The Day When Tarzan and “The Beast” Got Together

Thursday, August 24th, 2017 | Uncategorized | No Comments


The annual Tarzan convention was held August 3-5 in Coldwater, Michigan, and that gave longtime friends Dan “the Beast” Severn (right) and Mike Chapman (left) a chance to get together again…and do a little arm wrestling for fun. Dan was an All-American wrestler in college at Arizona State who went into mixed martial arts and became a super star. He is a former three-time champion of the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championships) and is a veteran of nearly 130 cage matches. He was world heavyweight champion in professional wrestling, as well. Dan has appeared in several movies and TV shows and is member of numerous halls of fame. He owns a MMA training facility in Coldwater and came to the Tarzan convention to hang out with Mike, who was a guest speaker and exhibitor. Mike, who is a member of 9 halls of fame, has hosted three Tarzan conventions and is a former recipient of the Golden Lion award, the top honor in the Tarzan world.

Upcoming Events this Summer and Fall 2017

Saturday, June 10th, 2017 | Speaking, Wrestling | No Comments

June 10 – Friends of Wayne Baughman are honoring the legendary wrestler, coach and Air Force officer with a celebration on Saturday, June 10, and Mike will be one of the featured speakers. Wayne won 16 national titles during his amazing career and was a member of three Olympic and eight World teams. Wayne is featured in two of Mike’s book – “Toughest Men in Sports” and “Legends of the Mat”. The event is being held on the Air Force Academy grounds and is closed to the public.

June 15 – Mike will be at a book signing in the popular restaurant bar named Illegal Pete’s from 5 to 7 p.m., in Fort Collins, Colorado. The resultant, located at 320 Walnut Street, is managed by Jacquie Chapman, daughter of Mike and Bev. Mike will be signing copies of his latest book “A Journey: Reflections on 50 Years of Writing, Wrestling, Weightlifting and Heroes”. Mike was sports editor of The Coloradoan newspaper in the 1970s and the book has many stories about his time in Fort Collins. Appearing with Mike will be two men featured in the book – Kim Jones and Bill Larson, who both played football at Colorado State University and then went on to long careers in the NFL. The event is open to the public.

July 15 – For the second straight year, Humboldt, Iowa, will be the site of the Frank Gotch World Catch Tournament, to be held at Humboldt High School. The event, sanctioned and put on by the Catch Wrestling Alliance of Los Angeles, begins at 10 am at the high school, 1500 Wildcat Road. Mike will be there at 9 am with a table of Frank Gotch items on display, and for sale. Mike was a co-founder of the tournament last year, and this year’s sponsors are the Humboldt & Dakota City chamber, Ultima Replenisher Electrolyte Drink and Spout Living.

July 30 – Legendary wrestler Farmer Burns will be the main subject of conversation at the meeting of the Cedar County Historical Society, where Mike and Wesley Fox will give speeches.  Martin “Farmer” Burns was born in Cedar County near Big Rock in 1861 and became one of the most respected athletic figures of the early 20th century. He was recognized as a world wrestling champion for several years and then became a top coach and trainer, as well. Mike and Wesley have done extensive research on the career of Farmer Burns. The event will be held at the Cedar County Museum, located at 1094 Hwy. 38 in Tipton. It starts at 1:30 p.m. and the public is invited.

August 3-5 – Mike will be one of the special guests at the 2017 Dum Dum held at the Quality Inn and Suites in Coldwater, Michigan. The annual event is the largest gathering of fans in the world to celebrate the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs, the author who created Tarzan of the Apes and other characters such as John Carter of Mars.  Other special guests are Jim Sullos, president of ERB., Inc.; Martin Powell, writer for ERB., Inc.; Bo Hampton, artist for Dark Horse Comics; Bob Zueschner, author of “Edgar Rice Burroughs: The Biography,” and Cathy and Tyler Wilbanks, of Team ERB. The host for the event is Michael Hatt, author of the book “Tarzan Slept Here”, which details the times Burroughs stayed in Coldwater.
   
