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ERB 100-Word Drabbles
MAY IV Edition :: Days 16 - 30
Back to Days 1-15 at ERBzine 7596
by Robert Allen Lupton
With Collations, Web Page Layout and ERBzine Illustrations and References by Bill Hillman
DEATH IS FLEETING
May 16: On this day in 1939, “Pic Magazine” published an article entitled “A Tarzan is Born.” It features several photographs and a story synopsis from the film “Tarzan Finds A Son,” a film that was originally to be called “Tarzan in Exile.” The final caption in the pictorial representation of the film makes it clear that Jane dies at the end of the film. ERB threatened to sue and the ending was changed.
The photographs feature two folks that we almost never see, Johnny Sheffield’s double ‘Gooley Green,’ and Maureen O’Sullivan’s double. For the complete Pic Magazine article - https://www.erbzine.com/mag16/1659.html
The drabble for today, “Death is Fleeting,” was inspired from the Pic Magazine article, wherein the death of Jane is greatly exaggerated. It’s uses portions from the last three captions and the legal situation arising around the death of a fictional character.
Jane was badly wounded by a spear. Though Jane was dying, she was glad that Tarzan saved the English party and made Tarzan promise not to harm them and to keep Boy always.
DEATH IS FLEETING
Beside a waterfall, near the grave of Boy’s real mother, Tarzan buried Jane. Them he destroyed their treehouse and he and Boy swung away into the trees while Jane’s face was superimposed over the closing credits.
Boy asked, “Is Jane really dead?”
Tarzan replied, “That’s for the lawyers to decide. But if there’s any chance that she’s alive, you and I had best be rebuilding the treehouse!”
May 17: On this day in 1918, writer, minister, archaeologist, and long-time Burroughs aficionado and researcher, Darrell Coleman Richardson, aka, The Old Tiger,” was born in Baxter Springs, Kansas.. The Baptist Minister wrote over 40 books and had an amazing collection of science fiction and fantasy books and ephemera, which included first editions of almost every author and artist. His collection of Burroughs items was legendary. At its peak, the collection included 30,000 books and 20,000 pulp magazines.
Richard wrote books and magazine and newspaper articles. His travels took him all over the world.
His books include “The Life and Work of J. Allen St. John – Volume 1, “Max Brand: The Man and his Work,” and “King of the Pulps: The Life and Writings of H. Bedford Jones,” the last co-authored with Victor A. Berch and Peter Ruber.
For details about Darrell, visit: https://www.erbzine.com/darrell/
The drabble for today is “Head Start,” and it features my old friends from New Orleans, Pat and John.
Pat said, “It was great seeing Darrell Richardson today. He has over 50,000 books and pulps in his collection. That’s more than you.”
John answered, “I know. He’s even got original St. John paintings. Amazing.”
“You don’t have paintings like that and you don’t hardly have any pulps.
“It isn’t fair. St. John retired and the really good pulps were out of business before I was five years old.”
“Sour grapes, John.”
“And Richardson had a thirty year head start!”
‘John, I expect that Minister Richardson would say that a man can’t be envious and happy at the same time!”
ONE MORE TIME
May 18: On this day in 1969, the Russ Manning written and illustrated story arc, Tarzan and the Safari to Opar,” began. The story ran for twenty-nine Sundays ending on November 30, 1968
Read the entire story at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag17/1763.html
A safari arrived wanting Tarzan to escort them to Opar. They weren’t after the riches, they wanted to capture the beast men of Opar and exhibit them back in civilization. Tarzan and Jane were enjoying some family time, and the safari left without Tarzan.
They found the beastmen, but who captured who took a bad turn for the safari and the beast men captured them. Tarzan intervened, fought off Queen La’s advances once again, and saved the safari from becoming fodder for the flaming god. Along the way, some of Opar’s beautiful priestesses became enamored with the visitors and complicated things by joining the escape.
The illustrations today are from the story. It isn’t from May 19, 1969, but I really like them.
