FESS PARKER MEMORIAL - Saying Goodbye to Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone

( Fess Elisha Parker, Jr.)
August 16, 1924 – March 18, 2010

Like many of you I grew up watching Fess Parker on television. First as Davy Crockett in the fifties then as Daniel Boone in the sixties. I wanted an "Authentic Davy Crockett Coonskin Cap" so bad I could taste it! I got a Barbie Doll - my brother got the coonskin cap because "little girls don't dress up like hooligans".

I'm sure my Mother did NOT think Davy Crockett or Fess Parker were hooligans - but in the fifties a little girl who dressed up like an animal skin wearing mountain man was not going to fit in with the sexual stereotypes we were subjected to. My hero worship was limited to watching the TV shows and singing the theme songs. I don't think I missed an episode of either show and I also saw several Davy Crockett/Daniel Boone movies!

Interestingly Davy Crockett was a mini-series! It ran only from 1954 to 1955 while Daniel Boone was on the air for six years from 1964 to 1970. There were 2 Davy Crockett movies: Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier (1955), Davy Crockett and the River Pirates (1956) and one Daniel Boone movie: Daniel Boone: Frontier Trail Rider (1966).

Fess Parker won the role as Davy Crockett when he showed up to audition for Walt Disney with a guitar and proceeded to sing for him. He won the role over both James Arness (Marshall Matt Dillon of Gunsmoke fame) and Buddy Ebsen (best known as Jed Clampett on The Beverly Hillbillies). Later Buddy Ebsen was hired to play Crockett's sidekick, George Russell.

You may not know this but Fess Parker was nominated for an Emmy in 1954 for Most Outstanding New Personality but lost to George Gobel. He was offered the Ambassadorship to Australia by President Reagan but turned it down. Later, after retiring from show business, he became a vintner with the Fess Parker Family Winery and Vineyards in Los Olivos, California - some of the wine labels included a reference to his days as Davy Crockett:

Fess Parker was a huge figure in my childhood years, he brought to life two legends of the American West for the entire baby boom generation and he will be missed.

One last time, let's all sing it just for Fess:

Born on a mountain top in Tennessee,
Greenest state in the land of the free.
Raised in the woods so's he knew every tree,
Kilt him a b'ar when he was only three.

Davy, Davy Crockett King of the Wild Frontier!



Fess Parker's Website
Fess Parker on Wikipedia
Fess Parker and Buddy Ebsen talk about Davy Crockett


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No Blarney! Facts, Quotes & St. Patrick's Day Fun

Next Wednesday is St. Patrick's Day and, being part Irish, I always celebrate my heritage! My father passed on the Irish gene to me and every year growing up I was reminded by him to wear my green so I wouldn't get pinched and I enjoyed a traditional Corned Beef and Cabbage dinner that he prepared (Mom got the Czech holidays, lol.)

This year is no different - I'm posting St. Patrick's Day Martinis and St. Patrick's Day Appetizers and I designed the Kiss Me, I'm Irish image above and a fun Pop Art Shamrock for my stores. I've already purchased three lovely corned beef briskets - one for a traditional dinner, one for sandwiches and one already used to test out my appetizer recipes above - Dad would be proud (and he would have loved my Irish martinis & appetizers!)

I also dug up some fun facts on St. Patrick's Day, Shamrocks and leprechauns and decided to share them with you to help you get ready to enjoy your share of Irish luck!