Mike has written two books about actors who played Tarzan in the movies and his latest memoirs has a lot of Tarzan stories in it. He will have all three books for sale, along with other Tarzan memorabilia.
   
The dum dum is a gathering of apes that Tarzan called by beating on jungle drums. Mike hosted Dum Dum events in 1997 (Newton, Iowa), 2004 (Fort Collins,Colorado) and 2008 (Waterloo, Iowa) and is a recipient of the Golden Lion Award, given out by the Burroughs Bibliophiles to persons who have to perpetuate the memory of ERB and his works.

August 29 – Mike will be the featured guest speaker at the Winterset Public Library, speaking about the many great Iowans he has written abut, both in books and in magazines. The event starts at 6:30 p.m.and is open to the public. Mike will have copies of his many books for display and for sale.

September 10 – The Johnston Public Library is hosting Mike for a speech about famous Iowans, based on his many books and years of research.  The event starts at 3 p.m. and is open to the public. The library is located at 6700 Merle Hay Road in Johnston.

September 16 – Mike will be a guest at the Author’s Fair at the Waverly Public Library, from 1:30 to 4 p.m. There will be a number of authors present and the public is invited to attend, at no charge.

October 5 – Wrestling will be the topic of his speech when Mike is a guest at the Monticello Public Library in Monticello, Iowa, beginning at 6 pm. He will talk about the grand history of the sport, going back 5000 years to ancient Sumer (now called Iraq) and will also discuss Iowa’s tremendous heritage in the sport. Mike will have copies of his many books for display and for sale. The public is invited to attend.

October 17 – Mike will give a speech at the Clear Lake Library about famous Iowa football players discussed in his popular book, “Triumph and Tragedy”. The four legendary players are Fred Becker, the University of Iowa’s first All-American who died in 1918 while fighting in France during World War I; Jack Trice, whose very limited play at Iowa State in 1923 inspired the school to name its football stadium for him; Nile Kinnick, who in 1939 won the Heisman Trophy as a Hawkeye then lost his life in a plane crash during World War II, and Drake’s Johnny Bright, who was the nation’s top player in the early 1950s. The event starts at 6:30 p.m. and is open to the public.

October 28 – The Kothe Memorial Library in Parkersburg will host Mike for a speech on the grand historic past and legacy of wrestling, beginning at 11 a.m. Mike will have several unique wrestling items on display as well as many of his books on wrestling and famous Iowans. The event is open to the public.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Upcoming Events for April and August 2017

Tuesday, April 4th, 2017 | Book Signing, Books, Speaking | No Comments

April 13 – Governor Terry Branstad will appear at the Newton YMCA for a special book signing on Thursday, April 13, from noon until 1:30 p.m., and Mike will be with him. Mike was the author of the book “Iowa’s Record-Setting Governor: The Terry Branstad Story,” which came out in December of 2015. The book is 234 pages long with over 50 photos, covering the governor’s life from growing up on a farm in tiny Leland, to attending high school in Forest City and then the University of Iowa and Drake law school. The book details his career as a politician, up through 2015 when he became the longest serving governor in American history.
 
Also, Mike will debut his latest book called “A Journey: Reflections on 50 Years on Writing, Wrestling, Weightlifting and Heroes. “ it is a 286 page book with nearly 200 photos, including stories on some of the best-known figures in U.S. history – from  Ronald Reagan, Muhammad Ali, Robert Redford, and Lou “The Incredible Hulk” Ferrigno to Iowa icons like Dan Gable, Hayden Fry, Dan McCarney and, of course, Terry Branstad. it is Mike’s 29th published book.
 
