So what is ‘Tarmangani?’ To know is to take a trip back to fourth or fifth grade. I moved to Pennsylvania in 1966, fourth grade. Fourth grade in Pennsylvania was vastly different from fourth grade in South Carolina. I was way behind! So, I was stuck reading about opossums in remedial reading class—how thrilling! Along about this time, I met Patrick Crowe. I’m not sure who discovered it first, but we started ordering Tarzan books from Ballentine and read them like crazy! Goodbye Mr. Opossum, hello Tarzan! There are a few books that have had a lasting impact on my life (fodder for another entry), but up there near the top, if not on top, is Tarzan of the Apes, book one of 24 in the series. Because of Edgar Rice Burroughs & Tarzan, my reading level increased overnight and remedial reading class was a thing of the past—give a boy something to read that interests him and this is what happens.
Anyway, Tarzan’s native tongue was the language of the great apes and ‘Tarmangani’ was the word for ‘white man.’ Given that I’m a white man, who struggles from time to time in this jungle we call the world, it seems like an appropriate title for this blog until I can find a new one.
I still read Tarzan books. For a time, Leonaur books were publishing some really nice editions of the Tarzan series, but they abruptly stopped with no explanation. Pity. I suspect that the Edgar Rice Burroughs foundation objected for some reason. A Google search turns up nothing.
My favorites include: Tarzan the Untamed, Tarzan the Terrible, Tarzan and the Golden Lion, and perhaps my all time favorite, Tarzan and the Lost Empire in which Tarzan finds a mini–Roman Empire in the heart of Africa.