Friday, March 19, 2010

Davy Crockett Forever

In 1954, Disney added a new hero to it's roster of kid appeal tv shows : Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier. Fess Parker played him with a woodsy swagger, a gentle demeanor, and a hero mentality. His outdoor duds became a new uniform for little boys across America, as they clamoured for coonskin caps. I never had one, so I don't know if they would have been girl friendly or not, but for decades, and even now, to see a racoon tail hanging from any hat is to remember Davy Crockett.
(PETA could have no problem with the racoons killed in the Old West, but today, a fur hat is anathema in some pc circles. In certain parts of the country, roadkill abounds, so a happy ending for that story would be to recycle. )
Along with many of our childhood heroes, and I speak of the 1950-60 range here, Disney as a brand brought America the light hearted point of view that real history didn't have. Fantasy has always been the land of choice when communicating with children, and Disney stood for magic, miracles and fairydust, generously sprinkled across a population of young citizens happy to embrace the cartoon projections. Not a bad thing, that, adding bright notes of imaginative interpretation to hard core.
Davy Crockett will always live as a real-life hero of the Alamo, but he's had another place in our hearts as a post-WWII blazer of trails all these years as well.
May the trails be alive with adventure and not fraught with adversity. Just put on your coonskin cap and forge ahead, whistling that theme song in your head.

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