the power of a memory

People look at me and grin all the time.  Not a wry grin… more of a
“knowing” grin.

A grin that seems to say “Hey… I know you. You are that guy that spent time with me and my grandpa. My friend as a kid. My link to a much easier time.HOLIDAY INN 1

Being one of the “Dukes” is truly an amazing thing. I realize, now more than ever, what an integral part of people’s lives that show was…

…and still is. 

And, I think, most important of all… every time it comes on it brings 40 and 50 year olds back to a time where the biggest worry they had was making sure their homework was finished so they could watch the Dukes of Hazzard with their families on Friday night.

A warm feeling. A safe feeling. Like when “Easy like a Sunday morning” comes on the radio and I am thrust back into my summer high school days driving my 74 Capri on a twisty back road through Helen, Georgia to jump off the cliffs at Anaruby  (sp?)Falls.

It’s magic. It’s not intentional. It’s hard to describe… Impossible to explain. Give it a try though. Let me know. Let us all know what feelings you have when something triggers those feelings, memories and thoughts.

What takes you back to a simpler time? It doesn’t have to be the Dukes… but it’s okay if it is.

It could be a song. A taste. A smell. A movie or television show.

It’s usually when you least expect it. Tell us… what takes you back… where do you go… who is there with you?


39 thoughts on “the power of a memory”

  1. What an amazing post. The smell of autumn takes me back to Sunday walks with my daddy in NY to the brooke to sail my red sail boat with the white sail on the string and hope that we didn’t lose it down the creek. Then head down to twin lakes and sneak an ice cream cone that needed to be completely finished before we got back home to mom. (I was allergic to dairy as a child so getting that little bit of ice cream was a big deal for me).I always ended up getting sick later that night and told mom about having the treat and poor daddy got it good from her lol I will always cherish those walks through 🙂 And of course sitting on daddy’s lap watching either Dukes or Hee Haw or I Love Lucy & Carol Burnett with mom. Now they are both my guardian angels watching over me and my family (and husband in Afghanistan)

  2. Old tv shows really do bring me back. I love watching shows like Little house, the Dukes, and the Cosby show with my kids; at 11, 9, 8 & 6, they are great ages to get into these shows that were such a part of our past.

    Also, being at a ball park with my husband and kids and hearing the crack of a bat brings it back. My parents loved baseball, and it rubbed off on us; Go Cubs Go:)

    Thank you for the Christian films you have participated in – – Would you believe, when I first showed the kids, “the Dukes of Hazzard,” one of my daughters said, “that looks kind of like the guy in, “What Would Jesus Do?”

  3. I was always fascinated by movie cars, like the General Lee, Knight-Rider, the Burt Reynolds Trans-Am, the Interceptor of Mad Max, the Eleonor Mustang and all, that was so amazing, those 70 and 80’s cars had something special that cars today doesnt have at all.

  4. Music is a wonderful trigger for memories. Loretta Lynn, Conway Twitty, Patsy Cline, Dolly Parton, The Eagles, CCR, George Jones, Kenny Rogers, Dottie West, and especially Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash. Beautiful music with lyrics that told a story. A time when things weren’t so rushed all the time…when songs didn’t have swear words or horrific topics in the lyrics to be considered “hits.” I don’t know of anyone who’s ever been able to tell a story through music like Johnny and June Cash. Their loss is still felt to this day.

    Only my opinion, but we need to make slowing down a priority in our lives. Everything is always rushed now. Big companies want us to do more with less – less people, less materials, less support. We need to be in three places at one time because of various activities. We need to make time to enjoy the music…to enjoy the fellowship…to enjoy being there to support others in their time of need and to allow them to support us.

    1. I think I should clarify – I’m not defining support to be anything specific. It could be as simple as a conversation or even a smile…sometimes people don’t even think about the power of a smile anymore.

  5. Not sure if you read these, but you were my first crush.

    I was five when Dukes of Hazzard premiered. You were the prettiest boy I’d ever seen. I couldn’t make up my mind what I liked better: your big blue eyes, your wild blonde hair or your bright smile.

    You made my heart melt.

    I remember a time when I was in the first grade. My mom was a devout church goer, and we had a revival come to town. The speaker with this heavy-set, red-faced old man. I swear he could have had a heart attack at any moment.

