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ERB 100-Word Drabbles
APRIL V Edition :: Days 1-15
by Robert Allen Lupton
See Days 16 - 30 at ERBzine 7695a
With Collations, Web Page Layout and ERBzine Illustrations and References by Bill Hillman
April 1: On this day in 1940, actress Aliza Gar was born in the British Mandate of Palestine (Israel.) Her birth name is given as both Gross and Gurgross. Aliza was Miss Israel in 1960 and a semifinalist in the Miss Universe pageant that year. Her film career was relatively short, only lasting from 1956 when she had an uncredited role in “The Ten Commandments,” to her final television role as Rachel Friedman in “Portrait: A Man Whose Name Was John” in 1973.
Along the way, she played Vida in “From Russia with Love,” Catherine in “Night Train to Paris,” and Myrna in “Tarzan and the Jungle Boy.” Her television credits include “Taxi,” “The Big Valley,” “Daniel Boone,” “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.,” “Get Smart,” and “The Wild Wild West.”
In “Tarzan and the Jungle Boy,” her character is a photojournalist searching for a lost thirteen year old boy, Eric Brunik, who is lost in the jungle.
The drabble for today, “Paparazzi,” is based on Aliza Gur’s character in “Tarzan and the Jungle Boy.” https://www.erbzine.com/mag19/1963.html
Myrna, the photo journalist, took a dozen quick pictures of the tribal village. The villagers shouted and screamed. The warriors approached her with spears and the tribal women built up the fire under the cooking caldron.
“Tarzan,” she asked? “Have I done something wrong?”
“You said you were here to find a missing child. The natives think you’re a witch stealing their souls with your photography.”
“Please tell them that’s not true.”
Our truth and theirs are not the same. You’re on your own. Their cooking caldron is large enough for two people and I have other dinner plans tonight.”
April 2: On this day in 1938, Argosy Weekly published the third installment of “The Red Star of Tarzan,” which would be published in book form as “Tarzan and the Forbidden City.” Edgar Rice Burroughs was mentioned on the cover, but the cover illustration by G. J. Rosen was for a western by Bennett Foster, “Cowboy Oil Your Gun.” The issue contained the final installment of the C. S. Forester Hornblower novel, “Ship of the Line.”
The origin of the novel is a matter of some debate. Some claim that ERB adapted it from the 1934 radio serial, “Tarzan and the Diamonds of Asher,” by Rob Thompson, but others claim that Thompson wrote the radio script based on an outline by ERB. That aside, it should be noted that “Red Star” underwent considerable rewriting by the Argosy staff and its quite different from “Tarzan and the Forbidden City” – published in book form in 1938 as ERB had written it – as “Tarzan and the Forbidden City.
Read the details of the controversy, the publishing history, and see several illustrations at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag7/0729.html
The drabble for today is, “Brain Power,” and it was inspired by the “Red Star of Tarzan,” and the truth of the last line of the drabble.
Atka, the Queen of Ashair, complained to Tarzan. “King Herat of Thobos behaves poorly. Since he became King and married Mentheb, he has changed his entire country. He's fallen under the spell of the priesthood and all the food and riches are donated to the temple. His people are starving.”
Tarzan shrugged, “I don’t think I can help.”
“He was quite clever as a young man. I actually considered marrying him to unite our kingdoms. What happened to him?”
“Being given great power doesn’t make a man wise. The more power a stupid man is given, the stupider he becomes.”
SEEING IS BELIEVING
April 3: On this day in 1952, the 63th episode, None so Blind, of Commodore Productions radio Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle series was broadcast. Lamont Johnson was the voice of Tarzan, but specific credit wasn’t given to other cast members, who include Dan Arven, Dick Beales, Bob Bruce, Larry Dobkins, Virginia Eller, Eddie Firestone Jr., Frank Gersten, Gloria Grant, Virginia Gregg, Gladys Holland, Charlie Lawton, Raymond Lawrence, Sidney Mason, Eve McVeagh, Shepard (Shep) Menken, Marvin Miller, Roland Morris, Donald Morrison.
Lamont Johnson won two Emmys.
Details about the radio show and Audio to over 60 episodes are at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag23/2337.html
The 100 word drabble for today is, “Seeing is Believing,” and it was inspired by the episode’s title.
Tarzan said, “The lions are on our left. I hear gorillas on our right. Follow me closely. We’ll lure the beasts toward each other. We’ll slip away when they begin to fight.”
SEEING IS BELIEVING
The lions roared and the lost American woman cringed. She said, “That doesn’t seem like much of a plan.”
“It’s a better plan than fighting a dozen lions and several gorillas.”
