This weekend (Sept. 4-5) marks the second annual Daniel Boone Days festival in my lovely hometown of Boone, NC. From the looks of it, the festival has really taken off since last year — they’ve attracted some big names and the schedule is “jam packed with activities for all ages and tastes, including children’s music and games, living history, arts & crafts, food & drink, dancing, poetry, storytelling and live performances.” The festivities kick off Friday with the Dr. Edwin Arnold Daniel Boone Symposium today (full disclosure: Dr. Arnold, a.k.a. “Chip,” is my dad, and he was heavily involved with organizing the first festival last year).
It’s a good bet that if Hugh Morton were still around, he’d be in Boone with his cameras this weekend. (In particular, he would NOT miss an opportunity to photograph the setting of a new World Record for the “Most People Dressed Like Daniel Boone at One Time”!).
Like many who live in the Western part of our state, Morton clearly had a Daniel Boone fascination. Besides developing a Boone exhibit for Grandfather Mountain’s Nature Museum, he photographed Boone’s Horn in the West outdoor drama from its early days, when Ned Austin played the famous pioneer (see above), and took many a portrait of Glenn Causey (below), the actor who took over the role in 1956 and played it for the next 40 years! (FYI, the portrait of Horn author Kermit Hunter on the “Horn History” web page is also a Morton image).
Morton also photographed the graves of Boone’s parents in the Joppa Cemetery near Mocksville, as well as Asheville’s competing Daniel Boone drama Thunderland, including the mysterious portrait below, taken circa 1952. (Does anyone know who this is? Thunderland author Hubert Hayes? Composer Lamar Stringfield?)
Hope those attending this weekend’s festivities in Boone will report back! I myself am headed to the opposite end of the state for one last salty taste of sand and surf, before the delicious crisp of fall sets in for good . . .