Some Fun Irish Facts & Info:
  • According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the highest number of leaves found on a clover is 14!
  • One estimate suggests that there are about 10 000 regular three-leaf clovers for every lucky four-leaf clover.
  • Legend says each leaf of the clover means something: the first for hope, the second for faith, the third for love & the fourth for luck.
  • The Irish saying, "Erin Go Braugh", means "Ireland Forever!"
  • Ireland is divided into two separate countries; The Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
  • The harp is the symbol of Ireland. The color green is also commonly associated with Ireland, also known as “the Emerald Isle.”
  • 34 million Americans have Irish ancestry, according to the 2003 US Census. That’s almost nine times the population of Ireland!
  • St. Patrick was born in 385 AD somewhere along the west coast of Britain, possibly in the Welsh town of Banwen. At age 16, he was captured and sold into slavery to a sheep farmer. He escaped when he was 22 and spent the next 12 years in a monastery. In his 30s he returned to Ireland as a Christian missionary. He died at Saul in 461 AD and is buried at Downpatrick.
  • St. Patrick’s Day is observed on March 17 because that is the feast day of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland.
  • St Patrick is patron of fishermen in the Loire, where a legend associates him with a blackthorn bush.
  • The first St Patrick’s Day parade took place in 1737 in Boston, followed in 1762 by New York.
  • According to legend, on the day of Judgement, while Christ judges all other nations, St Patrick will be the judge of the Irish.
  • Since 1962, tons of green dye are tipped into the Chicago river on St Patrick’s Day - amount reduced in recent years for environmental reasons.
  • The potato crop was traditionally planted in Ireland after March 17
  • Here's some more on the history of St. Patrick's Day from History.com.
Here's some fun facts on Shamrocks:
  • According to legend, St. Patrick used the 3-leafed Shamrock to explain the Christian doctrine of the Trinity to the Irish people.
  • The shamrock, also called the "seamroy" by the Celts, was a sacred plant in ancient Ireland because it symbolized the rebirth of spring.
  • In Ireland on St. Patrick’s Day, people traditionally wear a small bunch of shamrocks on their jackets or caps.
  • The Shamrock is registered with the World Intellectual Property Organization as a trademark of the Government of Ireland.
  • The OFFICIAL SYMBOL OF IRELAND is the Irish harp - the shamrock is the national flower.
  • Many believe that the word "shamrock" was derived from the Gaelic word for the clover, "seamr√≥g."
  • Since the 1990s, the Irish Taoiseach usually visits the White House around St. Patrick's Day & presents a shamrock to the President.
  • There are 416 calories in the McDonald's SHAMROCK Shake.
Here's some facts about those unique Irish faerie folk - Leprechauns:
  • Leprechaun: Irish Gaelic word “leipreachan,” which means “a kind of aqueous sprite.
  • Leprechauns are sometimes called Irish faeries and are very tiny elf-like creatures about 2 – 3 inches tall.
  • Leprechauns are usually seen as old men that resemble shoemakers or cobblers and are always male. (then where do NEW Leprechauns come from?)
  • There is one gold coin for each year of the leprechaun’s life is in his pot of gold!
  • Leprechauns are considered mischief-makers who delight in causing things to move or disappear from around the household of ordinary folk.
  • Leprechauns are a class of "faerie folk" - quasi-historical peoples said to have inhabited Ireland before the arrival of the Celts.
  • Here's a cute LEPRECHAUN COLORING PAGE 4 Kids of All Ages - Make sure you have green crayons!
And Here are some Irish Quotes, Sayings & Blessings:
  • May your blessings outnumber the shamrocks that grow, and may trouble avoid you wherever you go ~ Irish Blessing
  • Never iron a four-leaf clover, because you don't want to press your luck. ~Author Unknown
  • If you're enough lucky to be Irish, you're lucky enough! ~Irish Saying
  • Morning is the time to pity the sober. The way they're feeling then is the best they're going to feel all day - old Irish Saying
  • God is good, but never dance in a small boat - Irish Saying
  • A best friend is like a four leaf clover: hard to find and lucky to have - Irish Saying
  • May the road rise to meet you, May the wind be always at your back, May the sun shine warm upon your face, The rains fall soft upon your fields, And until we meet again, May God hold you In the palm of his hand - Irish Blessing
  • May you have warm words on a cold evening, a full moon on a dark night and a smooth road all the way to your door - Irish Blessing
  • An Irishman is never drunk as long as he can hold onto one blade of grass to keep from falling off the earth - Irish Saying
  • Men are like bagpipes: no sound comes from them until they're full - old Irish Saying
  • It is better to be a coward for a minute than dead the rest of your life - Irish Proverb
  • May the saddest day of your future be no worse than the happiest day of your past - Irish Blessing
  • Here's to eyes in your heads and none in your spuds - Irish Toast
  • God made time, but man made haste - Irish Saying
  • What butter and whiskey won't cure, there is no cure for - Irish Saying
  • May you live as long as you want and never want as long as you live - Irish Blessing
So, my dear friends, until next St. Patrick's Day, I leave you with my favorite of all the Gaelic blessings: Dance as if no one's watching, sing as if no one's listening, and live everyday as if it were your last!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!
I'll leave you with this wonderful Dennis Morgan rendition of "When Irish Eyes are Smiling"


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Hooray for Hollywood - Some Retro Oscar Fun

This Sunday is the 82nd Annual Academy Awards and, as usual, I am looking forward to the ceremonies. Every year I have a little Oscar Party with a few other fans, serve up my Oscar Martinis and my Oscar Snacks and sit down in front of the old Boob Tube to enjoy a night of vicarious glitz and glamour.

I've been watching the Oscars for decades and have seen some absolutely great television moments during the ceremonies. Some of these still come to mind as I get ready to prepare for this year's festivities and I'd like to share some of them with you - I'm sure many of you remember some of these great Oscar moments starting with my all time favorite:

David Niven and The Streaker

Jack Palance and the One Armed Push Up Acceptance Speech

Billy Crystal's Parody Number on Prince of Tides

Cuba Gooding's Totally Over the Energetic Top Acceptance Speech

Steven Spielberg Finally Getting an Oscar (Schindler's List)

Steven Martin Hosts in 2001

Hugh Jackman's Opening Number in 2009

Here's some interesting Oscar Facts & Trivia for you:

  • The official name of the golden statue is the Academy Award of Merit. Bette Davis makes the claim that she named the statuette after her first husband, bandleader Harmon Oscar Nelson.
  • You cannot buy an Oscar. The winners or their heirs may not sell the statuettes without first offering to sell them back to the Academy for $1. If the winner does not agree to this stipulation the Academy keeps their statuette. Prior to 1950 this stipulation was not in place and Oscars fetched as high as six figures.
  • In 1981, the Academy Awards were delayed for one day, due to the shooting of President Ronald Reagan.
  • The first televised Academy Awards show was the 25th annual, held on March 19, 1953.
  • More Academy Award Trivia from Oscars.org
Classic Acceptance Lines:
  • Thank you very much. That makes up for the strip-search. - Woody Allen
  • Oh, wow. This is the best drink of water after the longest drought of my life - Steven Spielberg
  • Most of all, I want to thank my father, up there, the man who when I said I wanted to be an actor, he said, 'Wonderful, just have a back-up profession like welding - Robin Williams
  • I can't deny the fact that you like me, right now, you like me! - Sally Field
  • I guess this proves there are as many nuts in the Academy as anywhere else - Jack Nicholson
  • This is one night I wish I smoked and drank - Grace Kelly
And, of course, the Classic Non-Acceptance Line of All Time:
  • "Marlon Brando very regretfully cannot accept this very generous award. And the reason for this being is the treatment of American Indians today by the film industry - Sacheen Littlefeather refusing the Best Actor Award for Marlon Brando in 1972

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