Published: 3/19/10, 9:45 AM EDT
By JEFF WILSON
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Fess Parker, a television icon to a generation of youngsters as Davy Crockett and later Daniel Boone, has died at the age of 85 of natural causes.
Am I the only woman crying over the death of Fess Parker? Don't tell me that you aren't wailing over the loss of this long legged, coonskin capped, rifle totin' hunk of rugged manliness! Every childhood week I used to take my bath, put on my pink nightgown and comb the tangles out of my hair in front of my hero as he fought bears and ate jerky in glorious black in white on our little television with the rounded corners.
I spent hours with my cousins in the wilderness 1/4 mile beyond our home building an elaborate "Daniel Boone Fort" amongst the junipers. We laboriously ground chunks of sandstone into "gunpowder" to fend off Indian attacks, seeing no irony in the fact that our Navajo foster sister was joining in enthusiastically.
I worshiped Daniel Boone's family, including his daughter Jemima who I imagined would like to come to my house and make me pancakes.
I planned to name my first son Israel, like the little boy with the blond Hollywood haircut who got to wear moccasins every day.
I was thrilled by Daniel's sidekick, Mingo; a fake Indian with badly barbered bangs that cut albums when he wasn't backing up Daniel Boone. Mingo was good, but not quite worthy of wearing a rodent pelt on his head. That honor belonged only to my Daniel.
I feel sorry for my kids. Their TV heroes were total wimps compared to my frontiersmen.
Daniel and Mingo would have mopped the floor with these blowdried fluffy city boys.
My world isn't quite as safe now that Daniel Boone is gone; although I hear the raccoons are all having a party.