Monday, October 26, 2009

Dukes of Hazzard still winning new Canadian car fans

By: Parminder Parmar, News
Date: Sat. Apr. 4 2009 10:37 PM ET

It's John Schneider's second day at Toronto's Motion Custom Car Show and, just like the day before, the former star of "The Dukes of Hazzard" has been signing autographs for much of the morning.

A line of fans dwindles and stretches from as few as a handful to a couple dozen at any given time.
Behind him sits " The General Lee ", the 1969 bright orange Dodge Charger that is synonymous with the TV series that was an instant hit when it first aired in the late 1970s.
To his left is a young girl in tight jean shorts, a cowboy hat, and a white blouse knotted temptingly above the mid-riff.
As the winner of a local contest, she's greeting other "Dukes" fans after being awarded the role of "Daisy Duke" for the day.

Schneider revels in the nostalgia, having a laugh with each fan as he signs a picture or momento.
The 48-year-old-actor, who appears at auto shows throughout Canada and the United States each year, says the car exhibits have helped create a growing community of Dukes of Hazzard fans across North America.
The original show may have only lasted a few years, but its popularity continues to thrive, especially among car enthusiasts. That's no surprise, Schneider says.

"Their entry into the world of cars was the 'Dukes,'" he says of the crowd at the auto show.
With the morning signing session over, he decides to take a break, allowing a media interview before heading to lunch on the last day of the car show in late March.

"You mind if we walk and talk," he asks. Assured it's a not a problem, he begins to make his way through Toronto's Direct Energy Centre, passing by brightly-coloured muscle cars displayed throughout the exhibition floor.

Suddenly, all eyes turn from the cars to Schneider, and a little boy outruns several other kids to be the first one to get to the star. The boy offers a pen and smile, and the actor signs a photo.
Schneider's now surrounded by lots of adults, too. The ones displaying their one-of-a-kind cars at the show want him to sign them -- under the hood, along the firewall.

Schneider, who has also starred in countless other TV shows and recorded several country music albums, says there is something unique about his fans at the car shows. He notes he's constantly amazed about how young some of them are - considering the kids weren't even alive when the show was originally on TV.

"All these people grew up watching the Dukes of Hazzard," he tells, adding, "and their children! I think that's cool."

Schneider is an avid car collector, but he notes that it's not just a passion for cars that brings many of his fans out. He says the television series -- which revolved around the antics of his character "Bo Duke" and Bo's cousin "Luke Duke" - emphasized traditional values, not just car chases.

"I think the fact is they (the characters) loved cars. But the family was most important to us," he says.

The fan and The General Lee
It's that kind of camaraderie that an Ontario man says takes him - and his travelling 'Dukes' museum -- to more than 20 North American car shows a year.
Paul Harrington has also set up a permanent homage to the TV show in his hometown of Ruscom Station, Ont., near Windsor.

Now in his 40s, Harrington says he became a fan of the show as a teenager, and his passion went into overdrive from there.
In fact, his love for the Dukes of Hazzard runs so deep, it cost him a marriage.

In March 1991, he bought The General Lee 1969 Dodge Charger, in the condition as it sits here today from a guy in Michigan. ( A little History of the car : It was found in the southern state of Georgia, but resurfaced in Florida a few years later. That's when the seller boughht it and transported it to Michigan.)
Harrington estimates he spends about $15,000 a year on "Dukes" memorabilia.
His museum includes dozens of show artifacts, autographed pictures, and cars painted to look like vehicles from the original series.
He even appeared as an extra in the 2005 Dukes of Hazzard movie version of the show.
Harrington says his new wife is a lot more accepting of his passion.
Schneider says there are very few TV series in history that have created such a connection with their fans.

"It's not the bearded lady thing. It's an honour," he says about the adulation he receives at the car shows.

He adds that he's amazed by fans like Harrington.

"Isn't he great? He knows more about the Dukes than I ever will. It's folks like him who keep it alive."

