Thursday, January 22, 2015

Paul Letlow's Unique Dukes of Hazzard Items

One thing I love about running this blog is the interaction I get to have with fellow Dukes fans and collectors.  Before the blog, I only interacted with a small group of fans, but these days I meet new people every day.  I've met many collectors who love showing off their Dukes items as much as I do.  I love letting fellow fans write about their collections and featuring them here.  

I first started talking to collector Paul Letlow after the Kickstarter concerts.  He attended the Lousiania concert and sent me some info on it.  Paul collects all kinds of "stuff," including sports memorabilia and Dukes of Hazzard items. He lives in Louisiana. Take it away Paul.  

"As a sports memorabilia collector and a Dukes of Hazzard collector, I wanted to create a custom item that blended the two interests.


My sports stockpile includes a number of autographed football mini helmets, so I decided to make my own “General Lee” edition.


I purchased everything I’d need on eBay, starting with a blank orange helmet shell. These are usually priced around 10-15 bucks.  I found a sheet of 1:10 scale decals ($7) that worked perfectly, and I already owned a spare black facemask to give me what I’d use to complete the project.




Before the decals arrived though, I had the chance to attend a Dukes of Hazzard event in Livingston, La. There I was able to get autographs on the helmet from both John Schneider and Tom Wopat. Schneider got into the spirit of things too, signing his name along with the inscription “Bo - 1,” like a sports figure would add his jersey number. Both were kind enough to sign along the top ridge of the helmet, so affixing the decals was no problem once they came in about a week later.



I opted for the “01” on both sides and used the license plate decal and another small racing decal on the back. The flag decal fit perfectly on the front “bumper.” I considered using a gray facemask, but think black works better. The only change I might make is using a two-bar mask to give it more of a throwback look. Still, I was pleased with how it turned out.




 Keeping with the sports theme, my eclectic collection also includes an autographed baseball by the Boss himself, “Sorrell Booke.” Another eBay purchase, I can’t 100 percent vouch for its authenticity but it certainly appears legit based on other signatures I compared it to online.



 Finally, I was able to get my large Coleco General Lee pedal car signed by the boys when I attended their December Kickstarter concert in Livingston, La., at the John Schneider Studios property. When Wopat saw me carrying the car in, he laughed and said “Well ain’t that cute!” Both were happy to autograph it during the meet-and-greet part of the program.  

Thanks to Larry for his invitation to write a guest blog. As I told him in an e-mail, looking at his collection online is a lot cheaper than buying it all myself!"





Thanks Paul for sharing your very cool items.  I'm pretty certain that baseball is legit as well.  



Paul also sent this very cool picture of another fan's autograph collection he was looking through at the Louisiana event.  Would you look at that, I'm in the background on a John Schneider autographed picture!  I'd be glad to sign that picture as well!  Ha!  I'd love to find out who has the picture and get a copy.  



Monday, January 19, 2015

Ten Years Ago Today I Was On Set Of The Dukes of Hazzard Movie


2005 was such a fun year.  I started the year by flying down to Baton Rouge, LA to film my scenes as an extra in the Dukes of Hazzard movie.  In late 2004, when I was in grad school at California University of Pennsylvania,  I was vigilantly following the production of the movie online.  I was on top of everything from casting to set location to catering and  looked for every morsel of information I could. Then I found the information on the extras casting company.  I crossed my fingers and gave it a shot, wrote a letter explaining my love for the Dukes, and sent some pictures of my (then modest) collection.  I convinced Natalie to go along with the submission and sent some pictures of her too.   While I was working in the housing office for my graduate assistant job, I got one of the best phone calls of my life (several occurred in 2005.)   The casting director liked my submission and invited me and Natalie to be featured extras in the movie.  I'm pretty sure I made a scene in the housing office.  I was so excited.  They gave me the dates and all I had to do was get to Louisiana in January.


We flew to Baton Rouge on January 18th.  Our call time wasn't until the 19th.   We had no idea what to expect.  When we got through the airport and into our rental car, we started to drive to our hotel. As soon as we got on the highway, I spotted a familiar orange friend.  Without even trying, I pulled into traffic directly behind the movie General Lee you see above.  Fate put me there.  It was the Dukes of Hazzard's way of welcoming me to the new Hazzard County.  Again, I was so excited.  We followed the Gen'ral for a few miles until we spotted our exit.  Tomorrow was a big day and we needed our rest.


Our location was the State Capitol Dragway in Erwinville.  As soon as we arrived, we knew we were in the right place.  The giant tire with the Hazzard Road Rally greeted us.  We truly were in Hazzard.

I was able to get a call sheet and some other relics from the shoot.  It is filled with information about the production.  It lists the vehicles used like the five Hazzard County Police Cars and the five Georgia State Police Cars as well as the different General Lees.  It has the call times of the different actors and all kinds of cool info.


The packet also includes a diagram of the set.  It is interesting to look over these materials again.  It was such a whirlwind experience and I'm glad I have these things to help me remember all the details. Back in '05, I didn't have a good digital camera that would allow me to take a million pictures. Natalie had a very nice film camera.  With film cameras, you were always conscious of the number of pictures you were taking, at least I was.  I didn't take as many pictures as I do these days at a Dukes event, but I captured some fun moments.


