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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  August 13, 2011 8:00am-9:00am EDT

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hook. i want to thank the panelists for joining us today. we are delighted to be here with all of you. one announcement. there's a cocktail reception immediately following and we will be hanging out if you want to keep chatting about different things we would love to chat with you but we are delighted we are here with you today and thank you for having us. [applause] >> i just want to be sure that you did know you were invited tomorrow morning at 11:00. gail levin will give a lecture on the hamptons. thank you to our sponsors, the entire family, thank you all and alan kessler and mickey strauss for getting this organized. really wonderful. thank you very much and thanks to the panel. ..
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>> frederick law olmsted is remembered for designing new york city's central park, but justin martin looks at his life as journalist and abolitionist. also in washington, booktv stopped by a book party for juan williams' latest, "muzzled." and inside the world of "the pirates of somalia."
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sign up for booktv alert, it's weekend schedule's in your inbox. and up next on booktv, michael wallis recalls the life of frontiersman david "davy" correct. crockett. it's about an hour. >> thank you so much. it's great to be with you. and it's wonderful to come into a city where there's rain. [laughter] um, i live in, my wife susanne who's with me -- you'll meet her later -- we live and have lived for some years in tulsa, oklahoma, where there's plenty of water and wood, it's a very green place, but like the rest of this nation it's been stricken, and temperatures in triple digits for many, many
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days. and that's the way it's been for us most of the summer because we're now in the last leg of this national book tour, and we've been all over the country, deep into the eastern united states on the other side of the mississippi where i sometimes go and all over the southwest and the west where i prefer to be. being a native of missouri, i've always looked west down the santa fe trail, down the immigrant trails, down my beloved route 66. sos this is the part of the country -- so this is the part of the country i do like best, and when i declared my major, if you will, as a writer, it was about the american west. not just cowboys and indians, not just the west that many people think about or conjure up when they hear that word, but
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the contemporary west as well. the pop culture west, the contemporary west. so tonight i'm delighted to be here, as always. i've always had a great experience at tattered cover. this location or the other. and i was just saying to someone before the event started, on this particular tour we've had 40 some odd book signings and event, and only one of them has been in a chain bookstore, and i'm very happy about that. very happy. [applause] chains are important to me, but independent bookstores are more important to me. the independent bookstores are like my route 66. the chain bookstores are like those monotonous turnpikes and
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interstate highways. i have to take them, but i prefer to be on the old road, the genuine, the authentic, the personal. so tonight i'm in this unusual position of really presenting three books, two of them brand new books. not just crockett, not just david crockett from norton, but also the wild west 365 from abrams, another brand new book. and then the reissue. my rascal son right in the center, pretty boy, charles arthur floyd. it's not brand new, it was published many years ago but, unfortunately, it's been out of print until now. until now meaning my editor, probably the best nonfiction
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editor in the country, moved from st. martins, my old house, to norton. a great house, by the way, norton. and he brought "pretty boy" back. and it's important to me because it was the second of my three pulitzer prize nominations. it's a book that definitely needs to be back in print, and it has been optioned as, for a major motion picture as has my more recent biography of billy the kid. billy the kid: the endless ride, another norton title. so i'd be remiss if i wouldn't share with you at least a spoonful from this rascal son, from charlie floyd who hated to be called "pretty boy." this is really a social history. where this book ends, steinbeck's immortal "the grapes of wrath" begins.
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so you go from nonfiction to fiction. so if you've read "the grapes of wrath" which i assume you have at least once and are planning to reread, you know they talk about charlie floyd in the book because they came from salazar down in sequoia county, down in this little dixie in oklahoma where floyd resided. they also, of course, charlie was also the summit of a -- the subject of a wonderful song, "the ballad of pretty boy floyd," written by an oklahoma yang that all of you will probably remember from some of his great songs, and i'm talking about woody guthrie. and his ballad, of course, he gave then to joan baez and bob dylan. there's a great line that fits this book from the ballad of pretty boy floyd.