August 3-5 – Mike will be one of the special guests at the 2017 Dum Dum held at the Quality Inn and Suites in Coldwater, Michigan. The annual event is the largest gathering of fans in the world to celebrate the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs, the author who created Tarzan of the Apes and other characters such as John Carter of Mars.  Other special guests are Jim Sullos, president of ERB., Inc.; Martin Powell, writer for ERB., Inc.; Bo Hampton, artist for Dark Horse Comics; Bob Zueschner, author of “Edgar Rice Burroughs: The Biography,” and Cathy and Tyler Wilbanks, of Team ERB. The host for the event is Michael Hatt, author of the book “Tarzan Slept Here”, which details the times Burroughs stayed in Coldwater.
   
Mike has written two books about actors who played Tarzan in the movies and his latest memoirs has a lot of Tarzan stories in it. He will have all three books for sale, along with other Tarzan memorabilia.
   
The dum dum is a gathering of apes that Tarzan called by beating on jungle drums. Mike hosted Dum Dum events in 1997 (Newton, Iowa), 2004 (Fort Collins,Colorado) and 2008 (Waterloo, Iowa) and is a recipient of the Golden Lion Award, given out by the Burroughs Bibliophiles to persons who have to perpetuate the memory of ERB and his works.

Tags: , ,

New book “A JOURNEY” offers absorbing look at life in the 1950s and heroes of movies and sports

Tuesday, March 21st, 2017 | Books | No Comments

Mike’s newest book has just been published, and is entitled “A Journey: Reflections on 50 Years of Writing, Wrestling, Weightlifting, and Heroes.” The book is 286 pages long with over 130 photos, most of them involving famous figures.

In the book, the author talks about a wide range of celebrities he has met over his long journalism career – including Ronald Reagan, Muhammad Ali, Robert Redford, Lou Ferrigno Ed Asner, and various Olympic champions and many other stars of sports, entertainment and politics.

Growing up in Waterloo, Iowa, Mike describes what life was like in the 1950s, and explains how his love of comic book heroes shaped his attitude towards life. He also talks about his three years in the U.S. Navy, where he was involved in several nerve-wracking events, including time spent working on “ghost ships” from World War II.

Considered the nation’s leading historian on the sport of wrestling, he includes numerous behind-the-scenes stories of pro ring legends like Lou Thesz and Verne Gagne, and amateur stars like Dan Gable and Dan Hodge. Mike has attended 45 NCAA wrestling championships and has known many of the biggest names in wrestling, including a dozen Olympians and several of the top stars of mixed martial arts, like Dan Severn and Randy Couture.

During his 35-year newspaper career, Mike won numerous awards for his work and is a member of nine halls of fame. He is an acknowledged authority on such diverse topics as Achilles and Tarzan of the Apes. In the book, he tells about his incredible trip to the ancient battlefield of Troy in 2006, when he attempted to spend a night on the Plain of Troy, and of becoming friends with four movie Tarzans.

He also discusses his attempts to break into Hollywood with movie projects, three of which are still very much alive.

“A Journey: Reflections on 50 Years of Writing, Wrestling, Weightlifting and Heroes” is published by Culture House of Newton, Iowa. It is $19.95 plus $5 for S&H. Persons wishing to order the book can send a check for $24.95 to Culture House, 3830 Harbor Avenue, Newton, IA 50208, or call Culture House at 641-791-3072.

UNI’s only Olympic champion Bill Smith is the subject of a new documentary

Tuesday, March 21st, 2017 | Wrestling | No Comments

A new documentary, entitled Bill Smith: A Wrestling Legend, tells the story of the life and career of the oldest living Olympic wrestling champion. Mike is the producer of the documentary, which was filmed by Mike Reese of Atlas Media.

Bill Smith grew up in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and became a wrestling star at Iowa State Teachers College, now the University of Northern Iowa. He was NCAA champion in both 1949 and 1950, and closed out his college career undefeated, missing his senior year of competition due to a fluke in the eligibility system.

Bill also won three AAU national freestyle titles, but the crowning moment came when he captured a gold medal in the 160.5-pound class at the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, Finland.

