Sunday, April 05, 2009

John Schneider and Paul Harrington in Toronto, Ontario

at the EXPO CENTER in Toronto with
John Schneider aka BO DUKE !!!

Ok, the trip to Toronto to the Motion Custom Car Show, the last weekend in March of 2009, to have our cars on display with John Schneider aka BO DUKE .
Here is how it came about & how it happened, the complete full story

I received the first email back on March 3, 2009, from Martin Samuels" it was a "TO WOM IT MAY CONCERN " email......asking about having the Dukes of Hazzard cars and the Travelling Canadian Dukes Museum at an event called " The Motion Custom Car Show ".

So, I sat down and sent an email back to Martin, with photos & everything. Later that night I received a phone call from Martin, he explained some things, Then he states, " YES, WE HAVE THE BIG GUY COMING " . So, I was a little curious, I asked, " WHO " ?. Martin then says " THE BLOND HAIRED ONE ". I was kind of shocked, I answered with " YOU HAVE JOHN SCHNEIDER COMING "?.
Martin, says " YES, THE ORIGINAL GUY FROM THE SHOW WILL BE HERE ". Ok, so now we were talking about the possibilities of doing this event in Toronto with John, but Martin, had business in Florida. Then I was in contact with Mikey Singer, another very cool guy from this event in Toronto. So, we finally worked out an agreeable contract, which eventually worked out very well.

So, just to get ready for this event, many hours went into prepping everything. Here is all the details just for the weeks before we left. The first thing to be done was the trailer hitch. I had to spend almost a complete Saturday at Hot Rod Welding Shop in Harrow, Ontario, where Rick, a great welder ( yes, even better then me, lol..), repaired a little problem we had with the trailer hitch. Arrived there at 9:30 am, and left at 7:30 pm, we did lots of chatting, & watching old drag racing videos, it was a great day.

Rick, cuts, welds everything back together,
I had the job of grinding everything clean & baby smooth again.

WOW, What a job, Now that is Heavy Duty !!!!

Plus, I needed to get a lot of new decals made,
so I took a day trip to SIGN A RAMA of Garden City Michigan,
where Greg Solovey spent a better part of a Wednesday printing off
all the decals I needed. Wow, what a great guy, and they look GREAT !!!
I also booked the motor home in so I can get the leaf springs re-arched, and add a few too.
Every night while we all worked outside in the cooler then average weather, my wife Cheryl ( every 30 minutes ) would make tea, and bring them out to us.

That was great of her.

Ok, Now the radiator had been leaking on the Sheriff's car, remember it is a 1977 Dodge Monaco " HAZZARD COUNTY SHERIFF'S CAR ", so I thought ok, I would buy a new one and install it ( being a Mechanic helps right, lol... ). The new radiator comes in ( my cost $230.00 cdn ), and it is too big, ( Lance & I ), had to modify the area where the rad would go, as the new one was 5" wider then the older 3 core. The new one is made from aluminium, so it's lighter, by at least 15 lbs. This job gets done, and then we pull the motor home out of the building.
After unloading the General Lee from the trailer ( leaving both car & trailer inside the building ), we all started to work on getting all the chores done.

The inside of the trailer had to be cleaned, the floor had to be washed properly, with a very strong cleaner ( transmission fluid from the General ), so this was a great job for Tonya ( Lance's girlfriend, lol ). Lance & I were busy scrapping, grinding the tongue, and frame of the trailer ( that could be seen by walking around the trailer ), as it needed to look great for the show with John. Tonya finally had the floor looking newer then new, Lance was able to get lots of boxes from where he works, so we could lay them on the floor of the trailer, so it would stay clean, lol, at least until the main event.

