As a bear cub, Smokey was saved from a terrible forest fire. He then became a national hero, and a symbol of awareness for the prevention forest fires shortly thereafter.
Children everywhere fell in love with the bear cub fire fighters nicknamed Smokey.
I, however, had a special love for him because, he became my personal hero when my Father portrayed him at school functions and other affairs.
I remember waiting in anticipation, and almost uncontainable excitement, for Smokey to arrive for the yearly Fire Prevention Week.
Thank goodness, I had some patient teachers, because I was pretty persistent in asking them when Smokey was suppose to get there.
I would become so excited, for I knew that, under that Smokey the Bear suit was mY Father. A secret that only he and I shared made me feel very important.
I believed that my dad thought it important we keep the secret, because, he wanted all the other kids to think that he was the real Smokey the bear.
I remember feeling very proud during Fire Prevention Week because I knew that it was my Father who was dressed in the Smokey the bear costume.
It was he who was being very funny, and entertaining. He was the one who made my classmates laugh, while informing them that they could prevent forest fires.
Dressed as Smokey the Bear, my Father also marched in several parades. In fact, one of my proudest moments as a young girl, was marching arm and arm with Smokey during a Fourth of July parade.
Just knowing that so many young kids were looking up to him with love and respect made me feel so special.
I believed that Smokey loved me best, and I would hold my head high with an air of self importance.
When I was older I didn't have to keep the secret that our town’s Smokey the Bear was actually my Father. I did, however, have to keep the promise that I would not tell anyone that still may believe in Smokey.
The character of Smokey the Bear has always been a special connection between I my father and me.
It's ironic that at fifty eight I still believe in Smokey the Bear.
Not only what he stands for, but also for the sense of pride, love and respect I gained towards my father when he proudly portrayed Smoke the Bear.
July 20th, 1994 was Smokey’s 50th Anniversary, as a national symbol for the prevention of forest fires. I celebrated that day by attending a memorial celebration at Lumberman’s Monument.
I paid tribute to Smokey and pondered thought of the connection that Smokey the Bear, my father, and I have with one another.
I whispered to myself……. Thank you Smokey
Smokey the Bear was a three month old American Black Bear cub who was caught in the Capitan Gap fire in New Mexico that burned 17,000 acres in the Lincoln National Forest. Caused by a discarded cigarette butt.
Remember. Only you can prevent forest fires.
Smokey the Bear died in 1976 his remains are buried in the Smokey the Bear Historic Park in Capitan New Mexico.
My Father is now in in eighties and is still my hero.
To all you awesome Dads out there Happy Father's Day.
With love from V and the Modern Craft Team
High on a good Vibe