“Nevertheless, I don’t see how it can possibly work.”
Tarzan grunted. “Of course you don’t see how it will work. This is radio. There is no see! Hear my strong voice reassure you that it will work.”
IT'S ABOUT TIME
April 4: At 11:00 Pacific Daylight Time in 2023, the ceremony revealing Edgar Rice Burroughs Star on the Palm Springs Walk-of-Fame took place. Thanks to Scott Tracy Griffin for being the driving force behind this project. When you come looking for the star, it’s next to the giant stature of Marilyn Monroe, just to the right as you’re facing her.
Meanwhile, on this day in 1935, Edgar Rice Burroughs married Florence Gilbert Dearholt in Los Vegas. The couple sailed to Honolulu on the S. S. Lurline and honeymooned at the Royal Hawaiian hotel. Florence’s son Lee Chase made a presentation at the Edgar Rice Burroughs Chain of Friendship 2023 gathering during the two days which follow the presentation of ERB’s Walk-of-Fame Star.
The 100 drabble for today is, “It’s About Time,” and it was inspired by the long overdue honor to Edgar Rice Burroughs today. It features my old friends from New Orleans, Burroughs’s aficionados, John and Pat.
“John,” said Pat. “Today, Edgar Rice Burroughs gets a star on the Palm Springs Walk-of-Fame. I happy, but confused. It’s not like he was an actor.”
IT'S ABOUT TIME
“Pat, he doesn’t have to be an actor. He and Ashton Dearholt, had a film production company, Burroughs Tarzan Pictures, Inc. They made a few films.”
“A few films deserves a star?”
“That, about 50 Tarzan films, and movies based on A Princess of Mars, The Oakdale Affair and The Lad and the Lion. Counting animation, six or seven television series and lots of radio.”
“Fine, makes me wonder why it took so long.”
THAT'S ALL FOLKS
April 5: On this day in 1968, the final episode of Ron Ely’s Tarzan television series was broadcast. Episode 57. “Trina,” featured Stacey Maxwell and Nehemiah Persoff. Tarzan’s last line was fitting, he said to Cheetah. “Say bye-bye, wave bye-bye. A group of seven young women are on a safari being led by Trina. They run out of gas and Tarzan has to help them. At one point, the seven woman join in a tribal dance. If the series was ending, this one scene would have spelled its doom. So bad.
Details, Reviews and Screen Captures about all of the episodes start at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag74/7420.html
The drabble for today is “That’s All Folks,” and it was inspired by the end of the series.
Manuel Padilla asked, “Ron, is this the end of the series?”
THAT'S ALL FOLKS
Ron nodded. “I can’t take any more. I’ve been bitten and clawed by lions, broken my nose, dislocated my jaw, broken both shoulders and three ribs. Can’t think of how many muscles I’ve pulled and how many times I’ve sprained a wrist or an ankle. "
“But Ron, that’s in the past. Tarzan isn’t a whiner. One more season.”
“No, I quit. I’m going out a winner.”
“Winners don’t quit.”
“I’ve got all my teeth and fingers. My legs and eyes still work. That makes me the winner. Wave bye-bye.”
TIME AND TIME :: WE DON'T NEED NO STINKING BUDGET
April 6: On this day in 1927, Edgar Rice Burroughs began what was an unfinished manuscript, for which he considered several titles, among which were “Mary Who?”, “Why Razz the Kids?,” and “Holy Bonds of Wedlock.” It was intended as a play, written to star his daughter, Joan, but it was never published.
The entire manuscript may be read at:
Today is a special day, today there are two drabbles. The first drabble for today is “Time and Time,” and it was inspired by the lack of common courtesy that is prevalent in today’s world.
Three young women arrived at the Nairobi train station. One said, “Where’s the 8:00 train.”
TIME AND TIME
The station master replied. “It left at 8:00.”
“But we have tickets. We’re here for Lord and Lady Greystoke’s wedding anniversary.”
“Everyone on the train had tickets. They were on time. Where were you?”
“We were still eating. You should have waited.”
“First, you didn’t even call. Second, I don’t know how they do things where you come from, but here, we don’t punish performance and reward bad behavior.”
“Don’t be rude to us.”
“Rude is believing your time is more valuable than everyone else’s.”
The second drabble for today is “We Don’t Need No Stinking Budget,” and is inspired by, well, you get it, I hope.
Tarzan attended the meeting of his Non-Profit Greystoke Foundation. The manager said, “Lord Greystoke, we need more funds. Larger donations and higher subscription fees are necessary.”
WE DON'T NEED NO STINKING BUDGET
“Thank you. May I see the financial records while I consider that request?”
