Wednesday, August 2, 2017

The Dukes Of Hazzard Trivia Competition at Cooter's Last Stand Was A Huge Success!


I will have a comprehensive post all about Cooter's Last Stand soon, but fisrt I wanted to focus on my part of the event that I have been working on for a long time.  The Dukes of Hazzard Trivia Competition at Cooter's Last Stand Present by DukesCollector was so much fun!  I'm sad that it's over and that I no longer have my trophy, but I think everyone involved had a blast and the championship cup now sits on a very deserving new shelf.


Friday and Saturday, for me, were all about prepping for and promoting the trivia contest.  I had a lot of other things to do, but when I could, I showed off the trophy and talked about the contest.  I also took some fun pictures of the cup when I could.


I had the unique opportunity to to be a part of the cast family dinner in Cooter's Garage Friday night. During the dinner, it was Richie's and my responsibility to get the silent auction items signed and I was able to get the trophy signed at that time as well.  Everyone involved really seemed to like the cup.


Rick Hurst, Cletus, had the most fun with the trophy.  He knows what to do with a championship cup.



Sure, there were banners to sign, but I had to get Enos to sign my trophy!


Don Pedro Colley, Sheriff Little, took time out as well to sign it.


Sophia and Laura, Catherine's daughters, helped me with promotion and also provided a prize for the winner from DaisyCountry.com.


It wouldn't be right to not grab a pic with these ladies.  I also got Catherine and Ben to sign the cup at the dinner and had John and Tom sign it at their booths on Saturday.  Not too many items were signed by all the cast members in attendance at Cooter's Last Stand because of the long lines.  I'd be willing to bet that the only items that had everyone's autograph were the ones me and Richie got signed.  I'm glad the trophy was one of them.


My base of operations was a fun place to be at Last Stand.  The Trivia Booth, or DukesCollector Central, was the hangout for the contest, Cody's Lego sales, as well as the official Cooter's Last Stand camera and PR crew headquarters.  It was a fun place to be.


I had the cup on display most of the day Saturday and had the sign up sheet ready for submissions.


Saturday night when I had a little time, I grabbed some more shots of the cup in cool places.  Here it is with the stunt General Lee that made both jumps during Last Stand.  I got to drive that car!  I'll tell that story in my next Last Stand-centered post.


The #01 Championship Cup belongs on the hood of the General Lee.


By the end of the day on Saturday, I had completed my goal of getting everyone's autograph on the base of the trophy.


Side 1 has Don Pedro Colley who played Sheriff Little, John Schneider who of course played Bo Duke, and Ben Jones who is, still, Cooter.


The back is the Bach side.  Catherine along with her daughters, Sophia and Laura, adorned the signatures on the back.


The final side has the two Hazzard County deputies, Rick Hurst and Sonny Shroyer, Cletus and Enos, along with Luke Duke himself, Tom Wopat.


Though I didn't want it in the way, I decided to sign the trophy as well.  I slapped my signature on the bottom of the base.  That isn't the only item I signed at Cooter's Last Stand.  I actually singed autographs, how great was this event?


I wanted to grab one more "DukesCollector Trophy in a cool place" picture before the event.  On Sunday I placed the cup in front of Dave and Melissia DeWitt's Dukes of Hazzard Museum for a cool shot.  I had a few people tell me they were relieved Dave wasn't able to enter the event because they felt like he would win it hands down.  Dave helped me by reviewing the questions and that disqualified him from entering.  His trailer was set up directly across from my booth, by design, and I'm really glad he was a part of the event.  



Before the Trivia Competition got underway, our pal Will Rodgers, the voice of Hazzard, stopped by to enter.  I asked him to promote the event in Dukes voices and he was happy to get on the mic.



Will has such great talent and I was thrilled that he helped out with the event.  He knew right away what the trophy was modeled to look like and even played out the scene in the first video.  He was interviewed by Mike the PR Guy and performed his voices on stage.  I'm really happy when Will gets the praise he deserves.  Keep it up Will!


When it was all said and done, I had 154 people sign up for my trivia contest.  I told myself going in that I would be happy if ten people signed up.  I was so happy that people were excited for my event.


Thanks goes out to the Albert Gallatin School District and Superintendent Carl Bezjak for loaning me the equipment for my event.  Carl let me borrow the lock out buzzer system as well as the portable score boards that I used.  Also a huge thank you goes to Dean and Cindy Heavener for the use of their DJ equipment.  Dean is JD's  father, of JD JoyrideTV on YouTube,  and he really helped me out of a jam when I realized I didn't have an AV system.  Thanks also to Patrick Heavner and Elizabeth Helmick for helping me keep the event and booth organized.


