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ERB 100-Word Drabbles
OCTOBER III Edition :: Days 1 - 15
See Days 16 - 31 at ERBzine 7388a
by Robert Allen Lupton
With Collations, Web Page Layout and ERBzine Illustrations and References by Bill Hillman
I CAN DO THAT
October 1: On this day in 1904 actress Louise Lorraine was born as Mary Louise Escovar in San Francisco, California. She co-starred as Jane in the 1921 film, “The Adventures of Tarzan.” Elmo Lincoln played Tarzan.
For details on the film, visit: https://www.erbzine.com/mag5/0590.html
Louise appeared in almost a dozen of the most physically demanding, action-filled cliffhangers. She spirit and ability frequently overshadowed her male compatriots. Her career lasted from 1920 through 1932 and included “Elmo the Fearless,” “The Flaming Disc,” and ”The Wild Girl.”
After filming completed on “Near the Rainbow’s End,” with Bob Steele, she retired from the film industry to spend time with her family.
One of the more interesting parts of the storyline to “Adventures of Tarzan” is that Jane has the map to the Opar tattooed on her back and the bad guys want to capture her so they can find the Jewels of Opar. “Waterworld,” anyone. Additionally, Elmo Lincoln staged a one man walkout during filming – until producers threatened to replace him with Frank Merrill.
The drabble for today is “I Can Do That,” and it was inspired by Louise’s ability to do her own stunts and Elmo Lincoln’s issues with tree and vine work.
Director Scott Sidney said, “Louise, Elmo’s pouting and he won’t come to the set. Will you talk to him?”
I CAN DO THAT
“It won’t do any good. He’s mad because I do my own stunts and his stunts are performed by Frank Merrill.”
“The insurance company is afraid he’ll be injured.”
“How would he get hurt? He can’t climb the trees or swing on vines.”
“Jeez Louise, I’ve got a budget and schedule.”
“Tell Elmo that you’re going to have a witch doctor hoodoo Tarzan to look like Frank. Frank can be Tarzan and I’ll do any damn stunt that he won’t do.”
SKILL, NOT SIZE
October 2: On this day in 1912, Edgar Rice Burroughs finished writing the sequel to “A Princess of Mars.” The manuscript for “Gods of Mars” was mailed to Metcalf at Munsey Magazines that same day, who bought first magazine rights to the story and published it in “The All-Story,” from January through May of 1913. Fred Small drew a single black and white headpiece that was used at the beginning of each installment.
“The Gods of Mars” never had amagazine cover. The issue with the first installment had a cover for “Sands o’ Life,” a Pirate Yarn by William Patterson White. Other writers in the issue included Jonathan Shift, Oliver Goldsmith, and Frank Condon.
The 100 word drabble for today, “Skill, Not Size,” was inspired by the novel, “The Gods of Mars.”
After ten long years, John Carter was astrally returned to the Valley Dor on Mars where he found his old friend Tars Tarkas, a Green Martian. They were attacked by plant men and hid inside a cave where they were locked inside.
SKILL, NOT SIZE
Soon the door opened and a score of yellow-haired men carrying longswords attacked them. John Carter found a knife and killed all twenty of the men. Tarkas said, “Very impressive. They had longswords and you had but a single knife.”
Carter replied, “It doesn’t matter how big your sword is if you don’t know how to use it!”
October 3: On this day in 1953, artist Paul Privitera was born in Derby, UK. Paul drew hundreds of Edgar Rice Burroughs themed paintings and drawings. He began using acrylic paint, but then changed to Dodge and Burn software to overlap images, change colors, etc. Eventually, he put away his tubes of paint and used Photoshop completely.
A brief biography of Paul and several examples of his artwork are available at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag27/2708.html
The drabble for today, “Inspiration” is take from a long ago interview with Paul Privitera.
“I have always been interested in Fantasy art -- certainly inspired by the works of Frank Frazetta.
I paint, using Photoshop, as this provides the utmost versatility. It requires no drying time, allows instant colour changes, and makes possible limitless image manipulations.
Fantasy art captures the modern imagination. In the future, perhaps fantastic art will be recognized as a form of high art by the art establishment.
Edgar Rice Burroughs and Arthur Conan Doyle are the main reasons for the creation of the following work. My illustrations are inspired by comics from my childhood, movie posters, book covers and paintings.”
