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ERB 100-Word Drabbles
July III Edition :: Days 1 - 15
See Days 16 - 30 at ERBzine 7385a
by Robert Allen Lupton
With Collations, Web Page Layout and ERBzine Illustrations and References by Bill Hillman
July 1: On this day in 1918, the August 1918 issue of “The Book News Monthly: An Illustrated Magazine Devoted to Literature, Art and the Drama,” was released. It featured the article, “The Creator of Tarzan: Edgar Rice Burroughs.” The well-written article is presented as an interview, but the writer is never identified.
The complete article is reproduced at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag11/1132.html
In one of the anecdotes from the article, Burroughs tells of receiving a massage at a health club. The masseuse sees ERB’s hands and comments, “This is the first time that I’ve ever massaged a blacksmith.”
The drabble for today, "Workingman’s Hands," is taken directly from the article.
“He’s not the sort of person you’d take for a writer judging by appearance. Gone are the days of long hair and slovenly clothing for the successful author. The best of them might pass easily as a prosperous business men, and in the respect Mr. Burroughs differs not at all from his fellows – but his hands! The Lord never intended those hands to wield anything lighter than a sledge, or play upon a more delicate instrument than an anvil – that the four pound aluminum typewriter he uses in his work can withstand them is a source of wonder to me.”
July 2: On this day in 2006, actor Jan Murray died at age 89 in Beverly Hills, California. Murray, who was born as Murray Janofsky in the Bronx, played Captain Sam Bishop, a crusty but lovable character and friend to Tarzan, in the film, “Tarzan and the Great River.”
Murray began performing as a vaudeville comic at age 18. He appeared on numerous television variety programs included “The Ed Sullivan Show,” “The Tonight Show,” and “The Joey Bishop Show.” He hosted a series of game shows and was a regular panelist on “The Hollywood Squares,” appearing in 250 episodes. In 1961, he hosted his self-titled variety program, “The Jan Murray Show.”
He was the rat vendor in “History of the World Part One” – “Rats fo sale. Get your rats. Good for rat stew, rat soup, rat pies, or the very- popular ratatouille.”
The drabble for today was inspired by Murray’s early career as a vaudeville comedian. Here’s “Tough Crowd.”
Tarzan said, “Captain Bishop, this’s a pretty hard life. You run this ratty boat up and down the river. Bad food and bad hygiene. Bandits always trying to kill you.”
Bishop said, “This is nothing. I worked vaudeville on the Borscht Belt in the Catskill Mountains. We lived on six days old Chinese takeout and slept in hotel basements between shows.”
“Sounds unpleasant, but it’s dangerous on this river.”
“Dangerous, you should see the Christmas crowd at the Shawanga Lodge. Tough as nails. I rolled out my best stuff and I still died on stage three nights in a row.”
GODS OF THE FORGOTTEN
July 3: On this day in 2019, writer Geary Gravel began writing “John Carter of Mars: Gods of the Forgotten,” the third novel in the Swords of Eternity story arc – a series of all new novels approved and published by Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc. Cover art is by Chris Peuler and the book contains a novelette, “Victory Harben: Stormwinds of Va-nah,” by Ann Tonsor Zeddies.
The book is scheduled for publication later this summer. The limited edition hardback, limited to 200 copies, will be autographed by Geary and the folks at ERB Inc. It comes with a special collector’s card and while I don’t know for sure, my last few orders from ERB Inc. have had bookmarks enclosed. Preorder at https://edgarriceburroughs.com
Geary has an impressive resume. “Batman: Mask of the Phantasm,” “Batman: Duel to the Death,” “Batman: Shadows of the Past,” “Batman: The Dragon and the Bat,” and “Batman and Mr. Freeze” are all available from Amazon. He has other successful novels in worlds of his own – “A Key For the Nonesuch” and “Return of the Breakneck Boys,” are the initial stories in his War for the Fading Worlds series. “The Alchemists” and “The Pathfinders” take place in the Autumn Mosaic universe. “The Alchemists” was nominated for the Philip K. Dick award in 1984. I don’t want to forget the two novels in his Night and Magic universe, “The Dreamwright” and “The Shadowsmith.”