    Anyway, it was the night before a new Dukes and I wanted to stay home. My mom said that if I stayed that I’d have to go the next night. That meant I’d miss Dukes. There was no way. I begged and pleaded to stay home both nights because I hated going to church. My mom was firm though and I had to choose between you and Jesus (her words, not mine). You won. It was pretty easy decision to make.

  6. That knowing smile could have been mine, as the situation you described going with that smile was exactly my childhood memory of you. Yes, Dukes of Hazzard is one thing that does immediately take me back to my childhood. Whether it’s hearing “Dixie” or seeing the replica General Lee that drives around one of the towns nearby, or even seeing you or one of your co-stars in another context, I’m suddenly a little girl again.

    There’s only one other thing that takes me back like that. Strangely, it’s the taste of root beer. But that takes me back to my teenage years, standing in my horse’s stall, feeling the heat of an Arizona summer and Nugget’s breath against my cheek as I took a drink while getting ready to go for a ride.

    But only Dukes takes me back to the free, childhood times, spent sitting on my grandfather’s lap, watching Dukes of Hazzard.

    Thank you for that.

  7. I grew up watching The Dukes, Knightrider etc and to this day, when it comes to cars, you an forget the Map import scene, I’d take a growling V8 every time. The main reason for this I think is, as a kid, I thought the cars were so cool, that it’s stuck…. I also think we need shows like the Dukes back to try and get some good values back into kids TV.

  8. I grew up in the 90s and was and still am a huge fan of Country Music. I can turn my Pandora station to 90s country and sing along with most of the songs. It reminds me of being carefree and the worst thing I feared was the wrath of my mother if my chores were not done and studying for math tests….It reminds me of summertimes spent outside and fall days in a small elementary school in the middle of nowhere…There is nothing like music that can make you remember things good – and bad, I guess.

    The Dukes of Hazzard hands down was my favorite childhood series. I was born about 4 years after the final episode but I have seen every episode and have them all on DVD. Truly a great show…wish they still made shows like this…funny, yet family friendly! Love it!!!! Blessings to you, John…aka Bo 🙂

  9. Every time I watch the dukes it brings me back to when I was a kid, and when my kids are watching it with me it makes me feel like I’m a kid with my buddies ( and my kids are my little buddies) watching them good ol’ boys fight for what’s good an always winning in the end! Even when I hear some old willie, Waylon, Johnny cash, Jessie colter, Johnny paycheck it brings me back to the old days of playing with my dukes playsets, those were the days…..I love it I love it….I’m gone!

  10. Hi John I am now 44 years old I remember watching the Dukes of Hazzard When I was a kid with my father who is deceased now but everytime I watch the shows it takes me back when he was alive and spent a lot of time with me I miss those days so much and today my children watch the show and they love it I just want to lthank you for bringing back those memories

  11. It’s really seeing the General Lee flying through the air. I am a fan of action movies and car chases. The Dukes of Hazzard was really my first memory of all things action. I still compare car chases on film to the Dukes and the stunt work is just not the same anymore with CG. There was something raw back in those days. A purity. Which takes me back to a simpler time…

  12. Everyone has something and or someone that reminds them of days gone by.My horses remind me of my Grandpop Bill who gave me my love for horses and my 1st pony at 4, the smell of diesel fuel reminds me of my dad because I used to clean his shirts, favourite 1 liners from your favourite movie “Fill your hands you son of a bitch’ True Grit and my favourite actor John Wayne, “Islands in the Stream’ old flames. The list goes on they make us who we are and bring back good and bad memories. May the continue to make and improve our lives

  13. Dukes does give me very happy thoughts of the past. I started watching Dukes as a 5 year old kid with my grandfather. Was nice times sitting with him watching. Now all these years later my kids are sitting watching the show with me. A show that’s now spanned 4 generations of my family. My daughter is the same age now as I was when I first started watching. Looking her sitting there watching Dukes can’t believe that was me all those years ago.

