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PUSHING THE ENVELOPE XXII
Envelope Packets 230-337
by John Martin
My "other hobby," buying, exchanging, making and mailing postal art covers,
ties in with my Edgar Rice Burroughs hobby quite a bit.
I enjoy making covers featuring Tarzan or other ERB characters,
and friends of mine have made and mailed me such covers as well.
I thought it would be fun to start scanning and sharing such covers
on the anniversaries of the dates they were originally postmarked.
PUSHING THE ENVELOPE No. 230
Romance -- complicated by interference from savage apes -- is a recurring theme from Edgar Rice Burroughs and Tarzan to Edgar Wallace, who wrote the novelization of the movie "King Kong."
When the U.S. Flag and Love stamps were issued earlier this year, I took the opportunity to make a couple of King Kong covers for the first-day postmarks.
For the U.S. Flag stamp, I glued a King Kong movie poster on top of a picture of the Empire State building, and added an Empire State stamp which was issued in 1998, one of 15 stamps on a sheet of stamps celebrating the 1930s.
The first "King Kong" movie was released in 1933.
Kong, of course, made his final stand from atop the Empire State building after having been captured on primitive Skull Island and brought to America by promoter Carl Denham.
A member of his party was Jack Driscoll, played by Bruce Cabot, who is featured on the cover with the Love stamp, along with his romantic interest in the film, Ann Darrow, played by Fay Wray. The cover shows the pair staring in awe at Kong. Thiis photo came from an old flyer which had a text block that I affixed to the back of this cover. An image of that text block is included with this post.
For this cover, I teamed up another Empire State building stamp with the 2022 Love stamp.
PUSHING THE ENVELOPE NO. 231
It was 100 years ago today, July 9, 1922, when Johnny Weissmuller became the first man to swim the 100m freestyle in less than a minute. In a salt water pool in Alameda, California, he was clocked at 58.6 seconds, breaking a record set by Duke Kahanamoku, star Hawaiian swimmer and surfer and an Olymics champion.
When Johnny and Duke met in the 1924 Olympics in Paris, it was Johnny who won the gold while Duke captured the silver medal for second place. Before the race started, Duke told his favored competitor: “Johnny, good luck. The most important thing in this race is to get the American flag up there three times. Let’s do it!”
Johnny Weissmuller won a total of five Olympics medals in his career, the same number as Duke. Johnny also won a Bronze in a team event. Duke became known as "The Father of Modern Surfing" and was at home on the big waves of Hawaii. Johnny, of course, played Tarzan and Jungle Jim. Duke had an occasional acting opportunity as well, in movies such as "Mister Roberts" and "Wake of the Red Witch."
I made the drive to the Galvin, Washington, Post Office this morning to obtain today's cancellation on these covers. One of them has the Silver Surfer stamp, which certainly describes Duke, and the other has the stamp showing a Silver Surfer comic book cover. DC's Aquaman stamp filled in for Johnny
PUSHING THE ENVELOPE NO. 232
PUSHING THE ENVELOPE NO. 233
Foster Miller, membership chairman of the American First Day Cover Society, sent me this Edgar Rice Burroughs stamp first-day cover recently. It is one of five like this made by John Romppainen, New Berlin, Wisconsin, as part of his Romp Cachets line.
The cachet is of the art of longtime ERB illustrator J. Allen St. John and was originally used for "Tarzan at the Earth's Core" and later for an omnibus edition of several Tarzan books, including "Tarzan of the Apes."
PUSHING THE ENVELOPE NOS. 234 & 235: JUNGLE MAIL
Tarzan postal covers swung into my mailbox the other day from two of my fellow members of the Art Cover Exchange.
Robin Sparrow, of New Zealand, made one using a page from a old Tarzan annual. I showed the back as well, for "the rest of the story," which happens about the time in "Apes" where he was determined to take the step from apehood to humanhood!
Back side of a Tarzan cover from Robin Sparrow, New Zealand. Robin included some Disney Tarzan stickers inside and I used one to temporarily cover up her return address for this scan.
The Cover Monster of Ohio, meanwhile, continued his relentless effort to send me Tarzan covers. Two he sent recently are first-days, one with Ron Ely on a first-day cover with cancellation from Tarzana, Calif., and the other with the Elyria Post Office "First-Day of Sale" postmark and a Joe Jusko trading card image.
PUSHING THE ENVELOPE #236 - REMEMBRANCE: December 7, 1941
ERB AT PEARL HARBOR
We know that on Dec. 7, 1941 Edgar Rice Burroughs was watching with others from a tennis court as Japanese planes attacked U.S. Naval installations at Pearl Harbor. This group at first assumed they were watching planned military exercises. The truth would build a fire of patriotism among them and across the U.S. Burroughs was too old to join the service per se but he was able to sign up as a war correspondent and was the oldest with such duties in the Pacific Theatre.
PUSHING THE ENVELOPE #237
A special postal cancellation was available in Palm Springs to tie in with the unveiling of the Edgar Rice Burroughs star on the Walk of the Stars. The star was the vision of dedicated ERB fan Scott Tracy Griffin, who obtained approval for a star for ERB from the Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce and then organized a campaign to raise the $15,000 needed to fund the star and its placement.
Many ERB fans contributed to the fund-raiser.
In addition to the placement of the Star, those fans who went to Palm Springs were able to enjoy an Edgar Rice Burroughs Chain of Friendship gathering for two days afterward, which featured guest of honor Tommy Cook, who played Kimba in "Tarzan and the Leopard Women," the 1946 film that starred Johnny Weissmuller and Brenda Joyce as Tarzan and Jane.
Cook was also in the "Jungle Girl" serial of 1941, which took its title from an Edgar Rice Burroughs story. Cook also played Little Beaver in the 1940 serial, "Adventures of Red Ryder."
The special postal cancellation was envisioned and designed by Henry Franke, editor of The Burroughs Bulletin, who worked with the U.S. Postal Service to arrange for approval of the special, temporary postmark.
Although the date on the postmark is April 4, the day of the star ceremony, it is available for 30 days after that date (up until about May 3) for any who either visit the Palm Springs post office or who mail stamped envelopes there and ask for the cancellation. The address is:
Star Dedication StationPlace the envelopes you want canceled inside a larger envelope and mail them to the post office. You can address them to yourself or others or, if you want to receive them back unaddressed, enclose a large, self-addressed, stamped envelope for them to be returned to you.
Palm Springs, CA 92262.
I did not attend the ceremony or ECOF but I thank Bill Ross for offering to take postal covers there for me and have them canceled. I made three designs, one featuring the large Marilyn Monroe statue which stands at the Walk of the Stars, one featuring Reed Crandall's illustration of ERB and his characters, and one focused on "Tarzan and the Leopard Woman" and Tommy Cook.
Some of the covers were placed in the auction to help fund the ECOF and some were sold individually for donations to The Burroughs Bibliophiles.
The "Leopard Woman" cover posted here was signed by Tommy Cook by special arrangement with an ERB fan, to whom I will be sending the cover.
A big thank-you to Scott Tracy Griffin, who put in many hours to make sure everything ran smoothly. Tracy demonstrated what one energetic fan can do for the legacy of Edgar Rice Burroughs.
This well-known Reed Crandall illustration depicts the Master of Adventure surrounded by his characters and
this cover makes yet one more place where this illustration has turned up.
I made several covers to honor the ECOF guest of honor, Tommy Cook.
He signed this one for an ERB fan.
This cover was more meaningful than I thought when I made it, since
the ERB star is located to the right front of the Forever Marilyn statue in Palm Springs.
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