Now, after hours & hours of cleaning the underside of the trailer, I started to spray bomb it. ( All this was being done, after hours, as we all work full time jobs during the day ). It looks great now, very clean looking. So, Now I have a great idea, maybe to make us look more professional, I had some help redesigning our logo for " The Canadian Dukes Museum ". I contacted Randy at Laser Art Inc., in Harrow, Ontario. I mentioned to him I wanted to get 2 dozen shirts, & 4 jackets made for next week. I emailed Randy the art work, and off we went. Within a short time, I received the finished art work, WOW, How Cool !! On Friday before the show, I contacted Jason Holman, ( Jay's Show & Shine ) a specialist in preparing cars for events such as this ( he also works for CarQuest / Auto barn for Greg. )
Ok, so the last weekend before the event, I think I have everything in place. Just a few more things to finish. We had to vacuum both cars, & the motor home. Now, the big job, unload & then reload the motor home with everything I wanted to take to either sell, or display, what a job that was. Jason dropped out the Sunday before the show, along with Jenn & my daughters, Sarah (8), & Jessi Lee (7), were able to get the job done in a few hours.

Remember, I was up almost every night until after 1:00 AM, and back up for work in the morning. Ok, finally we are almost ready to go, and it's only Tuesday, and we leave Thursday, bright & early.
I was able to get Wednesday off, so there is lots to do, first thing, head to Windsor, and get the leaf springs redone ( 5 hour job ), wow, done, and paid around $491.00 for that. What a big job it was too !!

The new hitch looks great,
thanks to Rick @ Hot Rod Welding in Harrow, Ontario.
Johnny at Ontario Springs added 2 new leafs per side,
WOW, a difference now..

It sits so much higher now. Then to find these hard to get lenses for the trailer, that no one could find for me the past few days. On the way to Harrow, to pick up the t shirts & jackets, I stop at Sun Parlour Trailers. I just happen to bring 1 old lens from the trailer, just in case, Guess what, they have them, but not loose, they are part of a complete assembly. They are willing to sell me just the lenses. At $9. something each, I 'm very happy, so I bought 4 new ones,
just over $40.00 plus taxes of course.
Ok, now to get the t shirts, jackets, & still driving the house on wheels, it passes nothing but gas stations, lol. The shirts & jackets look so GREAT, that I change right there into a new looking shirt, & jacket. I called Lance, and said I would take him for lunch. We had lunch, and that's when I realized I lost my credit card, plus now I notice the water pump is leaking on the motor home, MAN WHAT ELSE COULD GO WRONG. Plus the credit card, is back at the Shirt place back in Harrow, and I happen to be in Essex. So I take the van that Lance drives, and head back to get the card. After getting back to Essex, I head to Jack's Auto Service ( my friend Tony owns this with his wife Rhonda ), to get the propane filled up, wow, $50.00 for this. Tony checks the antifreeze leak, and confirms, it is the water pump & gives me a jug of antifreeze for the trip, just in case. I drive over to the shop I work at called Elford & Stowe ( still in Essex ), and was picking up my check from Helen, & Barry says, here take a gallon of antifreeze. So, I head to the Auto Barn, get a water pump from Greg, & a case of antifreeze. I finally head home & finish loading, not getting to bed until after 1:30 AM. During the course of Wednesday night I notice I lost $125.00, that just sucks.
The next morning we locate where at least a $50.00 bill had been dropped,
so, Lance went to get it for me.
We finally hit the road at 10:00 AM Thursday morning, up 98 highway to Comber, and then the 401 heading to Toronto. We stopped at the Pilot to fill up the motor home, & Sheriff's car. Plus Lance put some more air in the trailer tires ( 80 lbs ). On the road again. Then we have ANOTHER BIG SET BACK, a blow out on the trailer, just as we get to the first Chatham exit. The right rear tire on the trailer blew out, leaving a very large hole in the side wall. We change the tire, & called a local tire shop with the size I needed. Yes, he says, we have 4 in stock at $170.00 each, I thought about 4 new tires, but went with only 2 Brand New Tires, & 4 new lug nuts, wow, another $400.00, and on the road again. So, every time we stop for fuel, we need to top up the radiator in the motor home. Some how, during the trip up, the rear license plate ( with the 2010 sticker ), fell off the back, complete with the bracket & everything. Man this is really beginning to suck !!!

Here we stop for FOOD, FUEL, &
of course MORE WATER for the RAD !!!

