At The Alamo: All The History I Needed Was On My Pajamas

battleAlamo1

[Source: Google search]

I grew up in a time when kids had heroes.  Mythic heroes.  These days, it seems like anyone who performs his or her duties is a “hero”.

It’s fair to say that most children, throughout history, had their own heroes.  The ancient Greek boys had their Spartans and the Irish youth had their patriots.  The girls had Cleopatra and Helen and Florence Nightingale.  But many of these mythic figures leap from the pages of books…and literacy was mostly for those who lived a life of privilege.

I would go so far to say that millions of young people looked out into a field and watched their dad plow and sweat for twelve hours a day.  Or watched from a broken window as their mother hung out clothes for a family of nine…to dry in the midwest wind and sun.

But, I grew up in the heyday of television and I grew up in America.  I grew up watching stories unfold, in flickering black and white, through the vision of Walt Disney.

Disney owned the hearts and imaginations of an entire generation of baby-boomers.

What boy in America wasn’t in love with a brunette named Annette?  What girl didn’t want to ride the range with Tim Considine (from a Disney TV show)?

I was fortunate to have a large yard to play out our war games and treasure hunts.  We were the Cowboys and we were the Indians…just like the ones we saw on the small screen.  We were the troops of the U.S. Army reenacting the battles that were just recent memories of many of my friends fathers.

Around the time I was seven or eight, I discovered my “true American hero”…and again, it was Disney that put this man on the map of our imaginations.

We’re talking about Davy Crockett.  A real historical figure, his shadow continues to fall across a dozen states.  The real Crockett bore little resemblance to Fess Parker or John Wayne.  But, the image of his making his last stand on the walls of the Alamo, here in San Antonio, is etched forever in my mind.  I knew all the pertinent facts of his life.  I knew them because they were printed on my most prized possession…my Davy Crockett pajamas.  For a more descriptive story of the untimely fate of my legendary pajamas, go to the link at the end of this blog to find “The Legend of the Davy Crockett Pajamas”.

Now, after sixty-one years (give or take a few), I am standing in the plaza and gazing at the facade of the Alamo.  It was odd to be confronting something so mythic as the Alamo, like a Greek scholar viewing the Acropolis for the first time.  In this plaza, under my feet, under the fresh paving stones and cobbles and landscaped palm trees, thousands of bodies once littered the ground.  These were the Mexican soldiers who finally took over the little Mission building on March 6, 1836.  Doubtless, some bones have never been recovered.  This plaza was, therefore, hallowed ground.  It seemed to me that the groups of tourists and families were oblivious to this fact.

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[Source: Google search]

In the end, it was all for nothing.  The Alamo was recaptured a short time later…became part of Mexico…and the rest is history.

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[Source: Google search]

I stood in the cool air and looked at the famous building.  I saw John Wayne up there on the wall.  I saw Fess Parker swinging Bessie, his rifle.  I saw the real Crockett pointing his weapon toward the advancing Mexican army.

I heard Fess Parker sing a song, the last song of the movie, to his side-kick, Buddy Ebsen.  I think that song was the Green Leaves of Summer.

I may be not be remembering this correctly.  After all, history is soon forgotten.

One thing I’ll never forget is the history that was printed on my flannel pajamas.

AlamoMe

https://patrickjegan.me/2012/12/16/the-legend-of-the-davy-crockett-pajamas/

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2 comments on “At The Alamo: All The History I Needed Was On My Pajamas

  1. pjlhughes says:

    Been there many times myself. And I remember the shows and the lunch boxes. Oh well.
    Did you get to the menger bar just behind it. Well worth avisit. TR was there once. Now thats a real hero.

    Like

  2. Jackie says:

    No memories are close to our childhood ones. We refer to them our whole lives…good and bad.. Nice one

    Like

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