Would we drink coffee with Davy Crockett?
Cammy: “You may all go to hell, and I will go to Texas.” So said this guy to voters regarding their decision to re-elect him or not. They didn’t re-elect and, well, we know where Davy Crockett met his maker. That quote alone make him worthy of a beverage. Add to that the Texas thing, and it’s really a no-brainer. These days I’m not sure kids outside Texas get any real exposure to this figure in history. For a long time there (particularly when my parents were children), kids outside were exposed to Fess Parker’s Disney-series. This focused mostly on the legendary woodsman/adventurer aspect of Crockett’s life–events long before his brief, but legendary involvement in the Alamo. It’s odd to think that part of Crockett might be what some people learn of him first, rather than what Texas kids learn initially which is his role as a hero of the Alamo. We’re not ignorant of his prior adventures, or even his time spent in Congress (he apparently made liberal use of the spittoons), but that stuff is a kind of foggy blur. It’s that time I’d love to talk to him about. As a politician at a time when election campaigns put candidates in real contact with voters, what much he think of how campaigns run now? When it’s a rare thing for any of us to be in the same room with someone campaigning federal office even once in our lifetimes. How does he feel about how he’s remembered in Texas vs. elsewhere? Of course, I still need to at least try to get to one thing Alamo related. One of the jarring things to happen to a Texas school-kid after years of imbibing the Crockett Hero Legend and multiple viewing of John Wayne as Crockett in The Alamo, is the introduction of the idea that Crockett’s final moments may have been, well, human. It was a jaw dropper to all in the room when one of my teachers mentioned a letter that had been written by a Mexican soldier describing Crockett’s last moments spent pleading for his life. I’m not sure whether or not we could get him to confirm or deny (the man was a politician, therefore, a liar), but I’d like to at least attempt to get to the bottom of that one.
Kristy: I study historic people who became folk heroes for a living. So if you think I’d turn down the chance to have coffee with an historic person who became a folk hero, you’re daft. Crockett is a special case because he became a folk hero during his own lifetime. Allegedly he was very uncomfortable with it, and so I’d certainly like to hear that from the man himself. I’d also like to hear how he feels about his postmortem reputation. Who does he think played the best Crokett? I’m not a Texan, but I was raised by one, so I got all the Fess Parker, John Wayne, etc, etc. I also worked for a Davy Crockett scholar who loves him specifically because he wasn’t a perfect hero; my boss informed me that he was an opportunist more than anything. An awesome one, judging by the light in his eyes as he talked about it. So yeah, I guess I’d like some sense of who the man was. On behalf of my boss, the Alamo story I need to check out is whether or not he actually played the fiddle to taunt the Mexicans and what songs he played.