  14. Our sense of smell is a good collector to trigger childhood memories. One time in my teenage years, being the right setting in summer, with a warm, gentle breeze, dry and a hint of roses, it instantly made me stop, close my eyes, relax and remember being around 4 years old and walking to my friends place, or to one of the old candy stores. Back when I was younger, I had to pass several rose bushes to get to some places and in summer with the right wind direction and gentleness and light scent of the roses, there would be a calmness that would come over me. Still does to this day. 🙂

  15. Whenever I smell auto grease, I think of my Pa. He was a “shadetree” mechanic, in the rural farmlands of Illinois. He could fix anything. I remember one time, someone brought a bulldozer for him to look at. I was really, really close to my mom’s parents. Whenever I watch the movie, “Field of Dreams,” that part where Kevin Costner’s character introduces his daughter to her grandpa, just gets me. My kids never knew my grandparents while they were alive. You signed a, “get well,” card for my Pa back in 1985 when he was in the hospital.

  16. Hey John! I am 29 and was raised on The Dukes, and am passing in the love to my three littles. So you boys are what takes us back, too. Much love!

  17. Wow. Some of my best memories were of my family sitting in front of a tv on Friday nights watching you.

    My childhood wasn’t very good, lol so I escaped to Hazzard county every week. Some people get that. Glad you do.

    Meeting you in 2012 was awesome! That was a dream come true. I know a lot of people would say the same thing. You are just that type of person. Last year I watched all day how you interacted with your fans. It was amazing. You never stopped. You rarely sat down… I saw grown men giddy because they met you. Giddy because you brought them back a place of innocence.. You acted like you genuinely cared about the people who came to see you. It was a privilege to watch. Now excuse me as my tv didn’t record last nights episode of the haves and have nots… Now I got to try to find it online.

  18. “The Dukes of Hazzard” is a sweet memory for me! I go back to my first job in a department store, much like a Walmart, but the name of the store was Gibson’s. I worked after school and on Friday nights one of the guys in the hardware department would play the ‘Dixie horn’ on one of those Merlin games over the intercom while we were closing up. That let us know it was time to get home and in front of our TV set! We loved it when a new shipment of Dukes ‘toys’ would come in. Action figures, games, models of the General and Daisy’s Jeep… We couldn’t wait to tear into those boxes! The only problem was we had to put it out on the shelves for other people to buy!
    Another good memory of “Dukes” for me was watching it with my daddy. How often do a 17 year old girl and her daddy watch a TV show together? He didn’t watch TV much. He liked to read and work crosswords. But he loved Roscoe and Flash! Every year when one of us had a birthday we’d tell the other one “There was a horrendous crash during the night… when you hit whatever age we were.” We got that ‘horrendous crash’ part from Roscoe, of course. That show was something special that we shared.
    There are other things that take me back to those times… hearing Elton John’s ‘Philadelphia Freedom’; or Rod Stewart’s ‘Maggie May.’ Those songs especially remind me of my cousin and all the fun we had together in our early years. She’s lived on the other end of the state from me for 30 years now. But every now and then one of us will pop up on the other’s Facebook page and say “hey, do you remember when we……?” And it takes us back – back to simpler times, back to carefree times, back to the happy days of our youth!

  19. You are a wonderful actor! When I see you I see john and appreciate the role you are playing, yet my mind goes straight back to the wonderful times I had sitting in front of the tv watching my heroes, bo and Luke! You were my first childhood heroes and you made being nice and helping people really cool! You were cool extensions of what my parents taught me. I truly thank you.

  20. You know u watch 2 much dukes when…. I thought u was talkin about jumpin ur car over the cliff rather then u junpin into the water.

    A couple of Wopat’s songs makes me think of Dukes just from the wording of lines.

    George Strait’s All My Ex’s Live in TX makes me think of the trips to the cottage or how when I was a kid I thought he meant the letter X lol.

    And ur own songs makes me think of my trip to Cali. But between u and tom the most I reflect on while listening is seeing u 2 in Niagara Fall, Ontario in 2011 and 2012 and wonder if u 2 will come bk sometime soon. even if it ends up being one at a time.

    Better ends this chat b4 u don’t have time 2 read it lol.

  21. Wow. Talking about Dejavu. I’ve tried to explain it myself in one of my earlier blogs. If I have to put my thoughts and feelings about it up here I’m gonna take in half of the page and I don’t want to do that. Gonna give the link to my blog instead if you’re interested: You can read there what the simple smell of a cigar took me back to my childhood.

