The stellar duo of Colonel Barney Combs, CIG, of Arnold, and Colonel Robert Pecoraro, CIG, of Cottleville, have been volunteering as reenactors for the past 30 years at The Historic Daniel Boone Home in Defiance.
Both will receive the National Association for Interpretation (NAI) Region 6 2017 Outstanding Interpretive Volunteer Award next month which recognizes the top interpretive volunteers from Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. The men also were honored recently by Missouri Governor Eric Greitens with a special proclamation celebrating their years of volunteering at the site.
For the past three decades, these Certified Interpretive Guides have been engaging audiences by bringing history to life at the home. Combs portrays Daniel Boone, famous Missourian and frontiersman, and Pecoraro represents John Filson, Boone’s popular publicist who made him famous. At each performance, these enthusiastic volunteers are known for bridging the past to the future through first-person interpretation.
“While the Boone Home is a beautiful building, it is a static object. It can’t talk, it can’t tell the stories of sacrifice, struggles, family, life, happiness and even death,” says Combs. “It can’t tell the story of slavery and Native Americans; those stories that are sometimes hard to tell. By portraying Daniel Boone, all of these stories can come to life.”
The passion these men have for history reaches beyond the borders of The Historic Daniel Boone Home. In 2007 Combs and Pecoraro were recognized with proclamations by former Missouri Governor Matt Blunt for their accomplishments and outstanding service in the field of historical interpretation. In 2007, they were commissioned by former Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher as Kentucky Colonels. In 2017, the St. Charles County Parks and Recreation Department presented each with the Lifetime Achievement Award for their many years dedicated to The Historic Daniel Boone Home. They will receive this latest national award at the annual NAI Region 6 workshop Feb. 25–28, in Grapevine, TX.
“Barney and Bob are wonderful ambassadors for The Historic Daniel Boone Home and the Parks Department, they bring so much knowledge and passion to all they do,” says Ryan Graham, Director of St. Charles County Parks and Recreation. “Their dedication to the site has left a lasting impact on thousands of visitors who have had the privilege to meet and learn from these gentlemen.”
“We are passionate about what we do because we believe in the people we portray,” says Pecoraro. “They are worthy of honorable portrayals; their experiences have applications in principles for those who live today. John Filson made Daniel Boone world famous in Daniel’s lifetime by writing and publishing Daniel’s adventures.”
You can get a sneak peak of Combs and Pecoraro talking about volunteering at the 1800s home in our upcoming Active by Nature Show that will be released on Thursday, Feb. 15. Watch the show online at www.stccparks.org or look for the link on our Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/StCharlesCountyParks.
Or, meet Daniel Boone and John Filson in person from 9 a.m.–3 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 17, at the Historian in Residence Program at the Boone Home. The men will be visiting with guests and discussing their collection of original antiques from the French and Indian War and Revolutionary War. Admission to the Boone Home is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors ages 60 and up, $5 for children ages 5–12, and active/retired military and kids 4 and under are free. There is no admission fee to enter the park grounds or the village grounds.
For more information about The Historic Daniel Boone Home or to book a home tour, call the park at 636-798-2005 or visit us at www.stccparks.org.
Colonel Barney Combs (left) and Colonel Robert Pecoraro.