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Volume 7660

ERB 100-Word Drabbles
JANUARY V Edition :: Days 1-15
by Robert Allen Lupton
See Days 16 - 31 at ERBzine 7660a

With Collations, Web Page Layout and ERBzine Illustrations and References by Bill Hillman

January 1:
On this day in 1969, actor Barton MacLane passed away in Santa Monica, California. Always a man for the holidays, MacLane was born on Christmas Day in 1902. His film career spanned forty years, He appeared in numerous westerns and may be best known as General Peterson on “I Dream of Jennie.” His 186 credits included “pocket Full of Miracles,” “The Maltese Falcon,” “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre,” and “Tarzan in the Huntress," in which he played Paul Weir, a safari guide and big game hunter.
Patricia Morrison played the huntress, and Weissmuller, Brenda Joyce, and Johnny Sheffield played their usual roles.
    The drabble for today, “Don’t Wait on Cheeta,” was inspired by the Tarzan films of the 1930s and 1940s.


Patricia Morrison sat with Barton MacLane on the set of ‘Tarzan and the Huntress.’ “Barton, I’ve never done scenes with animals or small children. I’ve heard it’s difficult.”

People say you must be perfect every take, because when the kid or animal gets it right that’s the take they’ll use. Different problem here."

“Why is that?”
“Sheffield’s sixteen and Cheeta is a pro and nails the take the first time. Our job is to hit our marks and never miss a cue. Cheeta always gets it right.”

“So the monkey knows his business.”
“Monkey business? No, Patricia, the monkey shines?”

January 2:
On this day in 1927, the film “Tarzan and the Golden Lion” was released by the newly formed RKO Studios. James Pierce played Tarzan and a short time later married Joan Burroughs, Edgar Rice Burroughs’s daughter.
    Filming took place from September through December 1926, and under ERB’s supervision the movie followed the novel fairly closely. The film was directed by J.P. McGowan and was believed ‘lost’ for several years. Pierce was anxious to obtain a copy of his Tarzan film and he even appealed to Joseph Kennedy for assistance in finding it - but with no luck. A copy was discovered in France years after Big Jim's death. An obscure actor named Boris Karloff played a wanabe tribal chieftain named Owaza or Awaza.
    Details about the film, a copy of the movie, and several photographs are all available at:
    The drabble for today is “Graveyard Smash” and it was inspired by a bit actor in “Tarzan and the Golden Lion” – Boris Karloff.


On the last day of production on the set of “Tarzan and the Golden Lion,” Boris Karloff shook hands with Jim Pierce. “I enjoyed working with you and I hope to do so again. Please don’t forget about me when you’re rich and famous.”

Pierce laughed. I’ve been typecast as Tarzan. My career is over. Like they say, ‘I’ll never work in this town again. You need to remember me.”

Karloff replied, “No one will remember an ugly Brit covered in heavy makeup with a small role.”

January 3: Actress and Playboy Playmate
for October 1958, Mara Corday was born as Marilyn Watts in Santa Monica, California in 1930. She played a native girl in “Tarzan and the She-Devil.
    Details about the film “Tarzan and the She-Devil” abound at:
    She graced the covers and interiors of numerous “Men’s” magazines in the 1950s, including, “Man to Man,” “Man,” “Cavalcade,” “Male,’ “Nugget,” “His,” ‘Adam,” “Eve,” “Exposed,” “Rogue,” and, of course, “Playboy.”
    She was a Universal contract actress and appeared in almost every Universal B film for several years. She stopped acting in the early 1960s. She was married to actor Richard Long until his death in 1974.
    The drabble for today, “I’m Not There,” was inspired by Mara Corday’s career as a magazine model.


“Mara,” asked Brenda Joyce, “You’ve done dozens of photoshoots for men’s magazines. Scantily clad, if at all. I just can’t do that?”

“You get used to it. The photographers are pretty decent guys because women stop working with the ones that aren’t.”

“Just the thought of all those men leering at me. I couldn’t bear it.”
“Brenda, there’s one really big difference. When a man leers at me on the street, I know about it and it bothers me. When someone looks at me in a magazine, I know it’s Just A Picture. I’m not there so I don’t care.

