Davy Crockett. By Robert Hollmann.
Dallas: Durban House, 2005. paperback 143 pages
Robert Hollmann is a West Texan, now an Odesaa barrister who teaches now and then at UT-PB; he has had seven novels published and written a play, “The Last Ball,” and was selected Best West Texas Author for 2005 in a poll conducted by The Odessa American and Hastings Book Store. Hollman uses an interesting device to present his fictionalized, but factual, biography of the Texas icon. Three youngsters, with a school lesson to be accomplished, visit the Alamo, find themselves locked in a closet where the “ghost” of Crockett appears through a magic time tunnel. The kids agree to go back with him where they’ll witness his life from an invisible status to all but the frontiersman who carries on a conversation.
The story continues in the Tennessee woods at Crockett’s homestead where his wife Polly soon dies. The children sense not just the death as a fact but also as empathetic companions, and points to where Hollmann finds some of the success of the book - the children become emotional partners of the character. Crockett acknowledges to them that he has become captured by his public legend that is different from his own real life. The author then proceeds episodically to take Crockett, and the kids, on to Washington and elsewhere, and finally to Texas and the Alamo.
As the Mexican assault troops are breaking down the doors literally, Crockett sends the children home – certainly a good thing to do, leaving the readers to wonder “how did Davy die.”