Daniel Webster

Daniel Webster: (N) (1782-1852) U. S. statesman and orator

I’m often hesitant to talk about historical figures because I realize that many Americans are unaware of anything that happened in the cosmos before the day of their birth.

Now look at me—two days in a row: Daniel Boone and now, Daniel Webster.

But there’s something very significant to take out of the archives on Mr. Daniel Webster.

He was considered such a great orator and debater that they wrote a short story called “The Devil and Daniel Webster.”

I shall not take your precious time by going too deeply into the premise of the tale. Let’s just say it exalted one idea:

 Daniel Webster was so smart that he could out-think the devil.

I will tell you that if there were an actual being called Satan, then perhaps we could prepare to square off against him and win the day.

But since the devil has leased property in our own brain, we are usually not very successful at avoiding temptation and foolishness—because the actual dangling sin has been offered to us from us.

Therefore I would have to tell you, the possibility of the great orator, Daniel Webster, defeating the devilish orator, Daniel Webster, is slim to none.

 

Daniel Boone

Daniel Boone: (N) 1734–1820, an American pioneer, especially in Kentucky.

There’s a lot of things that can be said about Daniel Boone.

Like many historical figures, I don’t know if any of us would be comfortable sitting down and having a conversation with him, nor trying to adjust to his particular interpretation of hygiene.

It is a blessed realty that we are better off enjoying the deeds of our forefathers instead of actually having to put up with their attitudes.

But there are several things I like about Daniel Boone.

When he was floatin’ around, the frontier didn’t go any further than Kentucky. Beyond that was considered Indian country—and therefore, no need to cause trouble, since there was good land right under his feet.

I like that about him.

Something I could learn from Mr. Boone:

Stop complaining about where I am, thinking that a change of residence would do me better.

The second thing about old Daniel was that he shot, gathered and ate what was available to him.

I understand that a healthy diet is important, but sometimes, for a variety of reasons, the things we want to eat are not immediately accessible.

So if Daniel came across a bunch of rabbits, he was suddenly a great fan of bunny.

A whole bushel of wild blackberries could temporarily turn him into a vegetarian.

And he grew what the ground would allow.

The final thing about Daniel Boone that touches my heart is that he was encompassed by Native Americans—who were there long before he was. History tells us that Daniel chose to get along with them instead of trying to kill ’em all off. Matter of fact, he made friends with some of them. The natives became his buddies. They respected his frontier ability and were grateful that of the white people they had encountered, he seemed to be least offensive.

Many of the white men who joined him in Boonsboro married up with the Native Americans and didn’t feel they were slumming at all.

Now there’s three things I can learn:

  • Enjoy where you are and at least pretend it’s where you want to be.
  • Eat what’s available to you.
  • And get along with the people and creatures who are your neighbors.

I will guarantee you—if you do this, just like Old Daniel Boone, you can make the history books.

Buckskin

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Buckskin: (n) the skin of a male deer.

I saw it on TV.

I had to have it.

Being only ten years old, my negotiating skills were undeveloped. I explained to my mother and my father that the buckskin shirtDictionary B I saw the little boy wearing on the Daniel Boone television show was so cool that I must have one right now.

This was long before the Internet or when information on such garments was readily available. My mother actually had to write to the studio in Hollywood to find out where a shirt could be purchased.

I must tell you, she was in no hurry about it. Matter of fact, it took two months to get the letter written and a response back.

The studio was so kind they actually sent her a pattern for the shirt, explaining where to acquire buckskin.

Two immediate problems came to the forefront: the buckskin was very expensive, and the shirt pattern was sized for a boy who was rather small–which was not me.

So Mother found a seamstress who agreed to make the shirt for me as a Christmas present. But she explained to my parents that we would need two-and-a-half times the amount of buckskin to cover my skin.

The project was abandoned.

My parents emphatically explained that they could not use their entire paycheck for the next week to make me look like Daniel Boone’s little nephew.

I never got my buckskin shirt.

It was the first of many disappointments in my life, which fortunately did not lead me to a life of crime.

Though as you can see, I would have had a good excuse.

 

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Antler

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Antler: (n) one of the branched horns on the head of an adult (usually male) deer, which are made of bone and are cast off annually and regrown.

As is often the case, I will now expound on issues I know absolutely nothing about, but still manage to muster an anemic opinion.

I have gone hunting but am timid to mention it because around those who actually have a “Daniel Boone mystique,” I would appear to be less than a novice and probably considered a “dandy.”

But hanging around a lot of people who have hunted animals with antlers, I have discovered that the male of our species has succeeded in projecting its own insecurity about the penis onto the head decoration of the local, assumed macho, deer.

So supposedly, it is much better to shoot one of these animals with seven points than it is one with five.

I would assume the deer have obviously learned not to be so presumptuous to tout their prowess of being “boneheads,” knowing full well that come spring, they will have to start all over again.

Actually, to the deer a set of antlers is very similar to the savings account of the average American family–just when you think you’ve got a good start, it falls off.

So I do not think there really is “antler envy” among this deer species. It is something we attribute to them because of our male insecurity about our own growth potential.

Maybe we’d be better off if “it” fell off every year … and had to grow back.

 

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