You have to be a Baby Boomer to understand what it was like to grow up in the 1950's with heroes like Davy Crockett. Fess Parker created quite a stir when this series began on Walt Disney's weekly program.
Yes, I had my coonskin cap. Yes, it was tough when Davy got killed at the Alamo. I think I still have a Davy Crockett belt buckle somewhere around the house.
Those were the days, my friend, when good was good, evil was evil, and you knew exactly where you stood. Here's a short video clip from Davy at the Alamo and an article on the passing of Fess Parker:
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'Davy Crockett' Star Fess Parker Dead at 85
By PopEater Staff Posted Mar 18th 2010 03:46PM
Fess Parker, the actor who helped launch the Davy Crockett craze in the 1950s by playing the famed frontiersman in numerous Disney productions, died Thursday of natural causes, his rep confirms to TMZ. He was 85. Born in Texas, Parker was perfectly suited to play Crockett, and kids around the country clamored to get their hands on coon skin caps because of him.
Parker played the character in a popular TV series and later a pair of feature-length films. He portrayed Crockett from his days as a Tennessee lawmaker to his death at the Battle of the Alamo.
He also starred in the beloved film 'Old Yeller' as the father and other Disney hits like 'The Great Locomotive Chase' and 'Westward Ho!'
Later in his career, he even played Crockett's fellow pioneer Daniel Boone.
In 1970, Parker retired from acting, but in 1974 re-entered TV land with his own short-lived sitcom, 'The Fess Parker Show.'
He later found success in real estate and the wine business, having started the Fess Parker Family Winery and Vineyards in Los Olivos. At the winery, you can also buy coon skin caps.
He is survived by Marcella Belle Rinehart, his wife of 60 years, and their two children.
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Our condolences to Fess Parker's family, friends, and to his legion of fans. He will be greatly missed, but his legend will live on...
Charles M. Grist
Friday, March 19, 2010
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Vietnam veterans have always approved of Chuck Norris (or else). No, really; the man was among the first actors to portray Vietnam vets as patriotic, courageous warriors. For that, we shall be eternally grateful. See the following list of "facts" about Chuck Norris from Tom Cullen. Caution: Parental judgement suggested for some of these:
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Mar 10th 2010 By Tom Cullen
This man has been kicking people square in the head for 70 years ... to the day.
That's right, Carlos Ray "Chuck" Norris woke up this morning (actually Chuck Norris doesn't sleep, he waits) at the ripe old age of three score and 10. And there's no question that he could still kick your organs inside-out just for breathing the same air as he does.
Anyway, despite our best efforts we could not find an address for Mr. Norris to send him a birthday cake (made of nunchucks), so we've had to settle with a round up of our favorite Chuck Norris facts. One bonus fact first: As decreed by Mr. Norris himself, Norris facts don't have to actually be, uh, true.
Keep reading and enjoy ...
1. Since 1940, the year Chuck Norris was born, roundhouse-kick-related deaths have increased 13,000 percent.
2. On his birthday, Chuck Norris randomly selects one lucky child to be thrown into the sun.
3. Chuck Norris mistakenly sent Jesus a birthday card on Dec. 25. Jesus was too scared to correct Chuck Norris and to this day Dec. 25 is known as Jesus's birthday.
4. Chuck Norris was born three months premature, because he had asses to kick.
5. Rather than being birthed like a normal child, Chuck Norris instead decided to punch his way out of his mother's womb.
6. And on the first day Chuck Norris was created ... and he took care of everything else later that afternoon.
7. Chuck Norris once kicked a horse in the chin. Its descendants are known today as giraffes.
8. Chuck Norris can set ants on fire with a magnifying glass. At night.
9. Chuck Norris drives an ice cream truck covered in human skulls.
10. Chuck Norris can touch MC Hammer.
11. James Cameron wanted Chuck Norris to play the Terminator. However, upon reflection, he realized that would have turned his movie into a documentary, so he went with Arnold Schwarzenegger.