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
October 4: On this day in 1916, actor Jan Murray was born as Murray Janofsky in the Bronx, New York. Murray played Captain Sam Bishop in “Tarzan and the Great River.”
He hosted quiz shows, made countless television appearances and played Icabod Crane on Kolchak: The Night Stalker in 1974 and Simon Sweet on “The Man From Uncle” in 1967.
Murray began his show business career as a standup comedian.
The 100 word drabble for today is “Food for Thought,” and it’s taken from Jan Murray’s comic routines.
“Dieting is a system of starving yourself to death so you can live a little longer. Chubby Checker lost pounds by demonstrating how to move as if you were drying your back with a towel. The substitution of the word back for bottom indicates the oddly wholesome image of the twist. Hunger is real. Russia needs our wheat. We can’t expect them to invade countries on empty stomachs.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Yesterday afternoon I came home and a man was jogging naked across my yard. I asked, ‘Why are you jogging naked in my yard.’ The man replied, “Why are you home early?”
KEEP IT SIMPLE
October 5: On this date in 2003, when Travis Fimmel wandered into New York as Tarzan in a new Warner Bros. series.
Alas, or fortunately. depending on your personal feelings, the show was canceled after only a few weeks. Even Xena the Warrior Princess wasn’t enough to interest the viewers. Lucy Lawless was cast as a Tarzan relative named Kathleen Clayton. Sarah Wayne Callies played the part of Jane Porter, a New York detective. Nine episodes were filmed but the series was quickly canceled, even though the show attracted a whopping 2.8 million viewers! Unfortunately, 2.8 million isn’t that large an audience and Tarzan placed 112th among primetime programs!
The drabble for today is about the concept of the short lived series. “Keep it Simple” is the title of today’s 100 word drabble.
Lucy Lawless said to show creator, Eric Kripe, “The script says I’m Tarzan’s aunt or some crap like that. Tarzan doesn’t have any female relatives.”
KEEP IT SIMPLE
“Relax, he does now.”
Travis said, “I may just be a pretty face, but Tarzan belongs in the jungle, not Manhattan and a billionaire uncle – really.”
Sarah Callies complained, “Jane’s a scientist’s daughter not a policewoman. You’ve created a mash-up of King Kong, a police procedural drama, and Falcon Crest.”
Kripe smiled, ‘So you don’t think this is going to work.”
Lawless shook her head. “It’ll never get off the ground, too many moving parts.”
October 6: On this day in 1940, Edgar Rice Burroughs began writing “Men of the Bronze Age,” which would ultimately become the second installment of “Savage Pellucidar.” It was originally published in “Amazing” in March 1942, reprinted in ‘Amazing Stories Quarterly in the fall of 1942, and published as part of the first edition of “Savage Pellucidar” by Canaveral Press on November 25, 1963. I especially enjoyed this book. I thought ERB wrote it a little tongue in cheek. The character, “The little man who wasn’t Dolly Dorcas” remains one of my favorites – even though he was a cannibal.
“Men of the Bronze Age,” got a cover mention by “Amazing” in 1942, but the cover illustration went to “Disciples of Destiny” by Don Wilcox. The illustration with this article and drabble is by J. Allen St. John.
The publishing history of Savage Pellucidar and several illustrations may be viewed at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag7/0747.html
The 100 word drabble for today, “Positive Landing,” was inspired by “Men of the Bronze Age,” and the title of the drabble, “Positive Landing,” is a pilot’s euphemism for a hard landing,
especially appropriate for today in 2021, the fifth day of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. However, I checked with the FAA and there wasn’t a NOTAM this morning for flying reptiles during the flight window.
Dian the Beautiful was in one of Abner Perry’s inventions, a balloon. The craft escaped its moorings and rose quickly toward the central sun.
A winged reptile, a thipdar, circled the balloon. Dian couldn’t make the balloon rise higher, but she opened the gas valve and the balloon dropped like a rock.
The thipdar became entangled in balloon’s ropes. His struggles slowed the balloon’s descent into tall trees where tree dwellers killed the thipdar, Dian slipped to the ground.
She said, “Abner, I’m sorry I broke your balloon.”
“You walked away from the landing. Don’t apologize. Take credit for it.”
EVIL BY OMISSION
October 7: On this day in 1966, the fifth episode of the Ron Ely Tarzan television show was broadcast. The episode, “The Prisoner,” featured character actor and frequent film and television bad guy, Robert J. Wilke, as Spooner, Charles Maxwell as Mac, and Mimi Dillard as Nione. Robert J. Wilke, too good a bad guy to only use once, appeared in two subsequent episodes.
