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ERB 100-Word Drabbles
APRIL IV Edition :: Days 1 - 15
See Days 16 - 30 at ERBzine 7469a
by Robert Allen Lupton
With Collations, Web Page Layout and ERBzine Illustrations and References by Bill Hillman
April 1: On this day in 1906, actor John Henry Clanfergael Buckler was born in Capetown, South Africa. John was the son of actor Hugh Buckler and actress Violet Paget.
Buckler’s film career only lasted two years. The actor’s last role was in “Tarzan Escapes,” were he played the treacherous Captain John Fry. The film was released on November 6, 1936. Seven days earlier, John Buckler, aged 30, and his father, a well-known British actor 'Hugh Buckler', aged 55, were drowned together on the night of Oct. 30, 1936 when their car skidded off the road during a rainstorm and overturned in the waters of Malibu Lake in California. The two men were trapped inside the car and were undiscovered until the following morning when residents saw the wheels of the car above the water's surface.
Details about “Tarzan Escapes: https://www.erbzine.com/mag6/0618.html
The drabble for today, “Captain’s Duty,” is based on the evil character that Buckler played in “Tarzan Escapes,” and his untimely death.
The police pulled the upside-down vehicle from Malibu Lake and found two dead men inside who were identified as actor John Buckler and his father. The Sergeant said, “I know the passenger. He played the heavy in “Tarzan Escapes.”
The patrolman said, “How do you know? The film hasn’t opened yet.”
“I had a bit part. He was Captain Fry.”
“It doesn’t look like he tried to get out of the car.”
“A captain goes down with his ship.”
“Not funny! It’s a car not a ship!”
“It’s a Crown Victoria and Victoria was also a ship.”
“Still not funny!”
NAME'S THE SAME
April 2: On this day in 1931, actor Thomas Lockyer Jefferson, not to be confused with the former president, died in Hollywood California. Jefferson played Professor Porter in the 1918 silent film, Tarzan of the Apes, which starred Elmo Lincoln and Enid Markey. He had leading roles in several films including “The Grim Game (1919) with Harry Houdini. He also starred in two film adaptations of Rip Van Winkle as the title character, a role his father had performed on stage. Jefferson also appeared in “The Missing Links” 1916, and “Ten Nights in a Barroom” in 1931.
His father was the actor and writer, Joseph Jefferson, and his brother was actor William Jefferson. Jefferson appeared in over 86 films. His first confirmed film was the short, “No Place For Father”, in which he played the father. His last film, Forbidden,” was released in 1932, after his death.
The drabble for today is “Name’s the Same,” and it was inspired by Thomas and his brother, Bill, one named after the third president of the United States and the other after the only president of the Confederacy. President William Jefferson (Bill) Clinton wasn’t yet born.
William Jefferson asked his brother, “You’ve played a lot of fictional characters for the films, but you never played your namesake, Thomas Jefferson.”
NAME'S THE SAME
“Well, Bill, Jefferson’s hair was flaming red and my hair is mousey brown.”
“You could wear a wig.”
“Maybe, but Jefferson was six foot two and I’m five foot six in heels. I can’t use stilts. Now Bill, how come you ain’t played William Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy.”
“Simple. No one cast me.”
“Truth told. It’s the same with me, although I picture myself as more of a Martin van Buren type.”
“Martin van Who?”
DEATH VALLEY DAYS
April 3: On this day in 1933, the Burroughs Family began a vacation trip to Death Valley. ERB wrote a humorous nine page, 2700 word account of the trip titled, “The Death Valley Expedition of the Intrepid Thirty-Threers."
While the account has never been published it is described in "Edgar Rice Burroughs: The Man Who Created Tarzan," by Irwin Porges. Porges comments, "Burroughs sets the amusing theme in which he contrasts the obstacles and dangers faced by the original gold pioneers [the Forty-Niners] with the 'sufferings' of the intrepid Burroughses." I left the word “Bouroughses unchanged in this article.
The drabble for today is “Death Valley Days,” and it was inspired by the 1933 family trip to Death Valley and the later television show of the same name. Death Valley Days had a long radio run and then ran for over 450 television episodes, and was hosted by Stanley Andrews, Ronald Reagan, Rosemary DeCamp, Robert Taylor, and Dale Robertson. Merle Haggard narrated the 1975 rebroadcasts.
ERB said, “When the first miners arrived in Death Valley before the Civil War, it was tough to survive here, let alone mine. Little water and no transportation made it economically difficult and physically dangerous. Several prospectors died here.”
DEATH VALLEY DAYS
John asked, “They mined soap around here, didn’t they?”
