Friday, April 22, 2016

The Grand Opening of Daisy Country Was So Much Fun

Settle in, this is a big one.  The Grand Opening of Daisy Country in Nashville was a huge success!  I had such a great time!

Daisy Country is the center of all things Daisy Duke.  From Dukes of Hazzard memorabilia to Catherine Bach's unique fashion, Daisy Country has it all.  It is located behind Cooter's Place on McGavock Pike in Nashville.

Cooter's has used the back portion for different things over the years such as a Sun Records museum and a rebel shop, but Daisy Country is the perfect use of the space.  This new partnership between Ben and Alma and Catherine Bach will mark a new age in Dukes fandom that will excite fans for years to come.  Everyone needs to check out Daisy Country in Nashville!

A highlight for me was finally getting to meet Cody Wells of C3Brix in person.  We've been talking on the phone, texting and interacting on Twitter for over a year now, but never met face to face.  Now we're basically best buds.  I spent a lot of time with Cody over the long weekend and enjoyed every minute of it.  Cody is a great guy and knows just about everything there is to know about Lego.  He has been a Dukes fan since the beginning but had never experienced a Dukes event before.  He loved it.

Along with designing the wonderful limited edition Lego General Lee that was sold at the event, Cody surprised Catherine with a absolutely stunning Lego portrait.  It was the hit of the weekend.  This gigantic work of art is made up of over 27,000 standard Lego pieces and is just amazing to look at.  Another reason you have to visit Daisy Country is to see the portrait for yourself.  It is amazing.

One more part to the story I have to introduce is my rental car for the weekend.  Last time I rented a sweet white Dodge Challenger.  This time they didn't have any Challengers, so I asked "do you have anything orange?"  They didn't disappoint with this great orange Mustang.  I know that Mustangs are usually "bad guy" cars on the Dukes, but this car was all good and was sure a lot of fun to drive around.  Love the color.

After finally meeting Cody in person at the hotel Thursday morning, and then meeting up with Miss Alma, Ben, and Catherine, the fun began.  We caravanned all over Tennessee and Kentucky.  Our first stop was a radio interview that was a lot of fun.

Everywhere we went people we taking so many pictures.  I'm not sure if Cody was prepared for his Dukes celebrity status.

We stopped by WBKO where Catherine and Ben did a live interview promoting the Grand Opening on Midday Live.  They did a very nice segment where they discussed the show and the store and all kinds of fun stuff.

After a commercial break, they came back to a segment with Cody and his masterpiece.  My Lego General Lees even made cameos.  It was a great piece and the anchors had a great time talking Dukes.  Cody did great too.  This isn't his first rodeo: he's been on the Steve Harvey Show, Wake Up New York, the WWE Network, and other shows showing off his Lego skills.

You can view both segments on WBKO's website here.

When we arrived at WBKO, there was a high school class touring the studio.  They were really excited to see actual Dukes of Hazzard stars.  I loved seeing the kids and interacting with them.  My mom taught TV/Drama for years at Brownsville Area High School and we went on several field trips like this.  After I graduated college, I was the media adviser for her TV program and went on more trips.  It's great to see a similar program having as much fun as we did.

Before we left, the class took a group shot with our stars, Catherine, Ben, and Cody...and of course the Lego Daisy Duke.

Next up was a fun interview on SOKY Sunrise on WNKY with Victoria Devon.  It was a lot of fun and Victoria was definitely a Dukes fan.

Thursday evening when we got back to the store, Cody placed the larger Lego General Lee on display in Cooter's Place.  He donated the car in memory of his Grandfather, Jack Caselman.  There are only four of these special highly detailed 1.25 scale Lego General Lees in existence.  I'm very proud to own one.

Friday was all about preparation.  I was with Miss Alma most of the day getting prepared for the big day.  Cody spent a majority of his day sorting the last few Lego sets.  He set up camp in the lobby of our hotel and went to work.  I spent some time with him there.  It was very funny to see hotel guests trying to figure out what he was up to.  Look at all those glorious orange bricks.

I had to play with the 01 pieces.  They are just so cool.

Cody also set up the room reserved behind Cooter's where the Lego class was to be held.  What a magnificent display of Dukes Lego greatness!

