Thursday, February 1, 2024

Cooter's Has Been Absolutely Killing It With New Products - Wrapping Paper, Pins, Football and More

For twenty-five years, Cooter's Place has been THE place for everything Dukes of Hazzard related.  We are going to celebrate that milestone this summer.  But before we get to that, I would like to take a moment to recognize the amazing effort the crew at Cooter's has been putting in lately with the newest Cooter's Place exclusive products.  DukesCollector Cooter wanted to help show off these great new items.  Let's take a look.

Maybe you might think this is no big deal, but Cooter's now has it's own plastic bag.  I think this is a huge deal.  Instead of taking your beloved new Cooter's items home in a generic "thank you" bag like before, now your purchase comes in this stunning orange plastic bag that, in my opinion, exceeds anything you would get from Walmart, Target, or anywhere else.  Duke Collector Cooter agrees!

This piece of plastic goodness is basically a collector's item on its own.  Just look at the gorgeous imagery! I love this plastic bag!  When has anyone ever said that before?

Another cool new feature from Cooter's is not just a plain brown box, but what's on the box.  Cooter loves showing this off.  If you look closely at what's keeping this box closed, you'll see...Cooter's Place packing tape!

This stuff is unbelievable!  Anytime you order a package from, your box will now come sealed with this tire tread themed tape that has the logo and the General Lee on it.  That is too cool!  

The bag and the tape are details that Michael and the crew at Cooter's have added to their repertoire that really show the passion they have for Hazzard Nation.  These are small additions, but they mean so much.  Think about it, Cooter's could just be selling the same t-shirt and photos they always sold, which we would be happy about, but for twenty-five years now, they've never been content and have always given us fans new and exciting items.  The fact that Ben, Alma, Michael and the crew have gone so far as to invest in these giveaway items just to make our purchases more special shows how much they love us.  We as Dukes fans are truly blessed to have Cooter's and the lovely folks that work there.  Cooter's never sits still and is always innovating.  That is definitely evident with this next item!   

I can't tell you how many times I dreamed about Duked of Hazzard wrapping paper.  When I see modern wrapping paper with the Avengers, Spider-Man, Batman, Superman, Transformers, and Jurassic Park on it in stores, I always wish that we lived in a world where we could get Dukes wrapping paper.  Lately I've seen commemorative gift wrap for licenses like Masters of the Universe and WWE. I've even received some wrestler specific gift wrap showcasing Ultimate Warrior and Macho Man Randy Savage when I bought some items from sites that make authorized WWE memorabilia.  I am happy to report we live in that world I dreamed of, because Cooter's now sells 01 General Lee wrapping paper and it is amazing!  

Dukes Collector Cooter loves showing off these rolls of this beautiful orange paper.  The paper has large bold 01s as well as an image of our favorite orange car.  Making the paper orange and only having to utilize black and white inks was an ingenious design.  This is truly special paper.  

Cooter's made the paper available in time for Christmas and I couldn't wait to get some.  Let's say I ordered a lot.  My wife wrapped all the presents she bought me in this perfect orange paper and our tree become a wintery Hazzardy wonderland.  That's the first time I've ever used the term "Hazzardy" and I guarantee it will not be the last.  Full disclosure, I had a hard time ripping the paper off the presents and while opening the first few gifts I acted like my grandmother Dolly, who would always open gifts delicately and not rip it.  Jeff also does this, but I think his intentions are to recycle the paper.  With the large number of gifts I was fortunate to get from Natalie, Christmas morning would have become Christmas afternoon if I opened them Dolly-style.  I stopped thinking about it and ripped in.  I was like a kid on Christmas morning.  That's exactly how I've been on every Christmas morning my entire life.  It was awesome!

But I didn't use up my whole supply.  Cooter's plans on selling the paper for a long time to come, but that doesn't mean I didn't get enough to probably last a lifetime.  I have several unopened rolls, both for future use and to never open. I also asked my mom to wrap this small empty box so I could display the beautiful paper.  Look how great it is!  I love Cooter's 01 General Lee wrapping paper!

