Saturday, March 20, 2010
Davy . . . Davy Crockett: King of the Wild Frontier
Davy Crockett and Dan'l Boone were more real to kids during the 1950s than the actor who portrayed both of them: Fess Parker, who just passed away. My older brother and I were always seated and waiting eagerly for our tiny, black and white TV to warm up so that we could see what predicament our idol, Davy Crockett would have to get himself out of. The theme song was utterly singable, so we always sang along. Fess/Davy's slow, self-assured drawl mesmerized us. He was a frontiersman born and raised in the wilds of Kentucky. Unlike Chuck Conners of "The Rifleman," Davy always had his trusty rifle at his side, but seldom used it. He was a peace-lovin' man and only took a shot at food or in self-defense. Our children's world should have been shattered when Daniel (Dan'l) Boone was killed at the Alamo. Thanks to the magic of television, this historic tragedy became only make-believe to our young minds. Admittedly, I haven't given much thought to those early shows until reading Fess Parker's obit in the paper. What I remember most vividly is that TV shows back then all seemed to have happy endings and incorporated some sort of lesson on good behavior or citizenship. The only time I remember ever being scared after watching a show during those days was after an episode of "The Twilight Zone." Some of you will remember this one . . . A hairy critter terrorized airplane passenger, Bill Shatner, who watched -- midair -- as it tried to sabotage the wing. Of course everyone else thought he was crazy because they couldn't see the creature. When the plane landed and he was being led away by the men in white coats, the truth was clearly evident on the wing. After that, I decided to stick with the Mickey Mouse Club, Father Knows Best, My Little Margie, The Steve Allen show and others that were fun and not at all scary. R.I.P, Davy, Dan'l, Fess.