This is the date 110 years ago when The World’s Greatest Pulpster was born. On January 22, 1906, Hester Ervin Howard and Dr. Issac Howard became the proud parents of a baby whom they named Robert Ervin Howard. REH was off to a humble start, being born the small town of Peaster, Texas. At the time the Howards were living in the isolated community of Dark Valley. So Dr. Howard moved Hester from Dark Valley (in Palo Pinto County) to the larger town of Peaster in Parker County to give birth. Patrice Louinet posted a series of posts on Howard’s early years, his family history and Dr. Howard and Hester’s relationship. The series is called “The Long Road to Dark Valley.” Patrice will soon add additional chapters to the series.
As we celebrate this milestone anniversary, let’s take a look at gifts Howard typically received on his birthday. This excerpt is from a letter written by Howard to H.P. Lovecraft, ca. July 1933:
My own library was generally the largest in the place I lived, but it was small. I generally was given a book on Christmas and on my birthday. Occasionally between times a book was bought.
Back in Howard’s day, during the Great Depression, gifts were usually simple items, like the books he mentions receiving — items that served a purpose and weren’t extravagant.
Now, 110 years after his birth, Howard has gifted all of us with many volumes of his writings. Some things never change. Books were important to Howard throughout his life and books written by him are just as important to us.
So on this auspicious occasion, I’m going to crack open a few of his books and read my favorite Howard stories. Heck, I’ll also crack open a bottle of Maker’s Mark to add to my reading enjoyment of yarns by The World’s Greatest Pulpster.
Happy Birthday, Bob!