The easiest place to find all of his books is at his Amazon page – here’s the link: https://www.amazon.com/ Looking forward to Gods of the Forgotten. Thanks Geary.
The drabble for today was inspired by the title, “Gods of the Forgotten.” It has nothing to do with the new book, “John Carter of Mars: Gods of the Forgotten.” After all the book hasn’t been released and I haven’t read it yet. The drabble for today is “Celestial Reminder,” one hundred words.
In the days when gods personally visited humans, the powerful god Terkes visited a backsliding worshiper named Paul. He said, “Paul, haven’t seen you at services this summer.”
GODS OF THE FORGOTTEN
“Sorry, Terkes. There’s been a drought. Crops and herds to tend. Pagans to fight. Help would’ve been nice.”
“I understand busy, but your tithes are overdue.”
“I was trying to stay alive. I must have forgot.”
Terkes summoned lightning and destroyed Paul’s house and burned his fields. He inflicted a deadly pestilence on Paul’s flocks.
“Forgot! That’s your excuse. Forgot!” Terkes pointed to the devastation. “Maybe this will help you remember!”
July 4: On this day in 1898, actress Manilla Martan, who played Korak’s love interest, Meriam, as a young woman in the film serial, “The Son of Tarzan” was born in Colorado. As far as I know, she was the only acrtress named for a bay in the Philippine. Manilla, a popular singer and dancer, beat out hundreds of other actresses who tried out for the role of Meriem. Rumors persisted for years that Martan was involved in a love triangle with Korak portrayer, Kamuela Searle, and director Harry Reiver.
Actress Mae Giraci played Meriem as a child.
Details and photographs from the film are available at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag5/0589.html
“The Son of “Tarzan” was her first film credit. Her films include ‘Chasing Rainbows,” Under Montana Skies,” “Anybody’s Blonde,” “Caught Cheating,” and “The Third Alarm.” She used the name Nita Martan in her later years. She was active for years in musical comedy stage productions and vaudeville. In the 1930’s she partnered with Murray Smith to create a dance team that performed in the Coconut Grove Club in Los Angeles, among other venues.
The drabble for today was inspired by Manilla Martan, her film career, and by the rumors on set of “The Son of Tarzan.” “Border Romance” contains the titles of ten of Manilla’s films and one of her stage plays. Enjoy.
Mae Garaci ran into Manilla Martan’s dressing room. “Mr. Reiver is really angry and if you get caught cheating with Kamuela again, he’ll invoke dog justice and fire you both.”
Manilla smiled, “Sound the third alarm. I’m not anybody’s blonde and Reiver’s chasing rainbows if he thinks he owns me. He believes he’s de woild’s champeen on a king size or a pair of twin beds. Hide, Kamuela, or you’ll be sleeping under Montana skies or on the sidewalks of New York.”
“He treats you like a borrowed wife.”
“No worries, I’ll be lady be good until he calms down.”
July 5: On this day in 1945, the world’s oldest war correspondent, Edgar Rice Burroughs, was on board an Escambia-class replenishment oiler, the U. S. S. Cahaba (AO-82), a fuel ship operated by the Navy.. He wrote the article, “Tanker Like “Accident About to Happen,” on June 10th, but the article wasn’t published until July 5, 1945, when it was printed by the Honolulu Advertiser. Burroughs had a great deal of respect for these fuel ships, their officers, and their crews – especially when one realizes that a tanker is a floating bomb subject to attack by enemy submarines, warships, and airplanes, especially the dreaded Kamikaze.
The photograph shows the Cahaba simultaneously refueling the Iowa and the Shangri-La during 1945.