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some men will rob you with a six gun and some with a fountain pen. now, floyd liked to focus on those fountain pen thieves, on those bankers who were foreclosing on the jodes and others. and he truly was, to my glee, he was a sage brush robin hood. very interesting young man. so let me give you a spoonful, if i can, from "pretty boy: the life and times of charles arthur floyd," and it is the prologue to the book. it's short and a little bittersweet. the konkel farm, october 22nd, 1934. alongside every outlaw who survives beyond brief days hover this nameless legion whom the law does not know or may not
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touch. call them his protective angels, if you like. and that's a quote from if when the dalton rode by emmett dalton. charlie floyd ran for the trees and the freedom that lay beyond. if he could just get across the field of corn stubble to the treeline, he would be safe. the weeds and the wild grapevines, the honey suckle and the brambles would grant him yet another reprieve. he would race into the woods and down the slopes, up the steep hills and across the crumbling masonry of abandoned canal locks filled with water from the recent autumn rain. he was known to some as the sage brush robin hood, to others as the phantom terror, but he was most commonly called "pretty boy" floyd, public enemy number one. he was invincible, and he always got away. the weather was warm on this
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october afternoon. charlie's white shirt and silk underwear were soiled and sweaty, and he needed to shave and bath. his dark blue suit was stained and covered with hundreds of tiny thus les, spanish needles which ran the length of his sleeves and trousers. he was a country boy dressed in city slicker's clothes. a farmer's wife had given him ginger cookies and apples that morning, and he stuffed them in his suit cook pockets. he grasped a.45 pistol in one hand while the other was stucked in the top of -- tucked in the top of his trousers. just moments before he had chat with the a farm couple who had kindly agreed to give him a will lift up the road owned by dike's sister, ellen konkel. charlie had passed an hour with
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her. she had fed him a hot meal. she still held the dollar bill the stranger insisted he take in exchange. ellen watched him wolf down the dinner she had prepared. he sat in a rocking chair on her porch and ate in silence. afterwards, she saw him pacing around waiting for stuart and his wife to finish with their corn husking. charlie fingered the keys in the car's ignition, deciding not to steal the machine. he waits for the farmer to come along. just before the dikes walked out of the cornfields, charlie pulled out his pocket watch. it was almost 4:00 in the afternoon. sunset was about an hour and a half away. he stared at the 50 cent piece attach today the watch fob. ellen recalled he smiled.
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no one knows, but perhaps he thought about ruby or dempsey or the cotton fields of oklahoma and the time before he went on the scout. an airplane, an unusual sight in those parts 1934, droned overhead. charlie turned his face towards the cloudy sky. the rain of the past few day had disappeared, and even though it was deep in autumn, there were smells of new life in woods where the maples showed their true colors. soon killing frost would give way to snow that would enrich the land. ellen watched as the stranger climbed into the backseat. ellen's brother started his automobile. they waved good-bye, and she went back to the kitchen chores. suddenly, she heard machines driving up to the front of her house. when she looked out the window
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again, she saw a band of men in suits carrying guns. they began fanning out over her property. the stranger jumped from her brother's car and began his run across the field toward the trees. the run only lasted a few seconds. it must have seemed forever to charlie. maybe it was like one of those dreams filled with monsters that seem to last forever in slow motion. many years later a federal agent remembered that charlie ran like an athlete, that he cut and dodged in a broken field sprint, cookies and apples fell from his pockets and bounced on the ground. someone yelled for him to halt, then gunfire erupted and the bullet bounced up puff of dust around his feet. he ran on toward the trees. he gulped in mouthfuls of freedom as he ran.