When 1 o'clock rolled around, I actually had a crowd gathered around my booth.  I was very excited, and it seemed other Dukes fans were too.


From the 154 people who signed up, only ten were randomly picked to compete for the trophy.  There was no submission form of screening process; it was all random and came down to luck.  If we do do this again at another big Dukes event, maybe I'll change the way people enter, but running this whole thing by myself, this was the only way I could do it.  There were some very knowledgeable Dukes fans that entered and didn't make it in, like Will Rodgers and JR Garrett, but I had to keep it fair for everyone.


The first round was the elimination round and the ten randomly chosen competitors were given dry erase boards to write their answers.  The ten Dukes of Hazzard fans that were randomly chosen to compete were:
Judy Killough
Harley LeFever
Milton Dacus Jr.
Tony Kersen
Jeff P. Stewart
Rob Streb
Dave Cecil
Gerald Killough
Donald Elliston
Amanda Cannon



Each competitor was award a Certificate of Participation that was signed by Ben Jones and myself. (You know I had to keep a blank one for my collection)


The elimination round went pretty quick and soon we were down the three.  The three Dukes of Hazzard fanatics that made it to the Jeopardy style round were Milton Dacus Jr., Judy Killough, and Donald Elliston.





I didn't get much of the event recorded on video.  I was happy to get through it without screwing up too bad.  Mike the PR Guy did grab a little video for me and I really appreciate it.  I needed a "Vanna White" to change the scores each time someone got an answer right and fellow Dukes fanatic Matt Thomas stepped in.  He played the role perfectly. We need to get him a sequin dress next time.  


The contest was a little one-sided.  Milton Dacus Jr., of Smith Station, Alabama, proved that he was super knowledgeable when it came to Dukes of Hazzard trivia.  Judy and Donald held their own and each answered a respectable numbe of questions.  Like Jeopardy, a lot of it came down to who buzzed in first.  Milton was quicker on the buzzer than Donald, though I think he knew nearly as much as Milton.  There were a few questions that were a little too tough for those competing.  I soon started to refer to those as "Will Questions" because Will Rodgers, the voice of Hazzard, was sitting behind me and he barely missed a question.  A few other fans who were gathered around knew some that were missed and it was fun giving them the mic and letting them show off a little of their Dukes knowledge.  


In the end, Milton took the win.  He built a commanding lead and couldn't be caught.  I hear Milton has an impressive Dukes of Hazzard collection and I'm glad the trophy is going to be surrounded by Dukes stuff and be somewhere that it will be loved.


Judy and Donald did a great job competing in the Dukes Trivia, but Milton really shined in the event.  I'm so happy that three Dukes loving fans were the finalists in the event.  Miss Alma provided t-shirts for everyone who played in the contest and I think everyone walked away happy.


Congratulations to Milton Dacus Jr., the #01 Champion of the Dukes of Hazzard Trivia Competition at Cooter's Last Stand presented by DukesCollector.com!  I am so proud of the trivia event and so happy that everything went so well.  Thank you so much to everyone who helped me, Dave DeWitt for question reveiw, Crown Awards for the trophy, Micheal Smith of Cooter's for providing the 01, Gary Brezovsky for helping me attach the 01, Carl Bezjak for the buzzer and score boards, Dean Heavener for the AV equipment, Laura and Sophia of DaisyCountry.com, Mike the PR guy and Will Rodgers for the promotion, Elizabeth Helmick for helping me wrap up the booth, Matt Thomas for playing Vanna White, Renee Franks for teaching me how to host an event, and most importantly Alma Viator and Ben Jones for letting me take on this challenge.   I'm so thankful to Alma for believing in me and letting me host and run the first ever Dukes trivia contest at any of her events.  It was truly an honor.  Let's do it again at the next rodeo!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Presenting the Dukes of Hazzard Trivia Competition Trophy and Rules!

Finally I can unveil the trophy!


Presenting the trophy to be awarded to the #01 Champion of the Dukes of Hazzard Trivia Competition at Cooter's Last Stand presented by DukesCollector.com!  I am very proud of this championship cup!


Standing at over 14 inches tall, and quite heavy, this metal cup is a thing of beauty.  The 01 emblem was attached by yours truly and is on there good.


The base is actual marble and the plaque is engraved to perfection.  I'm basically sad that I have to give this beauty away and I'm going to be jealous of whoever wins it.