“The financial report. Last year’s reconciliation, income, expenses, net assets? I also need to review next year’s budget, projected income, costs, and again, net assets.”
“I don’t think we have that information available?”
“We can’t make good financial decisions without that information. Does the term “Fiduciary Responsibility” mean anything to you?”
“Isn’t a fiduciary a small Australian parrot?”
THE SOUND OF SILENCE
April 7: On this day in 1967, the thirtieth episode of the Ron Ely television Tarzan series was broadcast. “Algie B. for Brave” featured Maurice Evans as General Bertram. Robert Brubaker played a man with the unlikely name of Conrad Viewcola and Todd Garrett played the title role of Algie. Garrett’s only other credit was in 1968’s ”Here Come the Brides.”
Algie B. is identified during the story as the son of Robert Bertram, a spy looking for a location to build a missile base, but in the credits, he’s called Algie Jenkins. Algie doesn’t have much to say because he witnessed a murder and the shock stunned him into silence.
See a list of all the episodes and read reviews and view screen captures starting at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag74/7420.html
The drabble for today is, The Sound of Silence,” and it’s based on the episode.
“Tarzan,” said Jai. “This is Algie. He doesn’t talk. I found him in the jungle and he followed me home. Can I keep him?”
THE SOUND OF SILENCE
“If he can’t talk, how did you learn his name? And no, you can’t keep him. We have to find his parents.”
“He scratched his name with a stick in the dirt.”
“Algie,” said Tarzan. “Where are your parents?”
The boy said nothing.
“This is bad. There’ll be real trouble if he won’t talk.”
“Why,” asked Jai.
“Silent pictures went out of fashion about 40 years ago. If he won’t talk, he’ll never get another role.”
LEARN THE PART
April 8: On this day iin 1981, actor Taylor Kitsch was born in Kelowna, BC, Canada. Taylor played John Carter in the Disney film of that name. He has also appeared in “Friday Night Lights,” ”X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” “The Covenant,” and “Snakes on a Plane.” ERBzine coverage of the film starts at: https://www.cartermovie.com
The 100 word drabble for today is “Learn the Part,” and it is excerpted from an interview with Taylor at www.gq.com.
I really focused on the loss of John Carter's family. I sat down with these historians in Texas about the Civil War because John comes from there. Then I read a ton of books and a lot of letters of former soldiers that would write back home. Brutal. It just taught me a lot. Even the way he fights... They wanted me to fence. After reading all this, I said there's no %$#&@ way I'm going to play John and be fencing. I want him gritty. He's so raw emotionally, I want him to be emotionally intense when he's fighting.
LEARN THE PART
FROM THE GROUND UP
April 9: Happy Easter. On this day in 1972, the "Sunday Times Color Supplement Magazine" of Great Britain published the article “Monkey Business,” written by Robert Lacey. Interestingly, the article reproduced a Burne Hogarth Sunday Comic page from Canada. There was also a photo of Johnny Weissmuller and one of ERB.
The article began with the blurb, “Sixty years old this year, Tarzan is swinging into a new lease of life. Flamingo Books begin this month the publication of all 26 Tarzan novels, and the National Film Theatre is preparing a season to celebrate the 40 evergreen Tarzan films and all their 15 Tarzan stars. Robert Lacey rediscovers the true Tarzan and his creator, Edgar Rice Burroughs, the former railway cop whose jungle fantasies made him a millionaire.”
Flamingo Books, a division of Brown Watson Ltd., published the first four Tarzan novels in 1972 with Burne Hogarth covers. It’s stretching things quite a bit, but I suppose the Lacey can justify saying there are 26 Tarzan novels, by counting “The Mad King,” and “The Eternal Lover,” books in which Tarzan makes an appearance. But wait, what about “The Tarzan Twins, which makes 27. Well, I didn’t write the article.
Details about UK editions of the Tarzan novels are at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag4/0483.html
The drabble for today is "From the Ground Up, and it was inspired by the article and by Easter, with a little touch of Groundhogs’ Day thrown in.
Jane gave Tarzan three boiled eggs died with indigo. Tarzan said, “I’ve never eaten blue eggs.”
FROM THE GROUND UP
“They're colored for Easter, the day Christians celebrate Jesus rising from the dead and emerging from the Garden Tomb.”
Tarzan ate an egg. “We have a similar story in Africa. Aardvarks burrow underground and sleep during the dry season. "
“That’s estivation, not hibernation.”
“At first rain, the aardvarks wake and surface. If they see their shadow, the rains go away.”
“Does that work?”
“I don’t know. We wait until they surface and wack ‘em on the head. Wack-An-Aardvark. They taste better than blue eggs.”