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chester smith, a policeman from east liverpool and a sharpshooter who had proudly fought in france and belgium, knew the man running away was charlie. there was no doubt in his mind. it was now ten minutes past four. smith shouldered his 32-20 winchester rifle. he took aim at the man running in zigzags across the field. when he had charlie in his sights, smith wrapped his finger around the trigger. he took a breath and held it. he slowly squeezed. mr. floyd. [applause] and this, my friends, is my latest son, also a bit of a rascal. although he did not meet his end in an ohio cornfield as you all
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know. this crockett biography, i must say, i was talking to a friend at dinner tonight is off to a great start. we have incredibly good reviews from "the wall street journal" to texas monthly. the texans, i am so pleased, have totally endorsed this book. the bright oneses, the create sickics -- the critics, the scholars -- [laughter] because i'm pretty hard on texas in this book as i should be and am. but there are reviews that my late mother could have written, and i'm pleased with that. [laughter] now, my first exposure to mr. crockett, the in'em it bl -- inimitable american icon came, and i for one -- and i bet some of you looking around this room -- can vividly recall perhaps even the exact date. it was a frosty night for me,
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december the 15th, 1954, in my hometown of st. louis. an abc television had just aired davy crockett: indian fighter. the first of three episodes produced by walt disney for his studio's then new series that had prehered only two months earlier. and it was called simply disneyland much like the park that would soon appear in hand heym. -- anaheim. and it was called that for quite a while, this anthology series. but there were a variety of other names including the one you probably most remember, commonly, the wonderful world of disney. which would become one of the longest-showing prime time programs in american television history. now, that evening i myself was 9 years old, but i could have
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predicted the show's success. i was hooked myself only moment after hearing the theme music, and if you want to hum along, you can. "when you wish upon a star," sung by the cartoon insect jiminy cricket from the movie, pinocchio. long time disney announcer dick wesson introduced host walt disney, and with some visual assistance from a flittering tinker bell, uncle walt unleashed this legend dare frontier character, davy crockett. i was sitting indian style right in the middle of my mother's great carpet in this living room, my participants be-- my parents behind me, and all of a sudden as if like a runaway train, crockett came crashing out of that 12-inch screen tv of
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our 1950 table model rca victor set. and as they say, i was a goner. with only moments after this larger than life crockett appeared clad in buckskin and wearing, of course, that coonskin cap, i had been won over. and my fickle 9-year-old heart pounded. now, i must tell you that was an incredible year. that past summer, just months before, on two separate occasions down at famous and bar at the mother's store, famous and bar now a long-defunct department store in st. louis, my mother had brought me down to meet some people there on that big parking lot. and there i was, 10:00 on a saturday morning, i look up, and it's william body. it's hopalong cassidy standing
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there with topper, that fine horse of his. i really thought he was top drawer, hop by, you know? he never lost that black hat in a fight, he always kept it on. i just liked him very much. and then it was a one-two punch because the next saturday i go back down again with my mother, and there's duncan renaldo standing there, the cisco kid with diablo with all that beautiful tack and bridles and that great smile, the cisco kid. i didn't wash my hands for two weeks. [laughter] but now on that december night both of those men were instantly demoted to lower rungs on my list of heros. even, i'm here to admit -- and i am st. louis all the way, i bleed st. louis cardinal red to this very moment. [laughter] but even stan musial, swinging
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stan the man, the legendary cardinal outfielder whose name was etched in granite at the top of that heros' list, even the man was in jeopardy of being toppled. l so by the time that first episode ended, this image of crockett as portrayed by that gangly former marine from texas, the 29-year-old parker was firmly ensconced in my mind. i didn't even consider staying up for strike it rich or i've got a secret. i forgot about the promise of fresh snow and the good sledding sure to follow. instead, i made a beeline right back to my room where poured over the world book encyclopedia entry for crockett, and i dreamed of this swashbuckler with a proclivity for dangerous behavior which, of course, as a red blooded american kid i found
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to be a most commendable quality. and as i would later learn that next morning out in the snow when i ran into my good pal johnny, i was not alone. they had all seen it too. all of you had. more than 40 million people turned in to disneyland that wednesday night, and by the teem teem -- time the second episode aired followed by davy crockett at the alamo, i along with much of the nation, especially the growing ranks of the boomer generation was swept up in the crockett frenzy, and we wanted more and more came, and it came big time in be the form of really an unprecedented merchandising whirlwind in which crockett was commercialized in ways that would have been unthinkable to the man himself.
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although he would have liked it very much. every kid, of course, had to have a coonskin cap like davy's. and almost overnight the wholesale prices of raccoon pelts soared from 25 cents a pound to $6 a pound. [laughter] resulting in the sale of at least ten million furry caps and causing ike eisenhower to damn near put the little beast on the endangered species list. now, with only months, just a few months of that premier, more than $100 million -- and that's $100 million in 19 55 dollars -- was shelled out not just for raccoon caps, but for more than 3,000 different crockett items. and if some of you would step up, i'm sure you'd admit you still have some of these items tucked away because they include pajamas and lunchboxes.