Wednesday, October 14, 2009



Greg, at Sign A Rama in Garden City Michigan,
can make any type of
email him with a list :

Take care,
God Bless,
Paul Harrington.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009


Hello everyone,
Another adventure from Paul Harrington,
On Thursday October 1, 2009 at approximately 10:00 am, Cheryl ( my wife ), and I left home ( Ruscom Station, Ontario, Canada ), for Nashville Tennessee for the 1st ever Hazzard County Run. We were driving the Hazzard County Sheriff's car, and in tow was the Hazzard County Sheriff Marine Unit Speed boat ( it even floats ). After stopping at the U.S.A Customs, we had to make one stop, SIGN A RAMA in Garden City, Michigan, as I had left my jacket there. Greg , owner of SIGN A RAMA, was surprised to see us, as he knew we were driving down south. We finally hit the road around 11:00 am, from Garden City, Michigan.
We stopped to fill up the tank with fuel, and hit I 275 south. This connected with I 75 south. The drive through was good, we stopped in Kentucky for fuel, and to grab a bite to eat at a Waffle joke. After topping up everything, we hit the road again.
We made it to the Nashville Tennessee are a by 10:30 pm, but on the last leg of the trip, just before the motel, and Cooter's Place, there is an almost 360 degree loop around in the exit. The transmission slipped into neutral. So, I pulled everything over to the right shoulder of the highway. I proceeded to open the hood, and the trunk, and get out a quart of transmission fluid.

As I was doing this a Nashville Police car pulled up behind the boat. The Police Officer said to me, " I need to start carrying a camera, as I see the wackiest things on the night shift ". The officer asked me what was wrong, I explained everything to him, about the transmission slipping. I added the transmission fluid, and started the car up, it went into gear, so we both thought everything was ok. The Police officer drove off, and so did we.

Well, within a 1/2 mile, the car slipped back into neutral, so, I again pulled over, to see what we were going to do now. Just as I got out of the car, a General Lee drove up, it was Ben and Bob ( and their wife's were in the car too ). I talked to Bob, and told him what the car was doing. So, I added the rest of the quart of transmission fluid I had. The car started to move again, so, I thought everything might be ok. Well, the car moved another 30 feet, and neutral again. I walked up to the General Lee, and told Bob, and Ben what it did. I got Bob's phone number, just in case we were stuck.

We sat for a few minutes, and I tried again, the car moved another 30 feet, this happened a few times, and every time the car would move another 30 feet or less. We were less then 5 miles to the Fiddlers Inn, which is right next door to Cooter's Place. After letting the cars it for about 30 minutes, I tried again, it moved a little further, the highway had a slight downward angle to it at this point, so the car was now travelling down the hill, doing about 15 to 20 mph, I was hoping the car would make it all the way to the off ramp.

The car made it down the hill, and up the off ramp, and it came to stop about 500 feet from the stop lights. The angle the off ramp was on, I thought there is no way we can push it to the top. I called Bob, and told him where we were, and within a few minutes, Bob and Ben were back. The General Lee sat in the parking lot below. The four of us pushed with everything we had, made it to the top of the hill. Now there was a downward angle to Cooter's Place.........weeeeeee.

Well, that didn't last long, the light turned RED, and we stopped. So, Cheryl and I got out again, and pushed for everything we were worth, just to get the car & boat to move through the intersection, and down the street. Finally we made it to the parking lot of Cooter's Place, and around the Fiddler's Inn Motel parking lot. We had to push all the way around the motel. The car & boat came to rest just across from room 104. There it sat.

Ben and Bob, pulled up with the General Lee ( the wife's were in the car as well ), and we talked for a few minutes. As they left, Cheryl and I walked up to the office to book our room. We were able to get room 104. Back at the room, yep, we were able to get room 104. We unloaded the boat first, as it was loaded pretty good. I brought 2 spare tires for the car, and the large cooler was inside the boat as well. After unloading the boat we hit the sack, after setting up a wake up call for 6:00 am Friday.