Next up Cooter wants to show off a couple of new key chains I recently got.  These aren't new items at the three Cooter's locations, Luray, Nashville, and Pigeon Forge, but are the steadfast items that have been bestsellers for years.  I've picked up so many of these over the years and I found so many uses for them.  I needed a few more.  

This General Lee keychain is such a perfect keychain.  I have one hanging from my backpack, on several sets of keys, and a bunch throughout the collection.  The orange 01 is just so great.  I picked up a couple and have plans for at least one of them in the future.  

The 01 has the same image on both sides.  The General has info about each Cooter's location including the web address and phone numbers.  It's a must have Dukes item. 

Another newer item at Cooter's are these really cool Hat Pins.  You know I love a good Dukes pin.  It was hard, but Cooter picked a favorite.  

The Exclusive Collection includes four different pins.  They each come on this nice card back that follows the tire tread theme.  The pins include the Gen'ral from behind with and without the Cooter's Garage logo, the Jumpin' General Lee and a front/side view.  I can't pick a favorite, because they are all perfect.  

The back of the package uses that great image of Cooter that was also used on the extraordinary 1/18 Cooter's Tow Truck exclusive from Greenlight.   It's the little details like this that add so much to Cooter's products.  

Next up is an item I saw at the 2023 Hazzard Run and I had to have it.  It's a General Lee pillow case!  I know, there is an official Dukes of Hazzard pillow case that came with the official bed set in 1981, and I have several in my collection, but I'm not putting any of those in the actual laundry rotation.  This bad boy is on my bed right now!

Cooter's has two different designs for the pillow case and they are both perfect.  There's the Cooter's Garage variety. 

And the jumping General Lee version.  I have both in the rotation and I swear I sleep better with my head on a General Lee pillow.  Both pillow cases are soft and comfy and everything you want in a pillow case.  Hat's off to you Cooter's.  Another winner. 

Next up are these great Cooter's socks.  Look at how glorious they are.  I plan on actually wearing these, but haven't made myself open them yet.  I have an older pair from Cooter's that I wear pretty often.  This design is even better than the last.  They keep one-upping themselves. 

I've wanted an 01 flag forever.  I had some plans to make one myself, but never got around to it.  Thanks to Cooter's, I don't have to.  This coat of arms is big and bold.  I love it. 

Like so many items, I got one to keep in the package, but I plan on using one of these flags.  I plan on flying it when the DukesCollector collection is officially open.  The flag will tell passersby that they can come check out my Dukes stuff.  Soon!  

The final item in this blog is one I never knew I needed, but now can't imagine life without it.  This is the Cooter's Garage football.  And it is spectacular!  It has two designs on it.  The Cooter's Garage logo. 

And a big bold 01.  I never played football officially, but I have played in over a dozen turkeybowls.  An official size and weight football is just a little too big for the average, non Ben Roethlisberger sized hands.  I've always noticed that a junior high sized football is the perfect size to throw around with your neighbors in the backyard or with your cousin on the beach.  Michael and the crew at Cooter's must be on the same wavelength cause that's exactly the size of this orange beauty.  It has the perfect feel.  The composite leather feels just the way a football should.  This ball is perfect.  You know I had to get two.  One for the collection and one to keep in my car.  

Sorry old UA football, this one is getting the prime spot in the little cubby in my hatch.  I'll have this football with me everywhere I go and will always be ready to throw it around if the opportunity presents itself.  Anytime you want to pass, let me know!

Who would have thought that I would be starting a Hazzard County Athletics Association with my 01 balls?  This volleyball has seen so many good games during my open volleyball nights here at my church's new hall in Brownsville over the last few months.  I had to take a picture of them together.  The HCAA is open to all athletes and nonathletes alike in the greater Hazzard County area, which includes all of Hazzard Nation.  Let's play!

This football is remarkable.  And it has become available at the perfect time, just in time for the TaylorBowl, I mean the Superbowl.  

Though my Steelers aren't in it this year, I'll be watching the Superbowl in my 01 Steelers jersey with my 01 football in hand.  It's our year next year Steelers!