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and i know someone back there has some davy crockett underpants -- [laughter] comics, moccasins, toothbrushes, games, clothing, toy rifles, sleds, curtains. it goes on and on. and then there's the song, that catchy theme song, the ballad of davy crockett. and it sold more than four million copies, it remained number one on the top ten list for 13 weeks, and that warm spring night, may 7, 1955ics out comes on the screen giselle mckenzie, and she sings the top tune hit of the week on your hit parade. and like every one of my pals, i knew, by god, those words were all true. and, of course, they weren't. [laughter] but we sang crockett's ballad at the top of our lungs as we built
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forts from if old christmas trees and card board boxes and transformed the school ground into our own version of crockett country. crockett became our obsession. now, i realize it's hard for anyone, say, born after 1958 to recall this crockett frenzy that swept america in the '50s. so profound was crockett's cultural inundation that no baby boomer can fail to recall this charismatic american hero's name. and this recognition, to my way of thinking, is a good thingment thingment -- thing. but the veritable flood of misinformation about crockett's life that resulted, something i became very much aware of later this my life and certainly proved up while researching this book which in part motivated me to write this book, has created a crockett mythology that continues to this day.
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so, my good friends, this is not just another straightforward, chronological biography of davy crockett cradle to grave. nor does it focus just on that one slice from the big crockett pie, the alamo. there is much more to crockett than the last few weeks of his life. and it's not a regurgitation of the many myths, many, many be myths and total lies perpetuated by crockett over the years. this is a book for people interested in learning the truth or at least as much as can be uncovered about both the historical and the fictional crockett. and how the two often became one. and, hopefully, readers will gain some new historical insights into the actual man and how he captured the imagination of his generation and later ones as well.
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so now a few spoonfuls from "crockett: the lion of the west." and the first is just a graph or two from my preface. the authentic david crockett was, first and foremost, a three-dimensional human being, a person with somewhat exaggerated hopes and well checked fears. a man who had, as we all do, both good points and bad points. he was somewhat idiosyncratic, possessed often unusual views, prejudices and opinions that governed how he chose to live his life. crockett could be calculating and self-aggrandizing but also as valiant and indeed as resourceful as anyone who roamed the american frontier. as a man he was both authentic and con contrived. he was wise in the ways of
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wilderness and most comfortable when deep in the woods on a hunt. yet he also could hold his own in the halls of congress. a fact that distinguished him from so many other frontiermen. remarkably, he enjoyed fraternizing with men of power and prestige in the fancy parlors of philadelphia and new york. crockett was like none other, a 19th century enigma. he fought under andrew jackson in the ruinous indian wars only later to become jackson's bitter foe on the issue of removal of indian tribes from their homelands. crockett's contradictions extended beyond politics. he had only a few months of form al education, yet he read avidly. he was a man who was also evolving on the stage of a nation in its adolescence, a
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pioneer whose dreams aptly reflected a restless nation with a gaze pointed toward the west. perhaps more than anyone of his time, david crockett was arguably our first celebrity hero. inspiring people of his own time as well as the 20th century generation. the man, david crockett, may have perished on march 6,36, in the final assault on the alamo, but the mythical david crockett, perhaps more so than any other frontierman live powerfully on. in this way his story then become far more than a one note walt disney legend. while his life continues to shed light on the meaning of america's national character. a spoonful from a chapter
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entitled, "killed him a bar." [laughter] david crockett believed in the wind and in the stars. this son of tennessee could read the sun, the shadows and the wild clouds full of thunder. he was comfortable amid the thickets and cane breaks, the quagmires and the mountain balds. he hunted the oak hickory, maple and sweet gum that had never felt an axe blade. he was familiar with all the smells, the the to door of decaying animal flesh and can the pungent smell of the forest. he knew the rivers lined with sick mother, poplar and willow that breached the mountains with strange sounding names, many with indian influences like the pigeon, the south hold son, the
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wolf, the elk and the o buy on. he sought the dimensions of lakes and streams studded with ancient cypress. he learned that dog days arrive in early july when the dog star rises and sets with the sun. he carried his compass and maps in his head. he traversed the land when it was lush in the warm times and when it was covered with the frost the cherokees described as clouds frozen on the trees. the wilderness was, indeed, crockett's cathedral. now i'm going to jump way ahead. sort of towards the end. crockett lived to be 49 years old. and this is early in the last year of his life.
