[by Rob Roehm. Originally posted June 19, 2006, at thecimmerian.com.]
On one of the bus tours of Cross Plains that took place during Howard Days, my dad asked me about Robert E. Howard’s car. I didn’t know much, so I asked Rusty Burke, who was our tour guide. He said that Howard owned a ’31 Chevy first, and then upgraded to a ’35 Chevy. I thought that was the end of it.
About a week later and I’m still unpacking boxes from my recent move. My dad calls and asks about pictures of Howard with cars. I tell him that I don’t know of any. Then, on Father’s Day, I go over to his place for our usual Father’s Day six-pack in his Ham radio shack, and what does he do? He gives me a dissertation on the differences between the 1931 Chevrolet and the 1935 Chevrolet; he elaborates further on the differences between the “standard” and “master” models of the ’35 line. Very interesting. Of course, I wanted to know how he’d found all of this information. With a twinkle in his eye he pulls down a book, one in a series, called Cars of the Classic ’30s (© 2004, Publications International, Ltd.). We look at the pictures, he talks some more, and then, just as we’re getting ready to go inside, he says, “Oh yeah.”
On page 243, the first page of “Chapter 7: 1936,” he shows me this quote:
The great British author Rudyard Kipling died this year. Death also took philosopher Oswald Spengler; writers G. K. Chesterton, Maxim Gorky, and Conan creator Robert E. Howard; playwright Luigi Pirandello; physiologist Ivan Pavlov; and aviation pioneers Billy Mitchell and Louis Bleriot.
REH shows up in the strangest places.