It is fitting on the Fourth of July to thank the men who served on the Cahaba for their service, especially the skipper, Lt. Commander, Julius Burnbaun, USNR. The Cahaba received eight battle stars during the WW2. Earlier in 1945, she participated in the assault on Iwo Jima by fueling 58 ships at sea from February 23 to March 4.
The Cahaba later served as a floating power station during the Vietnam War, was decommissioned at an unknown date, and scrapped in 1971.
The entire article may be read at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag2/0213.html#5
It is only appropriate that today’s drabble for today be taken from Edgar Rice Burroughs’ article. Here’s “Floating Bomb,” 100 words of what he had to say.
Some enemy aircraft got within six minutes of us. It was reassuring to see our planes go out to meet them. What happened, we never learned; but no enemy got through to us. The disappointment of the gun crews was great, but they had it to themselves. No one shared it with them.
Although not a combat ship, we’re adequately armed and equipped for our own protection. With our enormous inflammable and explosive cargo, augmented by the considerable store of ammunition we carry, we appear to an innocent bystander like this correspondent, to be an accident going somewhere to happen.
July 6: On this day in 2011, book reviewer, Elizabeth de Hager reviewed the new Tarzan novel, “Tarzan: The Greystoke Legacy,” by Andy Briggs. She posted her review at www.MyFavoriteBooks.com. I found the book targeted toward younger readers. de Hager recommends the book for ages 9 and older. The next day, she posted an interview with the author. Her review and the entire interview is available on her website and at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag34/3424.html
The drabble for today, “Super Tarzan,” is taken from that interview with Andy Briggs.
“I found Tarzan surprisingly easy to write. His morals and beliefs are black and white. He leads a simple life.
I read as many Tarzan books and watched every film and TV show I could lay my hands on. The books and the films are very different and there’ve been no faithful adaptations (the Christopher Lambert Greystoke movie was the closest.)
The public's image of Tarzan comes from the movies more than the books and I wanted to capture the best parts of each and distill it into a “super Tarzan” that would appeal to older fans and new readers.”
IF YOU'RE SO DAMN SMART
July 7: On this day in 1977, Britain’s “Tarzan Weekly # 5” featured the Tarzan comic stories, “Tarzan and the Cloud Dwellers,” and “Lord Byron’s Machine Gun.” Don Glut and Mark Evanier are credited as the writers and art was by Dan Spiegle and Rick Hoberg. Russ Manning was listed as the editor. I was unable to determine that “Tarzan and the Cloud Dwellers” or “Lord Byron’s Machine Gun” were ever published in the United States.
Tarzan Weekly sold for 12 pence. The first issue was June 11, 1977, and the last was October 22, 1977 – only 20 issues of this 32 page comic were published. The publisher was Byblos Productions limited – a Finnish publisher using a London address. The photo is of the only one of the 20 issues that I have.
The drabble for today was inspired by “Lord Byron’s Machine Gun.” It’s called “If You’re So Damn Smart?”
Lord Byron encountered Korak while crossing Africa in search for the tree of knowledge. “It’s the tree of Adam and Eve.”
IF YOU'RE SO DAMN SMART
Korak said, “My father spoke of such a tree. It is well guarded.”
“I have a machine gun.”
They found the tree of knowledge unguarded and Byron ate his fill. On the return trip, Byron’s canoe overturned. Korak shouted. “Drop the machine gun and take my hand.”
Byron refused, he hugged the heavy gun to his chest and drowned.
Later Tarzan asked Korak about Byron’s death.
“You can lead a man to knowledge, but you can’t make him think!”
EVERYONE IS DOING LIFE
July 8: On this day in 1916, All-Story Weekly published the fourth of five parts of “The Return of the Mucker.” Burroughs took his working title for “The Return of the Mucker’ from the title of a poem by H. H. Knibbs, “Out There Somewhere.” The story was published in the U. S. as the second half of “The Mucker” by A. C, McClurg on October 31, 1921 and by Methuen in Great Britain as “The Man Without a Soul” on January 26, 1922.
