The hearty voice was unmistakeable — I’d been listening to it on and off the screens large and small for 50 years. It was Fess Parker, once the “King Of the Wild Frontier,” and in recent generations, king of all he surveys from the sea — where his hotels flourish — to the mountains and the valleys where his vineyards reap top international awards for his (and his sons’) labels. Fess was phoning to get my email address for a holiday greeting.
Branden Parker’s angelic face greeted me. He is the first great-grandson for Fess Parker and wife Marcy. The note from Fess: “What a wonderful thing. A great-grandson. Looks like an actor to me.” His parents are Christopher and Michelene Parker and his grandparents are Eli and Laureen Parker. Fess, 84, and wife Marcy have been married 48 years. They plan a 50th wedding celebration when they complete construction of their newest hotel, next to their (20-years-old) Double Tree in Santa Barbara, where it is getting an extensive (and expensive) remodeling. The new hotel will give them 510 rooms side-by-side at the sea. “Davy Crockett” and “Daniel Boone” have indeed conquered, and converted, the wild frontier.