As a coach, Bill led the San Francisco Olympic Club to seven national team titles and also coached high schools in two separate states (California and Illinois) to team titles, one of just three coaches to ever do that.

Click here for ordering details…

Tags: ,

February and March 2017 Appearances

Thursday, February 9th, 2017 | Book Signing, Books, Speaking, WIN Magazine, Wrestling | No Comments

February 10, 2017 – The inaugural class for the Cedar Rapids Jefferson High School Athletic Hall of Fame will be inducted prior to the Jefferson basketball game and Mike has been asked to represent Larry and Ted Lawrence, who are both deceased. There will be a social in the Jefferson Cafeteria at 4:30 p.m., with a hall of fame ceremony to follow at 5:15 p.m.

There will also be a brief presentation between the girls and boys varsity basketball games in the gymnasium and then a social and greeting time back in the cafeteria.

Larry Lawrence was an all-state football and basketball player at Jefferson and went on to become a star quarterback at Iowa for two seasons. He also played two seasons each in the Canadian Football League and the NFL. Larry died of heart problems in 2012 at the age of 63. Mike and Larry became good friends when Mike was sports editor of the Cedar Rapids Gazette in the years 1978 to 1984 and they even co-hosted the Mr. Iowa contest in 1983, when Larry owned Ra Power Fitness Center. They remained in close contact until Larry’s death. His father, Ted, was a legendary high school coach at Jefferson for many years.
 
March 1, 2017 – Mike is producing a documentary on Bill Smith, one of the most important figures in American wrestling history. Bill was 1952 Olympic wrestling champion, an undefeated, 2-time NCAA champion in college and coach of the San Francisco Olympic Club team, leading it to 7 national team tiles in the 1960s. In this documentary, you will see many rare photos of Bill’s illustrious career, and be with Bill as the University of Northern Iowa dedicates its official mat in his honor in 2013. Then Bill reminisces about his 70 years in the Sport of Wrestling. Coming in March of 2017.

March 16-18, 2017 – As a guest of the WIN Memorabilia Show between sessions of the NCAA Wrestling Championships in St. Louis, Mike will be signing many of his 28 published books and will have the new Bill Smith DVD documentary available. Dale Anderson, two-time NCAA champion for Michigan State in the 1960s, will be with Mike and selling copies of his new book, “A Spartan Journey: Michigan State’s 1967 Miracle on the Mat”. Mike wrote the introduction to the book and Dan Gable wrote the foreword. The WIN Memorabilia Show is free and open to the public.

March 29, 2017 – Mike will be the featured speaker at Flag Day held at the Knoxville Library. He will give a talk on “Iowans of Impact”, based on his book of the same name, and on his book “Triumph and Tragedy” which tells the stories of football heroes Fred Becker and Nile Kinnick, who lost heir lives while serving in World War I and World War II, respectively. The talk begins at I p.m. and is open to the public. Contact the Knoxville Library for further details.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

November 2016 through March 2017 Appearances

Sunday, October 30th, 2016 | Book Signing, Speaking, Wrestling | No Comments

November 12 – Mike will be one of the featured speakers at the Jack Van Bebber Lifetime Achievement Celebration held in conjunction with the Perry Memorial Wrestling Memorial event in Perry, Oklahoma. The event begins at 11:30 in downtown Perry and is open to the public. Van Bebber was Olympic champion in 1932 and was an undefeated, three-time NCAA champion for Oklahoma A&M. Other speakers will be John Smith, head coach at Oklahoma State and a 6-time World/Olympic champion, and Lee Roy Smith executive director of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum, located in Stillwater. Van Bebber is one of 34 wrestlers profiled in Mike’s popular book “Legends of the Mat,” along with another Perry legend, Dan Hodge.