“That was fifty years later. The Harmony Borax Works lasted five years. They used wagons with twenty mules to haul the product. They called their product “Twenty Mule Team Borax.”
“Why’d they need twenty mules to pull the wagons?”
“If I get this car stuck in this soft sand, you’ll find out!”
JANE FREE ZONE
April 4: On this day in 2000, film producer Sy Weintraub died of pancreatic cancer in Los Angeles, California. Weintraub was best known for his Tarzan films and television series. Weintraub changed the film persona of a barely speaking savage into a character that reflected Edgar Rice Burroughs’ original Tarzan concept.
His Tarzan productions, starring Gordon Scott, Jock Mahoney, Mike Henry, and Ron Ely, did not include the character, Jane, and featured Tarzan as a lone adventurer.
Weintraub also produced Sherlock Holmes films. Weintraub served in the army during WW2. In 1958 he took over the Tarzan franchise from Sol Lessor. In 1967 he was briefly president of CBS Television.
Details about all of his Tarzan productions are available at: www.erbzine.com/movies.
The drabble for today, “Jane Free Zone,” is a fictional conversation inspired by Weintraub’s vision of Tarzan on film.
Mike Henry said, “I don’t have any interest in playing Tarzan, or any character, who only grunts instead of talks.”
JANE FREE ZONE
“And I have no interest in producing one. Burroughs’ Tarzan spoke several languages. Story lines and dialogue will be more interesting when the protagonist can speak fluent English.”
“Mr Weintraub, have you cast anyone to play Jane.”
“I haven’t. There won’t be any Janes in my productions.”
“I never pictured Tarzan as a lone wolf. I would have thought people would want a little romance in the films.”
“Mike, Tarzan will find companionship. After all, it’s a jungle out there!”
April 5: On this day in 1968, the final episode of the Ron Ely television Tarzan series was broadcast. “Trina” featured Nehemiah Persoff. Stacey Gregg, using the name Stacey Maxwell, played Trina MacKenzie, of seven girls on an expedition. Trina is searching for her father.
The best line in the film in the film is when the women want Tarzan to take him to Kunji, a tribal leader who is actually Trina’s uncle. Jai asks, “Tarzan, you gonna argue with seven women? Tarzan points to Cheetah, “Eight!”
Read the reviews for all 57 episodes . . . plus credits, screen captures, summaries in ERBzine at:
https://www.erbzine.com/mag74/7420.htmlToday’s drabble, “Dreams of Tara,” was inspired by the episode’s plot and a certain Academy Award winning film. Tarzan encountered a safari of seven lost and hungry women and offered his help.
DREAMS OF TARA
Trina said, ‘Yes, please. Our guide and porters left us. We all seek different things, gold, diamonds, and a statue of power are three of them. I seek my father.”
Tarzan protected the ladies until their constant bickering wore him out. “I quit. I’ve got seven women on my behind.”
Trina moaned, ‘You can’t leave me. I’m lost, hungry and thirsty. I haven’t found my father. Where shall I go? What shall I do?”
“The series is over. Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.”
STAY IN YOUR LANE
April 6: On this day in 1926 Gil Kane was born as Eli Katz in Latvia. His family immigrated to Brooklyn in 1928.
Kane became a comic artist whose career spanned the 1940s to the 1990s and virtually every major comics company and character. In 1997, he was inducted into both the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame and the Harvey Award Jack Kirby Hall of Fame. Gil created the B/W dust jacket art for ERB's Beyond Thirty and The Man-Eater for Bradford M. Day's Science-Fiction & Fantasy Publications in 1957. Along with Archie Goodwin (writer) he did the art for 84 Tarzan Sunday pages. Gil did 28 issues of the Marvel Comic: John Carter - Warlord of Mars in the '70s. Love his work.
The drabble for today is taken from an interview by Kane about writers, artists, and editors – and the need for each in comics. Call it “Stay in Your Lane.”
"Many artists what structure is in a story, though they are superb for dramatic effects. Let an artist write a story and the thing that he will do beautifully is create dramatic visual effects, but they’ll be totally unrelated one to another. But worst of all, the dramatic backbone to the whole story will be so spindly and weak that it won’t stand up. My feeling for a story hangs very heavily on telling the story per se in narration. I believe in a well-structured story, and I believe in using a tremendous amount of prose to augment the pictures."
STAY IN YOUR LANE
CHARLES ATLAS, MY ASS
April 7: On this day 105 years ago in 1917, the second installment of four parts of “The Cave Man,” was published by All Story Weekly. “The Cave Man” is the sequel to “The Cave Girl,” and the two stories combined make up the novel the “The Cave Girl.”