Before I wrap this blog up, in figurative 01 wrapping paper, I decided to throw the new orange pigskin around with DukesCollector Cooter.  I asked him if it was to big for him, but he said he could handle it.  

Whoops.  He was wrong.  Sorry buddy.  

He dusted himself off and decided he would just be the holder for me to practice my field goals.  You're a good man, DukesCollector Cooter. 

All of these great items are available now at Cooter's.  You can get them at the three locations, Luray, Nashville and Pigeon Forge, or from the website  Michael and the crew also have some unbelievable items planned, and I have been lucky enough to get a sneak peak.  I can't wait to get my hands on them.  We Dukes fans are so blessed to have Ben, Alma and the family at Cooter's.  They really keep this hobby thriving.  

This July we'll be celebrating 25 wonderful years of Cooter's Place with a big ol' celebration at the Luray location.  It's shaping up to be a great event and I look forward to sharing a lot of details soon.  You will not want to miss this one.  It's going to be epic.  

Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Happy Halloween 2023 - Beetlejuice and Lydia

I'm really enjoying this opportunity for multiple costumes created by hosting the Halloween in Hazzard Costume Contest. I get to do a Dukes costume and another Halloween costume. This year, given that Natalie and I are newlyweds, we did our first couples costume. 

Beetlejuice and Lydia!

This was all Natalie. She came up with the idea and perfectly executed my makeup. She is super talented. 

I used the same suit from my most recent Joker costume and it worked great. 

Look at that makeup job! I may or may not have accidently eaten some of that face moss while enjoying a York Peppermint Patty. I totally did. I even had teeth makeup on.

Beetlejuice seemed to be a popular costume. I guess it's always been a popular one. We ran into several fellow members of the Juice family. 

You gotta have fun when in costume. 

And scare the unsuspecting father-in-law.

Natalie really looked amazing as Lydia Deets. 

Chad and Renee went as the group from Tangled. 

I really am the ghost with the most! Watching Beetlejuice for the first time in a long time, that movie is crazy. Like really weird. I picked up on a lot of little things like the hardware store they visit at the beginning, before the car crash, is their store! I never noticed that. And "Saturn" where the sandworms are, is very similar to Dune. Weird. 

Another little part of the Halloween festivities that I'm really proud of is my corpserese salad. I made little cheese skulls out of fresh mozzarella and it was a big hit. 

Let's close this out with a little Dukes.

I'm very proud of both my costumes this year. I think I nailed Caltrano the Great and Natalie and I had the best Beetlejuice couple around. I love Halloween so much and I'm so glad I married someone who loves it as much as me. Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 23, 2023

The Hazzard Run and Second Annual Cooter's Halloween in Hazzard Costume Contest Were A Huge Success


Another great Dukes of Hazzard event! The 2023 Hazzard Run and the Second Annual Cooter's Halloween in Hazzard Costume Contest were perfect.  Let's dive in to all the fun. 

What a great picture.  Besides the three stars who don't need introduction, Ben, Rick and Miss Alma, pictured here are me, Michael Smith, and Richie Alligood.  This picture was taken on Saturday afternoon and I had to include it on the top of the post.  I am so fortunate with my Dukes adventures.  Ok, let's start at the beginning:

Richie has been working on his General Lee for years and it made it's debut at the Hazzard Run.  I've been closely following along in the creation and let's just say I have more than a little bit of interest in this car.  I will talk about this car more in future posts, hopefully a lot of them...

As soon as I got to Cooter's on Friday I had to check out the car.  The car is absolutely beautiful.  It is a retromod meaning it's basically a brand new car made to look old.  It has the engine from a Dodge Ram truck it and works like a modern car.  Richie put every single bolt on this car on by himself.  This is my dream car.  

I look pretty good in it, don't I?  I did take it for a test drive on Sunday and it drives like a dream.  Everything about this car is perfect.  Richie, you are one heck of a mechanic.  But we all knew that.  

Rick Hurst, good ol' Cletus, was the guest of honor at the Hazzard Run and he was signing autographs and taking pictures with fans each day from Friday to Sunday.  