The drabble for today, “One More Time,” was inspired by the many times, on film, in the comics, in the newspapers and in the novels, that Tarzan found himself tied to the altar of the flaming god, only to have La set him free again. A song by Paul Davis might have influenced this drabble a little.
Queen La said, “I don’t know where the safari men are. My priestesses were fascinated with them and the beastmen were jealous.”
ONE MORE TIME
“I need to save them and take them away.”
The beastmen grabbed Tarzan and tied him to the altar. Cadj, the high priest and a really ugly beastman said, “You’ll save no one, you can’t even save yourself!”
La raised the sacrificial knife, gasped, and cut Tarzan loose. The two of them ran away. Tarzan said, “They’ll kill you for this.”
“I can’t help it. Baby, you know when I look in your eyes I go crazy.”
May 19: On this day in 1966, Polly Alexandra Walker, who played the Thark female, Sarkoja. in Disney's "John Carter," was born in Warrington, Cheshire, England. IMBD lists 54 television and film credits for the actress including The Mentalist, Psych, Sanctuary, Clash of the Titans, Caprica, Numbers, and Rome, for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe.
For details about the John Carter film, go to https://www.cartermovie.com
The drabble for today, “Heartless,” was inspired by the character Sarjoka, almost the equivalent of an evil stepmother.
Dejah Thoris, had been captured by the Tharks and Sola, a young Thark female was her guard. Sarjoka, an ancient Thark matron constantly abused and tortured them both.
Dejah said, “How did she get this vicious?”
“Practice! She’s been abusing on me since my birth. She torments everyone.”
“Men can be brutal, but it’s my experience that women can be the worst. I can’t believe she’s so heartless.”
Sarjoka overheard them and slapped Sola. “I act mean and abusive. That’s part of my mystique, but I’m not heartless. I have several sweet young women’s hearts on display in my home.”
NEW THEATRE SMELL
May 20: On this day in 2018, actress Patricia Morison died at age 103 in Los Angeles, California. Eileen Patricia Augusta Fraser Morison played Tanya Rawlins, an unscrupulous big game hunter in the film, “Tarzan and the Huntress.”
For details: https://www.erbzine.com/mag6/0627.html
She was a star of stage and screen, appearing in Beau Geste, Lady on a Train, and several roles in the Sherlock Holmes and Thin Man films. On stage, she played the lead in “Kiss Me, Kate” on Broadway and in London.
The drabble for today of exactly 100 words, “New Theatre Smell” was taken from interviews with Patricia Morison. In a previous post (April 5, 2021) about Patricia, the article and drabble were about her relationship with Weissmuller when filming Tarzan and the Huntress.
“I used to think before I went on stage, of the audience as one mass, but it's not—it's individual people. It was so much fun. It was never a strain. I was so happy doing that. People said, “Oh you have to do so many shows, with no nights off.” I thought “Don’t say a word.” I loved it. I loved the smell of the theater when you go in. When there is no audience, just the aroma. Silly thing to talk about, but it’s true. I loved rehearsing and looking in the orchestra pit. I love the theater.”
NEW THEATRE SMELL
May 21: On this day in 2918, actor Clint Walker, born as Norman Eugene Walker, died in Grass Valley, California at age ninety. Walker’s first film appearance was as a Tarzan character in the Bowery Boys’ film, “Jungle Gents,” in 1954. His character is the mate of Anatta, a jungle girl, who is infatuated with “Sach,” one of the Bowery Boys played by Huntz Hall.
Walker’s career took a turn for the better after that. He was Cheyanne Brody on television’s “Cheyenne, appeared several films and television shows including “The Dirty Dozen,” “The Ten Commandments,” and episodes of ‘I Love Lucy.”
Clint Walker - a "Tarzan Wannabe" - is a member of the Tarzana/San Fernando Valley Hall of Fame: https://www.erbzine.com/mag31/3137.html
The drabble for today, “My Girl,” was inspired by “Jungle Gents” and the career of Clint Walker. Read carefully and you can tell what I did. I should be ashamed, but I’m not.