A native policeman, Khobi, was nearly killed by the diamond smuggler, Spooner. While Khobi fought to survive from the attack, Tarzan captured Spooner and took him through the jungle to face legal justice. Spooner’s henchmen tracked Tarzan and his prisoner, little realizing that the worst thing that could happen to them was to catch the ape man.
All the episodes are detailed at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag74/7420.html
The drabble for today is “Evil by Omission,” inspired by the episode and the career of Robert J. Wilke.
Tarzan said, “You shouldn’t have attacked my friend, the policeman. I’ll see you stand trial."
EVIL BY OMISSION
Spooner sneered, “Never happen. My gang will catch us first.”
“They don’t want to fight me in my jungle.”
“They’ll fight you to the death, you may kill them, but you’ll never kill me. If you lock me up, I’ll escape easily.”
“You seem very confident. Why is that?”
“I’m too good a bad guy to waste.”
Tarzan said, “I doubt that. There are two kinds of evil people. Those who do evil and those who see evil done and do nothing. I am neither!”
BORN TO BE A BIG SHOT
October 8: On this day in 1921, Argosy All-Story Weekly published the first installment of four on Edgar Rice Burroughs’s “The Efficiency Expert,” a novel without green men or princesses, where the jungle was an urban jungle. The hero, Jimmy Torrance couldn’t swing on vines or use a sword, but he had a good heart. The cover painting was by Stockton Mulford.
The issue of Argosy All-Story Weekly also contained the second installment of “The Seventh Man,” by Max Brand, “Broken Chains” by Jack Bechdolt, and 12 other stories. I’ll mention “The Power of Madame Krishna” by Elizabeth Irons Folsom because I liked the title and had to know a little more about someone whose name was Irons Folsom.
Her real name was even better, Elizabeth Irons Folsom Fox,” and she wrote about fifty stories for pulp magazines in a career that lasted from 1914 to 1928. A well respected reporter, she wrote two novels, “Free’ and “Mad Rapture. Her short story “Towers of Fame,” won the O. Henry award for best short story in 1924.
Details about the publishing history of “The Efficiency Expert” may be found at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag7/0768.html
The drabble for today, “Born to be a Big Shot,” was inspired by “The Efficiency Expert.” A tip of the hat to Jim Croce for the song, “Working At the Carwash Blues.”
Jimmy Torrence, star college athlete was determined to become a successful businessman and applied at several locations seeking employment as “General Manager of a Large Business.”
BORN TO BE A BIG SHOT
He found no takers and was bemoaning his misfortunes with a pickpocket named Lizard. “A man of my ability should be smoking on a big cigar, talking trash to the secretaries, and drinking a double martini, but no one recognizes my talent.
Lizard said, “Nobody starts at the top. They see you like I see you. The only talent you’ve demonstrated is how not to starve to death with no income and no common sense.”
October 9: On this day in 1903, Edgar Rice Burroughs drew a cartoon and sent it to his father as a birthday greeting. In the message, ERB said that he was taking a correspondence course in drawing and hoped to be a cartoonist someday.
How would things have been different if “Under the Moons of Mars” began as a Sunday newspaper cartoon or if a Tarzan character had been a reoccurring figure in Edgar Rice Burroughs political cartoons? It could have happened. By 1906, the weekly Sunday comics newspaper supplement was commonplace, with a half-dozen competitive syndicates circulating strips to newspapers in every major American city.
I haven’t been able to find the cartoon referenced in this article, but for countless examples of Burroughs work, there is no better source than www.erbzine.com. Bill Hillman has spent countless hours cataloging ERB’s writings and artwork – not to mention his photography. https://www.erbzine.com/mag27/2760.html is a good place to start.
The drabble for today is “Comic Art,” a conversation that never happened, but ah, what could have been!
Editor Thomas Metcalf said, “Ed, I like publishing the Tarzan stories. Have you ever considered him as a Sunday Comic strip character?”
Ed replied, “I dabble in drawing, but I can’t draw fast enough to meet a schedule like the comics demand. I couldn’t keep up.”
“I’ll help you find an artist.”
“No thanks, I do my own work. Tarzan works well in my stories, but I don’t think anyone will pay to put him on the screen or in the newspaper. I’m not convinced Tarzan will make a good visual image.”
