I couldn’t wait for Friday nights. Oh yeah, once I hit eleven or twelve years old I knew Uncle Bill and I were going to the best local high school game of the weekend. That was always a lot of fun. But when I was younger, about eight or nine, I couldn’t wait for the Walt Disney show which came on at 6:30 p.m. CST. Walt would always come on in the first five minutes and talk about the nights show. He’d give a little preview. Some of my favorites were Zorro, Andy Burnett, Moochie and the Little League, Davy Crockett, Texas John Slaughter, Elfego Baca, and maybe my very favorite – SWAMP FOX.
I loved Swamp Fox. A young Leslie Nielsen played the famous Francis Marion of the Revolutionary War. His nickname was the Swamp Fox because of the cunning way he outfoxed the British time after time. His band of American Patriots would ride out of the swamps of South Carolina, foil the British, then disappear back into the swamps. These guys rode around on their horses with their three corner hats and best of all - they had a fox tail attached to their hat. How cool is that when you’re eight years old? So guess what I did (and my buddies also)? I had my mom go out and buy me a black felt cowboy hat. It was flexible enough to bend the brim. I shaped it into a three corner hat like the Swamp Fox wore and pinned it to hold it that way. I couldn’t find a fox tail anywhere which bummed me out a little so I bought a raccoon tail and attached it to my new three corner hat. Hopefully no one would be the wiser. We rode around the neighborhoods with our hats and raccoon tails waving in the wind, pretending we were the Swamp Fox gang and singing their song:
Swamp Fox, Swamp Fox, tail in his hat,
Nobody knows where the Swamp Fox at.
Swamp Fox, Swamp Fox, ridin’ through the glen,
He runs away to fight again!
Looking back, I realize now that the show was probably not very historically accurate, had silly story lines, and not so good acting. But it was intended for little boys because Walt was always a little boy at heart. Who cared if wasn’t exactly Emmy Award material? A few years later The Walt Disney show changed to Sunday evenings with the name Wonderful World of Color. I never liked that change; what kid wanted to look forward to Sunday evening? Heck, that meant school was the very next morning!www.chiefpigskin.com