A giant man wearing a loincloth walked out of the jungle and confronted Huntz Hall and the jungle girl Anatta. He picked Hall up by the collar. “Anatta my girl. You stay away from her.”
Hall blubbered. “She started it. She kissed me. I didn’t do nothing. If she’s your girl, why’s she kissing me?”
“I think you trick her. I’m mad. Want to kill someone. I like her. Don’t like you.”
“Wait! Does she know that she’s your girl?"
The jungle man said, “Maybe I not tell Anatta that I love her.”
“Why not? Are you shy?”
May 22: On this day in 1949, actress Cheryl Campbell, who played Alice Clayton in ‘Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes,’ was born in St Albans, Hertfordshire, England.
She appeared in ‘Pennies from Heaven,” and received a “BAFTA nomination for her role as Eileen in the series. She won the award in 1979 for a combination of three roles in three television productions, “”Testament of Youth,” “Mystery, Malice Aforethought,” and “Une maison, une histoire.”
On the big screen, besides playing Tarzan’s mother, she appeared in “Chariots of Fire.’ A member of the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal National Theatre, she won the Oliver Award in 1983 for her role of Nora Helmer in “A Doll’s House.”
The drabble for today, “New Home,” was inspired by the film “Greystoke,” and the role therein of an amazing actress, Cheryl Campbell.
Alice Clayton helped her husband build a cabin in the African Jungle. Pregnant, she tired easily and stopped to rest.
“John, I’m exhausted. We’ve survived a mutiny and savage storms. I’ve eaten things I wouldn’t have stepped on back home. The water tastes alive.”
“I’m just glad the jungle predators have left us alone.”
“I never expected to build a cabin, I’d rather pictured myself as the lady of some vast estate. ‘Tea and crumpets, anyone?’”
“Well, Alice, “it’s been quite the adventure, hasn’t it?”
“John, it seems that your definition of a good time is quite different from mine.”
DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER
May 23: On this day, a Wednesday, in 1934, the fifth episode of the radio drama, “Tarzan and the Diamond of Asher,” was broadcast. The title of the episode is “The Gregory Expedition Begins.”
Helen was played by Karena Shields, Gregory by George Turner, Alan Thome by Cy Kendal and Lal Taask by Don Wilson. Tarzan was voiced by Karlton KaDell.
You can hear every episode at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag1/0144.html
The drabble for today is “Diamonds are Forever,” and it was inspired by the plot of the radio show and a song by Marilyn Monroe.
Lal Taask said, “Mr. Gregory, the bearers are loaded. We should be leaving.”
DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER
“I want to find my son. He was seeking a city called Asher.”
Helen interjected. “A search for lost relatives may be quite sentimental, but it won’t pay you or the equipment rental. I prefer a man who’s not lost and finds expensive jewels.”
Tassk smiled evilly. “We’ll search for both. You’re quite attractive, Miss Helen.
‘I’m not looking for a kiss or behavior, continental. I want jewels, square cut or pear shaped.”
“But the missing boy?”
“The youth is gone. Diamonds are a girl’s best friend!”
May 24: On this day in 1972, character actor Gavin Muir died in. Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Muir played the airplane pilot in the 1939 film, “Tarzan Finds a Son.” His career began with the short film, “Artistic Temper” in 1932 and his last screen credit was for the television series, “The Rogues” in 1966. Among his film credits are “The Son of Dr. Jekyll,” “The Desert Rats,” “Island of Lost Women,” “King of the Kyber Rifles,” “The Prince of Thieves,” “Hitler’s Children,” and various Charlie Chan and Sherlock Holmes films. IMBD lists a total of 77 film and television credits.
Details about “Tarzan Finds a Son,” are available at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag6/0620.html
The drabble for today is “Engine Trouble,” and it was inspired by the film, “Tarzan Finds A Son.”
“The pilot said, “Mr. Lancing, we’re lost. Nothing but jungle under us."
“These air currents seem to be modeled on a dish of spaghetti!”
“I’ve got to put her down. Too much damage from the storm. Lightning shorted out our radio. Our engines are finished. I’m dumping fuel so the plane won’t explode upon landing."
