Wednesday, February 4, 2009

remember the alamo

Ok, here is an embarrassing story of how Karen's christian school was sadly lacking in it's history department. Or, more likely, I didn't pay attention in 7th grade. This story takes place a few weeks ago, and is (sadly) entirely true.

So we're Netflixers, and since Jim can check the internet at work, he's the sole decider of movies we should watch.

One day, as I picked up the mail at our PO Box, I noticed he'd gotten us The Alamo. And I thought to myself, good idea! I don't know a lot about that event and since we now live in Texas, it would be good of me to watch a documentary and brush up on my history.

But it wasn't until we popped it in, that I realized it wasn't a documentary at all. It was John Wayne in all his glory, bringing life to the legendary Davy Crockett. Wearing a coon-skinned hat and everything.

Learned history fact #1: Davy Crockett was a real guy. All this time I thought he was some fictional character made for TV shows and coon-skinned marketers. I really had no idea. And did you know he was a colonel? Yeah, me either.

So we're watching it and secretly I decide I'm pleased it wasn't a documentary but instead filled with the classic Wayne one-liners and bad acting of the 1960s. We continue to watch and the suspense builds as a small army is forming inside the walls of the Alamo.

And well into the movie, as Santa Ana's army approaches and they've got like 5000 soldiers and we, the Americans, only have like 200, things didn't look good for us. And I turned to Jim and with a very confused look on my face, I ask, "Do we not win?"

Learned history fact #2: We did not win the Alamo.

Jim pauses the movie and we have this conversation:

Jim: lovingly rolling his eyes and giving of those pity looks, "No, Karen, we lose pretty bad."
Karen: "Really! Wow. So the whole 'Remember the Alamo' isn't a good thing."
Jim: "Nope, pretty bad."
Karen: "Wait, so is this where Davy Crockett dies???"

Jim insists I just watch to figure that one out for myself. He didn't want to give away too much. He clicks on the movie and I watch with suspense while learning a little bit about American history from Hollywood, not from a teacher.

(I kinda felt like that one person in the theatre somewhere who was shocked when the Titanic sunk and Leonardo and Kate are seperated forever.)

I must add, though, that I've since felt a little vindicated. I've shared this story with a few close friends (only the close ones who know I'm not very smart) and more than one has said that they weren't entirely sure who'd won either.

So, I'm curious. If your husband was to bring home "The Alamo" and you hadn't read my blog today, would it be as suspensful for you???
Help my parents not feel so bad for all that money they spent on my education. Please.


Muthering Heights said...

I'm not familiar with all the little details, but I'm sorry, I did know that we didn't win, and that Davy Crockett was real. :(

You should check my post from Tuesday - Bootsie Baby summed up the story of the Titanic quite nicely...

LifeAtTheCircus said...

OK... I was one of "those friends"
who when you tell me that is how it ends, I'm like yea... I knew that, but if I was asked on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, I probably would have used a life line b/c I wasn't absolutely certain... so you are not alone.

And to make it worse, my dad was a big john wayne guy growing up and i feel like we had john wayne on in the background throughout my growing up years.

adoptionroad said...

There is a lot they didn't teach us at that fine institution on the east coast. I found that out living in Asia and seeing how little is taught about that section of the world.

Now that Steve is teaching (read... relearning) military history including US history, we have a constant stream of history flixs in the house. Many of the outcomes have surprised me as well, so I know the look you got. But I am relieved that I know more than some of his cadets. One student couldn't even label North America correctly on a map. So that makes Stay-at-home-mom 1, America's finest 0

boqpod said...

Oh man! That was belly-bustin' hilarious!

Judi was having a hard time reading along with the laptop bouncing up & down on my stomach like a John-Wayne-Driven buckboard.

And now that you're a Texan you should know it wasn't us "Americans" (although many from the States snuck in to fight "The Mexican Napolean" Santa Ana) who fought & died there: they were Texans! They were fighting for Texas independence which was finally gained at the Battle of San Jacinto where the battle cry was "Remember the Alamo".

Learned History Lesson #319: Texas was the only independent republic admitted to the Union. (Although California, the "Bear Flag Republic", had declared independence from Mexico for less than a month...I don't know if that counts or not)

Ask Jim about the legendary origin of the song, "The Yellow Rose of Texas".

We love the Alamo! Judi cried every time we went there when we lived in San Antonio. You should go there, see the IMAX film ("The Price of Freedom") across the street at the Rivercenter. Don't miss the monument donated by the Japanese prince.

Our Texas friends framed an antiquated copy of Colonel Travis famous letter.

All this is no fault of Glenn & Sue's: I learned this all after Univ of Maryland-where I also didn't learn there were 3 branches of gov't.

Shawna said...

You are hysterical! You have to make it to the Alamo. It is a great place & so much history there. They even have the coon hat there! Very cool & San Antonio...WOW....what a fun city.
I think it is quite funny what we learn now...or maybe just now GET....that we should have learned in elementary but didn't until now?? I think teachers should get to visit some of these places and maybe they would teach things better?
You are awesome! Keep up the blogging! I love hearing these Karen stories...& thank you for sharing with the rest of us..not just keeping this story for the select few :)

Erin said...

Okay, so I knew Davey Crockett was real and had something to do with the Alamo, but I did not know that we lost... My excuse was that was the one year I went to public school... just kidding. No offense!

Rebecca said...

Here's what I know about the Alamo:

1.) It's in Texas.
2.) I think the Miss America pageant was held or is held near there.

I did not know anything about its history, but I did go through Pa's finest public school system prior to the Bush administration No Child Left Behind act.

Apparently, the class of 00 was left quite behind.

And, I want to see Crystal on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. Good post, though...hilarious! I loved the conversation between the two of you.

Megan said...

I knew Davy was real and that we lost the Alamo....but, I'm one of those who watch movies and think/hope (b/c I don't say it out loud) maybe this time the Titanic won't sink (or maybe Kate would scootch over and give Leo a spot next to her) I probably would have had a similar feeling, just hoping maybe we'd have a nice happy Hollywood ending.

Crafty P said...

I'm one of those people who know a little bit about a lot of things but often gets her facts intermingled with falsities. SO, I had no idea we didn't win the Alamo, I'm absolutely positive that we touched upon it somewhere in the course of my schooling and I could sing that song "Davy, Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier", well, at least that part out loud. I also owned a coon skin (not real) hat at one point during my childhood. ANd you've just brought me down memory lane a bit with it. thanks!

Kerri Smith said...

I wore a coon-skin cap in 6th grade. And I didn't know we lost. ouch.

Your Brother said...


FYI - Custer doesn't make it through his last stand :-).

Holly Jendrey said...

Hey Karen,

I didn't know anything about the Alamo unti the new movie that came out a few years ago. Jake and I went to see it in the theatre. I did know Davy Crockett was real because Jake grew up with one of his decendants who was named David Crockett.

Sarah said...

popping over from Megan's blog...that's too funny. I knew that Davy Crockett was a real guy, but I had NO idea that he was involved in the Alamo. I thought he lived on the frontier and hunted coons or something...not a war hero/military person. Hmmm...I love history but as I age, my brain cells are getting fewer and far between. (I blame the pregnancy for that along with a lot of other changes in my body:-)

great blog...I enjoy reading it!