April 10: On this day in 1920, All-Story Weekly published the fourth installment of “Tarzan and the Valley of Luna,” which became the second half of the novel, “Tarzan the Untamed.” The issue’s cover was by Modest Stein, a frequent ERB illustrator, but it was for the first installment of the novel, “Clung,’ by western writer Max Brand (Frederick Faust). The cover blurb reads, “An Oriental Mind in an Occidental Body.”
After the first half of the book, in which Tarzan believes that the Germans have killed Jane and Tarzan has waged war on the Germans killing several of them, Tarzan decides that he hates civilization and war and he’s decided to spend the rest of his life living in the jungle. Again, the first half of the book is a tale of war and revenge, and the second half is a story of adventure and the discovery of a new lost city. Xuja, where lions are used for cattle and the citizens worship parrots and monkeys. Tarzan finds a British spy posing as a German named Bertha, and eventually lets her live with him in the jungle. Well, he does think that Jane is dead.
Read all the details at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag4/0493.html
The drabble for today is “War,” and it was inspired by Tarzan’s change of attitude about mankind’s favorite sport.
Tarzan allowed the alleged German spy, Bertha Kircher, to accompany him into the jungle.
She said, “Thanks for saving me. Where’re we going?”
“I’m sick of civilization. I hate war. I’m going to live with the animals like I did as a child.”
“Tarzan, everybody hates war.”
“No, everybody says they hate war, but it isn’t true. People love war. Folks are either at war, recovering from war, or getting ready for the next war.”
“It’s not that bad.”
“People write songs celebrating war. Mankind approaches war like an obsessive hobby or a game. I don’t want to play anymore.”
TIME ENOUGH FOR LOVE
April 11: On this day in 2017, Dark Horse Comics published “Pellucidar: at the Earth’s Core.” The comic was written by Dennis O’Neill and Len Wein. The cover is by Mark Schultz and the interior art was by Mike Kaluta, Dan Green, and Alan Weiss. The volume collects selected stories previously published in “Korak, Son of Tarzan” #1 and “Weird Worlds” #1–#7 from DC Comics.
It’s available from: https://www.darkhorse.com/
For a very complete list for adaptions of Edgar Rice Burroughs’s novels into comic book format, go to: https://www.erbzine.com/mag3/0357.html
The 100 word drabble for today, “Time Enough For Love,” was inspired by the novel, “At the Earth’s Core,” with thanks to Robert A. Heinlein for the title.
David Innes and Abner Perry arrived at the Earth’s core inside their manned drilling machine. The land of dinosaurs was lit by an unmoving internal sun. The inhabitants had no concept of time. David fell in love with the beautiful, Dian.
TIME ENOUGH FOR LOVE
“Tell Dian you love her,” said Perry.
“When I have time.”
“There’s no time like now, and here, it’s always now.”
“I’m waiting for a better moment.”
“In our world, time is a created thing. Time doesn’t exist here. To say I don’t have time is to say I’m afraid. Faint heart ne’er won a fair maid. Tell her!”
UP A TREE
April 12: On this day in 1928, filming began on the fifteen chapter film serial, “Tarzan the Mighty.” The film starred Frank Merrill as Tarzan and Natalie Kingston as Mary Trevor. There was no Jane. Bobby Nelson played Mary’s younger brother – Bob. Interestingly, in 1931, the Rex Maxon Sunday comic strip “The Perils of Bob and Mary Trevor” began. It ran for 28 weeks. There are no known prints of the film in existence.
Joe Bonomo was originally cast as Tarzan, but he broke his left leg while filming “Perils of the Wild.” Actor Melvin Koontz doubled for Frank Merrill, who had doubled for Elmo Lincoln. Koontz, who trained the lion Jackie for film work also doubled for Victor Mature in “Demetrius and the Gladiators.”
Details about the film are located at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag5/0592.html
The drabble for today, “Up A Tree,” was inspired by the film serial and by the career of lion tamer and stuntman, Melvin Koontz, who doubled for Frank Merrill in the film.
Three female native warriors chased young Bobby Nelson across the set. Bobby climbed a tree and suddenly, Jackie, the lion trained by Melvin Koontz, chased the women away. The lion caught one woman and pinned her down.
UP A TREE
Melvin ran across stage and pulled Jackie off the actor. “Bobby, it’s safe. You can come down now.”
“I’m not afraid of the lion. I like him. The women playing the African warriors are mean to me. I wish Jackie had eaten her.”
“That’s not very mature.”
‘Who cares about mature as long as you’re the victor. I’d be glad he ate her.”
