The years fly by

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So young. So innocent. So long ago!

It’s been 35 years since the Dukes premiered on CBS!

35 years.

Where did it go?

Seems that the days drag on but the years fly by!

I remember that day up there like it was yesterday. Tom, Cathy and I were brought over to Griffith Park in a van. We were near the train museum up against the hill. I was expecting to see a primer grey 69 Charger with a battle flag on the rood and 01 on the door…

(Did you know that the original script for Dukes had the General painted grey for the confederacy? It did. Rumor has it that George Barris commented that it would be very hard to see the car in the Georgia woods if it were grey. He suggested that it be painted a very common color that is found in every auto shop in the country. Engine block orange. That, my friends is how the orange car was born!)

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Likely the first time I saw a car carrier full of General Lees!

After the three of us took those pictures that I’ve been signing for 35 years we walked over to another part of the parking lot where a limo was parked.

At this point in my life a limo only meant one thing… there was a movie star in there.

I was kind of right. there were three movie stars in there. A driver opened the door and out stepped James Best and Sorrel Booke. I knew them all from their movies and television.  Jimmy especially because he’d just starred with Burt Reynolds in “Hooper.” This was HUGE! We said a quick hello and then posed for another photo that’s been under my pen for over three decades. This one:

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Our first time together as a cast. On the side of the road in Griffith Park in Burbank. Notice how serious Jimmy is? Roscoe wasn’t funny yet. boss was thinner too!

I’m going to write more after awhile but wanted to keep going on the blog now. More pictures coming later too.

Keep watching this one. It’s liable to change all day!

Time got away from me in the celebration so there’s only one last thing I can share…

It’s an answer to the question I get most often…

How many General Lee’s did you go through?

Well… my best guess is 329. Here are a few photos to attest to how I came up with that number:

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This is how they often landed. Which is also why WB never net me actually jump the darned thing! Thank you WB!

You just never knew how that car was going to land. It seems like something you’d want to try when you see the show… But I have to tell you that it took a special kind of crazy to do what our stunt guys and gals did!

Here’s on of my favorites. My mother and I were behind the camera when Jack Gill did this one through the roof of a barn! Barnjump Tomsarmento12General’s coming to work in good shape…

…And winding up here by dinner time!VALUZET3

The show was an amazing experience. It changed my life for the better… forever. I’m still closer with Tom and Cathy than I am with almost anyone in the world.

A great guy. Gone way too soon.
A great guy. Gone way too soon.

I still miss Sorrell and Denver and Chris

Denver and his double Bobby Aaron Stevens.
Denver and his double Bobby Aaron Stevens.

and WaylonBoLukeWaylon and all those

Guy Delrusso and Sorrell Booke. Both gone. Both remembered. (That's my hat Guy's wearing BTW)
Guy Delrusso and Sorrell Booke. Both gone. Both remembered. (That’s my hat Guy’s wearing BTW)

behind the scenes who are no longer with us.BOSS1I’m delighted that you are still holding us up to your kids as a show that you can all watch at the same time without fear of hearing or seeing something inappropriate. There are few shows that can say that and fewer still being made today.

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Playing with the water truck on a hot California day!
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Daisy’s Song. Our 2nd episode. No tan shirt for me yet!

I am sure it’s likely that I will never have as much fun JohnonCathyor build the kind of relationships that I was fortunate enough to build during those 7 years.

Allen Wyatt Jr. My double. Gone but never forgotten.
Allen Wyatt Jr. My double. Gone but never forgotten.

The memories I have are still fresh. They still make me smile. They still make me laugh. I wouldn’t trade any of RoscoTomatothem for anything.BossatBank

It may have been us that flew the general for the first time… GENERAL JUMP 2but it’s YOU who keep him flying high in the hearts, souls, minds and memories of those who are fans of that noble family from somewhere south of the Mason Dixon line.

Family. Reunited. Forever!
Family. Reunited. Forever!

Yee Haa! Here’s to the next 35 years!

John R. Schneider aka “Bo Duke” 2014