I’m a second generation Davy Crockett lover. My parents were children in the early 1950’s when Fes Parker donned a coonskin cap and swept America (heck, the world!) off its feet with his portrayal of one of America’s greatest folk heroes. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t know about Davy Crockett or didn’t have the entire Disney movie memorized. When we were very young, my brother and I would build a fort out of chairs and cushions, watch Davy Crockett and pretend to shoot the bad guys along with Davy and Georgie.
Part of the appeal (to 10 year old Christine) of moving to Texas was to be in the same state where Davy Crockett fought and died. Every preconceived idea I had of Texas came straight from Davy Crockett. I can’t tell you how shocked and disappointed I was when my family first moved to San Antonio—Texas wasn’t a desert! It had trees and hills and grass and fields and fields of the most colorful wildflowers I had ever seen. The Alamo was not a massive fort but a tiny missions and I couldn’t fathom how those men and woman could have stayed and fought so long is such a claustrophobic environment.
Whenever my brother and I were sick, we watched Davy Crockett. When we wanted to pretend to go on adventures, we watched Davy Crockett. Even now, at age 25, when everything is going wrong and I long to return to those simpler times, I watch Davy Crockett. Daniel and I can still quote the movie, complete with whooping and hollering noises.
When Fes Parker passed away a few weeks ago, a part of my childhood went with him. He may have only been an actor, but to me he was a larger than life hero—an immortal figure who would always be around, like the real life Davy Crockett. I know he will live on in the movies and in our hearts and memories (and you can bet if I ever have kids, they will watch Davy Crockett), but there was something nice about knowing he was still out there and the world seems a bit smaller without him.
Fess Parker, I never met you, but you made my world a happier place.