April 13: On this day in 2012, the Tarzan Festival in Morgan City, Louisiana began. Al Bohl arranged the festival to introduce ins documentary, “Tarzan, Lord of the Louisiana Jungle.” His daughter, Allison, filmed and edited the documentary. A large part of the 1918 “Tarzan of the Apes” film starring Elmo Lincoln and Enid Markey was filmed near Morgan City in the Atchafalaya River basin. Atchafalaya is pronounced just like it’s spelled.
Everything you want to know about the festival and more is located at: https://www.erbzine.com/mag35/3588.html
`The 100 word drabble for today, “Good Eating,’ was inspired by the festival, the unique cuisine of Louisiana, aka Cajun Cookin.” I do love me some boiled crawfish. Alligator tail is a delicacy and nutria is a large rat that lives in the rivers and bayous. It’s used in casseroles, meatloafs, and stews. Rue is a thickening agent created by cooking flour in fat until it’s brown, but not burnt.
“What’s in this gumbo stuff?” asked a Chicago Burroughs’ fan.
“Rue, seasonings, oysters, shrimp, crab, okra, and rice.”
“Hell, no. Okra is not food.”
The cook dumped little red lobster looking things on a newspaper, Got me no nutria or alligator tail. Boiled crawfish.”
“They still got their heads and feet.”
“We call them mudbugs. Break the crawfish in half and then suck the head.”
The Chicagoan looked inside the head. “Guts, it’s full of gooey guts.”
“Yep, that’s the best part.”
“That takes more guts than I have.”
“In the bayou, we say eat it before it eats you.”
April 14: On this day in 2012, Michael Sellers, author of “John Carter and the Gods of Hollywood,” posted the article, “An Evening With Danton Burroughs, Keeper of the Flame for Edgar Rice Burroughs.” Sellers also organized the John Carter Reading Project and operated the web page, “The John Carter Files.” The article may be read in its entirety at https://www.erbzine.com/mag10/1059.html I tried to find The John Carter Files, but it appears that the account has been suspended.
The article begins “It was mid-October, one of those hot autumn days in LA that are worse than the summer. We drove north from Los Angeles on 101 in rush hour traffic on a Thursday evening as the sun set over the San Fernando Valley. After an hour of bumper to bumper madness, the traffic began to thin and we made a left on Reseda Avenue, where we were greeted everywhere with the word "Tarzan” … only, not quite, it was “Tarzana”, not “Tarzan” – as in “Tarzana Dry Cleaners”, “Tarzana Auto Repair”, “Tarzana Stationers”. The hand of the old master was seen everywhere.”
The 100 word drabble, “Good Influence,” for today is taken from Michael Seller’s article about his evening with Danton Burroughs. I met Danton twice and he was just as charming as Seller’s said he was.
Danton Burroughs is a gentle, friendly man, who has the capacity to warm to a new friend without any reserve. His pride in his grandfather’s accomplishments is palpable – yet just as palpable is the pleasure he feels when he senses that he’s in the presence of someone who loves and respects his granddad’s works. At one point I found myself describing the absolute magic of my discovery of Edgar Rice Burroughs as a child, and Danton poked his friend John Westerveldt in the shoulder and said with absolute pride, “See. My grandfather changed his life!” And he is absolutely right.
April 15: On this day in 1895, actress of stage and screen, Kathleen Kirkham Woodruff, was born in Menominee, Wisconsin. She began her stage career at age nine, and was not only a leading lady, she was a playwright, producer and manager. The blonde actress was famous being one of the best dressed actresses of the times and in many of her films wore more than a dozen outfits – very uncommon for the times.
Among her several films roles, she played Alice Clayton, Lady Greystoke, Tarzan’s mother in the 1918 film, “Tarzan of the Apes,” “The Romance of Tarzan,” and in 1921’s “The Adventures of Tarzan.”
Kathleen appeared in about 60 silent films between 1916 and 1926. With the exception of her roles in Tarzan, she was usually cast as an evil woman, the one the audiences loved to hate. After her film career, she worked as a teller at Security-First National Bank in southern California.
The drabble for today, "Job Interview," was inspired by Kathleen Kirkham, her career and the the story of Tarzan of the Apes.
The bank manager said, “You’re an actress. I need someone dependable, not someone who’ll vanish at the first casting call.”
“ I was, but I played evil women. Their behavior spilled over into real life, so I’ve retired.”
“Ever portray a decent woman?”
“Tarzan’s mother in three films. I provided my own costumes.”
“You have an ape suit? Could you wear it for special events?”
“Not the ape. I was his real mother, Lady Greystoke.”
“So, no ape suit? Can you make change?”
“Sometimes I changed costumes eighteen times in two hours. If there’s anything, I can do, it’s make change.”
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