Tuesday, April 27, 2010


I recently read that the actor Fess Parker passed. This saddened me as part of my childhood slipped away with this knowledge. If you don't know, Fess Parker was the "king of the wild frontier". He was the actor discovered by Walt Disney to portray Davey Crockett in the TV series of the same name. He was my childhood hero as he was to most of the children of my generation. After the Crockett series was over, he moved on to portraying Daniel Boone in the 1960's. He was in a few movies, but really his name was made by playing two frontier heroes.
It was because of Crockett and Boone that I have one more memory which they play a part in.

When my son Myles was a little boy, I took him for a hike in Vernon. It was to be a little father-son bonding time. We left Mommy at home with his baby sister and set out. It was a beautiful Spring Day, warm and clear. We walked into the forest across the way and joined the trail that led into the meadow beyond.
I told Myles we would be on the trail like Davey Crockett. He already had on his coonskin cap (not real) and we walked along. I showed him how to read the trail. We looked for moss on the North side of the trees. We looked for landmarks like big rocks. I pointed out the Red Tail Hawk perched in the tree overhead. we looked at the deer tracks in the soft dirt. Then we came out into the high grass of the meadow. I lifted Myles up so he could look all around...great!

Now it was Myles turn to show me the way out. We retraced our steps climbing over the downed trees that fell across the trail. We passed by a small side trail that a landmark told Myles was the wrong way. We moved further back on the trail. Then we came to a three way split. It was not visible on the way in, so it was a true test.

Myles looked left, right, and center, he paused. He picked a stick and hit the nearest tree. He dropped the stick. He closed one eye and pointed at each trail again and again till his finger stopped at the center trail. He turned to me and said this one Daddy. He was right!
He walked along happy and proud. I asked him, how did he figure it out? What trail clue did he use? I did what Mommy told me...we stopped.

What did Mommy tell you? Mommy said if I get confused, to use my pointer finger and go enny minny miney mo. My heart sunk. It was still a great day.

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