We arrive in Toronto at the Expo Center at 5:30 PM, & setup time was for 6:00 PM. Needless to say, it took over 2 hours for us to get into the building, because there was a heated discussion where we were suppose to be setup at. So, as we are waiting Mikey gets my money, and we at least unload the General Lee from the trailer. Then we finally get the trailer in position, & remove the motor home ( after Craig, an owner of a Knight Rider car, moved his ahead for a few ). Now to unload all the stuff from the motor home & put it into the trailer. We rope off the 2 cars, then there was another heated discussion, on how I was displaying the 2 cars. The reason I display the cars the way I do, well, on the side of the trailer is says, " WELCOME TO HAZZARD COUNTY ", so, when fans take photos, you can see this over the roof of the General Lee ( Plus, I have been doing car shows since 1984, & 1992 with the General Lee, & 1997 with the trailer ).
Finally, we get the okay from Joel ( He is the Main man in charge ),that I can leave the display how it is, and let John see it when he arrives. If John Schneider aka Bo Duke likes it the way I set it up, it can stay this way. Good enough for me, as I know already, as I said, he will like it. We get ready to head back to the motel, and BAM, now we have NO RUNNING LIGHTS, on the motor home, & NO PLATES either on the back. Can we say "HEAT SCORE". Driving from the Expo Center to the motel, with no running lights, & no rear license plates ( this Could Only happen in Hazzard County, RIGHT ). Well, we didn't get pulled over, cool. We check into our room, what a rip off, long story with this one ( $400.00 for 3 nights ), & the fridge didn't work, so, I had to complain about this for over an hour. We ate a good supper, which was from a local Pizza place, not bad. Think we went to bed every night between 12:30 & 1:30 AM.
Back up every morning at 6:00 AM, shower, etc..., eat, & back to grounds to get ready. The doors opened at 10:00 AM, on Friday, & we were still not ready with the inside of the trailer. Around 10:30 AM, I was able to start letting fans through. A close friend that I had met over 6 years prior showed up. I asked him for a big favour, & Jason ( last name Darling ) said, whatever you need Paul. First I needed do to a Police report about the rear plate missing / lost ?? whatever happened. Ok, off we went to find the local Police Station. The first place was " The Mounted Police division ", so we went about 1/4 mile up the street, & found another station house. The report was filed, and now to find a License Bureau, cool, Jay has a GPS. We make it there, & I get in line. This story gets better now. Ok, I get called up next, I try explain my situation. The lady asks for my insurance, & ownership, which I give her. She then says, where is the original. I tell her, it's at home with all of my other originals. No, she says, you need the original, and charges me $10.00 to replace the one I have at home. ( WHAT A SCAM !!! ).
Now, it gets better, she then asks, what plate did you loose? I told her the rear one. Then she states, she needs the front plate. So, I explain how I got a ride here, & I wasn't going to impose on a friend to go back & forth to get it. She started to hesitate, when I asked her who owned this location ? She pointed out an older gentleman in the booth 2 over from hers.
I then stated, "Maybe, I should call the Toronto Police". She asked why ? So, I pointed out something on the wall that they had hanging. Totally illegal for a Civilian to have in their possession, it could either be jail time, or a big fine. I will not post what it was, but you can ask me privately. Let's just say, she issued me my new plates, & on my way I went. With only spending a total of $30.00 .

Back at the event, things were getting very busy. What a day, we made lots of new friends, & even sold a few bucks worth of stuff on Friday. There were so many Dukes of Hazzard fans there over the weekend. Some I have only chatted with via the internet, & some just met there. I could mention some. Let's see, not in any order, Craig, he owns an insane Knight Rider car, Stewart Bruce & his whole family, Dean, Rob & Shelley Murphy ( Shelley stayed at the motel, lol...), Rose Turner from Crystal Mountain Beads, Thomas "TOM" Turner, Harley Davidson, David Gajsek, Parminder from CTV, Kim Dewar & her mom ( I can't remember her name sorry ), Jim Wilson, Andy & his family, David Kuttner, Cheryl Morgan & her family, Singer / Song Writer Scotty Newlands ( hopefully will be attending Hair Dare '09 ), Natalie Wallace & her family ( Daylan ), Ben Wilson, Kyle McGregor, William Hodgson, & so many more, sorry if I missed your name. Let me know & I will add you here.

