From The Army Archerd Archive
May 8, 1968
GOOD MORNING: Fess Parker, back from 21 days in Vietnam, is already planning a return. However, next trip will not be a handshake tour, he sez — he’s taking girls — three beautiful girls and a club act. “I remember, one night I was in a place called Kon-Tum, talking with three GIs, playing hearts,” said Parker. “One of them called to another, outside on guard, ‘C’mon down here and meet Fess Parker!” The other one answered, ‘Hell I’d rather meet Faye Dunaway!'”… Parker says, ‘This was the greatest trip of my life. I sure got a lot of new and different thoughts.” P.S. Parker also smilingly reported “Dan’l Boone”is the number one show in Vietnam and Okinawa. The reception was reminiscent of my ‘Davy Crockett’ days”… (2008 Update: When I read Fess the above vintage Vietnam column, he was pleased to tell me “I still correspond with some of those men” He reminds me that wife Marcie (then Marcie Rinehart) was a singer along with Debbie Reynolds in a Johnny Grant troupe that toured Army bases including those in South Korea. Fess is now a great-grandfather — thanks to son Eli, grandson Christopher and one year-old great-grandson, Braeden. Fess will be 84, Aug. 16. His “Daniel Boone” TV series ran on NBC from September 1964 to August 1970. Five of the six seasons are out on DVD and a sixth and final season is being readied for inclusion at Christmas. Of the 164 shows, the first is in black & white, the rest in color. Also being readied to the holiday trade is a “Daniel Boone” play set from Brazzo Toys. Fess says the toys teach youngsters the “correct frontier values.” He has also talked to Disney’s Bob Iger suggesting the reissue of “Davy Crockett” films — which, Parker says, show the values of knowing about a young United States. He is also talking with Disney about the sale of “Davy Crockett” items, which he claims were made famous by him in those films… Fess is concentrating on the completon of his five-star Fess Parker Santa Barbara Waterfront Hotel expected to be completed in late 2009. He also owns (for 21 years) the Fess Parker Double Tree Hotel and the Fess Parker Wine Country Inn and Spa in Los Olivos. Fess and family — son Eli and grandson Christopher — and their Epiphany wine label recently won the No. 1, double gold prize at the international wine competition in San Francisco. In case you are shopping it’s the 2007 Grenache Blanc. Eli Parker tells me, their wine sales last year topped 100,000 cases. And Fess smilingly notes “there are some similarities between showbiz and the wine biz. “It’s the same dog-and-pony show,” he laughed.