Tuned In

Fess Parker, 1924-2010

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Fess Parker, star of numerous Disney movies (Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier)—and TV’s Daniel Boone—has died at age 85. I’m a generation too young to have many firsthand memories of him (for some reason, I was never a fan of the old Disney movies as a kid), so most of my recollections of him and his influence are secondary. In particular, panel after panel of old Peanuts comic strips with Charlie Brown sporting a coonskin cap—evidence, from the ’50s, of the power of Parker and his characters to transfix kids and spread through the culture. If only today’s marketing machine had its hands on him and Davy—there probably isn’t enough coonskin in the world.

I was also surprised that, although I have no memory of ever watching Daniel Boone as a kid (it was before my time but reran), the theme song (above) pretty much sprang unbidden to my head when I heard the news. He was a big man, indeed.