Full information on THE CAVE GIRL in ERBzine C.H.A.S.E.R. Bibliography at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag7/0755.html
Burroughs story wasn’t featured on the April 7, 1917 cover or even mentioned. The cover featured Part 1, “The Killer,” part of a “Semi-Dual” novel by J. U. Giesy and Junius B. Smith. I don’t recognize any of the other 12 stories in the issue or the authors thereof.
For those of you who don’t know, a proper Bostonian 97 pound weakling has been washed ashore on a Pacific Island where with help of a beautiful native cave girl named Nadara, he has grown into a strong and violent warrior named Thandar. Ralph Waldo Emerson-Smith has become the alpha male. It’s a long way from the River Charles and the Back Bay.
The drabble for today, “Charles Atlas, My Ass,’ was inspired by Waldo’s adventures and the Rocky Horror Picture Show. I make no promises not to make Wheres Waldo jokes in the future, but not today, not today.”
CHARLES ATLAS, MY ASS
A weakling weighing ninety-eight pounds
Will get eaten very quickly
Wandering on primitive tribal ground.
Nadara thought him the wrong man
But he thought to be a strong man.
And soon muscles he grows
From his head to his toes.
He’ll eat nutritious dead animals
And swallow raw eggs
To build up his shoulders
His chest, arms, and legs.
He did press-ups and chin-ups
Did the snatch, Clean, and jerk.
He thinks dynamic tension
Must be very hard work
Such strenuous living
Nadara didn’t understand.
She said, “In just one good evening
Oh, baby, I can make you a man!”
THRILL A MINUTE
April 8: On this day in 1920, the newspaper, “Indiana Weekly Messenger” began their serialization of “The Son of Tarzan.” Weekly installments ended on July 1, 1920. The chapter headings were different than the book version. Copyright was credited to the Frank A. Munsey Company.
Read full information with credits, photos, reviews, etc. in ERBzine atNew illustrations accompanied each installment. The drabble for today is “Thrill a Minute.” It is the forward from the first installment.
“Those strange original stories "Tarzan of the Apes" and "The Return of Tarzan" captured the fancy of millions of readers.
THRILL A MINUTE
Although they were full of thrills, "The Son of Tarzan" holds the reader's interest with wonderful tenacity and yields nothing to them in the line of breathless adventure.
In this wonderful Tarzan story you’ll meet Tarzan himself, who is John Clayton, Lord Greystoke; Lady Greystoke, his wife; Alexis Paulvitch, friend of the murderer Rokoff; Akut, the gray ape, and many others, not the least of whom is Jack Clayton, the son of Tarzan. Chapter one is “Paulvitch and an Ape.”
I GOTTA BE ME
April 9: On this day in 1986, actress, singer, and model, Leighton Marissa Meester was born in Fort Worth, Texas. Meester played Nikki Porter, the sister of Jane Porter, in five of the eight episodes of the 2003 Tarzan television series on The WB. Travis Fimmel played Tarzan and Sarah Wayne Callies played Detective Jane Porter.
More about the TV series in ERBzine at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag0/0014.html#Warner
Among Meester’s several film and television appearances, she’s appeared in Entourage, Veronica Mars, and CSI Miami, She portrayed Blair in Gossip Girl. She was the spokesperson for Herbal Essence and the face of Vera Wang’s fragrance, Lovestruck. She currently appears in a recurring role as Meredith on ‘How I Met Your Father.”
She was on People Magazines “100 Most Beautiful” list in 2008 and appeared on the Independent Critics’100 Most Beautiful Faces” list for five consecutive years.
Her philanthropic work was and is extensive.
The drabble for today, “I Gotta Be Me,” is a 100 word compilation of quotations by Leighton Meester.
"There is no sense in trying to be or look like anyone other than yourself. It’s important to always be yourself. If you do that, you will be successful as you, instead of worrying about how to conform. Destiny is for losers. It’s just a stupid excuse to wait for things to happen instead of making them happen.
I GOTTA BE ME
"The problem with fairy tales is that they set a girl up for disappointment. In real life the prince goes off with the wrong princess. Enjoy your life and put a smile on your face no matter how hard it may seem."
April 10: On this day in 1935, the Honolulu Star-Bulletin ran an article titled ‘Originator of Tarzan Tales in Tomorrow.” The subtitle was “Edgar Rice Burroughs on Lurline For Vacation at Waikiki Beach” Ed was arriving the next day on the good ship, Lurline, accompanied by the second Mrs. Burroughs.
Read the complete article at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag11/1127.html#1
The drabble for today is “Hawaiian Vacation,” and it is taken directly from the newspaper article.
