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Seeing the news of the loss of Fess Parker reminded me of the great nights watching Disney's Davy Crockett show on our Philco console. Fess as Davy, like a lot of the cowboy heroes in movies and on TV, stood for moral values. These included caring for one another (Davy opposed the Indian Removal Act) as well as thinking before you act (“make sure you’re right and then go ahead”). Such a liberal mensch. His values are still here, although they’re hard to find. One place is in the history books where the great progressive tradition of social justice can be learned, from Jefferson to Lincoln to Roosevelt to King. Except in Texas, where the school board is blue-penciling history into a story concocted by the extreme right, celebrating Jefferson Davis and Phyllis Schlafly! That’s in Davy’s adopted home state, the one he died for at the Alamo. Davy would be a-gunnin’ for those varmints, for sure. First, I think he would grin ‘em out of countenance.
About 20 years ago, I got to draw the animated Davy for Rabbit Ears Productions. He was voiced by Nicolas Cage, with music by David Bromberg. I wanted a new Davy and redesigned him for the fun of it...But Fess Parker is the Davy Crockett for all time, brave and decent all the way. He’d be a-scratchin’ for health care reform this week. Because to care about America means caring about Americans, and he was pro-America every time.
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