On Saturday morning, everyone got an early start.  The Dukes of Hazzard car owners always make an event at Cooter's special by parking their great cars out front.

If you were driving down McGavock Pike and saw these wonderful cars parked outside the Dukes of Hazzard museum, you would have to stop!

The fans lined up early to meet sweet Daisy.

We even had a General Lee Challenger.  The Gen'rals all looked great.

It was very fitting that there was a Daisy Plymouth front and center at the Grand Opening of Daisy Country!

We had a ribbon cutting ceremony and I got to play with the giant scissors.  I have no idea where Miss Alma got these things, but they sure were cool.  Unlike the giant scissors on Arrested Development, they worked perfectly.  Man, they were so big.

We had a very nice crowd for the ribbon cutting.  Dukes fans are the best.

Right away, Ben and Catherine went to signing autographs.  This guitar was autographed by several Dukes cast members.  Ben even commented that it was signed by Don Pedro Colley, Sheriff Little.

The cameras kept rolling and a local Fox affiliate popped in to interview Catherine and Ben.

Catherine was hard at wok all day making sure every fan was happy.  The new Daisy Country design on the wall made for the perfect backdrop for pictures.

New friend, Ryan, brought his General Lee and it was his first time at a Dukes event.  He had a blast.  Here is Ben signing the dash of his car.  Cody and I spent some time hanging out with Ryan and pals Friday night in the parking lot talking Dukes.  So much fun.

The wonderful Lisa Meadows was on hand to entertain.  She brought her lovely daughter Nikki along to the event.

Over in the events room behind the store, it was all Legos!

Everyone was hard at work putting together their Lego General Lees.  Cody hosted the classes and they included building challenges and all sorts of fun.  Everyone had a blast.

Cody helped several attendees build their cars, but most people were able to do it themselves.

The kids especially had a great time merging two of their favorite activities, Dukes and Legos.

One of the challenges Cody planned was to have kids bring their Dukes Lego creations from home.  David York from North Carolina was the big winner with his awesome Dixie Jeep.  David took home Cody's first place trophy.

David's Dixie Jeep is really great.  I'd add that bad boy to my collection.  I think David might have a future in Lego design.  Look out Cody!

Cody really loves Legos and the way they bring families together.  He had a great time sharing his Lego abilities with so many Duke fans.  The Lego classes by C3Brix at the Grand Opening of Daisy Country were very special.

Legos weren't the only things customized at the big event.  Friend of the blog, J. R. Garrett, built a great diorama containing the famed 71 car from the Georgia episode "Repo Man".  J.R. was very proud of his creation and he did an excellent job.  Cooter really loved the display.  Great job, J.R.!

Tubio Bethards also brought a great display to show off at Cooter's.  Here he is is showing off his Cooter's outfit and daughter.  J.R. also makes a cameo in this picture.

Tubio and his family built this display of Cooter's Garage and everyone loved it.

The detail is amazing and there are several episode specific Easter Eggs hidden throughout the display.  Tubio has true talent, and it shows in his work.

Tubio even customized his truck to be all Dukes.

One more really cool custom that I saw was this huge remote control tow truck that trailered a 1/10 scales RC General Lee.  It was huge.  Ben really loved it too.

One of my favorite things to do at Dukes events is just hang out with likeminded Dukes fans.  While fans are in line for autographs, I love to just start up conversations with folks.  I meet the greatest people at Dukes events.

This fan had his pet squirrel and puppy all Duked out.  Something new every day. 

Ben was in and out throughout Saturday.  Some fans were lucky enough to grab an autograph.  He signed some cars each time he went through.

The Dukes cars in attendance are amazing.  I love being around the General Lee.

This Duked up Challenger was a crowd pleaser.

A Gen'ral doesn't have to be spotless to be a hit.  Every time this car shows up, there are always rumors that it was used on the show and left like that.  We can spot clear evidence that it's not show used, but it still brings smiles.

We even have General Lee motorcycles.  We first saw this beauty at Hazzard Homecoming.

How can you not love seeing so many great Dukes cars.  Dukes events are so much fun. Hey look, there is PR Extraordinaire Amy Burge!