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he did become total loggerheads with jackson, old hickory, who the cherokees knew as sharp knife. crockett had fought under jackson in the ruinous creek wars, so he didn't like what he experienced, the atrocities, the killing, the mayhem. and he vowed never to do that again. although he didn't keep that pledge with those poor black bears. he was a professional hunter of bears but not men. and when jackson who had no use for any native american came up with the indian removal law to take those five tribes on the various trails of tears from their homelands in the southeastern united states to what is now oklahoma, indian territory, crockett stood up against it. the only member of the tennessee delegation the vote against it.
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-- to vote against it. and it cost him his job. jackson and the others found a candidate to run against him, and they took his seat. as crockett explained, he was beat by a one-legged man. but he also came up with his famous quote which he said many, many times: you all can go to hell, and i'm going to texas. [laughter] now, he didn't go down to texas out of a fit of some sort of patriotic honor or something for those rascals down there. anglos had been coming down into the republic of texas and settling with permission of the government for some years starting with moses austin. but then they kept coming. and they weren't always abiding by the laws. the laws meaning to speak the language -- spanish -- to join the mother church and eventually not bring slaves. slavery was abolished in mexico
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long before we got around to that. but these gentlemen and ladies largely southerners, a lot of land speculators and slave traders such as jim bowie kept bringing their slaves in. and this is what crockett faced when he went down there. crockett had owned a few slaves, but he was not a big landowner, and slavery wasn't a big part of his life or an issue. he wanted to rebuild his life. he was gypsy footed. he liked to hunt, and he thought he could get back into politics. he found some land he liked. he took his own sweet time. it took him a long time to get down to texas, and he wasn't this very long. in fact, a lot of people thought he'd been killed. there were newspaper stories, where is the great crockett? is well, he was chasing buy son up on the red river, he was
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hunting hon trees, he was talking to friends, he was telling stories. he loved to tell stories. he was having a few arms of whiskey. but finally he got down there, and this spoonful is from a chapter called "time of the comet." finally in early 1836 crockett and his original three companionses reined up their horses in the oldest town in texas. he was reluctant to leave the good hunting grounds, but he had also heard stories about the successes of sam houston, his old tennessee friend, stephen austin and other land agents who had established land agencieses and were on their way to becoming wealthy men. crockett believed that at last he could gain his own fortune and in a place where he could hunt almost every day of the year. as one often noted, crockett was in a state of euphoria.
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throughout crockett's long ride from tennessee to texas, haley's comet, the most famous of all the chess call nomads, was clearly visible just as it is every 76 years or so. across the land people were in awe when they spied the object slowly making its way through the night sky. for centuries people believed a comet appeared as a harbinger of chaos and disaster. comet were to be feared. one medieval pope even excommunicated hailey's comet and declared it an instrument of the devil. the appearance in 1835, 1836 was blamed for catastrophes across the world including a horrific fire in new york city, the massacre of 280 people in africa by zulu warriors and wars that erupted across latin america. the seminole indians in florida
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saw in the comet's long tail a sign of the tragedy that soon descended on them as they lost their homes and were exiled to indian territory. among many americans, especially anglo texans, haley's comet signaled the impending fall of the alamo. but for the today hand knows living in texas, it was a portent of the mexican army's defeat at san ha sin toe. the comet was rediscovered in august 1835, about the time of crockett's defeat for another term in congress. it was visible for an extended period and could still be seen long enough for enterprising promote pers to issue the comet almanac for 1836. it sold well but not nearly as well as the davy crockett almanac of that year with a cover illustration of crockett wading the mississippi river on a pair of stilts.
