Western Brown’s Leto excels in Australia Rockets ready for 1st season in SBAAC Paddling, hiking activities available at Ohio State Parks SB Warriors get set to hit gridiron for 2nd year of varsity football Scotty W Johnson Glenna V Moertle Ricky L Hoffer Ruth E Ward David A Watson Janet L Dotson Vilvie S King Steven C Utter Cropper joins Fallis at Bethel-Tate Local kids find success in world of martial arts 13th annual Bronco 5K Run and Fitness Walk set for Aug. 5 Teams compete in memory of Randy Fulton Mike W Smith Roger Helton David A Borders Timothy E Argenbright Joseph W Sherrill Frances K Pedigo Cecil N Graham Sawyers charged in sex for heroin plot Group demands changes at ELSD Blanche Malblanc Pauline L Kirk Over 70 take part in 11th Joe Myers 5K Classic Lions Club 4th of July Festival brings outdoor fun to Ripley ODNR reminds visitors to swim safe this summer Changes in high school track and field/cross country rules include school issued and approved uniforms Betty L Philpott Judy B Williams Billie J Russell Remembering Ravye 25 attend volleyball camp in Fayetteville Western Brown hosts Pee Wee Football Camp Eugene L Baumann Kids enjoy a ‘Touch-a-Truck’ event in Mt. Orab New police chief takes over in Fayetteville BC Chamber moving forward on 2017 SummerFest Two killed in wrong way crash in Mt. Orab Jack Hamilton Charles L Glover Maxine M Stires Western Brown youth basketball camps a success Leto to represent Team USA in Australia Broncos hard at work in preparation for fall season Eastern approves bowling team Phyllis Ruth Lois A Manley Eddie L Carr Thomas L Carnahan Cameron Barkley Walter J McGee Gary J Graham George D Johnson Walter F Crawford Jr Charles E Meranda Jr Corbin testifies before Ohio Senate Five arrested in Hamersville drug bust Neil Diamond tribute band coming Hyde finds home at Midway Youngsters work to improve on hoop skills at Eastern basketball camps Sizer named All-District Honorable Mention Western Brown’s Barnes earns All-State, All-District honors Local players compete in SWOFCA Ron Woyan East/West All-Star Game 6th annual Ravye Williams Memorial 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament set for June 24 Clarence E Teal Rosie B Poe Monard C Boots James P Conrad James T Dinser Scott J Swearingen Eastern’s Farris earns award for top 2-point field percentage in Ohio Georgetown’s Seigla earns All-District honors OHSAA announces 2017 football regions and playoffs format Western Brown volleyball camps a success with over 100 in attendance Rigdon finishes high school running career with 10th place finish at state track and field championship meet Grace E Fite Women return to county jail as funds start to run low Georgetown Council takes action on vacant structures Veterans honored in Mt. Orab John McGee Timmy Burson Patricia A London Mary J Hall Kenneth R Behymer Western Brown’s Joe Sams commits to Marietta College WBHS to hold girls youth basketball camp Huseman signs with UC Clermont Day to continue baseball career on collegiate level at UC Clermont Western’s Pack signs with NKU WBHS to host youth boys basketball camp Eastern’s Rigdon, Hopkins are STATE BOUND James Ratliff Robert P Lesko Armstrong sentenced to twenty years on child porn possession charges Russellville hires new Village Clerk Russellville Council approves purchase of two ambulances

Becoming the ‘King of the Wild Frontier’

Recently I was listening to my grandsons talk about what they wanted for Christmas and for the most part what they were saying sounded pretty routine. But my second grand son was focused on one, and only one item that he wanted, and you could tell in his tone that he just had to have it. This got me thinking back to when I was about six years old. That would have been around 1956 and it was a time when prime time television was dominated by the westerns, shows like Gunsmoke, Cheyenne, Have Gun Will Travel, Maverick and many, many more. I liked them all and tried as hard as I could to watch as many of them as I could.

About this time Walt Disney, who had already made a daily show called “The Mickey Mouse Club,” was now adding another show that appeared every Thursday night titled “The Wonderful World of Disney”. This show brought a variety of one hour programs with different themes anywhere from cartoons to science and my favorite of course was about the Old West.

Shortly after this new program began, western night introduced a mega-star hero that every child just couldn’t get enough of- Davy Crockett. Davy Crockett aired as a three-episode series and the hero could do no wrong. I mean he could even grin down a bear from attacking him. He could arm wrestle anyone and was a great Indian fighter. The only mistake he ever made was going to the Alamo and even then it took Santa Anna’s 10,000 soldiers to kill him. Davy Crockett was on the lips of every child and many in the country faster than ever expected and Disney was of course, an expert at marketing. This was the first real hero I remember and the products with his likeness and name sold off the shelves faster than they could be replaced.

Any place kids gathered it wasn’t long before they began to play “Davy Crockett.” Of course all the boys wanted to pretend to be Davy but that honor always fell to the one who had replica Crockett items. But the item that always put a kid in the lead was a coon skin cap. Davy the character played by Fess Parker, was dressed in buckskin clothes with moccasins, a powder horn, a flintlock pistol and long rifle and a big hunting knife, but most notable was his coon skin cap.

For some reason he seemed to be the only frontiersman wearing one but on him it was like a crown distinguishing who the leader was. So I had to have one. I can’t explain the logic as all I knew was I just had to have one. Now in 1956 financial standards, a coon skin cap came at a higher price than most any item in the Crockett line. My parents tried to give us things we wanted but there were limits, and from all I could tell I had hit the limit and was pushing on past it, but I just couldn’t relent. I had to have that cap.

So as Thanksgiving passed and the calendar turned toward Christmas I decided this was my biggest and best chance to obtain the crown of the old frontier. Every chance I had I would talk to Dad and then Mom as I felt my chances better to divide and conquer. I even talked to my sister Peg, who would listen but not be much help, and even my brother Ben who was more interested in cars, girls and basketball, but I figured he might hear a bit of what I was talking about. I pleaded and finally pleaded that if I got that cap I would settle for that and nothing else would I ask for. (That plea really hurt.)

The big day finally arrived and when I went to the Christmas tree I saw a wrapped gift shaped in a square and just the size I felt a cap would be in. I opened it and there in its entire splendor was an official Davy Crockett coon skin cap! All the begging, pleading, and campaigning, and please don’t tell me that prayer doesn’t help, it took all of those things in my opinion to let me get that cap.

I took it out of the box and put it on my head and it wasa perfect fit. The longer I wore it the more I felt like I could wrestle a bear. The cap didn’t leave my head until I went to bed. When school started back up after Christmas vacation that cap was on my head and as I climbed onto the school bus the kids noticed as they did when I walked into the classroom.

I don’t want to brag but guess who got to be Davy at recess? Yep, it was little old me. That is until Hank got one for his birthday and then I had to move to second in line and share the lead with him.

That cap was the best present I received as a child and is still on my top five list. By the way, the next year I got a lunch box with Davy on it and it was pretty awesome for a lunch box. So when my grandson got that one item he wanted so much I really understood where he was coming from on the gratitude end, but even he could never feel like he was “The King of the Wild Frontier.”

Rick Houser grew up on a farm near Moscow in Clermont County and loves to share stories about his youth and other topics. He may be reached at houser734@yahoo.com.

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Rick Houser

The Good Old Days

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2016 News Democrat