Yep, ran right out in the middle of it. Stopped it cold. The blazing guns were silenced. There was peace in the valley once more. Maybe not peace, but a whole lot of confusion anyway.
Many many moons ago, when I was a sprite of about six, one of the most popular shows on television was The Daniel Boone Show. Darby Hinton, a kid with hair as white as mine, played Daniel Boone’s son, Israel. A six-year old back in the 60’s wasn’t quite as media-savvy as kids are these days so to my six-year old mind, Darby Hinton and Israel Boone were one in the same. I had no idea who Darby Hinton was but my heart sure belonged to Israel Boone.
The summer of ’66, my family vacationed in the NC mountains. There were several theme parks around the mountains back then. We’re not talking Disneyworld or anything of that magnitude, but a train and a chairlift were enough to impress most kids back then. I’m not even sure which park we went to – maybe Maggie Valley? But anyway, the big deal was that Israel (and some kid named Darby Hinton) was going to be at this park. My poor parents. I started with the “are we there yet?” routine before we backed out of the driveway.
We’re talking a Justin Beiber’ish crush here.
The park was set up to resemble an old west town and little did I know, a bonafide shoot out was part of the “show”. We’re instructed to stand behind the watering troughs and hitching posts (for our safety) and then it happened. The first shot rang out! And then a second and then several more followed and then guys dressed in black came running out of the old bank, six-shooters blazing! And then…Israel came from somewhere and started shooting at the bad guys! He was ducking and rolling behind an old wagon then an old whiskey barrel while the bad guys were returning fire. I was horrified! These bad men were shooting at MY Israel! So I did what any six-year old in love would do – I screamed out “Israel, Israel!” and bolted from behind our cover and ran out into the middle of the show, determined to save my hero. My parents were never ones to cause a scene so I’m pretty certain they were mortified.
Israel was a good sport about it and posed for several pictures with his biggest fan. He even rode the roller coaster with me. I don’t know why everyone kept calling him Darby.