The magazine cover is a drawing of a pretty girl with the caption, “Beginning ‘The Pit-Diggers Romance Rich Young Girl.” The issue contains the first of five parts of the story written by Headon Hill, a pseudonym of Francis Edward Grainger, who only wrote about a dozen stories for the pulps.
A total of twenty stories appeared in the issue and none of them are by writers I’ve ever heard of – except Burroughs and Johnson McCulley, who wrote hundreds of stories for the pulps and used a half dozen pseudonyms.
The drabble for today is “Everyone is Doing Life,” and it was inspired by Billy's attitude at his trial in “The Return of the Mucker.”
The judge said, “Billy Byrne, in absence of any defense, the jury will find you guilty of murder and I’ll sentence you to life in prison without parole.”
EVERYONE IS DOING LIFE
“So be it. Barbara Harding is marrying Billy Mallory. I’ve nothing left to live for.”
“Anything to say before I issue instructions to the jury.”
“They’re all serving a life sentence and like me, even good behavior won’t be enough for them to receive a pardon. I expect that all of us can sum up our entire lives in a single sentence. It didn’t go like I planned. I’m okay with that.”
VOLUME ISN'T TRUTH
July 9: On this day in 1947 the first installment of the Tarzan Daily Comic Strip story arc, “The Father of Diamonds.” Appeared. The story arc, written by Dick Van Buren and illustrated by John Celardo, ran for fifty-nine days.
The story featured hunters, tyrannosauruses, two lost civilizations (where the men wear their hair like Prince Valiant), giant squids, evil scuba divers, sharks, and giant lobsters. Tarzan encounters all of these dangers in his search for the “Father of Diamonds,” which in the end turns out only to be a lump of coal, and no, Tarzan didn’t leave the lump of coal in the king’s Christmas stocking.
The drabble for today is “Volume Isn’t Truth,” inspired by the story arc “The Father of Diamonds.”
The king shouted, “The Father of Diamonds is the most valuable stone in existence. Tarzan, bring it to me or your friends die.”
VOLUME ISN'T TRUTH
“I’ve never heard of such a stone.”
The king screamed louder. “The stone exists. Do not question me!”
Tarzan calmly replied, “Just because you scream it with conviction doesn’t make it so.”
The red-faced king screamed even louder. “I’m positive that I’m right. I know move than anyone.”
Tarzan smiled. “Screaming louder doesn’t make you more right.
Even the great apes know that the loudest ape isn’t the bravest or the smartest. It’s usually quite the opposite.”
ALMOST MADE IT
July 10: On this day in 1960 at the Stadio Olimpic, pole vaulter Don Bragg became the first man to clear 4.70 meters (15 feet 5 inches). He celebrated by thrilling the Roman crowd with a Tarzan yell. Nicknamed “Tarzan” because of his size and strength, Bragg had always wanted to play Tarzan. He actively pursued the role. He was offered the role twice, but injuries prevented him from accepting. In 1964, he got his chance and he was on the set filming “Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar” when a court order stopped the production because of copyright infringement. He never got another chance.
The copyright infringement claim was upheld and production never resumed. Almost no information about the film is available and there is no footage existent. I’d like to know who was cast in the roles of Jane Porter and La, the Oparian priestess.
In August 2021, Bragg made a speech in Rome at a ceremony celebrating the 50th anniversary of the 1960 Summer Olympics. He finished the speech with a Tarzan yell.
The drabble for today, “Almost Made It,” was inspired by Bragg’s desire and unfulfilled quest to be Tarzan.
Don Bragg, who was the athletic director at Stockton State University, signed an autograph for a young boy. The recipient said, “Why’d you sign as “Don Bragg (Tarzan)?”
ALMOST MADE IT
“When I was young I looked like Tarzan, ran like Tarzan, and swung from vines and ropes like Tarzan. I almost played Tarzan in the movies. People called me Tarzan.”
“Johnny Weissmuller is Tarzan.”