Your pal and mine, Jim Dahlman, who would never miss a Hazzard Run, had Rick sign his General on Friday, before it got busy on Saturday.  

You know how much I love Jim's General Lee and how great of a buddy Jim is.  It's the General I've driven the most and Jim was kind enough to bring his Gen'ral to my 40th birthday party and to my wedding.  Rick is so genuinely nice and I spent a lot of time with him over the weekend.  These are two great good ol' boys here.  

But Jim broke Hazzard County ordinance #614.7 and Deputy Cletus had to cuff him and stuff him. 

Friday night I took more pictures of Richie's General Lee.  Being all new, it has LED lights both inside and out.  What a sight!

Can you tell I love this car?  Look at those gauges!

I mean, wow.

I haven't taken too many pictures of General Lees at night.  It never got dark in Hazzard County.  This car is amazing.  

The first picture I took on Saturday morning was, of course, of Richie's General Lee.  You can't ask for a better backdrop. 

The talk of Cooter's on Friday was the weather forecast for Saturday.  All week it was supposed to be beautiful on Friday and Sunday, but crappy on Saturday.  Several General Lee owners came but left their cars at home and some fans skipped the event all together because of the forecasted weather.  Early Saturday morning, it looked dreary and many thought the run might be a bust, but they were wrong!  I told Jim about two weeks before the Run that one of my super powers was controlling the weather and I was going to make sure we didn't get rained out for the event.  He didn't believe me and you may not either, but the weather cooperated and the Run went on without a hitch.  It cleared up before we got started. 

And the forecast didn't stop The Hazzard vehicles!  Beside all the Generals, Hazzard Patrol cars, and Dixie Jeeps, we had a ton of Dukes fans take part with their tribute cars and trucks.  

I got the drone up before we took off.  

I was supposed to be taking pictures of the run, but somehow the drone found its way over to the Hazzard Garage and Richie's General Lee.  That thing has a mind of it's own.  

Yeah right.  I had to take a dronie with me by my dream car.  It's just what I do. 

From the sky, you can see we had General Lees, newer Charger's, Double Zero tributes, 99 Cameros, Patrol Cars, Cooter's Tow Trucks, Uncle Jesse Pickups, and Dixie Jeeps.  The forecasted rain didn't stop Hazzard Nation.  We did have more cars last year, but this Run was definitely a success!

I rode with Jim during the Run this year.  Jim's car rides so perfectly and is so much fun.  I love how much Jim loves his car.  He is just so happy behind the wheel of his prized General Lee.  

We were in the middle of the pack and followed a newer Charger in the Gen'ral's uniform.  

Jim's pal Jeff Beatty came to the Run again this year and he was generous enough to let me ride shotgun.  We had a blast!

Like last year, I brought my GoPro, and instead of mounting it facing forward, our pal in the newer Charger in front of us let me mount it to his trunk with it facing backwards towards us.  This video is a little long, but it's fun.  It's the majority of the Hazzard Run facing me and Jim in his General Lee.  Enjoy.

I wonder what passersby think when they see all of us good ol' boys and girls in out favorite cars.   I bet they're jealous.  The run was a lot of fun and the weather let us complete the whole trip with the windows down.  There weren't as many people outside watching us as last year, but there were quite a few for sure.  Every time I saw someone with a camera I stuck my head out the window and gave a yeehaw.  What else would you expect?

What a great idea this giant truck in Cooter's field is.  Wouldn't it be great to fill that field up with General Lees again.  Hmmmm.....

We got back to Cooter's in little over an hour.  We drove through Luray and the Shenandoah Valley and it was great.  The rest of the day was ahead of us and that meant the Costume Contest!

Before I suited up, I flew the drone a little more.  I love these shots of all the Generals parked at Cooter's.  

You can see there were quite a bit of fans there.  That field is just screaming to be filled with General Lees, Dukes of Hazzard stars, and thousands of fans.  Hmmmm.....

The drone really gives you a unique perspective of the event. 