“Well, if you change your mind, let me know.”
LITTLE JACK AND JILLLL HICKORY HORNER
2021: The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta Today
October 10: On this day in 1927, Volland published the “The Tarzan Twins” dedicated to ERB’s children, Joan, Jack, and Hulbert. The first edition DJ was by Douglas Grant, who also drew six color and 36 black and white illustrations for the interior. Volland published several reprints of the book from 1927 through 1932. Whitman Publishing also published the story as a Big Little Book with cover art by Hal Arbo and 189 interior illustrations by Juanita Bennett.
The text of the book and several illustrations are available at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag4/0498.html
The drabble for today “Little Jack and Jill Hickory Horner,” was inspired by the Tarzan Twins and too many nursery rhymes to mention. My apologies.
LITTLE JACK AND JILLLL HICKORY HORNER
Climb up the hickory tree, Doc.
Dick run fast, escape the flock
Of Galla Galla, the cannibal chief
Who wants you both for stewpot meat.
Doc and Dick, fear Intamo the witch doc
He performs his spells around the clock.
He doesn’t know what makes you tick
But he plots ways to make you sick
Hide and stay safe ‘till sunrise
When Tarzan and Muviro arrive
And chase Galla Galla up a hill
Where he’ll fall down
And break his crown
And Intamo tumbling after.
Then come down from your high tree
Smile and say, what good boys are we!
TARZAN THE WONDER HORSE
October 11: On this day in 1912, All-Story Magazine editor, Thomas Newell Metcalf wrote a letter to Edgar Rice Burroughs offering advice on what Burroughs should do in writing a sequel to “Tarzan of the Apes.” Metcalf suggested that Tarzan should go civilized in somewhere like London, Paris or New York and after that doesn’t work our well, Tarzan return to the jungle.
Burroughs did, indeed, use this idea in “The Return of Tarzan,” but whether Metcalf should get credit for the suggestion will never be known.
Additionally, Metcalf, foreshadowing the numerous attempts to get rid of Jane in later books and motion pictures, recommended that Tarzan meet a woman who grew up in the jungle as Tarzan did. Burroughs gave us several women in the novels, La of Opar for example, but none raised quite that way.
The letter addressed simply to “Dear Burroughs” and referenced here is available at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag28/2834.html
The drabble for today is an excerpt from that letter written by Thomas Metcalf. And it’s called “Free Advice.” It was somewhat prophetic. There was a famous horse named Tarzan and Tarzan became and remains a household word. Here's a photo of Ken Maynard and Tarzan the Wonder Horse.
“I’ve been thinking over the necessity of a sequel to “Tarzan” and is certainly looks as though we ought to have one, don’t you think so? As you say, sequels are never quite as good as the originals, but with such a howling mob demanding further adventures of your young hero, it would be a very good move to bring him to the notice of the great public.
TARZAN THE WONDER HORSE
I have no doubts at all that the time will come when let alone naming race-horses “Tarzan”, the word “Tarzan” will become a generic term for anything that is a huge success.”
IT'S ABOUT TIME
October 12: On this day in 1946, science fiction fan, publisher, writer, and collector, Forest J. Ackerman (Forrey Ackereman) along with his wife and two other people visited Edgar Rice Burroughs at his home in California. Ackerman wrote a detailed description of that visit. The description by Ackerman is available at various internet sites, but I recommend https://www.erbzine.com/mag2/0211.html
Ackerman edited and published “Famous Monsters of Filmland,” appeared in over 200 films, wrote over fifty stories under his own nam eand authored several lesbian stories under the name "Laurajean Ermayne.
The drabble for today is “It’s About Time,” and it’s 100 words taken from Ackerman’s reminisce about the visit.
For the better part of my life I had lived only an hour’s journey from Edgar Rice Burroughs. I decided it was high time I paid my respects to the creator of Tarzan, John Carter, and Carson of Venus.
IT'S ABOUT TIME
I spent three hours talking to him about his work.
Just before we left, our host produced an autograph book and asked for our signatures, saying. “Not everybody is sincere. I believe you have been. Thank you for calling. If I don’t recognize you next time I see you please don’t think too badly of me – I have a terrible memory.”