“I don’t see anywhere to land. Do you know this area? Can you find a place to set this plane down?”
“Never been here. But don’t you worry. If I don’t find a place to land, the airplane will find one soon enough. Buckle up!”
AND NOW FOR SOMETHING DIFFERENT
May 25: On this date, Kirsten Svanholm, aka Kitty Swan, was born in Copenhagen, Denmark. She appeared in “Tarzan and the Golden Grotto” in 1969 and was badly burned during the filming of “Tarzan and the Rainbow,” later titled “Tarzan and the Brown Prince. A trained lion, Sampson, was supposed to save Steve Hawkes and Swan from a fire, but the fire got out of control and both actors were badly burned before Sampson the lion actually saved them. Both of these unauthorized films featured Steve Hawkes as Tarzan.
Swan’s career virtually ended after this incident. Her 23 credits listed on IMBD include the title role in “Gungala, the Virgin of the Jungle,” and had a small uncredited role in 1968’s “Barbarella.”
Details about Hawkes and Kitty Swan and the films are located at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag27/2772.html and https://www.erbzine.com/mag6/0608.html
To write a drabble for today, “And Now For Something Different,” is inspired by the plot of “Gungala, the Virgin of the Jungle” aka “Gungala, the Black Panther Girl.” Gungala may be viewed in various languages on YouTube and in English on Netflix.
Kitty Swan spoke to the director of “Gungala, the Virgin of the Forest. “Mr. Deodato, I’ve read the script. This is just a remake of “Tarzan of the Apes,”
AND NOW FOR SOMETHING DIFFERENT
“No. Tarzan was a man and Gungala is a woman.”
“Yes, but the plot’s the same.”
“No, Tarzan encounters a random family on safari, but Gungala’s family deliberately comes to find her.”
“Still, an expedition to Africa discovers a lost heir or heiress.”
“Tarzan was raised by apes and Gungala by panthers. It’s completely different.”
“Burroughs’ lawyers may disagree, but I suppose that plagiarism is in the eye of the beholder.”
WHAT BIG EYES
May 26: On this day in 1928, Argosy All-Story Weekly published the second installment of “Apache Devil.” Burroughs’ novel was serialized over six consecutive issues. Burroughs, but not the story, is mentioned by name on the cover. The illustration is for “The Powder Ponies,” by John H. Hamilin. I haven’t identified the artist. J. U. Giesy has a novel being serialized at this time, “A Hard-Boiled Tenderfoot.” Roger Morrison drew an interior illustration for the issue.
Apache Devil is remarkable for it’s honest and sympathetic treatment of Apache life at a time when most writers portrayed the Apaches as devils incarnate.
Burroughs drew extensively on his personal experience with the U. S. Cavalry when writing this novel. He also cited the following reference works. Ref: https://www.erbzine.com/mag7/0775.html
The Marvellous Country: Three Years in Arizona and New Mexico, the Apache's Home by Samuel Woodworth Cozzens 1873
Thrilling Days in Army Life by General. George. A. Forthsyth 1900
Lives of Famous Indian Chiefs by Norman B. Wood
The Frontier Trail by Colonel Homer W. Wheeler
The Land of Poco Tiampo by Charles. F. Lummis
Geronimo's Story of His Life by S.M. Barrett, 1907
Trailing Geronimo: The Outbreak of the White Mountain Apaches, 1881 - 1886 by Anton Mazzanovich
Life Among the Apaches by John Carey Cremony
Apache Medicine-Men by John G. Bourke
"Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institution"
"Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology"
The drabble for today, “What Big Eyes,” was inspired by the novel, “Apache Devil,” with more than a little help from Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs.”
Shoz-Dijiji, an Apache warrior whose name meant Black Bear in English, encountered Wichita Billings, an attractive young female settler. “Who’s that I see walkin’ in these woods?”
WHAT BIG EYES
“I’m Wichita Billings, I’m not Little Red Riding Hood.”
“You sure are looking good. You’re everything a big black bear could want.”