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stories made the rounds in if newspapers and future almanacs claiming that crockett and his nemesis, andrew jackson, had forged a truce and that old hickory had commissioned crockett to scale the alleghenies and ring the tail off the comet before it could char the earth. by the time the comet finally vanished in may 1836 -- not to be seen again until 1910 -- the ashes of the alamo, the last battle of crockett's life, were long cold and scattered. and financially from crockett, a piece from "el al mow." so those that claim that god made texas, one may say that figuratively crockett invented texas. his blood and the blood of all who died with him transformed the alamo into an american cultural icon affecting economic and political conditions in
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texas and beyond. of -- the of the-used battle cry remember the alamo used by sam houston to inspire his force when they defeated the mexican army still reverberates through history and culture. for many anglo-texans and others those three words conjure images of patriotic heros, un abashed sacrifice and love of liberty. the alamo remains the most instantly recognized battle in american history with the possible exception of gettysburg. it has been said that not only the battle of the little bighorn and the death of george armstrong cuer 40 years after the alamo would americans have a more vain, glorious event to rally around. texans also use the alamo and the revolt against mexico to establish a republican and later a state that they believed
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unique and more special than any other. in 1845 when the republic of texas gave up its sovereignty to become the biggest state in the union, they did so with the caveat depending on whose interpretation of the texas constitution is followed that it could secede at any time and split into five separate entities, thus creating four new states. a strong belief among many texans was that their independence, their lone star status had been bought and paid for at the alamo. crockett's death sum up the single most importants aspect of his brief stay in texas. his contribution to the lone star state resulted not so much from how he lived, but how he died. his impact on texas derives precisely from his death in that battered spanish mission. in death he turned into an even
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more marketable commodity than he had been in life, and the alamo eventually would become the state's big tourest attraction -- tourist attraction. crockett's death helped fan the flames of rebellion against mexico. this contributed to the creation of the prideful, sometimes bellicose stereotypical impackage of swaggering, boastful texans bursting with superlatives and pride when describing the land they love. crockett's demise also helped turn the alamo into the cradle of texas liberty and a monument to anglo westward expansion that became known as manifest destiny. there was the david crockett of historical fact, and there is the davy crockett of our collective imagination. the first was a man who led a most interesting and colorful life. the other is the american myth
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featuring crockett as a symbolic figure with superhuman powers. in this version crockett is frequently used by others to promote their own interests. both crockett and the alamo remain ensnared in clouds of myth. in the end, crockett was a uniquely american character and a formidable hero in his own right. he should not be judged by his death but, rather, by his life including the good, the bad and the shades of gray. consider him a legend and a hero, but always bear in mind that he was a man willing to take a risk. that was what he symbolized, and that is how he should be remembered. mr. crockett. [applause] and last but not least, this other new book.
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and this book is filled with all kinds of rascal sons and daughters. there are no white hats, there were no black hats, they were all gray hats as you'll come to find out. i co-authored this with my good wife, susanne fit gerald wallis, and we are very pleased to acquire the services of robert, our good pal from down in the hills of santa fe, who has my favorite research library, 12,000 books on the american west in that old adobe. rare books, one of a kind books. it's just intoxicating to go into that library. and hundreds and hundreds of thousands of images, arguably the biggest private collection of western photography anywhere. he supplied all the photos for my billy the kid book and 700 of his images grace these pages. of them never seen before of all kinds of people. it's about the size of an adobe
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brick, a little bit smaller. [laughter] and if you don't like it, which i can't imagine why that would happen, you can always use it as a doorstop. [laughter] but i will tell you this, don't be intimidated by it. there's old jimbo by himself because you can open it literally anywhere. what we do here, 365 days, by every date, every day of the year is something that actually happened on that date. but these entries, the entries and the photos and illustrations just move chronologically in the century i chose, 1830 to 1930. so it begins with crockett, and it ends with pretty boy. through that 100 years. i think it would be good to give you a few spoonfuls from this book, but i would be remiss if i wouldn't summon up to the podium my partner nor life, in