12. Chuck Norris destroyed the periodic table, because Chuck Norris only recognizes the element of surprise.
13. Chuck Norris is the reason why Waldo is hiding.
14. Chuck Norris once ate a whole cake before his friends could tell him there was a stripper in it.
15. Chuck Norris sleeps with a pillow under his gun.
16. Chuck Norris can slam a revolving door.
17. According to Einstein's theory of relativity, Chuck Norris can actually roundhouse kick you yesterday.
18. Chuck Norris can divide by zero.
19. Chuck Norris doesn't wear a watch. HE decides what time it is.
20. Chuck Norris can win a game of Connect Four in only three moves.
21. They once made a Chuck Norris toilet paper, but there was a problem: It wouldn't take shit from anybody.
22. Police label anyone attacking Chuck Norris as a Code 45-11.... a suicide.
23. The original title for Alien vs. Predator was Alien and Predator vs Chuck Norris.
24. Chuck Norris ordered a Big Mac at Burger King, and got one.
25. There is no theory of evolution. Just a list of animals Chuck Norris allows to live.
26. If you spell Chuck Norris in Scrabble, you win. Forever.
27. Chuck Norris has the greatest Poker-Face of all time. He won the 1983 World Series of Poker, despite holding only a Joker, a Get out of Jail Free Monopoly card, a 2 of clubs, 7 of spades and a green #4 card from the game UNO.
28. Chuck Norris got a blow up doll pregnant.
29. Google won't search for Chuck Norris because it knows you don't find Chuck Norris, he finds you.
30. There is no chin behind Chuck Norris' beard. There is only another fist.
31. In an average living room there are 1,242 objects Chuck Norris could use to kill you, including the room itself.
32. It takes Chuck Norris 20 minutes to watch 60 Minutes.
33. Chuck Norris counted to infinity - twice.
34. Chuck Norris uses a night light. Not because Chuck Norris is afraid of the dark, but the dark is afraid of Chuck Norris.
35. Aliens DO indeed exist. They just know better than to visit a planet that Chuck Norris is on.
36. When you say "no one's perfect", Chuck Norris takes this as a personal insult.
37. Chuck Norris once shot down a German fighter plane with his finger, by yelling, "Bang!"
38. Chuck Norris never wet his bed as a child. The bed wet itself out of fear.
39. If at first you don't succeed, you're not Chuck Norris.
40. Chuck Norris CAN believe it's not butter.
41. We live in an expanding universe. All of it is trying to get away from Chuck Norris.
42. Chuck Norris invented black. In fact he invented the entire spectrum of visible light. Except pink. Tom Cruise invented pink.
43. Chuck Norris played Russian Roulette with a fully loaded gun and won.
44. Chuck Norris' first job was as a paperboy. There were no survivors.
45. When Chuck Norris does a push-up, he isn't lifting himself up -- he's pushing the Earth down. Observe ...
46. A Handicapped parking sign does not signify that this spot is for handicapped people. It is actually in fact a warning, that the spot belongs to Chuck Norris and that you will be handicapped if you park there.
47. Chuck Norris is the only man to ever defeat a brick wall in a game of tennis.
48. The phrase 'dead ringer' refers to someone who sits behind Chuck Norris in a movie theater and forgets to turn their cell phone off.
49. What was going through the minds of all of Chuck Norris' victims before they died? His shoe.
50. Contrary to popular belief, the Titanic didn't hit an iceberg. The ship was off course and accidentally ran into Chuck Norris while he was doing the backstroke across the Atlantic.
51. Godzilla is a Japanese rendition of Chuck Norris' first visit to Tokyo.
52. When Bruce Banner gets mad, he turns into the Hulk. When the Hulk gets mad, he turns into Chuck Norris.
53. Human cloning is outlawed because if Chuck Norris were cloned, then it would be possible for a Chuck Norris roundhouse kick to meet another chuck Norris roundhouse kick. Physicists theorize that this contact would end the universe.
54. There are no such things as tornadoes. Chuck Norris just hates trailer parks.
55. When the Boogeyman goes to sleep every night, he checks his closet for Chuck Norris.
56. Chuck Norris and Mr. T walked into a bar. The bar was instantly destroyed, as that level of awesome cannot be contained in one building.
57. Chuck Norris does not follow fashion trends, they follow him. But then he turns around and kicks their ass. Nobody follows Chuck Norris.
58. The Great Wall of China was originally created to keep Chuck Norris out. It failed miserably.
59. When Chuck Norris says "More cowbell," he MEANS it.
60. Chuck Norris once sued Burger King after they refused to put razor wire in his Whopper Jr., insisting that that actually is "his" way.
