Caroline Davis: Thankful For . . .

There are many people I could name in the history field whom I am thankful for during this season of giving. However, instead, I want to tell a story in which the person I am grateful for is nameless.

As a young child, when all the other kids were watching the newest animated Disney movie, you could find me watching Davy Crockett: King of the Wild Frontier. This live-action 1950’s movie was and possibly still is one of my favorites. So as a young kid, sulking in the car, on our way back from a ffamily vacation at the beach, when I saw signs for David Crockett’s Boyhood Home, I perked up. My parents thought that perhaps this might be the best pitstop on the 9-hour drive home. Thus, in Limestone, TN, we pulled off the road and stopped at a small wooden cabin. The cabin is a replica of the cabin that would have once stood there and housed famed Tennesseeian David Crockett.

It was later in the day, and we were the only visitors at the time. When we walked in, the guide gave us a brief tour of the small dwelling. As we continued through, my eyes lit up as he began telling us Crockett’s story. The highlight, however, came when he turned to me and asked me if I would like to sit in the old rocking chair in the corner. For other 7-year-olds, this may not have been a big deal, but for me it was thrilling, specifically since we had just learned that this rocking chair had been in the Crockett family for years and David Crockett’s mother had used it when David was a young child. I got to sit in a chair that “Davy” had at one time sat in. I am not sure who was more taken aback, me for the opportunity or the guide when I began to cry. “Dad,” I said, “I am touching something Davy Crockett touched.”

I wish I knew the guide’s name but, alas, I do not. He has been long forgotten in my memory. But I often reflect on that moment and will remain forever thankful for the experience.

Now, as an adult working in the history field, I can only hope that I knowingly or unknowingly help to foster a young child’s love of history.

4 Responses to Caroline Davis: Thankful For . . .

  1. I had these very sentiments as a child in the 80s about Davy Crockett.

    Would you like to see the notice in the Scottish press about his death when the Alamo fell in 1836?

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