The #01 Championship Cup was built by our friends at Crown Awards and is something special.  The back and side of the marble base is black and just begging for some cast members of the Dukes of Hazzard to apply their autograph to it.  I'll see if I can make that happen before the competition.


Though there is only one trophy to be handed out, everyone who participates will receive a Certificate of Participation that will be signed by Cooter and the host of the competition  (Hey! That me!)


Along with the awards, I have been hard at work putting this competition together.  I wrote all the questions, wrote the rules, and printed up everything we will need.  This is going to be so much fun!

Speaking of the rules, here they are, all official like:

The Dukes of Hazzard
Trivia Competition at
Cooter’s
Last Stand
Presented by DukesCollector.com

Rules

Competitors will be chosen at random from those who signed up.  A random number generator will be used to choose the competitors. 

Depending on how many people sign up, a pool of competitors will be chosen for the first round.

Players can only sign up once.  If a player signs up and chooses not to play, that player cannot pick his or her replacement and another random player will be chosen. 

The first round will be an elimination round.  Competitors will be given a dry-erase board.  Their answers will be written on the board.  Multiple answer questions will be asked and competitors must answer each question correctly. 

Any missed question in the elimination round will result in elimination.

The elimination round will continue until there are three competitors left.

When there are three competitors left, the quiz show round will begin.  Competitors will be given a buzzer.  The first player to buzz in after the question is read will have an opportunity to answer the question.  The player will be awarded one point for each correct answer. 

There is no penalty for an incorrect answer, but the other players will have an opportunity to buzz in and answer the question.    

The last question will be a wager question.  Competitors can wager any or all of their points on the last question.

The player with the most points after the last question will be crowned #01 Champion of the Dukes of Hazzard Trivia Competition at Cooter’s Last Stand and be awarded the coveted trophy along with a prize from Daisy Country. 

Each player that is chosen at random to play will receive a Certificate of Participation autographed by Ben Jones. 


By participating in the Dukes of Hazzard Trivia Competition at Cooter’s Last Stand, eligible players hereby irrevocably agree to comply with these Official Game Rules and agree to abide by all decisions of the host, which shall be final and binding on all eligible Players in all matters relating to the game. There shall be no right of appeal. To be awarded a prize, an eligible player must comply with all provisions of these rules.



So official, I wrote them in a different font.  This competition will be for the biggest Dukes trivia buffs out there.  I'm hoping to find fans who know every little thing Dukes.  Some of the questions are pretty tricky.  The trivia competition will take place on Sunday during Cooter's Last Stand and I can't wait.  See you there!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Limited Edition Lego Rosco's Patrol Car by C3Brix at Cooter's Last Stand


Cody did it again!  The one and only Cody Wells of C3Brix has created another limited edition Lego masterpiece for us crazy Dukes of Hazzard fans.  This time it's a Lego version of Rosco's Hazzard County Patrol Car and it will only be available at Cooter's Last Stand.


Just like the General Lee last year at the Grand Opening of Daisy Country, the Patrol Car is limited.  This time around there will only be 100 cars available, and I'm pretty sure they will go fast at the event.


The detail Cody put in to this car is amazing.  It looks just like it should.  The specially printed Sheriff logo piece really adds the fine detail to the car.


You can almost imagine a tiny Lego Flash riding shotgun inside.


Like the 01 piece on the General Lee, the badge on the door really makes the car special.  The fact that these pieces have printed logos, not just stickers are what make Cody's products so nice.  He really puts effort into them, and it shows.


The car is the same size as last year's General Lee.  I'm really glad that we now have Rosco's car to chase the Dukes boys around in.




I can just imagine a Lego Hazzard County Courthouse behind these two cars.  Hmm.... Hey Cody!


Just like last year at the Grand Opening of Daisy Country, the Cooter's Last Stand Limited Edition Lego Rosco's Hazzard County Patrol Car by C3Brix will come in tins that will be individually numbered.  The car and the tin make great display pieces.



Cody will, of course, be at Cooter's Last Stand and he's bringing some surprises.  He's created a very special Hazzard County Championship Wrestling Belt that I can't wait to see in person.  Cooter's Last Stand is going to be so much fun.  I can't wait until next week!!

Monday, July 17, 2017

The Dukes Of Hazzard: Gone Racin' - A Book Report


Did you know there was an official story of how Bo and Luke went to NASCAR and were replaced on the farm by Coy and Vance?