January 4:
On this day in 1960, voice actress, writer and producer, April Terri Winchell was born in New York City. She voiced Terk’s mom in the Disney animated film, “Tarzan,” Terk in the direct to video, “Tarzan and Jane,” and several voices in “Tarzan II.” For Disney television, she voiced Terk in “The Legend of Tarzan.”
    The daughter of ventriloquist, Paul Winchell, she has voiced characters in hundreds of animated productions and hosted a radio show. She wrote several commercials and also was a writer for the Roseanne Barr show.
    She was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, but made a full recovery. I know exactly how that feels.
    Today’s drabble, “Tolerable,” is a series of quotations from April Winchell, taken from some of her interviews.


“I’d like to run for office someday, but I’m afraid my ability to spell might give me an unfair advantage. I had a migraine for about seven or eight days, and was unable to sleep most nights. I remember lying down for a nap one day at about 4:00 and waking up at 11:00 this next morning.

Out came Ms. Hilton in a juicy track suit, chattering away like a gibbon on her jewel-encrusted cellphone. It was like magic, if magic were like an extra-strength laxative.

I wish you a tolerable Thursday, that’s all any of us can hope for.

January 5:
On this day in 1991, actor and carnival side show star Johnny Eck died in Baltimore, Maryland. At birth he was named John Echkardt. A twin, he was born weighing two pounds and had no lower extremities. He joined a circus sideshow at age twelve and was billed as Johnny Eck, The Half-Boy.”
    Eck appeared in four films, “Tarzan’s Secret Treasure,” “Tarzan Escapes,” “Tarzan the Ape Man,” and “Freaks.” He played a bird creature in the Tarzan films and basically himself in “Freaks.”
    In addition to film, sideshow and stage, Eck also pursued other interests; he and his brother were musicians, leading their own 12-piece orchestra in Baltimore, Johnny conducting and Robert playing the piano. Eck continued his love of drawing and painting, choosing such subjects as pretty girls, ships and self-portraits. He was also a race car enthusiast and the driver of his own custom-built race car, the "Johnny Eck Special," which was street legal in Baltimore. In 1938, Eck climbed to the top of the Washington Monument on his hands.
Details about the three Tarzan films in which Eck appeared are available at:
    The 100 word drabble for today is by Johnny Ecks and is taken from quotations and his unpublished book, “King of the Freaks, the Johnny Eck Story.”


All species have exceptionally small members the same as the human race. Kids love little horses and little goats because they can identify. After all, what can you do that I can’t do – except tread water?

I met hundreds and thousands of people, and none finer than the midgets, the Siamese twins, the caterpillar man, the bearded woman, and the human seal with the little flippers for hands. I never asked them any embarrassing questions and they never asked me, and God, it was a great adventure.

If I want to see freaks, I can just look out the window.

January 6:
On this day in 1934, the ninth and final installment of “Tarzan and the Lion Man” appeared in Liberty Magazine. The magazine’s cover was a calendar for 1934. The interior included illustrations by Stockton Mulford under the pseudonym, Ray Dean.
    Two of the other stories / articles in the issue were the regular column, “To the Ladies,” by Princess Alexandra Kropotkin, “The American Army Stands Ready” by Harry H. Woodring.
    Publication details about the novel, “Tarzan and the Lion Man,” several illustrations, reviews, and a summary are located at:
    The drabble for today, “Jungle Law,” was inspired by Tarzan and the Lion Man and some things that happed on other January 6ths.


Rhoda, an American actress, watched the apes’ Dum-Dum with Tarzan, who’d saved her from death. “Why are the apes fighting?”

“The tribe voted for a new king, but the old king rejects their decision.’
“We elect a new leader regularly in America. The old leader always retires gracefully.”
Tarzan asked, “What if he doesn’t.”
“The people would force him. All of us are stronger than one of us.”
The apes pelted the old king with sticks and stones until he fled.
Tarzan smiled, “Much the same here. If he knows what’s good for him, he’ll shut up and stay away.”

January 7:
On this day in 1943, the world’s oldest war correspondent was in Sydney, Australia. “The Film Weekly” a magazine ‘Incorporating Everyone’s Australian Variety and Show World” published the article “”Author of Tarzan Stories Thinks Hollywood Will Never Lack Stories.
    Read the entire article at:
It's generally accepted that there are seven basic plots (that’s about nine of them. The seven basic plots are Overcoming the Monster, Rags to Riches, The Quest, Voyage and Return, Comedy, Tragedy, and Rebirth. I suppose that Boy Meets Girl, Boy loses Girl, Boy get's Girl Back could be plot number eight, but that fits in Quest, Rebirth, or Comedy, depending on how it's written.
    The drabble for today, “Recycled Plots,” is one hundred words taken from that article.