During Friday, I was also picked to be one of the judges in a contest, pretty neat.

John missed his flight on Friday, but he was on the RED EYE, so he would be there early Saturday morning for sure. As we were leaving to head back to the motel, I duck taped the license plate to the inside of the rear window in the motor home ( I didn't want to loose another rear plate, lol... ). What a great day !!! We pumped HAIR DARE '09, as much as we could, I can only hope & pray it goes over good this year, or it could be the last one.

Every night, & every morning we had to top up the radiator in the motor home so we could make it back & forth, but that was still ok for me.

Saturday, bright & early, back to the show again.
Arriving at 7:35 AM, we get in & rearrange a few things before John arrives.
Today Hair Dare members Rob, & Dean show up, to lend a hand.
It looks like it might be a good weekend.

When John arrives, he walked right up to me, & shook my hand & states " THIS LOOKS GREAT !!".
That's what I was waiting for,& it made me very happy for him to say those words.
Wow, how cool is this.

John signing autographs at The Canadian Dukes Museum Display

Judging , sure What a BLAST !!!!!!!!
John was AWESOME !!!!

Well, Bo Duke & I were the Judges for the Official
Daisy Mae Duke Look A Like Contest 2009, wow, so, cool.

John & Paul watching the 3 finalists on stage, WOW !!!!!

John & Paul pose with his General Lee

The winner was Mary Catherine, so,
I had her sign the wall of fame inside the Museum.
She was a sweet heart.
She won $500.00 & was stuck with us for the rest of the weekend, lol.

Daisy signs the wall of fame

Daisy poses with Paul inside the Museum
Daisy Duke poses for a photo in the Museum,
WOW, What a Hottie !!!!!

This photo was taken by me, at Dukes Fest in Nashville, TN.,
it shows, John & Jerry Rushing
( Decals by Greg @ Sign A Rama )

Just Awesome, Incredible, words cannot describe how things went.
John checked out everything when he had a chance,
he even loved the photo of him & Jerry on the ceiling.

John checks out the photo of him & Jerry.
The he says "How cool is that, & it's so clear"!

John poses with my General Lee for the media that attended,
Man, I never seen so many expensive cameras

John was so incredibly nice, I was overwhelmed with the way we were treated, my views on John have very much changed to make him one of the top Best Actors / Cast Members to hang out with, & to have our display with.

Paul & John ham it up for the photographers that were there

I asked John if he would sign some of my props that I had on display, his comment was, sure anything for you. Wow, It was so cool.

John with Paul's props from the Canadian Dukes Museum

John signs a moonshine jug that was used in fliming

John also signed other items, like 3 deck lids for 2 General Lee owners,
Jason Darling & Stewart Bruce.
He even took a few minutes to sign items for the team members that were with us.

John signs another moonshine jug used in filming

John taking a break, lol,
from signing my props for the Museum

John talking with another Dukes fan

John took a few to really walk around my display,
that's when he seen the show case that I had the props in
& stopped to take a photo.

John & Paul, with some real TV Props,
used in the filming of The Dukes of Hazzard TV Series

Just before John left on Saturday, he approached me with a question, " Would you put these 2 photos in your Museum " ? I didn't really know what to say, except "Yes", whatever John wanted me to do. These 2 framed photos are of a little Dukes of Hazzard Fan, Tyler Morgan, who passed away. He is now up in Heaven hanging out with Uncle Jessie, Boss Hogg, Waylon Jennings & even Honest John Ledbetter.

In Memory of Tyler ,
one of the biggest little Dukes Fans.
John & Paul, just as Saturday nights comes to a close.