At 5:45 am, I woke up. It was now day 2 of our trip, Friday October 2, 2009. I walked up to the motel office, as it was now close to 6:00 am, and as I arrived the clerk opened the office door. I went straight to the computer, so I could let my son Lance know what happened, and to call us at the room. I also posted the problem on facebook. I went to, and printed off a list of transmission shops, and auto parts stores in the Nashville area where we were.

I walked back to the room, and made a few calls until I located a transmission shop that was open. I talked with Bernie Gray the owner of AAMCO Transmission shop at 3020 Nolensville Road, Nashville TN. I told him what was wrong, asked about a transmission filter, and fluid, or a total rebuild. I told him if it needed a total rebuild if I could get the car back by noon on Saturday. Bernie gave me a price for either $69.95 for the service, or a total rebuild for $1180.00 ( plus all taxes ). I told Bernie I was a mechanic from Canada, and that I had a brand new transmission at home.

After getting off the phone, I went outside to completely empty out the Sheriff's car, as it was packed with everything but the kitchen sink, lol. I unhooked the boat, and pushed it up next to our room door. The car was completely unloaded just as the tow truck arrived. Bernie had sent a tow truck from Express Towing. The car got towed about 9 miles to the transmission shop. The young guy that was driving told me how he towed Waylon Jennings's General Lee to Dukes Fest in 2007, pretty cool.

When we arrived at the transmission shop they looked busy. After a few minutes we pushed the car into a bay. The mechanic working was Carlos, he dropped the transmission pan, and the transmission fluid was blacker then engine oil. Wow, the transmission filter was plugged solid, and it must have weighed 2 pounds. Carlos changed the transmission filter, and then added some new transmission fluid. He started the car up, and BAMM, the transmission was shifting, back and forth on the hoist ( a drive on ). He also noted that the rear transmission mount was no good. I told Bernie to order me a new one.

We made an appointment for 8:00 am for Saturday October 3rd 2009, so they could put the new rear transmission mount on. After paying the bill I proceeded back to Cooter's Place. The car was shifting 100 % better then last I arrived back at Cooter's Place, and parked the car. Time for a shower, before heading over to Cooter's Place though. I told Cheryl about the appointment for Saturday. The car was doing much better.

Now, it was time to go over to Cooter's Place. I drove the Sheriff's car over, and I pushed the boat over, this way the 2 of them could be displayed in front of Cooter's. I met many new friends this trip, Matt, his wife Sarah, and their 2 sons Dakota, and Cole. As well as Ben from facebook, and Bob, and many others. Cheryl and I went inside to look around the museum. A little time went by, when all of a sudden we hear someone shout, " CHERYL ", it was Miss. Alma, Ben Jones's wife. As she went to walk past me, I said "HI".

Miss. Alma says " OH, It's You !!...I didn't recognize you without your hair", as she gave me a big hug. She then proceeded to give Cheryl a big hug. We talked for a little while about the last 10 years, and the kids. We started checking out the photos from Sperryville, VA., that were on display. There is one, that shows Cheryl with Jack Gordon aka Honest John Ledbetter, and that's from 2001. Miss. Alma said "She was very happy to see us", after hearing about the transmission problems we had last night, and that she would let Ben know we were there. After about 30 minutes with Miss. Alma, we went outside to see Ben.

Ben was talking to fans when I walked up to him, and he made it a point to stop, and say " HI Paul ", glad you made it down. We were checking out everything in the new Sun Record Museum, which is part of Cooter's Place. Cheryl and I were going to get something to eat, when we received a phone call from Bernie. The new rear transmission mount came in early, and he wanted to see if I would bring the car back in. So, I made a 3:00 appointment. So, finally we had a late lunch, and I drove to the transmission shop. Within 30 minutes I was heading back to Cooter's Place.

The drive back was good, until a local Nashville Police Car, pulled up behind me with his roof lights activated ( blue flashing lights ), he didn't use his sirens. The Police officer followed me all the way to Cooter's Place with his roof lights on. I pulled into they parking lot, and we both got out of our cars. I talked with the officer, and he must have said at least 6 times he was sorry for pulling me over. But, his dispatcher, received a call from another car ( 2 other officers in an under cover car ), and he was told to check it out ( my Sheriff's car ). The Police Officer's Sergeant asked what the car was, and if we were going to Cooter's Place. Both answers were yes.

