearly 120 Edgar Rice Burroughs themed comics, mostly about Tarzan.
Dark Horse lists 118 different Tarzan related books available on its website. Go to https://www.darkhorse.com/Search/tarzan
The high point of Dark Horse’s Edgar Rice Burroughs work, in my humble opinion, was the Dark Horse Achives hardcover reprints of older Edgar Rice Burroughs comics, including eleven issues of Jesse Marsh’s Dell Tarzan work, the three issues of Jesse’s adaption of the first Barsoom trilogy, Joe Kubert’s Tarzan books originally done for DC Comics, the complete Russ Manning Gold Key Tarzan and Korak comics, and even “The Unauthorized Tarzan,” the Charlton Comic written by Joe Gill and illustrated by Sam Glanzman. Don’t forget the full size coffee table trilogy, “Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan The Sunday Comics,” featuring Hal Foster’s complete run.
The drabble for today “A New World Every Day,” was inspired by Dark Horse’s inclination to pair Tarzan with totally unrelated characters.
“Mr. Richardson, I was wondering why you’ve put Tarzan with other comic book characters.”
A NEW WORLD EVERY DAY
“It exposes Tarzan fans to other characters and fans of those characters to Tarzan.”
“I liked Tarzan and John Carter and Tarzan on Venus. I was okay with Tarzan and Superman and Tarzan and Batman. Tarzan and Predator was great, but “Tarzan on the Planet of the Apes” left me cold.”
“Really, I thought we did a great job on that one. Wait for the next one, “Groo Meets Tarzan.”
“Can you tell me about it?”
”Sure, Groo does what Groo does best. So does Tarzan.”
June 14: On this day in 1916, Edgar Rice Burroughs began writing “Auto Gypsying,” a diary of a three month long 6,000 mile automobile camping trip. The unpublished diary would eventually be 37,000 words long. The trip began in Oak Park, Illinois that afternoon in a rainstorm. Burroughs drove a Packard Twin Six I-35 touring car, accompanied by a converted delivery truck “Happy Thoughts” which pulled a trailer named “Calamity Jane.” The intrepid travelers encountered several breakdowns. Roads in 1916 were bad and mostly unpaved. Weather was a challenge, and the family dealt with rain, wind, dust, heat, and cold. The kids were sick and there were enough fauna to entertain everyone. Things were so bad that they abandoned Calamity Jane and Happy Thought less than a week into the trip and Burroughs purchased a new 3/4 ton Republic Truck in South Bend, Indiana.
Excerpts from the unpublished journal may be read at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag60/6020.html
The drabble for today, “Good Day,” is the June 20, 1916 entry in the diary – the day after ERB purchased the new Republic Truck. The entry references Louis Ziebs, a chauffeur hired to drive the truck.
Had steering rod straightened at Mishawaka. Got off the road once on the way to Coldwater and truck got into soft spot, digging herself in to the brake drums. Packard towed her out. Reached Coldwater 3 P.M. Just inside city limits truck motor commenced to pound and Louis stopped her. I went on and sent garage man back to tow him in to camp at Morrison’s Lake, about four miles beyond Coldwater. Found out we had burned out a connecting rod bearing. Made about 90 miles to-day. Much better than Happy Thought and Calamity Jane could make in five days.
GOT MY MOTO WORKING
June 15: On this day in 1959, the Tarzan daily comic began the story arc, “Tarzan and the Moto-Motos,” you gotta love the title. Drawn by John Celardo and written by Bill Elliot, the story ran for 90 days.
All ninety of the daily strips are available at http://www.erbzine.com/mag43/4358.html
The story begins with the U. S. Air Force leasing ‘Tarzanland’ for an emergency base. Tarzanland is a lost world inside an ancient volcano. The first Air Force detail to parachute into Tarzanland and meet Tarzan was comprised entirely of Navahos. The detail was led by Captain Joe Wildcat.
In spite of my high hopes that the Moto-Motos would be some strange creatures, they were a very superstitious tribe living inside the extinct volcano. They capture and torture Nurse Naomi, but Tarzan saves her. The Navaho airmen, who immediately quit wearing uniforms and wear some strange conception of an ancient Mesoamerican tribe’s dress code, but still carry modern firearms, help Tarzan save the Moto-Motos from fraudulent men and women pretending to be priests and priestesses and introduce the tribesmen into the confederation of tribes in the area.
The drabble for today is “Got My Moto Working,” and it was inspired by “Tarzan and the Moto-Motos.”
Air Force Captain Joe Wildcat led his men into the Moto-Moto village and helped Tarzan capture Kraima, an evil woman who’d faked magic powers to take control of the Moto-Moto tribe.
GOT MY MOTO WORKING
Wildcat said, “Didn’t expect a woman to be in charge. I expected someone like that Mr. Moto guy.”
“Peter Lorre was busy hunting the Maltese Falcon.”
The Captain said, “Funny! I’m shocked these people believed in her.”
“It wasn’t that hard. She had some modern technology, far beyond their understanding. I met an English scientist, Artie Clarke, I believe. He said, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
See Days 16-30 at ERBzine 7384a
JUNE IIIa ILLUSTRATIONS COLLAGE
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