October 13: On this day in 1920, actress Laraine Day was born in Roosevelt, Utah. Her birth name was La Raine Johnson. Laraine played Mrs. Richard Lansing in the 1939 film, “Tarzan Finds A Son,” which starred Johnny Weissmuller, Maureen O’Sullivan, and Johnny Sheffield.
Her first role was uncredited in 1937s “Stella Dallas” and her last was in 1986 – she played Constance Fletcher on two episodes of “Murder, She Wrote. Her career spanned fifty years and included well over 100 roles in films and television.
In 1947 she married baseball manager, Leo Durocher and the couple moved to New York. She read everything she could about baseball and became the first woman to be honored by the New York Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association. While Durocher managed the Giants, she wrote the book, “A Day With the Giants,” and hosted a fifteen minute television interview program, “Day With the Giants,” broadcast before all Giant home games.
Today’s drabble, ‘Scorecard,” was inspired by her career as a sportswriter and stolen in most part from an Abbott and Costello routine.
“Mrs. Durocher, they say you know more about baseball than anyone.”
“Call me, Laraine, and I do write a lot about the Giants.”
“So, Whitey Lockman’s plays first.”
“No, Who’s on first.”
“And Stankey plays second base.”
“He does not. Whats on second.”
‘You’re the expert, Loraine. Why are you asking me? I know Alvin Dark plays short and Willie Mays, centerfield, but who’s on third.”
“I don’t know. Pay attention Whos on first. Whats on second and third base, I don’t know.”
“Are you making fun of me?”
“How could I. I don’t even know what we’re talking about.”
October 14: On this day in 1907, English actress Benita Hume was born in London, England as Benita Humm. She played Rita Parker in “Tarzan Escapes,” which starred Johnny Weissmuller and Maureen O’ Sullivan. Bentita’s character is traded to an unfriendly native tribe, along with her husband and Jane for ‘ju-ju’ by the treacherous Captain Fry. Fry later falls into quicksand filled with poisonous lizards.
Details and photos from "Tarzan Escapes" are available at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag6/0618.html
Benita Hume, a star of British stage and screen made over 44 films in her career. She was married to actor Ronald Coleman for twenty years and frequently appeared with him on “The Jack Benny Radio Show” and once on television’s Jack Benny Show. She and Ronald played Benny’s long suffering neighbors.
The drabble for today is, “Monetary Value,” and it was inspired by Benita and Ronald Coleman on the Jack Benny Show.
Benita said, “Ronald, it was fun doing television with Jack Benny. Did we get paid more than we made on his radio show.”
Her husband replied, “No, we made exactly the same amount. Nothing.”
“You mean all these years we’ve been doing his shows and we’ve never gotten paid.”
“Jack said it would be embarrassing for friends to take his money. The publicity should be enough.”
“Damn publicity. I’m ready to be embarrassed.”
Benita yelled at Jack Benny. “Ronald said you haven’t been paying us. I’ve a mind to call the union.”
“Well, Benita. So mercenary! Now cut that out.”
October15: On this day in 1947, actor Clyde Benson, who appeared in the “Romance of Tarzan” died in San Joaquin County, California. Benson played a lawyer in the 1918 film, “The Romance of Tarzan.” Interestingly enough, the flu epidemic of 1918 closed many theatres and postponed many scheduled showings of the film. The film is considered lost, no known copy exists.
Details about the film are available at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag5/0504.html
His career was short, from 1915 to 1928. He’s one of those unfortunates who didn’t survive the change to talking pictures. He’s best known for “The Beast,” “Daredevil Jack,” and “Perils of the Secret Service.”
The drabble for today is “Legal Advice,” and it was inspired by Clyde Benson role in “The Romance of Tarzan.”
Tarzan said, “Jane, what’s a lawyer and why do I need one.”
“He’s a man who’ll explain who you are and why you deserve the Greystoke estates.”
“Tarzan speaks for himself.”
“Not in court, honey.”
The opposing lawyers pontificated, postured, objected, and interviewed witnesses until Tarzan’s forehead scar glowed red with anger.
Tarzan growled. “Listening to them, Tarzan not sure who he is anymore. They sow confusions and change the meaning of Tarzan’s words.”
After the judge finally ruled, Tarzan said, “I return to jungle. Tarzan face lions, gorillas, and witch doctors. Jungle better. Hungry crocodile don’t listen to lawyer.”
See Days 16-31 at ERBzine 7388a
OCTOBER III ILLUSTRATIONS COLLAGE
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Copyright 2021: Robert Allen Lupton
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