I never seen so many cameras come out, when all this was happening, I mean a Roscoe car being pulled over by a Real a few minutes he returned my drivers license, and told me thanks, and to have a safe trip. It seems like we drew a big crowd, I mean being pulled over, as by now, there was about 30 people taking photos of this. The officer drove away, and I parked the car. I was able to talk more with Matt, and his wife Sarah. At this point Matt, had his General Lee gas powered car out racing around the parking lot, wow is that thing FAST.

It was getting close for Ben to get on stage, as they had a band for Ben to play with. Cheryl saved us 2 great seats in the front row, for us to watch. Ben was on stage for a few songs, and even told some stories. During this Ben was talking about where all the General Lee's were from, ( U.S.A., Canada, and overseas ), then he even mentioned my name " PAUL " !! ( even caught this on video )

It was very cool, Ben talked about the show, and when it all started, it was awesome, and everyone was having fun. Well, Ben told everyone he really appreciated everyone making the trip, and that he was going to let the band take over. Ben called them "The Hazzard County Boys", most likely, not the real name of the band, but they were very good. They sang and had the crowd getting involved, and the went until 8:30 pm. Cheryl and I finally went and had supper at Cracker Barrel, they have pretty good food. After eating we went back to the motel room, and went to bed....tome for some sleep.....ughhhhhhh !!!

On Saturday October 3rd 2009, it is finally the day of the Big Run over to Cooter's Place in Gatlinburg, TN. Cheryl and I got up and headed back over to Cooter's Place, yes, again. It is a place you can visit every day while you are there, at least a Dukes fan could, or is it just

They had a BBQ set up for all of the Car owners and their families, which was pretty cool. Cheryl and I helped Mike the Manager of Cooter's in Nashville, move tables, and chairs around so there could be a sitting area in the area where the Sun Records Museum is. Everyone was able to get in line, and grab a bite to eat. Even MOON PIES were handed out, by Ben and Miss. Alma. Very cool.

The time to hit the road, just after lunch. All the General Lee's lined up, along with 2 Sheriff's cars, one owned by Kevin & Clarissa Webb ( from Oak Ridge, TN. )which is a Chickasaw County Sheriff car, and the other was ours. ( plus the boat.. ), even a Cooter Pickup truck, and an Uncle Jessie Pickup truck too.

It looked very cool driving down the highway, all those cool cars, it was most likely the coolest thing a lot of people seen that weekend. The Run stopped in a small town called, " Crossville ". There was FREE Pizza and Soda Pop for the car owners, now that was AWESOME !!! After Ben signed autographs for all the fans that were waiting for him, for hours, we hit the road again. But to a local Gas Station, for all the cars to fill up. That was a cool photo.

The Hazzard County Run went pretty good until we hit closer to Gatlinburg, with all of the construction, but it looked really cool. Finally we all made it to Cooter's Place in Gatlinburg. Time to park the cars, and check out the NEW Location. Pretty cool, GO CARTS, and PUTT PUTT Golf Course. Everyone in our group was getting hungry. So, we walked over to Hard Rock Cafe, WHAT A JOKE !!!! We waited there for 30 minutes. I stepped out for a minute, and checked out a place right next door called " Corky's ", asked if we could get a table, and How long ?. The girl said right now. I went back, and told everyone to follow me. With that we had a large table and we sitting. We ordered our food, and we were eating within a short time. The group consisted of my wife Cheryl, Me, Kevin, Clarissa, Billy and Will " The Voice Man " !!

