Monday, March 15, 2010

Alamo Pilgrimage 1: Crockett Encounters

Last Fall I was whining about someday wanting to visit the Alamo on March 6 to take part in the annual shindig surrounding the anniversary of the battle. So I was mighty surprised on Christmas Day, when my wife Irene gave me my present: A trip for two to the Big Event.

On our two previous visits to San Antonio, I took photos of the Chapel, Long Barracks and grounds from every conceivable angle, sat in the plaza replaying the battle in my mind, and lugged home samples of just about every item in the Alamo giftshop. This time, though there was some of that same behavior, it was mostly about meeting other Alamomaniacs and taking part in the commemorative activities.

The well-dressed fellow above stopped me on the plaza and introduced himself as David Preston Crockett, saying he's a direct descendant of old Davy himself. That's his ID I'm holding, an official State of Texas Birth Registration Card.

I met this gent on the plaza one evening and complimented him on his attire. He introduced himself only as "Col. Crockett", and if he has any other name I failed to get it. He bears an uncanny resemblance to the portrait of Davy on the pin below, and regularly portrays him at meetings of the Direct Descendants of David Crockett and other venues.

I acquired my limited edition enameled pin from Suzanne Brooks, 3rd Great-Granddaughter of the Polly Finley line (via Davy's first son John Wesley), a member of the board of directors of the DDDC, and a very nice lady. Since I failed to snap her picture, I borrowed this one from the DDDC website.

I also had a nice chat with Caroline Crockett-Cotton, a Direct Descendant through the Elizabeth Patton line (Elizabeth was Davy's second wife). She indicated I'd be welcome at one of their bi-annual family reunions, and I certainly hope to take her up on it. She's seen here with author and Alamo Journal editor Bill Chemerka, in a 2009 photo stolen from all-around nice guy (& author) Jeffrey Dane.

Finally, here's a fellow I did not get to meet (no, the short guy's not me), but I enjoyed his performance as Davy in the battle reenactment staged on Alamo Plaza.  More pics to come.

For previous Alamo-related posts, click HERE.


David Cranmer said...

Meeting direct descendents, reenactments, and invitation to family reunions.

That's a wonderful Christmas gift.

Unknown said...

Did you get to the toy soldier store near the Menger Hotel?

Chris said...

This is great. I'm inspired to finally make my own long-desired pilgrimage east about 6 or 7 hours to the site of the Battle of the Little Big Horn. I've been by it without stopping, planned to go for the reenactment the last two summers, but have never actually been. This year will change!

Evan Lewis said...

I did indeed visit Kings X a couple of times. Seems to me they used to carry several makes of toy soldiers, but now have only their own line. Theirs are excellent, but too steep for me, running over $25 for most figures. Nice pics on their website:

I've long wanted to visit the Little Big Horn too. What I'd really like is to trace Custer's route on horseback, but with all the private land that now seems impossible.

Marilyn said...

Great trip and interesting encounters. I hope you do get to trace Custer's route. My dream is slightly different: to follow Eleanor of Aquitaine's travels.

Richard Prosch said...

Dave, you've opened up a new world to me. I guess I should have guessed, but really had no idea such a cottage-industry of Crocketts, (real and thespian) existed. Cool!

Laurie Powers said...

I'm right there with Rich on this one - I had no idea. Thanks for a great post and can't wait to see the rest.

Cap'n Bob said...

Whenever you're ready to saddle up for a ride to the LBH, let me know.

Anonymous said...

The man who introduced himself as "Col. Crockett" is Larry Brenneman, from Ohio.

Though I think he might live in Texas now.

Anonymous said...

Must have been a hell of a thrill. Bet you're still buzzing.