The shady gardens of the were transformed into a jungle this weekend to celebrate the 100th anniversary of 'Tarzan of the Apes' by Edgar Rice Burroughs, which was published in 1912.
The Center’s free celebration featured a cut-out tiger, a statue of a giraffe, monkeys hanging from trees and a gorilla who wandered among the children and their parents. There was a moon bounce, face painting and balloon-making clowns.
The main attraction, though, were the birds from in Tarzana, an adoption spot for colorful avians. One pet up for adoption that weekend was Tootie, a beautiful 7-year-old female blue and gold macaw.
“We have lots of parrots to be adopted, especially because of the economy,” said volunteer Betty Ceroy. “We have so many really nice birds that come to us, not because they are sick, but because many of their owners might have lost their job or homes and are unable to take care of them. One bird came to us because the husband doesn’t like birds. Another owner was pregnant and concerned about how the bird would get along with the baby.”
The parrot adoption agency began as a hobby 20 years ago, said founder Judy Lantz, a biologist. “Our goal is to build an educational center and refuge some day.”
Tarzana-based music band the Traveling Troubadors entertained the crowd. They started off with a sing-along to “This Land is Your Land,” and moved into “Tarzan’s Lullaby” especially composed by songwriter Willard Simms.
Simms explains that the fictional Tarzan was one-year old before his parents died and he was adopted by a band of apes.
"His mother must have had to calm him down with all of the scary noises from the animals. She wanted him to know about the animals’ beauty and the clouds and his surroundings; she had to sign him a lullaby of course.”
Earlier in the day at the Encino-Tarzana Library, Ralph Herman, a local historian and Tarzana native, spoke to the assembled crowd about the early days of Tarzana, and included personal anecdotes and commentary about the Burroughs family, the Tarzana Army camp and the history of Tarzana Ranch where Burroughs once lived.
Herman also spoke about the film-making industry in the Tarzana hills. He told the crowd that he was friends with Fred Astaire’s son in high school and the two often got into playful mischief. He said he sat in the office chair of director Darryl Zanuck, played in Marilyn Monroe’s dressing room when she was on the set and danced down the same “stairs” as Fred Astaire himself did.
And last but not least, Herman spoke about the ghosts and spirits that were said to haunt Tarzana’s Andres Pico Adobe in 1930.
He said a Mr. Harrington took a picture of his wife and when the film was developed there were two “other” people standing in the door way dressed in 1930s clothing and staring at Mrs. Harrington.