Edgar Rice Burroughs said he believed Hollywood would never lack story properties for films “After all, there are only about 9 basic plots, aren’t there? They’ve done yeoman service for years past. Freshened up with modern dialogue and dressing they’ll serve for years to come!”

Commenting on his current film deals, he said Sol Lesser would make two Tarzan films this season for RKO release, these being "Tarzan Triumphs," which is already finished, and "Tarzan and the Sheik," which is being prepared now for production.

"I've great faith in Sol," he added, "and feel very happy about this new deal."

January 8:
On 1938, Argosy Weekly published the first installment of “Carson of Venus,” with a cover illustration by Rudolf Belarski and an interior drawing by C. Brigham. The interior illustration is probably the work of Willian Clarence Brigham, Jr., but it could possibly be the work of Walter Cole Brigham (the two are not related,) Walter, who died in 1941, is believed to be living in retirement and painting seascapes in 1937 and 1938.
The third Venus novel was serialized over six issues. An eText version of the novel and publishing history is available at:
    Like the previous two novels in this series, Carson of Venus is a political satire. The tyrant and leader of the Zani party, Mephis, is clearly a fictionalized Hitler and his subjects great him with the phrase, “Maltu Memphis (Hail Hitler) There’s even a Muso (Mussolini) in the story.
    Prior to the commencement of WW2, it was serialized in the Italian magazine Unicom. This is interesting, particularly in the light of Italy rapidly becoming Germany's most trusted ally in an ever more alienated Europe. Was the magazine making a political statement, or did they simply fail to understand what they bought? I can’t find evidence that “Unicom” survived. I wonder how the editor fared under fascist rule?
    The drabble for today is “How’s That Again?” and it was inspired by the political satire in “Carson of Venus.”


Carson spoke to Mantar, a Zani soldier assigned to help him. “I expected to be killed, but instead I’ve been make an officer. I don’t understand.”

“Maltu Memphis. In his wisdom, our leader has decided that you should serve rather than die.”

“Small difference. I’ll die in battle instead being executed. You’re outnumbered and food and ammunition scarce.”

Maltu Memphis. He decrees that there will be food and ammunition. He wills us to victory.”
“An unsupported decree is only a wish said with conviction. Man can’t order the rain to stop. Such big words don’t put food on the table.”

January 9:
On this day in 1913, Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote a letter to Thomas Metcalf, the editor at All-Story Magazine concerning the status of his story, “The-Ape Man,” which was one of the two working titles for “The Return of Tarzan.” The other was “Monsieur Tarzan.”
Burroughs reminded Metcalf of his offer concerning the payment rate and requested the balance due him for “The Gods of Mars.” He went on to request some comments about his (Burroughs) use of grammar.
Metcalf rejected “The Ape-Man” and ERB sold the story to New Story Magazine.
    The complete letter is at: and publishing details and several illustrations may be found at:
    The drabble for today, “Me Write Pretty One Day,” is excerpted from ERB’s letter to Metcalf, a letter written over a century ago. Metcalf never commented in writing on ERB’s grammar usage and Burroughs never hired an English tutor.


"I never studied English grammar but a month in my life. I was taken from public school before I got that far and sent to a private school. They believed a boy should learn Greek and Latin grammar before he took up English grammar. Before I got to English grammar I was sent to Andover and started studied Greek and Latin again. I studied Latin for eight years, and never was taught my mother tongue; which is a bum way to educate a boy. I’ve been thinking of getting hold of an English tutor. What do you think about it?"