We were on set for a total of four days.  We filmed several scenes in the movie.  We weren't allowed to have our cameras with us while their cameras were rolling.  We filmed the scene where Sheev tries to convince everyone to follow him to the courthouse.  I was one of the hog dog throwers.  Interesting to me was the fact that they were actually Johnsonville Franks.  They had a big presence on location, but weren't played up in the movie like I thought they would be as product placement.  We also filmed the scenes where they start the race and when the General enters the race late.  Here are the two "hero" cars used in the fast driving scenes.


Though it was supposed to be summer time, it was cold in Bayou.  We had to keep taking our jackets off while they were filming.  The tent behind me and General Lee was where ate each day.  They put out a spread for us!  I've been on the set of a few productions but none of them measured up to my first one.  The caterers did a great job.  Imagine that, during my look at the filming of a major motion picture, I talk about food.  Craft services says good food makes good movies.  I agree.


At different times while we were on set, the cars were parked in picture friendly places.  Here I am with Boss's Cadillac.  It is very similar to the car used on the show.  The biggest differences are the hubcaps, the bull horns pointing forward instead of up, and the addition of pistol door handles.  You actually had to pull the trigger to open the doors.


When I took this picture with Billy's Mustang, the engine was running.  I really had to fight the urge of taking off in it.  But if I was gonna get kicked off the movie for stealing a car, it would be a General Lee, not the "bad guy car."


The General took a beating in the movie.  It was cool to see different cars with the same damage done to them.  I think this car would look better with a Dukes of Hazzard fanatic standing in front of it...


Much better.  The movie Generals have the passenger side mirror on them.  The TV Generals did not. Another subtle difference is the white letters on the tires.  There weren't many other differences from the show cars.  But you'd barley ever see the Gen'ral this beat up on the show.  You can see the camera cranes and other race cars in the background.


I was on set for four days, but had to wear the same clothes each day.  I still have the outfit in storage. I envision dressing a mannequin in those clothes one day in the movie area of my museum.  This picture has me in front of a clean Billy Prickett car with another beside it.  There's a General in the background and a race car in the foreground.  It was like a Dukes event with so many Hazzard cars all over the place.


All the police cars were parked on the other side of the dragway.  The blue cars are the Hazzard cars, and the white is the state police car.  I wonder why they took so much liberty with the police cars and changed them so much.  The Autotrader  #New01 commercial did the right thing and used the same Hazzard County uniform of newer Chargers.  They should have done that for the movie.   2005 was the beginning of "long-hair Larry."  It lasted for a good five years and got really long.  Sometimes I miss the long hair, it was fun.


This is Rhys Millen.  He was the stunt driver and double for Seann William Scott's Bo Duke.  He was wearing a wig to look like Seann.  He is also wearing a custom Led Zeppelin shirt that the movie made popular.  I happen to get one to add to my collection.  There aren't many out there.  Oddly enough the wig he is wearing has popped up on ebay a few times, but for way too much money.  I don't think it ever sold.  It would be cool to put on said mannequin.  Natalie sure is pretty.


I did spend a little time talking Dukes with the director Jay Chandrasekhar on set.  He really loves the Dukes and has fond memories watching it growing up.  His final vision might not have meshed well with a majority of the Dukes of Hazzard fans out there, but he did his best.  He respected the General Lee and kept the story about Bo, Luke, Daisy and Uncle Jesse.  It was geared toward a different audience than the original show.  Casting the stars of Jackass and American Pie told you from the beginning where the movie was going.  Some people have their issues with the Dukes of Hazzard movie, but I love it.  I still watch it when it's on, which has been a lot recently.  I am a fan of Jackass, American Pie, and Jay's Super Troopers.  Mix those movies together with Hazzard County and you get the Dukes of Hazzard movie.  Just be sure to add a little bit of Larry Franks to the mix.

I didn't get to talk to the stars of the movie while on set.  But I did get to talk to nearly all of them about the movie and my love of the Dukes later in the year at the Hollywood premiere at the world famous Chinese Theatre.  But that is a story for another post.  Stay tuned!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

New Dukes Stuff - 1/13/2015 - Shirt, Jersey, Tattoo, Coolie and More



Looking over the blog, it seems I haven't posted a "New Dukes Stuff" entry in quite some time.  I gotta get back to these.  This post is full of a bunch of crazy and unique items that have nothing in common except the Dukes of Hazzard.  Let's dig in.  


First off is this Boars Nest shirt.  I love me some Boars Nest shirts.


I've never seen this particular shirt before.  It has a "shiny" gold print to it.  The "Hazzard County's Finest Water Hole" tagline is new to me.  I like it!  I'm not sure when this shirt was available or who made it.  It looks like a licensed product to me, but doesn't have any tags or trademark information on it, like most shirts do.  I bought it on ebay.


It has the go-to logo on it that adorns most newer products.  I'm guessing it's a newer release.  I wish I knew where it came from so I could get another to actually wear.  Ah, collector problems.


The tag is pretty generic.  No mention of WB or Dukes like we have seen on other newer Dukes shirts.


