Davy Crockett's Kin Say Caps Off to a Legendary Frontiersman

updated 07/15/1985 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/15/1985 01:00AM

Davy, Davy Crockett, "the king of the wild frontier," may be gone. But the legend of that pioneer, Indian fighter and raconteur lives on, especially in the hearts of his kinfolk. That's why 34 Crockett relations came to Greeneville, Tenn. and donned Davy's trademark coonskin cap to celebrate the Second Annual Reunion of the Descendants of Davy Crockett. They came from near (Bull's Gap, Tenn.) and far (Seattle) to renew family ties and generally swap some lies about the woodsman who was supposedly so persuasive as a hunter that he could charm a raccoon right out of a tree.

Fess Parker wasn't invited, although the Crockett clan acknowledged that his mid-'50s TV portrayal brought renewed interest in their ancestor. There were, however, two bona fide Davy Crockett namesakes. Like others who've had famous monikers foisted on them, they both had tales to tell. The first was from 8-year-old Davy Crockett. "When I tell the kids at school that Davy Crockett is my fifth great-grandfather," complains young Davy, "they say, 'Oh yeah? Well, Andrew Johnson is my fifth great-grandfather.' " The other Davy Crockett in attendance, a 41-year-old district attorney from East Tennessee, has also been the victim of disbelief and one-upmanship. In fact his own disbelief once cost him votes. At a campaign stop, he introduced himself to a woman who shot back, "Glad to meet you, Davy. I'm Mrs. Daniel Boone." But Davy Crockett was too worldly-wise to fall for the old gag. "Later," he says miserably, "I found out she really was Mrs. Daniel Boone."

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