A Tiny Meditation on Davy Crocket’s Two Hundred & Twenty-Sixth Birthday

I see that Davy Crocket was born on this day in 1786.

A hero of my childhood in the 1950′s, a generation that actually wore those coonskin hats sold in support of a popular television series. Fortunately no photographic evidence of this survives. In my case. Found tons of embarrassing pictures from my generation on the web…

Of course the real person was vastly more complicated, darker and more interesting than the figure portrayed by Fess Parker, who I admit is still largely the figure I see when I think of the late congressman, frontiersman & fighter at the Alamo.

Speaking of the Alamo, I rather enjoy the idea of the revisionist although highly disputed version that as a politician as much as a fighter, he in fact surrendered at the end of the battle, only to be killed at Santa Anna’s order.(John Wayne’s Davy never ever cut it for me.)

Playing off this Billy Bob Thornton’s Davy at his death has in part supplanted Fess in my memory, creating a weird amalgam, I admit…

Ah, the stuff of legend.

The stuff of dream…

  • David Clark

    In 1955, at the tender age of 4 1/2, I got to meet Fess Parker and a number of Disney TV stars on a personal appearance tour at San Diego’s Lindberg Field. I was, of course, wearing my coonskin cap at the time, sweating in the hot California sun. What a thrill! Many years later I met Fess several times in connection with his winery in Santa Barbara and found him to be a very personable gentleman, very easy going and pleasant.

    Looking back on the Davy Crockett mania of the day, Disney Studios seem like one of the first companies to figure out the lucrative potential of marketing to the Boomer generation. They certainly sold me on Davy!