“Bears, I don’t see any bears!”
“You shouldn’t be walking in these spooky woods alone. I ought to walk with you for a ways.”
“Leave me be. I don’t need help.”
“I would be your friend.”
“I don’t need any friends!”
“Everyone needs a friend, whether they know it or not.”
May 27: On this day in 1945, the world’s oldest war correspondent, Edgar Rice Burroughs, was aboard the USS Cahaba, an Escambia class fleet oiler whose mission was to provide other ships with fuel and oil. He typed a two page letter to his daughter, Joan, on stationery from the USS Cahaba (AO-82) and listed his return address as “Somewhere in the Pacific.
The Cahaba was commissioned on January 14, 1944 and decommissioned on May 15, 1946. She was originally the SS Lackawapen and then the SS Lackawaxen before being commissions as the USS Cahaba. She was scrapped and sold to a Taiwanese steel company in 1971 for $295,150.00.
Read the entire letter at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag27/p450527a.jpg
The drabble for today is “Southern Seas,” a 100 word excerpt from that letter, which showcases ERB’s ability to paint a picture with words.
We have sighted whales and porpoises and a wooden box. Anything you sight in this empty see is exciting. The ship is darkened from sundown to sunrise, but as my quarters are blacked out. Before I turned in last night I went up to the bridge to have a look-see. The night was beautiful – a calm sea, a full moon, the Southern Cross quite high above the horizon, a soft and balmy wind. Our white wake stretched out for miles behind us, plainly marking our zig-zagging course, and the white water from bow to stern boiled silver in the moonlight.
BOX OFFICE, BABY
May 28: On this day in 1923, film producer Sy Weintraub was born in New York City. Weintraub held the film rights for Tarzan from 1958 until 1984. He controlled distribution rights as well, and made a ton of money from television re-releases. His Tarzan was an educated well-spoken man.
Weintraub made Tarzan films, ‘Tarzan and the Jungle Boy,’ ‘Tarzan and the Great River,’ ‘Tarzan and the Valley of Gold,’ ‘Tarzan’s Three Challenges,’ ‘Tarzan Goes to India,’ ‘Tarzan the Magnificent,’ and ‘Tarzan’s Greatest Adventure.’
He also produced the Ron Ely television series, “Tarzan.”
Lessor produced two Sherlock Holmes films for television, “The Sign of the Four,” and “The Hound of the Baskervilles.” Ian Richardson played Sherlock Holmes.
Weintraub and Barbara Walters were an item for a while.
Details about Sy and his films abound at the website: www.erbzine.com/movies
The drabble for today is, “Box Office, Baby,” and it was inspired by the career of Sy Weintraub.
Actor Mike Henry asked, ‘Sy, why isn’t Jane in the films.”
BOX OFFICE, BABY
“You travel around the world and have adventures instead of going home to the treehouse every night. A traveling Tarzan means box office in Tokyo and Madrid.”
“So better box office without Jane. It’s about the money!”
Weintraub nodded. “Absolutely, I’ll tell you about money. Residuals. Every time one of my films is on TV, I get paid. Tarzan’s treasure isn’t in Opar, it’s in residuals. Tomorrow, ‘Tarzan and the Great River’ will be on local television in Omaha. I can hear the cash register going ‘ka-ching’ right now!”
DRESS FOR SUCCESS
May 29: On this day in 2021, Tarzan actor, Joe Lara, was killed in a plane crash. Lara died when a business jet registered to JL & GL Productions LP crashed. His wife, her son-in-law, and four members of Lara's church also died in the crash. While the FAA is still investigating the crash, preliminary reports indicate that Lara was the pilot. In spite of rumors to the contrary, his license was valid for this specific aircraft. He had been certified to operate the plane by a Designated Flight Examiner 14 months prior to the crash.
Lara played Tarzan in “Tarzan in Manhattan,” and in the television series, “Tarzan, the Epic Adventures.” Details about the film and the television series are available at www.erbzine.com.
Tony Curtis and Kim Crosby appeared with Lara in “Tarzan in Manhattan.”
