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"It's an ill bird that fouls its own nest."
A little news and opinion on environmental and sociopolitical happenings.
Man-made chemicals pass reproduction problems to next generations . FOR MORE, CLICK
Nasa satellite will track increase and spread of particulates. FOR MORE, CLICK
Second insect farm starts up in France to supplement farming shortage. FOR MORE, CLICK
GOP wants logging in Alaskan forest, potential big carbon release. FOR MORE, CLICK
Battle continues to protect the Arctic on multiple fronts. FOR MORE, CLICK
Researchers expect pandemic to increase drastically cases during winter. FOR MORE, CLICK
As a child, I thought Davy Crockett was the bomb. Years later, I realized he was a dud.
The movie Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier, debuted in 1955, and my family went to the Cowtown Drive-in in St. Joseph, Missouri, where we lived, to see it. I remember it, though I was three, because the theater sponsored a drawing for one lucky child.
I won and received a coonskin cap, buckskin clothes – actually plastic – and toy Kentucky rifle. My family called me Davy Crockett, and the name stuck even into grade school. I was proud of the name and legend. We were taught Crockett was an American hero, and the Disney movie portrayed him as such.
In fifth grade, I was devastated when a kid named Davy Crockett joined my class. He was a direct descendant of Crockett. I was demoted to nothing. One of my cousins remembered my past association with the legend and said, “You only thought you were Davy Crockett. He’s the real thing.”
Being demoted was all the harder because our classmate was a bully and braggart. He may have turned out a decent guy; I don’t know, but my fifth-grade memory is of a loud smart aleck.
The result: I disassociated myself from the legend Davy, but Davy didn’t disappear.
John Wayne played Davy Crockett about that time in The Alamo, a highly Hollywood-ized version portraying Crockett as a supremely courageous, patriotic figure.
Since then, I’ve read about Davy Crockett, and I’ve had time to reflect on his life because he meant something to me as a child.
Crockett was a resourceful person. He learned to make it on his own while very young. He was also humorous. His ability to tell a good story and fire off verbal zingers earned him popularity and a seat in Congress.
But he was not stable. He did not accept criticism, nor did he care about compromise or other views. He was what we now would call a political maverick, and he was proud of it.
He was so sure he was right about everything that when he lost re-election to Congress that he told everybody off and left for Texas. He left because he thought Texas would be an independent country where an American could get away from the politics and responsibilities of being an American citizen and do and say whatever he wanted – but only after stealing Texas away from Mexico.
Crockett had no qualms about that as his opinion of Mexicans reflected the one he had of Native Americans: They were worthless people undeserving of the land they had. They were better off dead.
Today some say of Davy what they say of other famous figures: Well, he was a person of his times. They say that as if it’s an excuse for ignorance and cruelty.
Ironically, Davy thought of himself as someone above his times. But he wasn’t. He was a sore loser; a troubled, egotistical individualist; and a racist.
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Kansas State University houses one of the most interesting exhibits of live and displayed insects, and other arthropods, that I have ever seen.