We all love the orange 01 cow at Cooter's.  We ought to come up with a name for it.  Leave your best name idea in the comments.  

I love flying my drone at Cooter's.  

Before the concert, I got to be in the back area when the main man, Cooter himself, arrived.  

I love these moments when I get to witness my heroes having special interactions.  Go back and tell 10 year old Larry that he would get to witness this stuff.  I still don't believe it.  

There were a few people hanging out in the back area, and Bobby Scott had organized a few car signings so the VIPs posed for a few photos.  

Then I got to jump in as well.  I get to have the best time thanks to Ben and Alma.  I love them so much.

And now to the Second Annual Cooter's Halloween in Hazzard Costume Contest.  Last year, it probably wasn't a huge surprise to anyone that I dressed as Bo.  I did make it unique by going as Bo in his Carnival of Thrills race suit.  But I wanted to be different this year and deep dive to a very specific costume.  I chose Coltrano the Great!  Rosco's Magician alter-ego from the very last episode "Opening Night at the Boars Nest."  The episode is about a talent show and Rosco performs magic tricks.  I'm really happy with how the costume came out.

Cletus approved!

Being that I was still Rosco, just Rosco as a magician, I had to take a picture in front of Rosco's patrol car.  I love it, I love it!

I even had a few magic tricks.  I performed this prestidigitation as well as another feat of astonishment on stage before the contest.  More on that soon.  Let's meet some contest entrants.  

Arron Aikman busted the competition as Rosco the Ghostbuster.  

I mean look at the proton pack!

Arron blew me away with his costume.  Unfortunately he had some trouble on his way to bust in Hazzard.  Arron owns an Ecto-1 Ghostbusters car and it decided to jump off the trailer on the journey.  The vehicular mishap didn't stop Arron though.  He took the car back home and still showed up for the Run and the contest.  He entered in the unique category and was an odds on favorite to take the prize.  

Our first repeat entrant is James Murphey III.  Last year he took home the individual category prize with his Cooter costume  This year he entered the duo category with Blake Deeter as Cooter and Cooter Jr.  Never underestimate the popularity of a Cooter costume at Cooter's.  James decked out his General Lee Ghost Challenger with multiple GoPros and is preparing a special video covering the event.  I took some drone footage that I shared with him to use in the video and I can't wait to see the finished product.  I'll update the blog when his video is ready.  

The Murdorf, Lewis, and Baer family went all out and nailed nearly the whole cast!  Grandfather Butch Murdorf, dressed as Uncle Jesse, was the mastermind behind the whole thing and the gang included Danielle as Daisy, Liam as Luke, Kohl as Bo and Ely as Boss Hogg.  This is what I hoped for when I thought of this contest.  This is absolutely perfect. The group did the Dukes family proud.  Excellent job guys!

I noticed they didn't have a Rosco so I jumped in for a group shot.  What a perfect contest entry.  

Another entrant from last year who was back for more was Curtis Moore.  Last year Curtis entered as a Hazzard Deputy but this year he went more specific and entered as Cletus. 

Curtis's costume has great detail and you can tell he put a lot of effort into it.  

Next up is Brittany Diamond and Ben Diamond as Enos and Daisy.  They entered individually in the singles competition.  Both had excellent costumes with great attention to detail.

I was so happy to see that Lee Bryant entered this year.  She was planning on entering last year and had a wardrobe malfunction that prevented here from doing so.  Here she is in her wonderful Lulu costume.  We actually had a Lulu costume!  Lee nailed it!

One of the funniest and rudest things Boss would say was "my wife, your fat sister" when he was referring to Lulu while talking to Rosco. It makes me laugh each time I hear it.  Lee was supporting here Chickabiddy in his reelection campaign as Commissioner of Hazzard County. 

I love how many people who participated last year had so much fun they did it again this year.  Mike Phinny was a winner last year in the duo category with Cory Lin Stephensca as Deputies Daisy and Enos.  Cory Lin was at the event, but took this year off from the contest.  Mike entered as Cooter.

Mike's jumpsuit was pretty dang awesome. He might be crazy, but he ain't dumb. 

