Every August, the No. Carolina Regiment at Sycamore Shoals suspends its muster so we can support our brothers and sisters and have fun at the annual Crockett Days Celebration. The annual Crockett Days Celebration was held August 17, 18 and 19 at Davy Crockett Birthplace State Park, located near Limestone, TN. I don’t want to use Chad Bogart’s expression but heck, as he says, “…a good time was had by all….”
Most of the time, one really sacrifices to go as it’s hotter than two rings of Hell after Satan stokes them , or the hornets get you or some other monsoon natural annoyance but I have to say, this year was MIGHTY FINE! There was a bit of rain at 5:30 AM on Saturday night but by the time the sun came up, things had pretty much dried out. The weekend as a whole was pleasant and comfortable.
The event, sponsored by the Pioneer Friends of Davy Crockett Birthplace State Park, was a beehive of activity . Friday was a “school day” where children from the local schools come to watch history in action. Each day, there was butter churning, weaving, flint knapping, beading, lucet weaving and sewing, basket making, button making and yoke carving by our friends from Richmond, Va., food, weaponry, shooting and ‘hawk demonstrations, music, an auction where the bidding was fierce and frolic (after hours). The event was well attended by Militia as well as the public. Mark Halbeck, the park’s chief ranger and manager, said it was the best attended event they’ve had and I believe it. What was wonderful was all the youth who came and were so very interested. I was talking to a twelve- year- old boy who walked around as though in a daze, taking everything in with huge eyes. He asked a lot of really great questions and made insightful comments, and he said that being involved in living history (he didn’t use that term but something like it) was his ultimate dream. I think the young man was overwhelmed by what he saw and I introduced him to Chad. Chad gave him encouragement and information about coming to the park and trying us out for a day. The boy walked away like he just got a Christmas gift. It was a great thing to know that there are those young persons who want to keep history alive. I hope to see him and those like him participate in this terrific hobby.
Gary Foreman spoke after the evening pizza meal ( too much pizza, too small a stomach!). Gary is an authority about Davy Crockett and is involved in filming a documentary, sponsored in part by the History Channel, tracing Crockett’s life and the places he traveled. We got a sneak preview and all I can say is WOW! He also made the park’s documentary movie for the museum there. Mark also explained his vision of the park and the importance of what we all do. Because it is the 75th anniversary of the Tennessee Park Service (whose trailer explaining all of this is wonderful), listening to him made it all the better. I was caught up in the passion both men had for the subject and their determination to keep history alive – and heard echoes of that young boy in my head- most profound and prophetic.
While Saturday was an 18th century day, Sunday was an early 19th century day to reflect the time period in which Crockett was at his most powerful. It was a lot of fun (and rather uncomfortable wearing a Regency boulderholder that shoved bubbles up to chin level) wearing clothes that reflected the period. Service was enlightening and the period tea was refreshing and fun. It was a great weekend as usual and I can’t wait to go next year.