Again, bright & early for the last day of the show on Sunday, this would prove to be THE BEST DAY OF THE SHOW. John Schneider aka BO DUKE, was even more outstanding on Sunday

Stacey & Paul inside the Museum,
after he signed the wall of fame

I even met STACEY DAVID from Rattletrap Productions, wow, how cool, he is from Madison Tennessee. Stacey has is own TV Show, & of course he signed the wall inside the Museum. We were able to get some great photos as well.

STACEY DAVID even signed
the inside of the Museum ( trailer )

WOW, It's Daisy Duke, aka Mary Catherine,
of course I had to get a great photo

Paul & John hold Kevin's custom creation,
that Kevin donated last year to the Canadian Dukes Museum.

I wanted to buy some photos, for some people, & for the museum.
Wow, What a deal I got from John for the photos I needed for the Museum. John spent as much time as he could spare with us, in the Museum, looking at everything he could.

John & Paul shake hands inside
the Canadian Dukes Museum

The last few minutes before John was to leave, he signed photos for Jerry Rushing, my mom, my wife, and my 2 great girls Sarah & Jessi Lee, even one for Lance & Tonya, ...etc.. I'm so very happy after this great day. I wrote John a short note, also gave him a great photo that I snapped at Dukes Fest in Nashville,
a few years ago, of him & Jerry Rushing
( The reason we have the Dukes of Hazzard today & forever ).

John poses for a photo with the
Winner of the Daisy Mae Duke Look - A - Like Conest,

John holds the Boar's Nest letter up for a photo,
YES, I'm overwhelmed, sorry, lol...

I handed John the letter from the owner of The Boar's Nest on Flat Rock Road, in which the letter states, that I bought eveything left over, John was a little shocked by the letter. He read the letter in detail, and made a comment about what was on the letter.

John tells Paul, the story of How the buckles came about

As John was getting ready to leave Sunday, he noticed the show case on the way out of the Museum (trailer ), WOW, he said " You have a complete set of these, Where did you find them ?" I handed John the letter from the person I had bought them from. He then told me the story of the buckles, & how he designed the 1978 Buckle ( I have a complete set, every year ).
Ok, time to pack up, & head home. What a job. We started loading up everything. I had Tonya finding every empty water bottle she could so we would have enough water to make it home, lol. Finally it was after 9:30 PM, time to hit the road. We made it to first service station on the 401, got fuel, ate something, filled up the rad, & off again. As we were getting closer to London, it started to really snow, as if the high winds were not bad enough already.

Heading home in the darkness of night
on the westbound 401,
even passing another semi

So, at the Husky Truck stop, will top up again, & hit the pavement. Man, the snow was so bad I had a hard time seeing, so just west of the old Dutton Service center ( about 35 minutes west of London ), I decided to pull over to rest a little. I was totally exhausted, plus the wind & snow was blinding. So, with the 3 of us in the motor home, no blankets ( my fault ), we laid down, it was very cool, so we almost FROZE, Man, did it get COLD.

I was awakened by the side motor home door being opened from the outside. It was Lance coming back in. So, now we hit the road again. We arrived at the Pilot in Tilbury, very early Monday morning, topped up on everything. I went to pay, & my credit card was declined. I was a little shocked, but used another card. We pulled in our driveway at 7:15 AM, Monday morning.

I went to bed at 9:30 AM, & at 11:00 AM, the credit card company ( Canadian Tire Master Card ), called to explain about the card being declined. Man, did she get a piece of my mind. I gave her my cell number & said if you think it's stolen CALL ME next time. It was me, & how do you think I felt when it was declined. She apologized, & gave me some CT money on my card. Back to bed, at least for an another hour, lol.....

Thanks for reading about another adventure of ours.


Blogger WishIwasBo1977 said...

Wish I could have been there. I've been saying I want to make Dukes Fest in TN, but never seem to make it. Glad to know John's as friendly as he seems to be on tv.

8:51 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

monday august 17 2009
how come john richard schneider
is not coming give me
a reason why all the
people that play on the
dukes of hazzard is not
coming thats going to reck the whole show

10:27 PM  
Blogger Janitorial Service said...


1:57 AM  

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