Later in the day on Saturday, I got to spend some time with my pals Gary Schneider and Brad Miller.  I think they really enjoyed talking with Cody.  Making good friends is what a good hobby is all about.  These three guys in this picture with me have all become very good friends of mine and I owe that to the Dukes of Hazzard.  This might be my favorite picture of the weekend.  

Sunday was another memorable day in Hazzard County.  I started off by taking a picture with the Mustang and the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile.  Always a good way to start the day.

While some of the General Lee owners were still setting up, I seized the opportunity to snap some pictures of the Mustang beside a Gen'ral.  I'll admit, my rental car can't hold a candle to the hero of Hazzard County.

Cody also grabbed some pics with the Gen'ral.

Ben was signing some autographs Sunday morning before the brunch.  He wasn't the only one.  Cody signed a few Lego General Lee Collector Tins.

A Dukes of Hazzard themed septic pumping and repair company?  Heck yeah!  The Dooky Boys, middle Tennessee's leader is septic services, stopped in to visit Catherine and Ben.  Brad Miller had told me about this truck as he spotted it in Lebanon, TN.  This is the General Pee.  The 02 represents...nevermind.  I love their sense of humor.  

The big event on Sunday was the brunch.  The nearby Nashville Palace once again hosted an intimate event that really made Dukes fans happy.  Lisa Meadows opened the show while brunch was served.

A limited number of tickets were sold and there was a nice crowd on hand.

Catherine and Ben had a lot of fun and you just knew Ben was going to sing a little.

Cody talked about his creation and his love for the Dukes.

Miss Alma sure puts together great events.  The best Dukes events are Ben and Alma Dukes events. 

I had the privilege of once again hosting a Q&A with Catherine and this one also included Ben.  I prepared some questions and the fans also came up with some great ones.  I love running around the crowd with a microphone in my hand.

The stories that Ben and Catherine shared are so special and make these events so great.  At a signing, you get a few minutes but probably can't remember that burning question you always wanted to ask Daisy Duke.  At our brunches, you have the opportunity to ask that question and hear others as well.  I love the Dukes Q&As.  I was really happy that fans even had questions for Cody during the Q&A.

We also had a Dukes trivia challenge.  I came up with some tricky questions and Alma awarded prizes.  Everyone really seemed to have a fun time.  

After the activities wrapped up, everyone lined up for more autographs.  I buzzed around the room talking to fellow fans.  So much fun.

Cody made some great connections and really enjoyed his time there.  I bet he makes some portraits for some of the people there.

Ben has so much fun talking to fans.  The fans love it too.  We all love Ben Jones.

Cody and I had to snap some pictures with the man before he left.  Thank you Ben for everything you've done for the world of the Dukes of Hazzard.

Catherine went back to her store to sign some more autographs.  Cody and I carried the huge portrait back in and asked her to sign it.

She said if she doesn't like what she wrote, she can always put new Lego bricks on it.  The portrait sure was a hit of the weekend.

Cody had a blast meeting some of his heroes.  I think Catherine was just as excited meeting him.

I had so much fun.  Thank you Catherine.  We're so happy you added Daisy Country to the Cooter's Place family.

I couldn't forgot contest winner Paul Letlow.  I got his winning Lego General Lee #101 signed by both Catherine and Ben.  

I sent it out immediately and he already sent me a picture of his new Lego proudly displayed in his Dukes collection.  Enjoy, Paul!

Daisy Country is a wonderful place that every Dukes fan should visit.  Catherine Bach has created a destination for fashion, Daisy Duke, and just plain fun.  You need to check it out.

I got a new great buddy in Cody.  I am confident that we will see more Lego Dukes in the near future.  Great job this weekend, Cody.  You've added something very unique to the world of Dukes Collecting.

It seems every time I go to Nashville, I try to recapture the original photo shoot we did for CMT back in '05.  The Mustang added a fun twist this time.  I'll probably be taking this same picture outside the Hilton in 50 years.  

Several fellow fans have asked about buying a Lego General Lee for their own collection.  There is a limited number of remaining Lego sets left.  To purchase your own set, give the Sperryville Cooter's Store, Cooter's in the Country, a call at 540-987-8844.  There aren't many left.  Get them while you can.