Tarzana Is My Heroine

a poet considers the imaginary and reality of Tarzana


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L.A. – Honolulu

I’m vacationing on Maui at the moment and saw this card with an image of a vintage poster advertising the L.A. – Honolulu steamer. At the bottom it says Los Angeles Steamship Company.

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I didn’t realize there was a steamer line out of L.A., though early travel between the mainland and the islands was obviously by ship. The first two ships for the L.A. line — “The City of Los Angeles” and “The City of Honolulu” — were repurposed German vessels captured during WWI. The first ship left L.A. harbor in 1922.

Here’s an article about the steamship company:

http://maritimematters.com/2010/08/los-angeles-steamship-company/

Later, Edgar Rice Burroughs–creator of Tarzan and founder of Tarzana–had sold his ranch and moved to Hawaii with his second wife–though she soon left him and returned to the Mainland.

When Pearl Harbor was attacked in ’41, Burroughs was playing tennis with his son at one of the hotels. No one took the antiaircraft gun noise they were hearing as anything more than an exercise at first.

Burroughs’ nonchalant description of that day led to him becoming a columnist for the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, and he went on to work as a war correspondent from the Pacific.

Read more about his wartime writing from Hawaii here:

http://hawaiiantimemachine.blogspot.com/2011/11/tarzan-of-waikiki-jungle-edgar-rice.html?m=1

and here, in this chapter excerpt from the book Tarzan Forever: A Life of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Creator of Tarzan:

http://www.nytimes.com/books/first/t/taliaferro-tarzan.html

Here is a photo of Burroughs either leaving Hawaii or arriving by steamer (see all the leis).

http://images.fineartamerica.com/images-medium-large/1-edgar-rice-burroughs-1875-1950-everett.jpg

I saw a photo on the ERB, Inc. site that showed Hawaiian musicians performing at Burroughs’ ranch in Tarzana. That must have been before he moved to Hawaii in 1940, since he had sold the ranch before he did that. So did he already know some Hawaiians? Had he already visited Hawaii or learned about Hawaiian music and culture?

I’ll do some more sleuthing in the ERB archives and see if I can find that photo again and some more background. When I do, I’ll post it!

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Tarzan, Jane, And The Chamber Of Commerce

My husband spotted this new sign for the Woodland Hills-Tarzana Chamber of Commerce at Peet’s in Tarzana when we went there for coffee this morning.

Chamber of Commerce Logo

Chamber of Commerce Logo

At first I didn’t see that the logo included an image of Tarzan and a lion, because the logo is all green. After I took this photo, a woman came up and said, “Oh, I love it when someone notices the Chamber of Commerce logo!” She said that there would have been more colors for Tarzan and lion on the right except that it would have been too expensive to produce. Here’s what the image–from the cover of Tarzan and the Lion Man–looks like in full color:

Tarzan and the Lion Man

Tarzan and the Lion Man

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The woman who talked to me was Jen Svejda, Director of Business Development for the Woodland Hills-Tarzana Chamber of Commerce (http://www.woodlandhillscc.net/index.php), which includes, she said, some 800 businesses and is the largest Chamber of Commerce in the Valley. We chatted about how the economic downturn had affected the area (not as bad as it could have been) and the enthusiasm that lots of local Chamber Ambassadors have for this area–to the point, Jen said, of coming out on weekends and painting curbs on their own time!

Jen is very enthusiastic about her job, and she admitted she played the part of Jane at the Tarzan Centennial Celebration at Safari Walk back in August (2012)!

Speaking of Jane now rather than Jen, a new book called Jane: The Woman Who Loved Tarzan just came out. It’s by historical novel author Robin Maxwell and tells Jane’s story from Jane’s point of view–with the support of the Edgar Rice Burroughs estate.Here is a link to some blog posts the author wrote about writing the novel and her interest in the Tarzan story: http://www.tor.com/blogs/2012/09/edgar-rice-burroughs-and-darwin-revisited-the-science-of-jane#more