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literature, susanne fitzgerald wallis, to give you a couple spoonfuls of the two remarkable women we're going to give you in this tome. ms. wallis. [applause] >> lola montez. just after the california gold rush peaked, the exotic beauty, lola montez, no doubt attracted by the abundance of newfound wealth captivated san francisco dandies, shocked their prim ladies and endured the taunts of rowdy miners. her original name was marie delores liza rosanna gilbert, but the irish native adopted lola montez, became a dancer and had a series of romantic trysts with victor hugo, frederick cho
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pan and george sand. she also served as the confidant and mistress of king ludwig of bavaria, a scandalous relationship that contributed to his abdication and also sent the banished lola packing. during a tour of the united states, lola arrived in california in 153 -- 1853 and stayed for two years. she quickly became known for performing her famously suggestive tarantula dance, a provocative ballet in the which lola pretended to become entangled in a spider's web. as she waved her arms, leaped in the air and vigorously shook her clothing, revealing her petticoats, the audiences sat spell bound. lola threw lavish parties, gave dance lessons and was frequently
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seen in the company of her pet cinnamon bear. at the dock in 1855, lola broke into tears as she departed san francisco bound for australia. a local newspaper editorial praised her as a noble-hearted and generous lady whose many good acts is won the esteem of our citizens. whatever lola wants, lola gets. [laughter] cynthia ann parker. on may 19, 1836, a band of indians attacked parker' fort on the fringes of the comanche frontier this newly-formed republic of texas. in the skirmish that followed, five texans were killed and five others taken captive including
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9-year-old cynthia ann parker and her younger brother, john. the little girl would become one of the most renowned indian captives in the history of the west. both of the parker children quickly adjusted to the comanche culture. john became a warrior and took part in several raids while cynthia ann lived as a comanche for almost 25 years. she eventually married a chief and bore him two sons and a daughter. their first born son, quanah, became the last great war chief of the comanches. in 1860 texas rangers swept down on a comanche village killing many inhabitants andic thatting others captive including the long lost cynthia ann and her 2-year-old daughter, prairie flower. they were returned to parker family members, but her many years living with the tribe had changed her. she had nothing in common with her white relatives and begged
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to be returned to her indian family. when her daughter died of influenza in 1864, cynthia ann lost all hope. broken in the spirit and bitter at her enforced cabtivity, she starved herself to death. it was not until 46 years later that quanah parker was able to bring the remains of his beloved mother and his baby sister from texas to oklahoma. he dedicated a great feast to honor the memory of his mother who lived and died as a comanche. [applause] >> lola did inspire that line from damn yankees, by the way. i thought you might enjoy this entry since there's a little bit of cowboy and cowgirl in all of
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us. it's called "cowboys," and there's two great portraits of these gents right off the trail, probably in abilene, texas. cowboys who have been well scrubbed, have a bit of bay rum on them. they've gotten their favorite dish that cowboys always wanted to get that they longed for on the trail, either chop suey or some eggs. and they've probably had a tumble or two in the hay and some good, hard whiskey. this is "cowboys." some historians claim the word cowboy was first used in medieval ireland to describe boys who tended cattle. others say it was bandied about in early america when young buys herded cows. even so, only after the civil war did the term cowboy come into common use. the heydey of the genuine
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cowboys was brief. it began in 865 when texans returned home after serving the confederacy poor in cash but rich in range lands teeming with ubiquitous long horns. prior to the war those who had trailed cattle usually were known as droves. in the early 1860s, texas ranchers used the term cowboy as they gathered unbranded wild longhorns during round-ups first called cow hunts. by about 1870 ranchers hired youngsters whom they generally refer today as cowboys to herd cattle up the trails to northern market. some of them were only 1-16 years old -- 12 to 16 years old. parents, do not allow your boys to load themselves down with mexican spurs, six shooters and pipes, warned a reporter for
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texas denton monitor. keep them off the prairies as professional cow hunters. there in that occupation, who knows, but they may forget there is a distinction between mine and thine. send them to school, teach them a trade or keep them at home. that was written a long time before willie nelson. [laughter] i think just one more spoonful from very near the end of that century that we chronicle. and it's called simply, "adios, wyatt." wyatt earp and josephine, sarah marcus, a girl from a prominent jewish family in san francisco lived as husband and wife for nearly 50 year. the couple was a classic case of opposite temperaments complementing each other. we were was quiet and reserved