November 19 – Mike will be appearing at Governor Branstad’s Birthday Bash at the Place Theater at Adventureland Park, beginning at 5 p.m. . He will be signing copes of his book, “Iowa’s Record-Setting Governor: The Terry Branstad Story”. He will also have copies of his historical novel LOWELL PARK for sale. It is the story of an Iowa girl who travels back in time to meet both a young Abe Lincoln in 1832 and a young Ronald Reagan in 1932, in the same location now known as Lowell Park. The movie rights have been purchased by a movie company and it is currently in pre-production status with a noted Hollywood director, Charles Robert Carner, assigned. Matt Bevin, Kentucky Governor, and Tom Cotton, Arkansas Senator, will be special guests at the Birthday Bash. For more information on prices and seating, contact Jake Ketzner at Jake@BranstadReynolds.com

March 1, 2017 – Mike is producing a documentary on Bill Smith, one of the most important figures in American wrestling history. Bill was 1952 Olympic wrestling champion, an undefeated, 2-time NCAA champion in college and coach of the San Francisco Olympic Club team, leading it to 7 national team tiles in the 1960s. In this documentary, you will see many rare photos of Bill’s illustrious career, and be with Bill as the University of Northern Iowa dedicates its official mat in his honor in 2013. Then Bill reminisces about his 70 years in the Sport of Wrestling. Coming in March of 2017.

March 16-18 – As a guest of the WIN Memorabilia Show between sessions of the NCAA Wrestling Championships in St. Louis, Mike will be signing many of his 28 published books and will have the new Bill Smith DVD documentary available. Dale Anderson, two-time NCAA champion for Michigan State in the 1960s, will be with Mike and selling copies of his new book, “A Spartan Journey: Michigan State’s 1967 Miracle on the Mat”. Mike wrote the introduction to the book and Dan Gable wrote the foreword. The WIN Memorabilia Show is free and open to the public.

Thoughts on Muhammad Ali’s Passing

Saturday, June 4th, 2016 | Uncategorized | No Comments

mike-about-aliWith the passing of Muhammad Ali today, I find myself reflecting back on two occasions that I spent time with “The Greatest” They are among the most cherished moments of my 35-year journalism career and I would like to share them with all the Facebook friends of my three children, Jacquie, Jenny and Jason. The picture you see here is of me and Muhammad in Cedar Rapids on June 6, 1982.

In my opinion, Muhammad Ali (aka Cassius Clay) is the greatest heavyweight boxing champion ever, and maybe even the greatest sports figure of all time. It has been stated that during his peak years as champion, in the 1970s, his was the best known name on the planet. You could travel to the far corners of the civilized world, or to tiny huts in small African villages, and more people would recognize the name Muhammad Ali than that of any other person alive, including presidents, kings, queens and movie stars.

The first time I was around Ali was in the winter of 1978 when I was managing editor of the Daily Sentinel newspaper in Woodstock, Illinois, about sixty miles northwest of Chicago. One morning at my desk, I read in a Chicago newspaper that Ali was going to hold a sparring session in the Windy City Boxing Club. I turned to my sports editor, Don Doxsie, and said, “Grab your camera …. and let’s go see Muhammad Ali.”

Continue reading…

Receive Updates by RSS

or by email:

Upcoming Speeches and Appearances

  • October 17, 2017 – "Triumph and Tragedy" Speech - Clear Lake, Iowa
  • October 28, 2017 – History and Legacy of Wrestling Speech - Kothe Memorial Library - Parkersburg, IA

Journey: Reflections on 50 Years of Writing, Wrestling, Weightlifting, and Heroes – Order Today!

Order today by calling Culture House at 641-791-3072 or online through Paypal by clicking the button below

Super Book of Wrestling Trivia – Order today!

Order today by calling Culture House at 641-791-3072 or online through Paypal by clicking the button below





Oklahoma Shooter – Back by Popular Demand

Oklahoma Shooter: The Dan Hodge Story is $75 plus $5 for shipping and handling. All copies are signed by Dan Hodge and Mike Chapman. You can order by sending a check or money order for $100.00 to Culture House, P.O.. Box 293, Newton, IA 50208, or by calling 641-791-3072.

Blog Categories