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.

DUKESSET5
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

43 thoughts on “The years fly by”

  1. Hi John, I’m sure you’ve heard this countless times but the Dukes was and still is my all time favorite show. I grow up on it every Friday night at 8. I’m 38 now, married, with a 12 year old son. I started him out as a baby watching the Dukes and he loves it. When he was about 5 my Chevy Blazer needed a new paint job and I left it up to him. Well guess what we ended up with? A 1987 S-10 Blazer painted bright orange with 01 on the doors and a rebel flag on the roof. Complete with a dixie horn. Man she really turned the heads. Last year we got to meet Rick Hurst at Cooter’s in Tenn. Such s a nice guy. Anyway congrats on the 35 years! Yeehaw!! ,Superfan Spencer Arthur

  2. Hello Mr. Schneider, I want to say im so glad I was able to grow up with you and the wonderful cast. The General Lee started the love of cars I still have today @ 36. I got to go see the General Lee at the World of Wheels car show every year. . I wanted to be Bo Duke! I was for Halloween many times;) I went to Bonduraunt to learn how to drive like you. I hope some day I can meet you in person to shake your hand and tell you in person how much I thank you for all you did for me and the inspiration you still provide. You never stopped being an inspiration in my life to some extent, Smallville too. I know it was writing but you provided such genuine feeling. I lost my father in 1984 and you guys were my family, im sorry about your dad. I know he looks down on you with pride. Thanks so much.

    1. Thank you Jarod. Funny thing… I went to Bondaurant every year that I did the show to keep my skill level up. They were at Sears Point in Marin county CA then though.
      Thanks for the kind words.

  3. Unbelievable how much I still truly love this show and even get emotional watching every night. I am grown now (well into my 40s) with a family including 3 kids with all related responsibilities. The show puts me in such a happy place far removed from the stresses of life every evening. Thank you so much John for your posts.

  4. My family & I are moving to Tennessee next year from Oregon. But we are going there to see what it’s like this year when are you guys having ur Hazzard homecomming. I’ve been a big fan sense I was a child. I know u guys hear that all the time. I was woundering when and where its going to be in 2014 so I can plan to go. I also love u in The Haves and The Have Nots. I watch that every week along with the Dukes. Can u call or text me at 541-643-4467 when u find out when Hazzard homecomming is going to be hope in Nashville. We are goingto move there or Gatlinburg Tn. Can u email what it’s like out that way. And loved u in Dr. QUINN MEDICINE WOMAN. Also sully.

  5. I love this show. I grew up with it and now take my son to see as many dukes related themes as possible,he loves it too. I have pics to prove it.
    We went to cooters in severville last spring where he got a Bo Duke figure for his General Lee,that I never had. Although I came close to getting my first charger (it slipped past me) I hope one day to fulfill my dream of meeting you guys and getting my own General
    Thanks for being my favorite tv show of all time hope to hear from you.
    Will mccoy

  6. I remember as a child that I went to the Central States Fair and I HAD to be back in time to watch the Dukes or there would be hell to pay! Well, we got back and was 5 minutes late and oh boy was I mad!

  7. Hi John, i’am an italian big fan of ” The Dukes of Hazzard” .I love the dukes, they were my family, and It’s my favorite series. I whatched for the first time in 1985, and i still watch it on Fox Retro. I miss Sorrell and Denver…Thanks a lots

  8. I love the show big part of my life. I started watching in 1979 at the age of 8, I recorded the shows with my tape recorder. I have a General Lee I built myself that was my get away car for my wedding, my two sons are named Luke and Bo. The coolest TV show ever.

  9. There were so many lovable unique quirks about Dukes that made it a one-of-a-kind, won’t-ever-be-able-to-be-copied-successfully show. Waylon Jennings’ running commentary was sheer genius in its simplicity. Who wrote the running commentary?

  10. Hi John! Been a big fan of you since the dukes. Happy anniversary to u and the rest of the cast and crew. Greatest family show ever

  11. I was a kid when this awesome show came out and I’m going to be 40 in October! a lot of great memories with my cousin and grandfather watching this show! I also watched you on Smallville You even had family values on there too kind of like The Waltons and the dukes and even Andy Griffith! thanks for the memories!

    1. I believe it was the jump Allen Wyatt Jr. did in “Grannie Annie” over the train in Oxnard, CA. 184 feet long and 25 feet high. Pretty impressive when you consider that it was from ramp to pavement!

  12. ill be 35 in February and born and raised in snellville ga now live in conyers ga i actually live five miles from the original dukes farm i just found that out one day two yrs ago when i seen rusty cash and his buddies go by my house with three general lees and two rosco cars and they let me follow along and showed me some sites from the show i guess they knew i fit in i had a 01 hat on and a 01 front plate on my truck lol my mom still tells stories about how much she loved the show dukes of hazzard cause she knew for one hr every week i did not move or bother anything the whole time the show was on lol

  13. That was great seeing all the vintage pics! I have a lot of fond memories of watching The Dukes of Hazzard with the family on Friday nights when I was a kid. I have now passed on the tradition to my 4 year old son, as he loves watching the regular show and the cartoon.

