Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The Dukes of Hazzard Fan Get-Together at Cooter's In Luray 5/12/2018


I just got back from another wonderful trip to Luray, VA.  Man, do I love it there!  This time it was the first DukesCollector sponsored event, The Dukes of Hazzard Fan Get-Together, and I stress first, as I'm hoping this becomes a regular event.  In addition to a concert by Ben Jones, Lisa Meadows, and Cooter's Garage Band, as well as the first Cooter's Cruise In car show of the year, the Get-Together brought additional Dukes fans to Cooter's Place and it was a blast.  Let's take a look at some pictures and I'll tell you some stories.


I've said this before, but the newest Cooter's Place is such an amazing place.  It really is the perfect venue for Ben and Alma's museum and has so much to offer us fans.  My thoughts behind the Get-Together was to try to attract some fans that might not normally be there on a random Spring Saturday.  Definitely not an event that would compete with the bigger events such as Last Stand or Homecoming, I want the Get-Together to be a laid back event, but more often than the big ones.  I'm happy to report the the first one was a success and we're planning on doing it again.


Dave DeWitt's traveling Dukes of Hazzard museum was definitely a big draw for the event.  Dave and Melissia put so much into their collection and museum and love to show it off.  As soon as I had the idea for the event, I knew I had to get Dave and Melissia involved.  They were happy to come aboard and the museum was once again a hit.  I've met a ton of fellow collectors inside Dave's trailer.


One fellow Dukes Collector I met over the weekend is Eric Heinrich.  Eric made this impressive General Lives cooler for transporting his memorabilia.  What a great idea!  This box was full of awesome Dukes pieces.


An item Eric brought along was this incredible diorama featuring the General Lee jumping over the creek.  Eric let Dave display it in the museum for the day.  I love when all the collectors get along and there's no competition or rivalry between us.


It was a dog filled weekend at Cooter's  This fine Lab is doing a Flash impression.  He nailed it.


You might have noticed the Rosco, Cooter, and Boss photo stand behind the Lab.  New additions to Cooter's in Luray are that stand and the above Luke, Daisy, and Bo in front of the General Lee.  These stands are a great idea and fans were constantly peeking through to take a Hazzardous picture.  Another wonderful gift to the Dukes fans from Ben and Alma.


Cooter's Garage Band always puts on a fun show.  Lisa, Robbie and the crew never disappoint.


Miss Alma brought their dog, Mosby, to the store.  He had a good time.  He even signed a few autographs.


We were treated to a rare performance by Miss Alma during the concert.  She sang a duet with Ben.


The Dukes Fans brought their Hazzard vehicles.  Rosco'e Patrol Car was looking better than it ever did on the show.


The Dixie Jeep was also a part of the fun.


There are even Hazzard vehicles for the little Dukes fans at Cooter's.  Along with this go-cart, there're the General lawn mower and the fleet of Dukes Cozy Coupes made by our pal Hank Lail.


There were a few General Lee tribute vehicles at the show.  It's great to see fans Duking up their rides.


Now here's a cool car.  I recently started messing around with Instagram.  You can check out my new account @dukescollector.  On there I've met a whole bunch of fellow Dukes aficionados.  One such fan that I've interacted with on instagram is Brandon Bergin and his sweet Silver General Lee.  It's a 2009 Dodge Challenger R/T that he put in the General Lee uniform.  It was great to meet him in person.


Brandon brought his sister, Haley, on the drive up from Carolina.  She crafted this impressive Dukes themed vest.


I had to see both front and back.  The Bergins are one Dukes loving family!


Good meeting you Brandon.  You've got a great car and I'm glad you are spreading Dukes love!  Hey look, it's the creator of the 1/1 scale Cooter's Cruiser truck and owner of the 99 Cooter's Camero, Bill Jenkins in the background.  Bill loves making unique Dukes vehicles and does an excellent job.  


Our pal Jim Dahlman, from nearby Greensburg, PA brought his beautiful General Lee to the event.  I'm so glad he did.  More on that later.


The Cruise In attracted all kinds of great cars.  There were new muscles and classic roadsters.  There was something for everyone there.





Another new addition to Cooter's is the General Lee cow.  Moo.


My idea for something different to do was to bring along the original Dukes of Hazzard Card Game...


as well as the original Dukes of Hazzard Board Game.  Hosting rounds of both games meant I had to brush up on my Dukes games skills.  I was familiar with the rules of the board game, but I never played the card game before.  It was fun learning.  I bought a few open copies of each game and put together a few rules sheets.  Soon I will devote a blog post to each game and share my rules sheets with the world.  That will be fun.


Speaking of fun, we sure had some playing the Dukes games.  First to play was my new buddy Braiden Moats and his parents, Kelly and Grady.  Braiden is a Dukes Collector himself and I hear he has a formidable collection.  He loves the Dukes and had a blast all day.  It was a true pleasure spending my afternoon with him and talking Dukes.  Braiden is the future of our hobby.


Another fellow Dukes Collector is Mike Earl.  He also has a great collection.  And he also enjoyed himself some Dukes board game.  Here he is showing off his Dukes card that says "Cooter is pushing you with his truck: Move 3 extra spaces."  That's a lucky card.


I had a blast playing the game with people who love the Dukes as much as I do.


Mike and I may have gotten a few good cards, but we were no match for Braiden.  He chose the General Lee game piece and roared through Hazzard County like Bo and Luke.  We were nowhere near him during the first game and he won easily.  Braiden Moats will go down in history as being the first winner of the official Dukes of Hazzard Board Game being played in a public setting at a Cooter's Place event.  That's quite an honor.


Mike and the Moats family weren't the only ones to get into the Dukes game fun.


Also racing on the board from the Hazzard County Courthouse to Uncle Jesse's Farm were Amber Miller, Erika Faunce and Paula Shenk.  Each game had a crowd of spectators and we got some laughs and applause every time we read a card aloud in a "Waylon Voice."  We played enough games that each player won a round and I provided some nifty prizes to each winner.


The board game is a little easier to pick up then the card game.  Basically being a mix between rummy and Uno, the card game has a lot of different rules and stipulations.  You have melds, speed traps, Hogg Wilds, and Hazzard County Clouts.  There is a lot to follow.  That didn't stop me and the Moats family, as well as other Dukes fans from playing several rounds.  I was holding a pair of kings in this picture.


I'm so happy that I was given to opportunity to share the games with fellow fans.  We all had a lot of fun, and just like the Dukes of Hazzard Trivia Competition at Cooter's Last Stand, I will definitely be bringing my multiple copies of the Dukes board games and card games to future events and I can't wait to play it again with fellow Dukes fans.


Paula Shenk showed off her beautiful 1947 Checy Stylemaster at the Cruise In.  That car is something!



In this picture are three titans of collecting in the Dukes of Hazzard industry.  Dave and Braiden go way back and I'm glad I got to meet him and his family.  One day his collection might be bigger than Dave's and mine combined.


The Dukes of Hazzard Fan Get-Together was so much fun.  I want to make this a regular thing and have one every few months.  I would love to hear feedback from everyone as to what you would like to see at these events.  We could have collector focused events, vehicle themed shows, kids events, art exhibits, anything and everything.  Send me your ideas and we'll make it happen!

Before my trip ended I headed back to the store Sunday morning.  Our pal, Jim Dahlman surprised me by tossing me the keys to his Gen'ral and letting me play Bo.  With Luke in the passenger seat, me and Jim roared up and down Lee Highway.  Luckily I had my gopro handy and took a little video.  Check it out below.  Thanks so much Jim, that was a great surprise!!!