Now this is a unique shirt.  This is a Catherine Bach Superbowl Pin-Up Golf charity football jersey.


I also got this one on ebay, so I had to do some research on it.  The seller didn't have much information about it.  It definitely has a Daisy Duke look to it.


The CB logo is the logo Catherine uses on her personal clothes line.  I have a signed pair of her Daisy Dukes from her line in the collection.


Pin-Up Golf is a charity organization that hosts golf outings in the Los Angeles area.


I can't find a reference to this shirt or event online.  It seems Pin-Up Golf hosted an event that was in conjunction with the NFL around 2008 and Superbowl 42.


I'm guessing Pevonia Botanica Skincare was also involved.


The jersey is made by Reebok and has the NFL logo on it.  The tag area has Catherine's signature printed on it.


The front of the shirt also has Catherine's autograph as well as her signature outline.  This outline is used on here clothing line and has become the symbol for the Hands on Hips Society that she and Miss Alma started.


This is a confusing item.  My guess is that Catherine was involved in a fundraiser around February 2008 and had these shirts printed up.  It is a very high quality jersey.  I can now say that I have an NFL/Dukes item.  I love weird additions to the collection.


Back to items I know most everything about.  These are promotional giveaways to promote the movie.  They are two small pins and a temporary tattoo.  The only thing I don't know is where they were given away.  I wish our theaters gave things like this away.  I see a lot of movies and don't get any freebies for it.  If I was around when these were given out, I'd have gone home with probably all of them.


The back of the tattoo has instructions as well as the opening date and website for the movie.  I remember when DukesofHazzard.com had some really fun games, pictures and videos on it.  Now it just has a link to the Warner Bros. online store where you can buy the dvds.  Or at least it did last week.  Now it has Marvin the Martian telling us that the item we are looking for is no longer available.  Come on WB!  SpaceJam.com has been up since the beginning of the internet.  Give us some online Dukes goodness.  I guess if you want online Dukes goodness, you come to DukesCollector.com.  That works for me.


Someone must have found a new old stock of these Dukes digital clocks.  Just like the Unisonic watches and calculators before them, these have been showing up on ebay a lot lately.  I had one before but the blister had separated from the card.  Sure, if you have several to sell at a cheap price, I'll buy some.


The Stick-Up Digital Clock is basically a watch with no band.  It has adhesive on the back and can be stuck to things.


The tiny clock had a tinyer picture of the General Lee skiing away from Rosco.


Those are fine places to stick your Dukes clock.


This clock has very modern-for-1981 features like date, hours, minutes, and seconds.


All of the instructions are on the back of the card.


Dukes of Hazzard time keeping has come a long way in these thirty some years.  This is my Dukes decorated Moto 360.  It keeps the date, hours, minutes, and seconds and also can text, email, tell me the weather and open my blog.  It can't play dixie though.  One of these Unisonic watches has that on it.  Mabye the next version...


Here is a cool piece.  It is the instruction manual to the French version of the Dukes of Hazzard: Return of the General Lee Playstation 2 video game.  Foreign language variations make for fun items to collect.  I have a few foreign versions of the movie and some lobby cards, but not much else.  I gotta find more foreign Dukes of Hazzard things.


As I've discussed before, Sherif Fais-Moi Peur traslates to Sheriff do I fear.  Which is weird, because no one feared Rosco.  I like how they also added the standard American Dukes logo to the package.  I only got the manual for the French game.  I would love to find the actual game.  Maybe they have one in France.





It's fun to see all of the descriptions of the characters and vehicles in French.  If I was in high school taking a French class, I'd use this in a project.  I bet I'd get an A.


Next up is another Dukes of Hazzard Super Stunt Wheelies General Lee Stunt Buster with Crash Wall.  Longest title ever for a Dukes car.  I have several of these cars.  They came with the Barn Buster and Speed Jumper playsets.  I also have another one like this carded that is in pretty bad shape. That one had the General Lee decals already applied to the car as well as the decal to the Crash Wall. This one has them in the package.  It is in better condition, but not great.  This is a pricey car and really tough to find in good condition.   I'm glad I found this one.


The back of the card has an ad for the Finger Racer Crash Cars.  Those are also very fun toys.


Finally I have a very unique item.  It is a promotional "coolie" or "cozy" (depending on where you're from) that was issued to promote the Dukes of Hazzard: Racing for Home video game that was released in 1999.  I don't think I've ever seen any promotional items for this game.  This is a great score.


The front features the game logo and the back has a poorly done rendition of the 01.  It also features the WB and SouthPeak International logos.  I bought this from a seller who had a lot of video game promo items for sale.  It even came in an inside-out Gamespot box.  My guess is that this was given out only to video game stores so they would sell the game.  So not only is it rare, it wasn't originally meant to be sold.  Double score!  Thanks greedy Gamestop employee for holding on to this thing for sixteen years to then make a small profit on it!


It isn't as soft as I'm guessing it once was.  It is also a little misshapen.  I bet if I put a can of Coca-Cola in there for a while it will go back to the right shape.  This is a really cool piece.  I love the odd stuff.