Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Brad Miller Takes Us To Cooter's Place in Gatlinburg

Your pal and mine, Brad Miller, recently visited Cooter's Place in Gatlinburg, TN.  He wrote a post all about the other great Dukes of Hazzard destination.   It's all yours Brad.

I would like to thank Larry for allowing me to share with everyone our visit to Cooter’s in Gatlinburg. My wife, Lynn, and I needed a little get-a-way for a few days and decided to head to the mountains. So…..I just had to stop in at Cooter’s while I was there. We live in middle Tennessee and a mere 20 minutes from Cooter’s in Nashville, so I get to visit that store quite often (still not as often as I would like). I am sure the employees get tired of seeing me there but they are always so nice and knowledgeable.

I would like to send out a very special thanks to Joe Pulley (Co-Manager at that store) for making me feel welcome and allowing me to walk around and take pictures of everything. I told Joe and some other employees there about the blog so maybe they will check it out.

As you walk in you are greeted by none other than the ole General himself. So of course I had to take that opportunity to get another picture with him (you know, you can never have too many of those).

They had a mini General sitting out front to lure you in to the go kart racing (ahhh…if only I could fit in one).

I did however get some pictures of others enjoying the race track. It is a small track, but it does have the benefit of being indoors. So no matter how hot or cold, rain or snow, you can still ride at Cooter’s. And you have several Hazzard County vehicles to choose from.

Just in case anyone is wondering about the driving/riding requirements I included a picture of that too.

In the main foyer after you walk up the stairs by the register is a real neat diorama in a glass case of a scene at the Duke Farm.

This picture is hanging on the wall behind the diorama and I just had to share it. Mainly because my sons have a Cozy Coupe car and I have been saying for quite some time that I am going to turn it into a General Lee but have yet to do so (not sure what I am waiting on).

They also offer indoor mini golf (18 holes). So there again you don’t have to worry about the elements outside to keep you from playing. Each hole/room offers or is going to offer a different type theme. Joe told me they are giving it an overhaul to update it and make it more detailed and more like Hazzard County. They have the Boar’s Nest (hole #18) almost complete. I am excited to see what the finished product of all 18 holes will look like. There is a lot of potential there if they decide to run with it.

After you pay for your mini golf and are heading for hole #1 you will be greeted by a black bear decked out in his 01 sunglasses and hat. Also there is an old Uncle Jesse moonshine still.

The Boars Nest looks really good and they are working on the jail. I think they should do different places from Hazzard County like the Duke Farm and Cooter’s Garage.

As you go from room to room on the golf course they have a lot of posters/signs hanging up. Some of the ones I found really cool were the ones that had information on them that kind of gives a back story to the characters/vehicles from the show. It was interesting to read and also gives someone that may not be too familiar with the show some history of it. I included a few of them in the blog. Sorry for the glare on some of them.

Here is one of the posters/metal signs that most of us should be familiar with.

Unlike Nashville, this store doesn’t offer a museum for visitors, however, they do have some show used items there (like a couple of Cooter’s outfits) and some items from the Dukes Golden Age (using Larry’s term there, which I do like his way of deciphering different items putting them into the age bracket). Although being in Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge you have to offer the mini golf and go karts. I thought about comparing the two but it would really be like comparing apples to oranges. They both offer a unique Dukes experience in their own right. Since I’m not big into go karts and mini golf I prefer the Nashville store with the museum and more cars from the show you can get pictures in/with. My boys however prefer the Gatlinburg store since they like doing the activities there. I highly recommend visiting both stores if you get the chance, you won’t be disappointed in either.

Like the Nashville store, the Gatlinburg store offers a lot of Dukes of Hazzard and General Lee items for sale. They offer a wide array of items so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding yourself or someone you know something.

They changed their sign the second day I went there although I think they mean they are “accepting” not “excepting” applications. Larry, I got you and me an application. What do you think? It would be quite a commute for you though.

Again, I would like to thank Larry for allowing me to share this with you all. Hopefully this has inspired some of you to take the trip to Gatlinburg and visit Cooter’s. YeeHaw!!!

Sounds like a plan to me Brad.  Thanks for the great post!

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.