No, not the story of how John and Tom left the show and were replaced by Byron and Chris, but an actual "in cannon" story of the events that lead to Bo and Luke leaving Hazzard to chase their stock car racing dreams and how Coy and Vance ended up back in Hazzard!


The Dukes of Hazzard: Gone Racin' by Eric Alter is a novel that was released in 1982.  It is a collectible that's a little on the rare side but I've had it in my collection for quite some time.  I have both the standard American version and the British version.  Both of them are in excellent condition and I never really wanted to read them because it would crease the spine of the paperback.



The front of both editions have similar artwork that is used on a number of different items but most noticeably used on the album cover and the shoe box.  The American version has been photoshopped in a weird manner that cuts away the top of the General Lee to show the bottoms of the characters.



The British version doesn't have this oddity on it.



Each version has a different familar Dukes of Hazzard logo on top.  The backs of each version are more different than the front.  The American version has more artwork that includes another picture of the Gen'ral, the police car, and the Jeep.  Also included are actual pictures, not artwork, of Coy and Vance looking quite out of place (don't they always look out of place?)  The British version just has text.  The blurbs on the back of each are similar, but have a few differences.  The British version refers to our favorite car as only "The General." It also separates the third paragraph and for some reason has it in a different color than the rest.  The American version has everything in one paragraph.


Originally I thought that the only reason the other cousins, Coy and Vance, were added to the back cover were because this book came out in '82, during John and Tom's strike, but had already been written with Bo and Luke as the stars.  I thought they included Coy and Vance just because they would be on TV when it was released.  I was wrong.  This book actually tells the tale of Bo and Luke leaving Hazzard!  I was blown away by this story.  It really was surprising.


A few years ago, I bought a copy of the book in rough condition and more or less forgot about it.  Recently I have been organizing everything and adding items to the new DukesCollector.com collection database and got the three different copies of the book together.  I decided that it was time to finally read the only official Dukes novel so I took the beat up copy with me to the beach and read it as I sat in the sand before playing volleyball every day.  I really expected this book to be on the same level as today's "young adult" books:  geared toward young readers and pretty basic.  I was really surprised that the book was well done and had a story that really kept me involved.  Ok, I would be excited about any Dukes story, but it is definitely on a much higher level than the read along stories that came with record and tapes that were geared toward elementary students.

Right off the bat, you recognize that the narrator is not the balladeer from the show.  There is a narrator, but he just doesn't have the same feel for the story as Waylon.  It is obvious that the author didn't try to replicate Waylon's style and that is appreciated.  The book does start off like a typical episode, but the narrator goes into a little more detail introducing the reader to Hazzard County and the characters.  The book is meant to be read by fans of the show, but could also be enjoyed by folks who never saw an episode.  At the beginning, Bo and Luke are flying through Hazzard in the General Lee, whose "engine sounds like a herd of angry buffalo."  There are a lot of phrases like this throughout the book.  The Dukes have an impromptu race with a blue sedan and both cars get chased by Rosco.  The Duke Boys out-drive the out-of-towner and Rosco ends up in the pond.  Typical Dukes stuff that we love.  That is followed by a scheme by Boss Hogg to swindle the Duke Farm away from the Dukes, nothing new here.  One addition from the beginning of the book that I loved was the introduction of Barnard Pugh, from "the County Land Assessors Office" that was sent by Boss Hogg to estimate what the foreclose auction would bring.  A Real Estate Appraiser!  In Hazzard County!  Just like me!!  Boss's latest scheme involved phony back taxes and making the Dukes come up with $10,000 or he would foreclose on the farm so he could build "Hoggland, a year-round resort for vice and corruption."  Nothing too far from the TV show yet.

A little more backstory is given to some characters than we ever see in the show.  The story of Uncle Jesse being the best moonshiner around is told.  It goes into detail about the government taxing liquor and moonshiners evading the taxes.  It tells about Jesse running from the Revenuers and being the best at it.  It also mentions that Bo came to live with Jesse first as a teenager followed by Luke, then Daisy.  And then about Jesse letting the boys go on one moonshine run and how hey got caught their first time.  It then tells about the deal Jesse made with the government to keep the boys out of prison and on probation.  All of that is from the first four pages of chapter two.  It is also mentioned that Bo and Luke are both 21 years old.  Their age is never mentioned on the show.

