TARZANA ADVENTURES I
Hillman Memories of ECOF 2002
They were all there:
Tardos Mors, Lord Passmore, Tasor, Ghak, A.Q. Porter, Jane (two of them), Tin Tin & Edie, Woola, BBH - The ERB Traveller, Dejah Thoris, Jeddak of the North, The Tarzan FANatic, Quaestor, Joog, Billy Byrne, Tanar, Shoz Dijiji, John Carter, Mors Kajak, Abner Perry, Usha, Tarzan...
...and many more.
|Sue-On and I have been looking for a chance to return to Tarzana since
1999 when we attended our first Dum-Dum. Since that time we had been involved
in many long-distance projects with Danton Burroughs and our fellow Burroughs
fans and scholars. Our projects with Danton have been particularly rewarding
as he has generously provided a wealth of rare documents, letters, photographs,
interviews, anecdotes, and scans to share with our ERBzin-e and ERBapa
readers. We had planned to use the visit to Tarzana ECOF 2002 as an opportunity
to develop new ERB projects.
Plans to spend quality research time before and after the California event, however, were thwarted by recent events up here in Canada. I spent much of last year working as a fly-in Travelling Professor in Canada's North for Brandon University (www.BrandonU.CA). Even though I flew home for R & R every ten days it was certainly a strange experience as Sue-On had always worked together on projects and had never been apart for more than a few days in over 35 years of marriage. This isolation also affected my Burroughs addiction somewhat as the only way I could keep to a weekly publishing schedule for ERBzin-e was through satellite communication.
Over the summer, however, I was promoted to the position of Assistant
Professor and was offered the job of taking over the BU on-campus computer
department in the Faculty of Education. Setting up new programmes, adapting
To further complicate things, Sue-On had also been hired by the university to teach English for Academic Purposes to International students. We also had a full slate of music activities as we had been booked to perform at a fall Blues Festival and were doing a series of rock 'n' roll revival shows and casino showhalls with our old friend Bobby Curtola -- Canada's Rock 'n' Roll Legend (www.curtola.com). As every ERB Fanatic knows, sometimes the real world steps into the path of our ERB safaris.
Even though I was flying on "frequent flier/air miles" credits and Sue-On was booking a regular flight, we managed to get seats on the same NorthWest aircraft and arrived at LAX on Thursday night. Our Prime Time Shuttle driver whisked us to the Woodland Hills Holiday Inn in good time despite traffic tie-ups on the freeway caused heavy long weekend traffic and "Amber" alert slowdowns. Along the way we had mentioned to the driver that we were attending a Burroughs/Tarzan convention in Tarzana. The driver was obviously well versed in Tarzana lore as he proceeded to explain to us, in an excited, heavily-accented voice, that Tarzana had been named in honour of a famous Tarzan movie actor who used to live there. My attempts to learn more surprising tidbits of history from this fount of knowledge were thwarted by the sudden appearance of a Holiday Inn marquee displaying the message:
We expected that there would be die-hard ERB fans holding down the lobby, and we weren't disappointed. There to greet us were Tracy "Lord Passmore" Griffin, Bruce "Abner Perry" Wood, Huck "A.Q. Porter" Huckenpohler and Bill "On Safari" Morse. After going through a hurried check-in ritual with the assistance of an already somewhat harried desk man (he let it slip that his school years up in Waterloo, Ontario hadn't really prepared him for an invasion of Tarzan wannabees).
After claiming our lair for the night we rushed back to the lobby to renew old friendships and to catch up on all the latest ERB chatter. Eventually the labours of our day-long journey started to take their toll and we shuffled off to hit the Tarzana sleeping furs and silks.
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