Edgar Rice Burroughs, creator of the famous fictional character, Tarzan, and one of the most popular authors of the day, will arrive in Honolulu Thursday aboard the Lurline with Mrs. Burroughs, on a honeymoon visit.
Length of their visit has not been announced. They will be greeted by representatives of the Hawaii Tourist bureau and presented with leis in aloha.
Burroughs was variously a gold miner in Oregon, storekeeper and cowboy in Idaho and policeman in Salt Lake City. During the later stages of the World war he was a major in the 1st Battalion, 2nd Infantry, Illinois reserve militia.
YOU WANT LITERATURE OR ENTERTAINMENT?
April 11: On this day in 1999, The Washington Post published a review, written by Michael Dirda, of the book, “Tarzan Forever,” by John Taliaferro.
The entire review may be read at:
Dirda is a Pulitzer Prize winning columnist for the Washington Post Book World and the author of the memoir “An Open Book” and four collection of essays. He was graduated with honors from Oberlin College and received a PhD in comparative literature. His latest review was for Fredric Brown’s “The Fabulous Clipjoint,” an amazing mystery originally published in 1947. If you aren’t reading Fredric Brown, you’re missing some great stuff.
John Taliaferro is a graduate of Harvard College and a former senior editor at Newsweek. He is the author of four previous books: Charles M. Russell: The Life and Legend of America’s Cowboy Artist; Tarzan Forever: The Life of Edgar Rice Burroughs; Great White Fathers: The Story of the Obsessive Quest to Create Mount Rushmore; and In a Far Country: The True Story of a Mission, a Marriage, a Murder, and the Remarkable Reindeer Rescue of 1898.
The drabble for today is “You want Literature or Entertainment?” It’s excerpted from Dirda’s review of Tarzan Forever.”
Taliaferro describes Burroughs, with considerable flair and gusto Not only does he discuss Burroughs's entire career, he also places the man and work in context. When we study literature, we turn to the artists -- Joyce or Fitzgerald, Proust or Ellison. But to understand storytelling, we must also honor another strain of writing, that represented by Zane Grey, Erle Stanley Gardner, Agatha Christie, Isaac Asimov, John D. MacDonald, Stephen King, Nora Roberts. For half of the 20th century Edgar Rice Burroughs was the lord of this jungle, and Tarzan Forever provides a first-rate guide to his colorful life and achievement.
YOU WANT LITERATURE OR ENTERTAINMENT?
LA, QUEEN OF OPAR
April 12: On this day in 1963, actress and model Angela Harry was born in Fukuoka, Japan, where her father, a USAF colonel was stationed. Her mother was born in Korea.
Angela played Queen La in three episodes of “Tarzan: The Epic Adventures,” which featured Joe Lara as Tarzan. Her first television appearance was Lani on “Santa Barbara,” and her last was as Sandra Chang on the soap opera, “The Young and the Restless in 2008. She retired from acting in 2008.
Details about “Tarzan:The Epic Adventures are located at:She was a supermodel in Japan, her Diet Coke poster blanketed the country in the 1990s. In American she was the L’eggs Sheer Elegance model. Almost every major California department store chain, including I. Magnin, May Co and the Broadway —used Harry for catalogs and print ads.
She was the subject of racial slurs while in school, even in schools on US Air Bases.
Today’s drabble is and it was inspired by Angela Harry and her appearances as La, Queen of Opar. The behavior in the 100 word drabble was inspired by the character La, not the actress, Angela Harry.
Tarzan said, “La, you’re the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen, but my heart belongs to another.”
LA, QUEEN OF OPAR
“Nice, when I was young the other children teased me and now the man I want refuses me.”
“Tarzan must go.”
La held the sacrificial knife high. “If you escape, I will chase you down. You can’t outrun me.”
Tarzan said, “You’ve got the legs for it.”
“Don’t you mean I’ve the L’eggs for it?”
“Sheer elegance personified. Outer beauty attracts, but inner beauty captivates.”
“Captivates,” sneered La. “Love me or die.”
“You look like a beauty, but you act like a beast.”
April 13: On this day in 1945, Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote a letter to his friend, Dorothy Dahlberg, whom he’d met along with her husband, George, at daughter Joan’s house on November 26, 1944. After that first meeting, Ed went home with the Dahlberg’s and spent the night with his new friends.
Burroughs wrote the letter to Dorothy from his home, 1298 Kapiolani Boulevard, in Honolulu during WW2. He semi-apologized for perhaps implying that he objected to Dorothy going out and having a good time. He goes on to mention their relationship and how his children felt about it, but that he didn’t agree that his children should deny the couple happiness. He said that things would work out for Dorothy and him. As we know, they didn’t.