January 10:
On this day in 1944, artist Jeffrey Durwood Jones was born in Atlanta, Georgia. He drew an eight page comic, “Tarzan at the Earth’s Core,” and did dozens of paperback fantasy covers. He illustrated covers for ERB-DOM and the Barsoomian.
    One of the more intriguing personal elements that make Jones’ story unique, is his transition from male-identified Jeff Jones to female identified Jeffrey Catherine Jones, but also her complicated friendship with artist – and, at that point, fellow crossdresser – Vaughn Bode, and bouts with depression which at times interrupted her ability to create art.
    Jones moved to New York City to pursue an art career and quickly found work drawing comics pages for King Comics, Gold Key Comics, Creepy, Eerie, and Vampirella, as well as Wally Wood's Witzend. She painted covers for books, including the Ace paperback editions of Fritz Leiber's Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser series and Andre Norton's Postmarked the Stars, The Zero Stone, Uncharted Stars and over 150 others. She drew many covers and short stories for a variety of comics publishers including DC Comics, Skywald Publications, and Warren.
    The drabble for today, “Born This Way,” was written by comics writer and journalist Steven Ringgenberg and is excerpted from his tribute / obituary to Jones originally published in “The Comics Journal.”


Jeff had felt conflicted about her gender since childhood, feeling a greater affinity for the fair sex than for her own maleness. A product of the 1950s, Jones didn’t know how to cope with her yearning to be female, and felt ashamed. She tried to drown these feelings in alcohol, but, after much soul-searching, Jones realized although she'd been born male, inside she was a woman. She began hormone replacement therapy in 1998, and began her life as a woman, changing her name to Jeffrey Catherine Jones. In 2001, she suffered a nervous breakdown, but she recovered, and resumed painting.

January 11:
On this day in 1951, “Black Ivory, ”the second installment of the Commodore radio show, “Tarzan,’ was broadcast on CBS radio.
    Tarzan is adopted into the Mawa tribe, whose members are noted for their tall and handsome physiques. But he didn't realize that he would be required to take Velda, the chief's daughter, as his wife. This creates problems with Kalo, who she had previously been promised; further complicating matters is Ajib Ben Zahman, a Bedouin slave trader, who is determined to make slaves of the Mawa.
    Every episode of the entire series is available at:
    Very little is known about which parts the actors starring on the show played with the exception of Lamont Johnson, who played Tarzan.
The drabble for today, “The Price of Bigamy,” was inspired by the plot of episode number two of the radio show.


The chief of the Mawa tribe finished the adoption ceremony and said, “Welcome to the tribe, Tarzan. We’ll feast now and afterwards, you’ll marry my beautiful daughter, Velda.”

“Your daughter is quite lovely and I’m honored, but I’m already married.”
The chief shrugged, “Being married elsewhere isn’t married here. Besides a man may have many wives.”

Tarzan replied, “My people only allow a man to have one wife.”
“We are your people now. The marriage will take place.”
“No, my people have a special punishment for men with two wives.”
“How’s that?”
“A man with two wives has two mothers-in-law.”

January 12:
On this day in 1934, An Edgar Rice Burroughs article was published in “The Tacoma News Tribune with the heading “Edgar rice Burroughs Tells of Success of His Famous Fiction Character.” The article was reprinted by The Oakland Tribune on January 29, 1934. Read the entire article in “Edgar Rice Burroughs Tells All” or online at:
In the article, ERB chronicles the jealousy of others who’ve accused him of not writing the books and accuses Karl Marx of writing and publishing a book discrediting Tarzan as anti – German.
    “In Germany. Mr. Marx aroused the jealousy of a publisher because of his (Tarzan’s) popularity, and this good sportsman dug up a story that I had written during the heat of anti-German propaganda in this country following the sinking of the Lusitania. He had a book written and published, telling all about the two horrible creatures, Tarzan of the apes and Edgar Rice Burroughs; and he distributed it so effectively that the German press made Tarzan an issue, lambasting him editorially and advising all good Germans to throw their Tarzan books into the garbage cans -- which they did.” While I knew that ERB wasn't published in Germany for a period after WW1, I'd never heard that there was a book such as the one referenced in this newspaper article. (I’d love to know the name of this book and find a copy!)
    The drabble for today, “Begged, Borrowed, or Stolen,” is 100 words taken from that article written by Edgar Rice Burroughs.


“A Bulgarian or Rumanian discovered that I’d stolen Tarzan, word for word, from a poor French author, who was slowly starving to death in a garret, while a neighbor here in the San Fernando Valley revealed I never wrote any of my books, all of them having been written by my father, an old gentleman with a long white beard.

Every reputable publisher in the United States had an opportunity to turn down Tarzan of the Apes, and did. I wasn’t surprised; in fact, the only thing about the marketing of my stories that surprises me is when they sell.”