Here're the three entrants in the unique category.  Russ Grundle promised his costume would blow my mind and he didn't disappoint.  Russ is dressed like the General Lee!!!!  He is a General Lee Transformer.  I love it so much.  I have a custom made General Lee Transformer that I blogged about in the very early days of DukesCollector.  Russ's Costume is perfect.  Beside Russ is Rob Haugh as Michael Myers of Hazzard.  How cool is that?  This is the first scary entrant in the contest.  I love everyone's creativity.  Arron's Ghostbuster rounds out the unique crew.  

Amber Miller entered as Daisy and even had the perfect Daisy pose.  The addition of the actual daisies put it over the top for me.  Great job Amber. 

The other entrant into the group category had a secrets up their sleeves.  Carrie Reynolds as Uncle Jesse, Meredith Debois as Daisy, Alan Darr as Bo, and Brenda Stevens as Loretta Lynn!  They had a Loretta Lynn!  You, of course, remember the second season episode called "Find Loretta Lynn" where the country music legend is kidnapped from Hazzard and the Dukes have to find her.  What a great idea to include Loretta in the group.  I am stunned by the creativity and detail everyone put into their costumes.  

Here's a great panoramic photo of all the contestants in the contest.  I didn't get an individual photo of two participants.  They are Gerald Wall as Uncle Jesse, he's the third from the left with the green plaid shirt under his overalls and Michael Dix as Uncle Jesse.  Michael is front and center and to my left.  Unfortunately, Brittany Diamond and Arron Aikman are behind other entrants in this photo, but it really shows off how fierce the competition was for the contest.  

Our good buddy, Jennifer Ragle, livestreamed the competition and it is available to watch on her youtube channel. Jennifer has some great stuff on her channel and you should check it out.  I'm very grateful she recorded the event so I can share it with you.  Check it out above.  

In the end we whittled down the competition to a winner in each category.  The Murdorf, Lewis, Baer family won for best group.  Michael Dix won for best individual as Uncle Jesse, James and Blake won for Cooter and Cooter Jr. and Arron won as the Ghostbuster Rosco.  As you saw in the video, it was tough to pick winners.  Each winner deserved to win, but my money was on Lee as Lulu or maybe Amber as Daisy.   Mike's Cooter also got a big rezones from the crowd.  I've learned you can't underestimate a Cooter costume at Cooter's.  Congratulations to all the winners of the Second Annual Cooter's Halloween in Hazzard Costume Contest and thank you to everyone who participated.  It was twice as big as it was last year and I can't wait to do it again next year.  The dates for next year's Hazzard Run have already been set and it will take place on the same weekend in October 2024.  Saturday, October 12, 2024 will be the Third Annual Cooter's Halloween in Hazzard Costume Contest.  Get working on those costumes now and I'll see you there!

Sunday morning saw good enough weather to go to the Shenandoah Speedway with the General Lees.
A few car owners went and I tagged along with the drone.     

I got some fun video but I'm going to wait and see what James does with it for his youtube channel.  Here is a view from the sky.  

After Jim took a few laps around the track in his General Lee, he let me get behind the wheel and take a turn.  

I've never driven around a track before, in a General Lee or not, and I must say it was intimidating.  

Jim snapped a few pictures of me behind the wheel.  Jeff rode along for the ride.  

I topped out at about a hundred miles per hour and really pushed the limits of the car.  Jett and Bobby said they never saw anyone go that fast and handle the muscle car so effortlessly.  I blew the doors off all the other cars there and Bo and Luke would have been proud.  Nope, none of that is true.  I was super nervous and only took it to forty mph.  But it was fun as heck and I can't wait to do it again.  

Jim is so awesome and generous with his beloved car.  Jim, I can't thank you enough for all you do for me.  You are a true friend and a true Duke Boy.

This was another perfect weekend at Cooter's in Luray.  I'm so fortunate the adventures I get to have in the Dukes of Hazzard world.  I can't wait until the next one.  We have something very special in the works and I can't wait until we get to announce it.  Just like Waylon said, "Ain't this fun!"