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while his wife was fiery. still, josie and wyatt remained devoted to each other until the end. for earp that end came in los angeles just a few minute past eight in the morning on january 13, 1929. the old lawman died quietly. as josie later wrote in her published recollections, my darling had breathed his last, dying peacefully without a struggle like a baby going to sleep. i don't know how long i continued to hold him in my arms. i wouldn't let him go. they finally had to drag me away. i had gone with him on every trail he had ever taken since those day at tombstone so long ago. included among earp's honorary pal bearers were movie heros william s. hart and tom mix. wyatt's ashes were buried just
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south of san francisco. cowboys often come to pay their respects. they do have their hats and stand on the man cured grass topped with stars of david. a world away from the blood and smoke of the o.k. corral. thank you. [applause] thank you very much. and now we will entertain questions, comments and/or concerns. [laughter] and all we ask for is if you have a question, to let that boom mic get in place. and i'm anticipating good questions from this bright denver audience. >> good evening. i just wanted to thank you for the wonderful reading, and i hope that the publishers when
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they do an audio book will select you to read your own work. it was terrific, and i enjoyed hearing you this morning on the radio, and i'm looking forward to it tomorrow. i understand you're going to speak again. >> well, he convinced me to stay, you know? i really like this chap. he's, i think, a popular talk show fellow here in denver, and i really, i mean, it behooved me to stay for a little bit to go in the studio tomorrow. we were very simpatico. appreciate that. >> [inaudible] >> yes, they are. we're waiting for the mic. >> hi. i just opened this to june 15th to the packer club, and i wondered if you could make any comments. would you want to read -- i'll pass you this, it's open to the
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right page, what the quote is of hibbs dale county and all that? do you want me to bring it to you? is. >> sure. are you familiar with this story? >> no, not at all, but i thought you could help us all. [laughter] >> this is an entry called "the cannibal of the pass," and it's about alfred packer who earned a very sinister place in the folklore of the american west as a result of his acquired taste for human flesh. [laughter] do we have any cannibals in the audience? yeah, good. there's usually one or two. but i will cut to the chase. the illustration for this is a wonderful kind of down home piece, and the called the packer club. and there is an image of al packer, and it's written in the sort of this down home language.
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and they, they were seven democrats in hinsdale, you so cautious man-eating son of a bitch, you ate five of 'em! [laughter] five new deal democrats which makes me a member of the packer club of colorado. charter members ralph car, gene fouler. there you go, the packer club. [applause] [laughter] >> hi. coming over here tonight there was an announcement on the radio about the birth certificate of davy crockett that the court had said that the woman who had it had to give et back to the county where he lived? is. >> oh. well, i hadn't heard that, but there was no birth certificate -- >> wedding license. >> i'm sure you're talking about that wedding license, and that's
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true. he, he received a wedding license in dandridge, tennessee, at the county seat in that old courthouse. and unfortunately, some many years ago they pitched it out with a bunch of papers, and this woman who lives in florida got ahold of it. so all they've had for all those years is a facsimile of it. and, of course, i talk about that whole marriage license business in the book, but this doesn't surprise me because i know they've been trying to get it back. i'm not sure what kind of legal maneuvering went on to get that because, you know, it's their own fault they threw the thing out, right? but i would imagine they played upon her sense of history and whatever, and perhaps there was
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some money involved i would think, right? yeah. which always helps. yeah. speaking of money, did any of you put a bid in on the billy the kid picture here in denver? [laughter] i think it was $2.4 million. william koch, who won the america's cup bought it. a lot of big bidding going on. yes. oh -- >> one more question? is. >> let's let this lady come over here. >> sir, you did say something about a thoughtful question. i hope i can ask one. you and i come from very nearly the same place. i was born in east st. louis about five years before you were. very much appreciate your preg. presentation. the question/comment combination, i have been a listen of peter boyle's for some time and heard him this morning
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and heard you as his guest. you seem to apply your talent to some pretty real people. you disparaged somewhat, i think rightly, the hollywood fictionalizing of some of these people. i'm a person who's very depressed with the way our country is going. i just wonder if you could throw your astute observation about people and our politicians and our economy and the situation that we're facing today, and if you were to, say, write 50 or 100 years from now, how would you reflect on the mess that we're in today? >> um -- [laughter] well, you know, it's interesting because system of the reviewers -- some of the reviewers of the crockett book have actually gotten

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