“He was, but I should have been. Don’t you want to grow up to be Tarzan?”
“No, I want to be a gunfighter. Whatcha think?”
“Better Tarzan. Gunfighters have to be perfect. If they lose once – they die.”
INTO THE ZOO
July 11: On this day in 1960, actress Kim Crosby was born in Fort Smith, Arkansas. Kim played Jane Porter, a cab driver and Tarzan’s love interest in “Tarzan in Manhattan.” The ill-fated Joe Lara played Tarzan and Tony Curtis played Jane’s father, a retired police officer.
Crosby is primarily known for her work in musical theater. In 1987, she created the role of Cinderella in “Into the Woods.” She’s appeared in ‘Guys and Dolls,” “Six Wives,” “Oklahoma,” “West Side Story,” “A Little Night Music,” “Peter Pan,” “ Kris Kringle, the Musical,” and ‘My Fair Lady.” Quite the resume and quite the accomplished actress!
The drabble today is “Into The Zoo,” inspired by her role in “Tarzan in Manhattan.”
Tarzan hopped into a cab. “Take me to the zoo. Someone stole Cheetah, my chimpanzee.”
INTO THE ZOO
Jane replied, “Second zoo trip this week. A refrigerator truck filled with penguins crashed two days ago. The cops loaded the penguins in my cab. Told me to take them to the zoo.”
“Big birds. Can’t fly. Doesn’t matter.”
“And you took the big birds that can’t fly to the zoo?”
“I did. And we had such a good time that the next morning I took them to the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art. This weekend we’re going to a concert in Central Park.”
EVERYONE'S A CRITIC
July 12: On this day in 1918, Bollywood actor, professional wrestler, and politician, Dara Singh, was born in the village of Dharmuchak, which was then part of British Punjab. His birth name was Deedar Singh Randhawa. Acting and wrestling under the name, Dara Singh, he played Tarzan in “Tarzan Comes to Delhi,” and himself in “Tarzan and King Kong,” when his brother played Tarzan. Singh had over 100 roles in film and on television to his credit.
He was recognized as World Wrestling Champion when he defeated Lou Thesz in 1968. Dara Singh wrestled with Emile 'The King Kong' Czaja. According to “The Indian Express,” Dara Singh lifted an almost 200kg (440 pounds) King Kong of Australia over his head and twirled him around. This match is remembered as one of the most exciting fights in the history of wrestling competitions. Watch the video here: https://ww.youtube.com/watch?v=juFDhqja5HE
After his wrestling career, Singh was elected to the Rajya Sabha ‘the upper house’ of the Indian Parliament.
The drabble for today, inspired by the career of Dara Singh, is “Everyone’s a Critic.”
The interviewer said, ‘No offense, Mr. Singh, but it seems you’ve had only one career – acting.”
EVERYONE'S A CRITIC
“I’m a Member of Parliament and a World Wrestling Champion in addition to my career in films and on television.”
“Respectfully, politics is just acting.”
“Acting with consequences, young man. I played the Thief of Bagdad on screen. In Parliament, I protected your tax dollars.”
“Perhaps, but wrestling. Everyone knows wrestling’s fake.”
“Let me drop you on your head and kick you a few times. After I slam you into the turnbuckle, if you can talk, you can tell me how fake it was.
July 13: On this day in 1958, “Tarzan and the Killer Whale,” written by Dick Van Buren and illustrated by John Celardo began in the Tarzan Sunday comic strip. The short story arc ran for nine weeks. I don’t have a copy of the strip, real or electronically, and I couldn’t find one online. If anyone has any of the pages, a photograph or scan would be appreciated.
Celardo and Van Buren combined on the Sunday Tarzan for a little over four years. Celardo continued with Bill Elliot scripts until 1961, at which time he took over both writing and illustrating until 1968. Almost none of this work has been reproduced.
The original Celardo Sunday page attached is from 1964 and it has a balloon in it. Surprise!