January 13:
On this day in 1942, the Honolulu Star-Bulletin published a “Laugh It Off” column by Edgar Rice Burroughs, the world’s oldest war correspondent. This series of columns was intended to keep up morale during WW2.
    This article describes a series of events including a man eating dog food by mistake, a young sailor being hit in the rear by a shell fragment, and comments contained in a letter signed by “Silvia.” She wrote and didn’t call because Silvia’s mother said she was busy and couldn’t come to the phone. It’s entirely possible that Silvia was a creation of ERB and he used this nom-de-plume to chastise men who were not helping prepare the defense of the island.
    The entire article and all the rest of ERB’s “Laugh It Off” columns are available at:
    The drabble for today, “Entrenching Tool,” and it is a compilation made into a conversation of Silvia’s complaints and ERB’s responses to Silvia’s letter, which apparently accused ERB of not doing his part to help prepare the island for defense.


“You live at a hotel where there are flunkies to do the blackout and air raid shelter work."

Silvia, we ain't got any air raid shelters; and the flunkies are so busy they haven't had time to dig 'em.”

Sylvia sneered, "I don't suppose that you resemble Tarzan, but if you can play tennis, you can dig."

“If you could see my tennis dear, you might change your mind. I dug my quota of ditches in Arizona and I ain’t digging no more ditches. However, if anyone wants to dig a ditch, I'll loan him shovel and help him grunt.”

January 14:
On this day in 1939, Argosy Weekly published the second installment of the ninth Barsoomian novel, “The Synthetic Men of Mars.” The cover illustration by Emmet Watson would have been more suitable for “The War Chief” or “Apache Devil” but it served to illustrate “Red Commanders.” A tale of the Comanche by William Foster-Harris, a prolific contributor to the pulps. Burroughs wasn’t slighted on the cover. His name appeared above the Argosy logo –“Edgar Rice Burroughs Men of MARS.”
    Other stories in the issue included part one of “The Eye of Doom” by Cornell Woolrich, “Bearded Loons” by the infamous Captain Dingle, and part three of “Back Grandee” by Johnson McCulley.” The Eye of Doom has been published and reprinted several times in book form as “The Doom Stone,” the tale of a fabulous diamond.
In the novel, John Carter seeks help from Barsoom’s greatest scientist, Ras Thavas, but the man is busy making synthetic men when something goes wrong and a monstrosity grows in his production vat, a gigantic blob like creature with several heads and body parts scattered across its undulating gelatin-like surface. It just keeps growing. Sounds a lot like “The Blob” starring Steve McQueen, doesn’t it. Yes, it does.
    All the pulp covers, an Etext version of the novel, and publishing details are located at:
    The 100 word drabble for today is, “A Bowl Full of Jelly.” It was inspired by “The Synthetic Men of Mars.”


John Carter confronted the thousand-headed blob that emerged from of Ras Thavas’s vat. “Stop screaming and pick a single head to speak for you.”

The heads continued to argue, each controlled the nearest arms floating in the gelatinous mass. They fought for control until one finally quelled the others. “Come closer, warrior, we hunger and would feed on you.”

“You can’t eat people. I tire of pudding up with your attitude. You smell like custard gone bad!”
Carter vanquished the blobby goo and asked, “Ras Thavas, any more pudding monsters?”
“No, I broke the mold when I made this one.”

January 15:
On this day eighty years ago in 1943, according to Edgar Rice Burroughs’s “Diary of a Confused Old Man or Buck Burroughs Rides Again,” the world’s oldest war correspondent got up early and observed members of the First Battalion of the US Marines practice parachuting from inside the jump plane. Twelve paratroopers jumped over the Dumbea Valley in New Caledonia.
Read the January 15, 1943 entry into ERB’ diary and all the rest of the entries at:
    The drabble for today, “A Perfectly Good Airplane,” is part of ERB’s diary entry.


“The leading man was already standing in the doorway, the others crowded in single file behind him. So rapidly they disappeared and so close together, they seemed to be pushing those ahead of them from the plane. In seconds they were gone. Twelve men jumped in six seconds. One boy got his legs tangled in the shrouds of his chute, but kicked himself free before falling far. Had he not, he would’ve landed on the seat of his pants, The men jumped that morning without even a minor injury. They’ve never suffered a fatality in two years of their existence.”

See Days 16 - 31 at ERBzine 7660a


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