After eating, it was getting late, so we departed and off to find the Condo, in the Smoky Mountains. YEP, we got lost, we did eventually find it, lol. Highland Condo's, WOW, very nice. The one we rented for 2 nights, was great, we loved it. The Condo was just incredible, king size bed, fire place, whirlpool bath tub, full kitchen, even a balcony over looking the Smoky Mountains, WHAT A VIEW !!! ( when I looked out over the balcony, even at night )

Now, it's Sunday October 4th, 2009, and we were up, and checking out the view, WOW. You could see for miles from up there. Cheryl and I walked around outside looking down at the town of Gatlinburg. It was amazing, how much you could see. As we were walking around, Patrick ( a General Lee owner ) started to tell us about his night, and how this little black bear came back this morning, and he was rubbing his nose against the patio door, just 30 minutes before we walked over. Man, we missed that, well, I did see about 4 Chipmunks, so cool. I was able to get a couple photos.

Time to get back to Cooter's new location in Gatlinburg, we left a littel earlier, so we could get some breakfast. We parked the car, and boat in the parking lot right next to Cooter's Place. I put the Dukes Decals sign out on the boat, for a display, and we went to find a place to eat. Shoney's had a breakfast buffet, so we ate there. The food was good, and it wasn't really that expensive. On the way there I noticed a shop with DVD's in the window, a movie caught my eye, so, I told Cheryl I wanted to check it out later. The movie was called " THUNDER ROAD "!!

After eating we walked back to Cooter's, as Cheryl wanted to get the 2 shirts signed by Ben for Sarah, and Jessi Lee ( our 2 daughters ). Ben and Miss. Alma, looked delightful when we walked in, we were able to get a few great photos, and chat for a bit too. About now, fans started to line up. Kevin, and Clarrisa arrived, and we went on the Go Carts, adn then played a round of PUTT PUTT Golf.

When I went outside, I noticed my Dukes Decal sign, WAS GONE...Why must people take stuff that don't belong to them ???? That really SUCKED !!!!

Well, after seeing that, we all headed out for Knoxville, to get a bit to eat. After eating, Kevin drove us over to their house to check out his cars, and stuff. Oh, almost forgot, we hit WALLY joke, to buy a few things for Monday's breakfast. Then back to Gatlinburg. What a day.

Now, back in Gatlinburg, we noticed that Cooter's was closed, and it was only 8:30pm. Well, I said, let's check out the store with the movies, especially "THUNDER ROAD" on DVD?? So, we all went for a stroll down the street. Inside the store we also found 2 DVD's called " MOONRUNNERS ", which of course we bough both copies. The cover of the DVD, was the actual Moon Runners movie poster. How cool was my day now !!!!

After looking at a few other stores, Cheryl was getting very tired, by this time it was close to 10:00pm, so, we all departed, and we headed back to the Condo. We didn't get lost the 2nd night. Pretty easy, if you know where it is.

Well, Monday October 5th, 2009, the trip was coming closer to an end, which really was terrible. We loaded the car, and the boat with everything, I was able to snap a few more photos. I even took another video, or 2, of the area around the Condo. Even seen a few more Chipmunks.

The drive back was good until some place in Kentucky. As I stopped at the red light on the off ramp ( we needed fuel & a Wendy's Frosty ), the car quit. I started it up again, put it into drive, BAM, it quit again. I did this at least 30 times, and every time it quit. Hum, now the torque converter was locking up, totally. Finally, I was able to get it to move, and away we went. It acted just like a stick shift car without using a clutch pedal. Well, we got gas, and frosty's, and hit the highway. I 75 North. The next stop, was just north of Dayton, and the car did the same thing all over again. Man, what a pain in the !##^^&*(!. I will never eat at another Waffle House off 1 75 again ( Ohio ), the cook was not very good, well, it SUCKED !!!!

Finally, Detroit, Michigan, the border was so close, we put more gas in the car, and crossed the Ambassador Bridge into Windsor, Ontario, Canada. When I pulled up to the window, the border guard didn't know what to think. Just a smile.

We were so glad to pull into the driveway at home, around 9:45pm, Monday night.



Thanks for reading, Paul.

Thursday, October 01, 2009


We are leaving today for this event down south,
hope to see some of you there.
be back on Tuesday....