The drabble for today is “Bigger Boat,” inspired by the title of the John Celardo story arc.
The fisherman said, “Tarzan, you and the commissioner must help us. There’s a killer whale in the bay. It destroys our nets and it upended one of our boats and killed two men.”
The commissioner said, “Interesting, killer whales aren’t whales, they’re dolphins, don’t you know!”
“Small comfort to the dead men,” said Tarzan. “I’ll help.”
The Commissioner replied. “I’m in charge. I’ve read Moby Dick.”
“That turned out so well for Captain Ahab,” answered Tarzan. “With you in command, we’ll face the same handicap as the Pequod’s crew, it’s difficult to catch a creature that’s smarter than the captain!”
NOT THAT LONG A STAY
July 14: On this day in 1916, Edgar Rice Burroughs and family began a 99 day road trip. He wrote about the trip from an automobile’s point of view in “An Auto-Biography” which was provided free of charge to potential customers of the Republic Motor Truck Company of Alma, Michigan. The managing director of the Motor Truck Company represented that there would be 250,000 copies, but no one know how many were actually printed.
The text of the entire booklet is available at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag0/0030.html
The drabble for today, “Not That Long A Stay,” is taken from that booklet, here’s the first 100 words.
Without undue vanity and with no intention of boasting, I think I am warranted in saying that I have probably crowded more real living into the first four months of my life than the majority of my brothers and cousins will experience in all the years which intervene between the factory and their ultimate burial ground -- the junk pile.
NOT THAT LONG A STAY
How little did I imagine in my brief childhood, as I purred through the quiet streets of Alma or rolled along the shady country roads beyond, what lay in store for me! Ah, but those were clean and happy days!
WHITE LINE FEVER
July 15: On this day in 1944, actor Jan Michael Vincent was born in Denver, Colorado. He starred as Nanu, a jungle man brought to the U.S. to compete in track and field events, in Walt Disney’s 1973 film, "The World's Greatest Athlete." Nanu should not be confused with the Orkan greeting, “Nanu Naun, practiced by the residents of the planet, Ork.
In 1989, Vincent portrayed the villain, B. B. Brightmore, in "Tarzan in Manhattan." Brightmore and his cronies captured or stole animals for illicit research purposes.
Vincent’s filmography is extensive, with over 100 credits including, “The Undefeated,” “Bite the Bullet,” “Baby Blue Marine,” “Dragnet, “Lassie,” “Bonanza,” “Airwolf,” “The Winds of War,” and “Nash Bridges,”
His personal life was another matter. He battled alcoholism and intravenous drug use for much of his life. He was arrested three times for cocaine possession and twice in bar room brawls. In the 1990s he was in three severe car wrecks, and barely survived the last one in 1996. He was charged with felony assault in 1986. His second wife, Joanne Robinson, filed a restraining order (alleging assault) in 1998, and in 2000 a judgement was made against him in favor of a former girlfriend claiming physical assault resulting in a miscarriage. He continued to have alcohol related encounters with law enforcement as late as 2008. Tragic.
The photo is from “The World’s Greatest Athlete.”
The drabble for today was inspired by Jan Michael Vincent’s career. It contains the titles of 15 of Jan Michael Vincent’s films. Call it “White Line Fever.”
“Jan, we’re going to work late tonight. A vigilante force soldier will put the midnight witness in a deadly embrace, but your hidden obsession with justice will prevail and you’ll prevent any additional body count. ”
WHITE LINE FEVER
“That’s beyond the call of duty. I’ll catch the last plane out and be going home.”
“I wasn’t expecting such defiance. No rest for the wicked. Bite the bullet, one more scene.”
“Your directing style approaches indecent behavior. You’ve touched my last raw nerve and are on my hit list. I'll film the scene, but I’m taking tomorrow off, I’ve a big Wednesday planned.”
See Days 16-30 at ERBzine 7385a
JULY III ILLUSTRATIONS COLLAGE
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