After the introductions, the book really sways away from a standard episode.  The driver of the blue sedan from the beginning turns out to be stock car world champion Fireball Watson.  A detailed story about how moonshiners evading revenuers lead to the creation of stock car racing is included.  The Duke Boys impressed Champion Fireball Watson with their driving skills and he says if he can ever help them out, to look him up.  They then see an article that says the winner of the Daytona 500 could take home $100,000.  After that the Dukes enter the General Lee in to the Daytona 500.  Yup.  The story is only a little over the top.  Well, I guess a little more than a little.  Bo, Luke, Daisy, Uncle Jesse, and Cooter form the Dukes Family Racing Team and travel to Florida.  Boss Hogg can't let the the Dukes win the big race so he employs a new patrol car for Rosco to chase the General Lee in.  The new car has a name, the Exterminator, and is described as the fastest, most powerful patrol car available.  The make or model of the car is never detailed nor is any information given about the appearance of the car, but I sort of pictured it as being similar to the Johnny Lightning Hazzard County Patrol Car Zinger.


The Exterminator is a fun new addition and plays in to the story a lot throughout the book.

The Dukes get into several adventures on the way to Florida including driving an accident victim to the hospital in the General and getting a police escort over the state line.  Boss, Rosco, and Cletus also travel to Florida and there are scenes similar to the the (later) final season episode "The Dukes in Hollywood" that are fish out of water scenarios that include Boss Hogg living it up in a luxury hotel.   When the Dukes finally make it to the Sunshine State they see the ocean for the first time and camp out on the beach.

Along their adventure the cousins each find love interests, Bo and Luke meet twins Tonya and Tamara, daughters of Fireball Watson and Daisy falls for Houston Crawford II, the son of the biggest race promoter in NASCAR.  One aspect of the story that stuck out to me was Luke seemed to be more impulsive than Bo and Bo was more level headed and is the cousin to get the family out of a jam.  The author sort of switched those role between the cousins.  There was also one instance in the book that said "Bo and Duke..." which is an error that always bugged me when it would show up in articles and advertisements.

The General doesn't jump that often in the story, but there is a big one in the book.  During a police chase where the entire Daytona police force, and the Exterminator are chasing the Duke Boys they take the Gen'ral off the pier and jump him into the ocean.  Yeah I guess the book is a little too over the top. The General Lee was going so fast before the jump that it skips across the water and the boys are able to stop on the beach and hide out under the pier to escape.  The big climax involves the General Lee racing in the Daytona 500 and Rosco, in the Exterminator, actually chases them around the track.

While reading the book, sitting on the beach, I commented to Natalie that they could actually tie this in to the TV story line and leave Bo and Luke on the NASCAR circuit and bring in Coy and Vance.  I was still under the impression that this book was planned before John and Tom left and it coincidentally had an over the top story about Bo and Luke chasing their dream to race on the NASCAR circuit.  After the story was resolved in the book, the NASCAR promoters offered Bo and Luke positions as drivers and they declined because they had responsibilities on the farm.  Then Uncle Jesse told them that they should follow their dreams and don't worry about the working on the farm because he just received a letter from his other nephews who are "tired of wandering all over the world" and want to come back to Hazzard County.  I was stunned.  When was this book written??  Was this ending added to accommodate for the departure of Bo and Luke?  I'm left with answers to so many questions.  I've been pretty deep inside the Dukes of Hazzard world for quite a while and I've never known there was an official story that took place between seasons 4 and 5.  I'm really surprised that I've never talked to another Dukes fanatic about this book.

One issue that I had with the book is a coin flip between Bo and Luke to decide who drives the Gen'ral in the Daytona 500.  They flipped a coin a few times before in the story and it was established that this was a normal occurrence.  The final flip is the big one.  Bo flips the coin and and doesn't show it.  Luke called tails and Bo peeked under his hand.  It was tails but Bo told Luke it was heads.  Bo lied to Luke and took the wheel of the General Lee.  The entire time I was reading the rest of the book I thought that lie was going to come back somehow, but it never did.  It was often expressed how much the family meant to each other and how the Dukes don't lie and right before the big finish, Bo lied to Luke.  I've always been a "Bo guy" so it upset me that his character was smeared a little.  I'm not sure why the author included that part and never revisited it.  Odd.

In the end, the story flowed right into the first episode of season 5.  Again, I am shocked that I never knew much about this book.  If you have one in you collection, give it a read.  I left a lot of details out of this book report and hopefully didn't spoil it for anyone who actually plans on reading it.  There are a few pages of pictures in the middle of the book and I included them below,  nothing that has to do with the story and nothing we haven't seen before.  The Dukes of Hazzard: Gone Racin' is a surprising and fun book, a great addition to the collection, and an important part of the Dukes of Hazzard legend that I never knew existed.