Wednesday, March 2, 2016

How one TV show can change one's life and introducing DukesFest West for Evanston Wyoming

Seems all like dejavu as I write this, except for the wrong time of year,and all as back in the era, The Salt Lake City AutoRama,(now the Utah AutoRama) was in November, which made it good since you could go to the Boise Roadster Show in March, and still go to the Salt Lake City AutoRama in the fall. So it was in 1981, for three years prior, my butt was parked in front of the snowy TV with KMVT 11 Twin Falls Idaho and 7:00PM came on the Dukes. At that point it was just another TV show. 
At the time , Jimmy Mac, myself, Alan Culbertson Junior and Karl Kuhn had already opened our shop as Pat & Jims Speed Shop. Fall of 1980 I went on a fact finding trip, that was stopped due to a snow storm. I parked near my room since I couldn't go home in that storm, wouldn't you know it? A local kid had built a pretty good copy of ye old General Lee. Funny how those things happen. So it was that I was determined to find out who owned the car, after I did, gave him my phone number as I had plans on buying the car if he ever wanted to sell it. 
In June of 1981, the crew at our shop then, decided we were going to Utah to the AutoRama and be a exibitor rather than a spectator. We had built a Mini Kenworth out of a VW Rabbit, Diesel. However in finding some props, mainly some white go-go boots for our display or diorama , I noticed ye old General was for sale. Once bought and in my hands my entire life changed. Sure I had hob nobbed with celebrities, writing for some, like Airwolf and two others, but this one discovery changed my entire life. Once the General hit Hagerman, aka Hazzard, Idaho, I got clearance to use the proper name for our shop as the Hazzard County Garage. Of course following that, came the Hazzard County Knytes(knights) Kustmz Association, and in so doing, letters, visiting the set of the show supplying cars, and other vehicles to the show, I became part of the Hazzard County/Dukes family. Once Hazzard County infects you, you become addicted to it, as I always say, Hazzard County is more than just a place on earth, Hazzard County becomes a place in your heart and takes over your soul. It was the Dukes that caused me to look further into my southern roots, and discover I had much more in common with people of the south than I did of those here in Yankee land. So in time, I landed the Lady, bought LexiBelle, and for all intents and purposes I became the living true to life Crazy Cooter, at least in and of the Mountain West. Much of that I still live, and which is at the heart of everything I do. The very heart. Sure Knightrider, the A-Team and others that I wrote a few episodes for, or co wrote, plus four or so episodes of Airwolf, and yes I dealt with much of the cast of those shows, but none of which , made me feel as much of the real family as did the Dukes-of-Hazzard. I love each and every one of them, From Cooter to Daisy, to Cletus to Enos, every member, from Gy Waldron to Paul Picard(God rest him) and Uncle Jessie the entire crew, cast and studio. While I did work for other shows, still not one of those cast members ever came to my Mom's funeral. The entire cast of the Dukes did except for Luke, and only because he had another pressing gig, but he did send flowers and all. The rest were there, if not in person, in spirit, many called the night before including sweet Daisy, and after including Ben(Cooter). That's just one reason my mind might occupy Airwolf at times, but my soul is dedicated to as well as my heart, the cast and families there of, of the Dukes. To many the Dukes-of-Hazzard is a TV show, for me, the Dukes and all of Hazzard County is a way of life. 
This brings me to this, The fall of 2017, Evanston Wyoming will be turned upside down, as the Hazzard Knytes, Hazzard County Choppers, and Cooter's A1 Toewing of Evanston Wyoming, will present DukesFest West. A celebration of all things Dukes-of-Hazzard as well as Southern culture. Food, home grown car,truck, bike show, celebrity autograph signing and Cooter's Garage Band playing good old Kountry music. 
 A 4 day gig, and celebrating Deputy Enos's Birthday right here in Evanston Wyoming, adding some southern charm to the north. If you thought an event couldn't change a place, think again. Take 15,000 people, add 190,000 more and it'll be a southern jamboree in the Mountain West. 
All too often, the lord our Heavenly Father works in ways and uses tools that are obscure to most people , the snow storm that made me connect with a kid with the General Lee, the snow storm, that happened to make me stay put here in Evanston, the night I had to stay in to get online and meet SheWolf. I very important set of circumstances that while not logical, happen because the lord our Heavenly Father wants them too. The meeting of me and Rick my partner at the old shop and all, are about as opposite as two people can be, and even when I was bad mouthing him and all he stuck by me. Even though he is a few years younger than me, I couldn't do this now without him. But when it comes down to everything, its me, my SheWolf, and Hazzard County.
For more information on DukesFest West, give me a call at 307-679-7209 or email me at