The entire letter is available at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag10/1027.html#April%2013,%201945
The 100 word drabble for today, “Star Crossed,” was inspired by the relationship between Dorothy and Ed, with a little help from Casablanca and The Wizard of Oz. Entirely fictitious of course.
Dorothy said, “It’s lovely meeting a famous author. I understand you’re visiting town. Come home with George and me. We’ve a spare bedroom.”
“I really shouldn’t impose.”
“George takes sleeping pills?”
“Dorothy, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship."
“I’m hoping that friendship is just a polite euphemism."
“So am I. Here’s looking at you, kid.”
We should enjoy ourselves. There’s a war, you know.”
Dorothy smiled, “I know there’s a war.”
“We could forget about it for tonight.”
“I’m sure you’ll know that you’re not in Kansas.”
“Well, pour me a whiskey and call me Toto!”
WHERE HAVE YOU BINN
April 14: On this day in 1882, actor George B. French was born in Storm Lake, Utah. French appeared in three Tarzan films, “Tarzan of the Apes” (1918). “The Romance of Tarzan” (1918), and “The Adventures of Tarzan” (1921). French appeared in over 90 films, mostly shorts, during a career from 1914 through 1943. He appeared in several “Our Gang” comedies, including an outing as Professor Clements, a flea circus proprietor in the episode, “Thundering Fleas.”
French played Binns, a shipwrecked sailor, in the first two Tarzan films.
Details about all three films are at: www.erbzine.com/movies
The drabble for today is Where Have You Binn,” and it was inspired by French’s portrayal of Binns in the first two Tarzan films.
Binns escaped after being marooned for ten years and searched for Lord and Lady Greystoke, whom he’d rescued from mutineers years ago. He found their son living wild in the jungle and taught him to speak English.
WHERE HAVE YOU BINN
The young man, named Tarzan, asked. Why are we living in the jungle?”
“You were born here. I was thrown ashore to die after I saved your parents from the mutineers. The little rascals wanted to kill them.”
“Binns, why do you have a beard and I don’t.”
“Hygiene, I suppose. You were just a little shaver the last time I saw you.”
LOVE ME, LOVE MY BANTH
April 15: The 1405th article in this series! ~ On this day in 1916, All-Story Weekly published part two of “Thuvia, Maid of Mars.” The fourth Barsoom novel was serialized in three parts. Thuvia didn’t make the cover. The cover illustration of a young woman was for part one of the six part serialization of “This Woman To This Man,” by C. N. and A. M. Williamson, aka Charles Norris Williamson and Alice M. Williamson. The husband and wife duo published several pulp adventures together and Alice, writing under her own name and the pseudonym Alice Stuyvesant published several on her own. They were active from 1903 until 1918.
The issue also contained part four of a novel by Achmed Abdullah, “The God of the Invincibly Strong Arms: IV. Tale of the Half Castes’ Revenge. Gotta love the title. Achmed Abdullah was the pseudonym of Alexander Nicholayevitch Romanoff.
Everything you need to know about Thuvia may be found at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag4/0425.html
Thuvia, Maid of Mars, featured Thuvia and Carthoris, the son of Dejah Thoris and John Carter. It was the first Barsoom novel in which John Carter was not the primary protagonist, but it wouldn’t be the last. Thuvia, like all Red Martians could mentally communicate with thoats (the Martian equivalent of horses) and calots (dogs), but her power extended to the control of banths, fierce beasts of prey which roam the low hills surrounding the dead seas of ancient Mars. Their long, lithe bodies are supported by ten powerful legs, and their enormous jaws are equipped with several rows of long needle-like fangs.
The 100 word drabble for today, ‘Love Me, Love My Banth, was inspired by the novel, “Thuvia, Maid of Mars.”
Carthoris said, ‘Thuvia, I’ve come to rescue you from your kidnappers.”
LOVE ME, LOVE MY BANTH
“I know you orchestrated my abduction so that you could pretend to save me.”
“That’s not true. I love you.”
Thuvia slapped him. “I don’t need rescuing. I don’t love you.”
‘You do. A horde of Green Martians warriors are right outside. I have a sword.”
“I’m fine. I have a Neko.”
“What’s a Neko?”
She motioned and a banth, a ten-legged Martian lion, attacked and killed the Green Martian warriors. The beast lay at Thuvia’s feet.”
Thuvia stroked her mane. “Meet Neko. She’s far better than a sword.”
See Days 16-31 at ERBzine 7469a
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