FIVE DECADES OF DUM-DUMS!
As the summer of 2005 rolls around, we have two more Burroughs conventions
on the docket, one in Chicago and one in Toronto. Information flyers are
included with this issue, so we hope you can fit one or both of these events
into your schedule. Meanwhile, here are some recollections by our President,
Bob Hyde, on how the Dum-Dums started. This memoir was first published
at the 1991 Dum-Dum in Chicago, but since some of you were not there, we
publish it again. Cheers!
... "Ye Editor"
In the beginning . . . Vernell Coriell started publishing THE BURROUGHS
BULLETIN in 1947, and sent free copies to anyone who asked. Soon after
this, he was asked to form a Burroughs fan club, and this became a topic
of discussion with various fans he met in his travels over the next two
GENESIS OF THE BURROUGHS BIBLIOPHILES
By Bob Hyde
When Vern was in California in 1949, he obtained permission from ERB,
Inc. to form a fan club and to call it THE BURROUGHS BIBLIOPHILES, but
not to have any official connection with ERB, Inc. It was still a matter
of discussion at the 1959 WORLD SCIENCE FICTION CONVENTION in Detroit where
our Pittsburgh S-F group won the election to hold the 18th (1960) World
Con in Pittsburgh. This 1960 event got us off on a firm footing.
Since I was a member of the Convention Committee, Vern asked me to set
up an organizational meeting for him at the convention. We figured this
would be the logical place where a larger group of ERB fans would be gathered.
He knew from correspondence with his BURROUGHS BULLETIN subscribers that
most of them were also S-F fans. He had dreamed of starting an ERB fan
club for ten years, and this seemed like the time and place.
But, a few weeks before the convention, he told me his commitments to
his job would not allow him to be free on the Labor Day weekend, and he
asked me to fill in for him. We had already published notices of our meeting
in the "Convention Progress Reports" as well as in the Convention Program
Book. The meeting was set for Monday, September 5, 1960 at 11:00 a.m.
We gathered about thirty ERB fans at that meeting and did, indeed,
get organized. The meeting lasted for almost two hours and was spiked with
lively discussions. The first subject to be discussed was the name of the
club. According to Verns wishes, the group unanimously chose THE BURROUGHS
BIBLIOPHILES. The second topic of discussion was the clubs purpose. After
some pretty terrific discussion, it was decided that our purpose should
be "to promote the good name of Edgar Rice Burroughs, and the many characters
he had created, and to attract new fans and readers of his works, and to
assist collectors in the pursuit of this hobby."
Elected offices were established and the voting for these officers began.
Dues were decided on, and even the name Dum-Dum was voted to be used
for our annual meetings. Al Howard was the one who suggested the name "Dum-Dum"
and, as he put it, this will be one time every year when "the bulls get
together and howl!"
The official club publications were to be THE BURROUGHS BULLETIN and
THE GRIDLEY WAVE. The next Dum-Dum was set for June, 1961, in Cincinnati.
It was at the Cincinnati meeting that the first officers were elected.
Bob Hyde (Pittsburgh, PA)
.. Stan Vinson (Mansfield, OH)
. Vernell Coriell (Peoria, IL)
Robert Horvath (Monessen, PA)
Charles Reinsel (Clarion, PA)