The drabble for today, “Dress for Success,” was inspired by “Tarzan in Manhattan, and adapted from the film dialogue when Tony Curtis first met Tarzan.
"Tell me about this weirdo?" said Tony Curtis.
DRESS FOR SUCCESS
"He's not a weirdo," said Jane.
"I see. He's Tarzan of the Apes? Who escaped from a detention center and is looking for his lost chimp, Chiquita?"
Tarzan said, "Cheetah"
"Hey, Tarzan. You got twenty four hours to leave town."
"No Wait, no Dad you can't do that"
"Why not? I run a security business. I could lose my license. This guy is a fugitive from justice. And also a nutcase.
He faced the apeman. "Tarzan, I gotta go. Pleasure meeting you. Get outta my daughter's life. And put on some clothes."
May 30: On this day in 1999, the Sunday Tarzan comic story arc, “Tarzan and the New Atlantis” began. The story, illustrated by Gray Morrow and written by Allan Gross, ran for 16 weeks and ended on September 12, 1999.
The story begins with Jane cleaning the house and a storage shed. She accuses Tarzan of being a hoarder. Jane finds a carved stone tablet with Tarzan’s face and asks about it. Tarzan reminisces about passing through a time tunnel and arriving in Atlantis where he is remembered as T’zan. The story is not clear whether this is the Atlantis from which Opar derived or an Atlantis of the future. The name, New Atlantis, would imply a future Atlantis.
In any event, the Queen of the once and future Atlantis declares Tarzan a false prophet and demands his death. Tarzan rallies the enslaved ‘beastmen’ and survives. At the story’s conclusion, he prepares to leave for Pellucidar.
The drabble for today is ‘Mine’ and it was inspired by the opening scene in “Tarzan and New Atlantis.”
Jane looked in the storage building and said, “Honestly, John, you have so much junk. Are you sure you weren’t raised by giant pack rats instead of apes?”
“I agree that there’s a little clutter here, but…”
“John, I know you love your adventures, but you’ve saved something from every one of them. Can we please get rid of some of this junk?”
“Jane, we’ve talked about this before.”
“But you never throw anything away.”
“Let me understand. When it’s your things we’re talking about keeping, it’s treasure, but when it’s my stuff, it’s hoarding.”
“Exactly, I’m glad you understand.”
GONE WITH THE WIND
May 31: On this day in 1953, the Bob Lubbers/Dick Van Buren Tarzan Sunday comic arc, “Tarzan and the Father of Diamonds came to an end after a 15 week run.
I haven’t read this one. The Bob Lubber’s Sunday pages from September 24, 1950 until Lubbers left the strip on Valentine’s day 1954 haven’t been collected. as far as I know, and made available in electronic or print form. If you’ve got them, please reach out to Bill Hillman at www.erbzine.com.
It’s possible that “Father of Diamonds may owe its story line to “Tarzan and the Diamonds of Asher, the radio show, but who knows.
Again, if you’ve got those crumbling Sunday funny pages stored in your basement or garage, dig ‘em and get them copied before they’re gone forever, like some of the earliest Tarzan films.
Today’s drabble, “Gone With The Wind,” features my old friends from New Orleans, John and Pat, and was inspired by real life tragedies that they both encountered. Much of Pat’s collection was lost when his house burned several years ago, and a great deal of John’s during hurricane, Katrina.
John and Pat visited over oyster poor boys and Barq’s root beers in the French Quarter.
GONE WITH THE WIND
“Pat,” said John. “A guy from Chicago wrote me. He’s trying to get photocopies of all the Tarzan daily and Sunday Pages from the fifties and sixties. I saved those from the Times- Picayune.”
“I’ll help you.
“”They’re stored in some of the 200 boxes in my Dad’s garage. I’ll take forever.”
“You should make copies?”
“Plenty of time. What’s the worst that can happen?”
“Another hurricane, a fire, or even an overflowing washing machine.”
“Don’t be negative, Pat. That stuff happens somewhere else.”
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