    Oh… about the Sally and Charlie story… I come back to my own words… You are right… People are looking for appreciation. Even me. Even I like it if I’m appreciated, if my help is appreciated, if my inspiration is appreciated. Through appreciation you may feel great, but if the appreciation isn’t there… Talking about something that’s taking me back to my childhood… Sorry, feeling a little blue.

  22. John Hijole to me personally this series Dukes between me fond memories as you say your special security for my comfort that each party saw this series was what I enjoyed the most of some songs flavors odors related to the Dukes and every time was here the day that passed was special was waiting I glad I was glad I was going to see my favorite series Oh John I did evoke beautiful memories, the Dukes never forgot not think do are in my heart are special for my cute 80s from those who came here to Mexico series and he stayed in my taste.

  23. What takes me back to a simpler time is looking at all my old Christmas ornaments and decorations that I had as a kid. Even my father was alive at that time…My early home environment was very warm, positive and nurturing. But certainly seeing you, John, in Dukes, Smallville or whatever puts me in a happy place!

  24. Coach John,
    It’s watching both the Dukes AND Smallville(which I’m addicted to-thanks). When I watch the Dukes, it reminds me of what I considered “must see tv” due to a certain blonde guy. Then when I watch the reruns of Smallville which are airing on TNT, the early seasons remind me of my high school days. I just wish my high school days were like what is on Smallville.

  25. Sept. 1974 ,I can tell U a Lot of little things can Take me Back so fast,Something some one say’s might do it,A Movie like ,Now Voyager,Or Casablanca ,Some Music will in a Sec. or even the sound of some one’s voice might do it,It Seems as U say to Happen when I’m Not expecting it ,And I may Start out with a Smile and End In tear’s It depends on How far I let my Self Continue to think on it..It’s Hard to Know What will set off thought’s,the passed like it or not is a part of who we Have become today,we may or may not be that person any more but,we live with memories that will always be apart of us as long as we are on this good earth.

    Have a Great And Safe Day
    Always & forever

  26. The sounds or smells from the past can impact our memories. A pressed flower in a book can evoke memories or spark emotion of the high school prom or of a bitter sweet, love affair. When the band Journey comes on the radio, my mind goes back to a time in the 1980s when things were carefree; it’s easy to day dream about what was good and happy. Packing up things in a closet or finding small treasures in a garage or attic can open up a whole vista of surprises. Last week, my husband found a letter dated from 1939 where my great grandfather was transferring his home to my father. The house was a huge old but well- kept Victorian mansion, four floors with marble staircases and intricate chiseled brick and hand carved chimney mantels. The floors were wide-planked, distressed wood from two hundred years in the past where many families had walked upon them, scuffed them up, and sometimes streaked with scratches from kids running their little bicycles indoors during the horrific winters in snowy, ice-bound Buffalo, New York. On the fourth floor a window’s peak looked out over the vast, harsh Niagara River connecting the US to Canada. All these memories came crashing into my mind from just observing this one sheet of thin, yellowed paper. Imagine what the recesses of our brains can hold, secrets buried, ideas held in abeyance, yet to be discovered one day.

  27. Your post brought a long-lasting smile for the morning.
    TV’s “Bewitched”, The Carpenters first album (especially when played on a portable turntable), & the smell of stovetop-popped popcorn drizzled with real butter all start that little film reel of favorite memories and a wave of dreamy contentment.
    On the negative side, remember that once-a-year Sunday night showing of the “The Wizard of Oz” that used to scare the daylights out of us even though we were seeing all of it in black-&-white? I still have tornado dreams after I watch it!
    You’re right. It is indescribable magic.

  28. What takes me back to my childhood days. Is the sound of Church bells on a Sunday morning. It always seems to be summer when I think back. The sound of the ice cream van coming down the road, playing outside on my bike with my friends. Seeing my grandma on a Sunday with my dad and younger brother( while mum could get on with making the Sunday roast).
    A song I hear on the radio can also take me back especially Elvis songs. (My parents were and still are big fans). I am just a tad too young to remember the Dukes of Hazzard the first time round (sadly) but I’ve caught up since. Sadly they don’t make shows like that anymore about goodness and family values.
    I love feeling Nostalgic.
    I really loved this blog today. Thank you.

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