I had a very cool moment while passing out my business cards at Hazzard Homecoming. Somebody recognized me! Gloria Kellogg said she knew my name and was already a follower of the blog. It was awesome. We talked for a while. I said it would be cool to get her take on the event. She put together a great post about her experience at Homecoming. She also took some great pictures. I didn't get to see the stage show while I was backstage. Gloria's pictures are exactly what my posts are missing. Here is Hazzard Homecoming 2012 from Gloria Kellogg:
Hello everyone. I am Gloria Kellogg. Long time Dukes Fan from a young age (yes I am at the age a woman does not like to say how old she is). Let’s say I did not have television until I was about 12 years old so I missed the first two years of Dukes. I found out about Dukes from the kids at school who were talking about the car “General Lee."
The weekend provided very little sleep on Friday and Saturday night. I had a plan put into action – Saturday was John’s & Sonny’s line – Sunday was Tom’s line. I had just seen Ben & Cathy up at the MOPAR show in Carlisle, PA in early July. I attended the Dukes event down in Galax, Virginia in June so I had just about everyone’s autograph with the exception of John, Tom, and Sonny.
I was very fortunate. John started signing autographs around 9:40 am so I was done by 10:15. I was stunned about how long the line was all day. Then next one up was Sonny. I only waited about 30 minutes. I enjoyed walking the grounds, looking at all the General Lees, and enjoying fabulous bluegrass music under the big tent. The best part was Saturday night and getting the cast up onstage. It was a great concert / splendid time. First Ben was the official announcer of all the great talent including the lovely, talented Stella Parton & Dr. Ralph Stanley.
Ben took the time to tell how Alma plans everything. I loved the part when he said they got married and she makes all the little decisions while he makes all the big decisions except in all their years together he has yet to make a big decision. I had the great pleasure of meeting Ben & Alma several times. In fact, living so close to the venue – there is many county fairs and that is how I met them years ago when Ben left Congress. I follow Ben & his garage band all over our area. If you ever get to Harrisonsburg, Virginia – please check out the Virginia Dreams Center Stage band (aka the Garage Band when they play with Ben). They are wonderful, talented, & superb people to listen to. If you are a bluegrass fan, another talented group is Shenandoah Drive.
About 7 PM was one of many amazing moments of the weekend. Ben & his garage band got things warmed up with some tremendous music. If you ever been to a Dukes event with Ben before – you know that special look he gets. Talking about how blessed his life had become in the fall of 1978, something changed his life forever. I don’t know if it was planned or not, but there was a siren that went off. Sonny Shroyer & Rick Hurst are on stage.
After the deputies were introduced, the sheriff was called.
Jimmy was abundant in humor. It was hilarious! Next comes barging on stage The Mayberry Deputy (David Browning). There was a lengthy discussion about who was the best lawman. The audience chose and of course, Sheriff Rosco won.
The first family of Hazzard now comes! Tom & John sang for 40 minutes Saturday night!
A good time had by all on stage & in the audience! A late night – with only about 4 to 5 hours of sleep, Sunday came fast.
Sunday was more emotional for me. Realizing that it was the last day of something very amazing; I had become friends with some great folks. I was in Tom’s line early. The wait was longer Sunday than on Saturday for John. I waited in Tom’s line for about 2 hours. This is when I hooked up with Larry. He was passing out business cards and I recognized the name. I started talking to him about the blog he put out on Thursday & like the saying goes – the rest is history. Thank you Alma! Here is my version from being in the audience. Sunday’s concert / getting everyone on stage was not as long as Saturday night because Ben said folks had planes to catch that night, places to be Monday so the cast reunion were on stage for about 30 minutes.
After the cast leaving the stage – I feel was the best part of any Dukes fan. The car jump! It was a Dukes fan dream come true – right there in the mountains of central Virginia.
Tom trying to get in!
John driving – Tom riding shotgun!
Tom holding on.
After the jump! They still got it 34 years later!
To the cast (John, Tom, Jimmy, Rick, Sonny, Cathy, Ben, and the stunt guys- Craig & Gary), volunteers, Alma (Ben’s wife), Dorothy (Jimmy’s wife), Polly (Sonny’s wife) everyone involved how can I thank you enough. Thank you for creating some priceless memories that will last a life time. As Ben said – for the show to sustain 34 years after the beginning – gives credit of the family sense of right and wrong the show portrayed. Not only that but what show out there in the past & present has the cast still being friends and family. I hope I speak for everyone attending this year, thank you for a superb, marvelous, & magnificent weekend.