61. Every time someone uses the word "intense", Chuck Norris always replies "you know what else is intense?" followed by a roundhouse kick to the face.
62. If, by some incredible space-time paradox, Chuck Norris would ever fight himself, he'd win. Period.
63. Chuck Norris invented a language that incorporates karate and roundhouse kicks. So next time Chuck Norris is kicking your ass, don't be offended or hurt, he may be just trying to tell you he likes your hat.
64. When an episode of Walker Texas Ranger was aired in France, the French surrendered to Chuck Norris just to be on the safe side.
65. Chuck Norris is so fast, he can run around the world and punch himself in the back of the head.
66. In a fight between Batman and Darth Vader, the winner would be Chuck Norris.
67. The square root of Chuck Norris is pain.
68. Chuck Norris once participated in the running of the bulls. He walked.
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Happy Birthday, Chuck!
Charles M. Grist
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
I am pleased to report that "My Last War" has won the Richard Boes Award from Reader Views Literary Awards. The award is sponsored by Modern History Press and the awards criteria is "Best debut book by a veteran (fiction or memoir)."
The award is named for Richard Boes who enlisted in the U.S. Army and served in Vietnam in 1969 - 1970 with the First Air Cav. He was the author of two books, The Last Dead Soldier Left Alive (2007), a firsthand inquiry into why thousands of Vietnam veterans have committed suicide, and Last Train Out (2008). Right up to his death, he was writing a third, In the Valley of Dry Bones. He passed away on February 21, 2009 at the VA Hospital in Albany, N.Y.
This is an exceptional honor, especially since I also served with the First Air Cav (1970 - 1971).
Charles M. Grist
Thursday, March 4, 2010
Today, there will be a press conference in Washington as Representatives Dan Burton (R-IN) and Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) join numerous Special Operations warriors to call for dropping the charges against three Navy Seals. These warriors captured the terrorist responsible for the brutal murder of Blackwater contractors in Iraq in 2004.
Following is the press release about the news conference:
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From the office of Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: John Donnelly
March 1, 2010
Reps. Burton, Rohrabacher To Renew Call For Exoneration Of Navy SEAL Three On Thursday
Press Conference Will Feature Over A Dozen Retired Special Forces Personnel, Plus An Update On The Pending Trials
WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Thursday, March 4, at 3:00pm, Reps. Dan Burton (R-IN-05) and Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA-46), will be joined by over a dozen retired Navy SEALs and other special forces personnel to host a press conference calling for the exoneration of the three Navy SEALs accused of mistreating al-Qaeda terrorist Ahmed Hashim Abed.
Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN-05)
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA-46)
Neal Puckett, Lt. Col, USMC (Ret.), attorney for Matthew McCabe
Mr. Haytham Faraj, attorney for Matthew McCabe
Captain Larry Bailey, retired U.S. Navy SEAL
Over a dozen retired Navy SEALs and other special forces personnel
Thursday, March 4, 3:00pm
The Capitol Visitors Center, Room HVC-201
In September 2009, SEALs Matthew McCabe, Julio Huertas, and Jonathan Keefe, were part of a team that captured Ahmed Hashim Abed, the al-Qaeda mastermind behind the murder and mutilation of four American contractors in Fallujah in 2004.
In December 2009 and January 2010, the SEALs were arraigned in military court on charges of abusing Abed and giving false statements to investigators. At that time, Reps. Burton and Rohrabacher, along with 38 other members of Congress, asked Major General Charles Cleveland to drop the charges, but the effort was unsuccessful.
With the trials set to begin for Huertas and Keefe in April and McCabe in May, Reps. Burton and Rohrabacher will again call for their exoneration and show the signatures of over 100,000 Americans on petitions that have called for the same. The Representatives plan to deliver those signatures to Maj. Gen. Cleveland and Admiral Gary Roughead, Chief of Naval Operations.
Neal Puckett and Haytham Faraj, attorneys for Matthew McCabe, will provide an update on the case.
Capt. Larry Bailey, a Navy SEAL and combat veteran who served in the U.S. Navy from 1962-1990 will speak about the impact of this case on SEALs in the battlefield.
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These Navy Seals aren't criminals; they are HEROES. Drop the charges and give them medals...
Charles M. Grist