  14. I can not believe it was 35 years ago that the Dukes debut. The Dukes was a big thing at my house on Friday nights. The living room was always full. My brother Allen cousins Wesley and Jason and of cores myself were stretched out on the floor and on the couch and as soon as mom got the popcorn popped she would join us she always sit in the recliner so we would eat popcorn and drink soda while we watched the show. Sometimes my other cousins Christina Cindy and Ellen would come down and join us. Then there was the Friday nights that it would be myself and my cousin Lori when it was just me and Lori we had to have chips, cheese, and Pepperoni we would make potato chip sandwiches yeah I know it sounds nasty but, it is actually not bad. One thing is for sure the Dukes were a big event on Friday nights at my house. Sweet memories that was spent with family and friends and of cores the Dukes. Yes I guess the years have went by so quickly . So happy 35 years to you and the whole cast.

  15. September 15th, 1980, 4 in the evening, National Televison TVN.., Santiago de Chile, Southamerica, .I was 15 years old. This day, I watched my first episode of The Dukes. “One-armed Bandits”…
    Since that day, the family Duke has been part of my family. …until now, my niece, 9 years old, knows each member of this family…and loves Uncle Jesse. I just wanted to share it….

  16. Hey John, I love the dukes they were my family when I was growing up. They were there when I needed to escape. Now when I watch they are like old friends. Love all of you and I really like this site thanks! Sue

  17. Mr. John, I remember watching the Dukes the night the series premiered on television. I was hooked from the first scene and have remained a devoted fan to this day. I never missed a first-run episode.

    I have to say that your former co-workers have accomplished something today that I’ve not been able to accomplish for YEARS. Both of my sons (ages 26 and 21) were raised watching the Dukes, too. Today is the first Sunday in I don’t know how long that my 21-year-old son has stayed home all afternoon – glued to the television. He’s usually out running around with friends, but he’s definitely a second generation fan.

    I offer sincere thanks to you for being so generous with your time in regards to your lifelong fans, both through this blog and through all of your endeavors to serve and help people.

  18. Congrats on 35 years .. wow those were the days
    I remember climbing through the car window at a shopping center carpark in 1982 .(age 12) . Mum busted me .. i was grounded for a week lol . ahh memories
    Happy Anniversary to you and the cast members , and there will be many more
    xxx
    Cheers Scooty

  19. I have watched the dukes of hazzard my whole life I liked all the fight scenes you did with Tom and all the jump scenes you did. I’m also a big fan of smallville I never missed an episode of either one!!

  20. I just saw that poignant self-portrait of you at the Holiday Inn and had to have it. Thanks for this rare opportunity. I wish you were smiling, but little did you know 35 years ago, life would be so amazing for you recognizing your professionalism and full-range talent. We fans are so grateful to have this wonderful interactive blog with you. Thanks.

  21. John, love The Dukes Of Hazard. I grew up in the 80’s & remember the show well. Keep you articles coming

      1. Hello John i am your biggest fan..I met you last year at the dukes of hazzard reunion in peach county..Then we took a picture but my camera messed up..:) Cheers John From Shane..

  22. Memories….Dukes has been a part of my life for these past 35 years. Never will there be a show that comes close to being in the same league Dukes is. All the cast were amazing. The story lines were great, the whole family could watch. Thoughts go out to those of the cast who sadly are no longer with us anymore.

  23. I’ve been a diehard fan from the series debut. I have a heart full of respect and affection for every member of the original core cast (plus Rick Hurst). The Dukes of Hazzard is one show that I don’t think will ever disappear from American culture – it shouldn’t ever disappear, anyway.

  24. John, hi! I am your number one fan! You did an EXCELLENT job playing your part on “The Dukes of Hazzard”. I hope to meet you, and rest of the cast that’s still living one day!!!! 🙂 Happy 35th Anniversary and Birthday to The General Lee!

  25. I was totally in love with you as a teenager and still enjoy watching reruns as well as your movies and music. God bless

  26. Years do fly by…Speaking of which, I met a man, (John Kennedy), whose brother, Reed Kennedy, sold you some property in Laurel Canyon about 35 years ago! And according to Reed’s brother, you also helped him finish a song he wrote called “If You Could See Me Now.” What a small world…Then after dinner last night, I said to my husband, we’ve got to see a John Schneider movie! We watched “Snowbeast” and loved every minute of it! May you feel very inspired today and every day!

  27. Hi John I hope you had a good breakfast and if as you say the years fly by and on the other hand have spent 35 years fijate the series premiere of Dukes and yet millions still love us this is great for me I never forget my favorite series my beloved Dukes

  28. At some time 2day I plan to watch the pilot episode on dvd.

    I started watching dukes 18 yrs ago. Well it will b 18 yrs ago feb 5. When I saw it on TNN bk in 96 I was like I swear I have seen this show b4. I asked mom and she said it was possible I remembered some stuff from the show as I was almost 2 when it went off the air in 85.

    Happy 35th Anniversary to u and the rest of TDOH cast.

    1. I love the show so much when I Got off the bus from school I would run home just see what them good old boys & that General Lee & what they would be jumping over I love that part and it was what we would talk about the next day lol ty god for someone taking care of the shows Hope To Meet Some of you one day born in Col. Ga. But raised here in the small town P.C AL 74 ” and loven these dirt roads, but there slowly now are fading away miss them good old days Big Fan T.Scott.C

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