Even though Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett debuted a few years before my birth, actor Fess Parker was still a part of my childhood as the legacy of his television and movie characters were just beginning at that time.
Kids all across America wore the coonskin caps he made famous by his frontier hero characters.
When visiting Disneyland, every kid had to get one and a toy rifle, too. I looked high and low through Frontier Land for the characters Parker immortalized.
It was a huge honor when Fess Parker recently accepted my Facebook friend invitation. I couldn’t believe that this American icon had invited me into his circle of friends.
I think it was pretty cool that kids in that generation would wear the cap of American legends. Do kids do the same today? Not really. You are more likely to see kids wearing caps to their favorite teams than symbols of heroism and legend.
Times have changed.
Parker died at the age of 85 yesterday at his home near Santa Barbara, California. In recent years he had run an inn and winery in the glorious Santa Ynez Valley. He was, by all accounts, a warm, generous, personable guy.
I miss you, Fess Parker.
Thanks for the legacy you left us. Your costumes will live on in the Smithsonian Institute and your indelible mark will live on forever in the Happiest Place on Earth…and beyond.
And certainly in our hearts and memories.