Thursday, June 1, 2023

Daniel Boone Was A Man. So Were Donald Ross and Larry Bird


I'm just a little surprised we didn't come home with a coonskin cap. 

"Do you think the girls would like one?" Randy said, as he stood in the gift shop at Fort Boonesborough. I may have rolled my eyes. OK, you know I did.

Randy was the one who loved the television show, Daniel Boone. Fess Parker starred as Daniel Boone in the TV series that aired from September 1965 to May 1970 for 165 episodes. The show was broadcast in "living color." I haven't tested the theory, but I'm guessing the girls haven't heard a lot about Daniel Boone in school.

However, Randy's love of the show likely fueled our visit to Fort Boonesborough.  And even I remember some of the television series' song:

Daniel Boone was a man,
Yes, a big man!
With an eye like an eagle
And as tall as a mountain was he!

Boonesborough, Capital of the Colony of Transylvania, was settled in April 1775 by Daniel Boone as the first fortified settlement in Kentucky.  Daniel Boone is the preeminent symbol for America's westward movement across the frontier. Hundreds of thousands of settlers of European descent poured into America's heartland along Boone's Trace, passing through the Cumberland Gap. Boone and 30 axmen, along with two women camp keepers, set about clearing a path for others to follow into and through the knobby hills of eastern Kentucky to the edge of the Bluegrass region. Although attacked by the Shawnee along the way, Boone and the survivors arrived at the Kentucky River and began to build Fort Boonesborough. 

The current fort was reconstructed as a working fort with cabins, blockhouses and furnishings. Resident artisans perform craft demonstrations and give modern-day visitors a sense of what life was like for pioneers in Kentucky. It's now a state park located near Richmond, Ky.

That included a blacksmith. (What little boy doesn't think playing with fire might be fun?)

There was also a woodworker, shaping wood the old-fashioned way.

A carver made horns into works of art.

But there were also re-enactors celebrating "women's work."

The Daniel Boone stop fed Randy's childhood obsession. A stop in French Lick, Indiana, was more attuned to his current interest - golf. 

The Donald Ross Course at French Lick was built in 1917 by architect Donald Ross. 


Among the trademark Ross features are 80 bunkers, 35 of which are original to the course. 


The par-70 course has been rated the No. 2 public course in Indiana by GolfWeek every year since 2011.

It was originally called The Hill Course. After a $5 million restoration in 2005, it was renamed The Donald Ross Course at French Lick.

I didn't even get my book out all that much while Randy played.

Donald Ross wasn't the only famous name in French Lick. It's the hometown of NBA star Larry Bird. While there, we ate at 33 Brick Street, which had an extensive collection of Bird's memorabilia. There are also signed jerseys from stars like Emmitt Smith, Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretsky, Lou Brock, Magic Johnson, Joe Montana and Walt Frasier.

If you've stuck with me through all the posts from our trip, you should win a gold star. As it is, I'll just extend my thanks for reading. We will now return to regular programming.


  1. I’ve enjoyed every minute of your trip,thanks!

    1. Thanks for faithfully reading!

  2. Ditto the above comment. After a lifetime of being chained to the farm almost 24 / 7, it is wonderful seeing Randy enjoying travelling, playing golf and having time for himself. Dare I ask how many bunkers his ball visited?

    1. He's certainly not ready for the senior golf tour, but he does all right. I tried golfing several years ago and was terrible at it. That's why I read - ha!