Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Dukes of Hazzard Memoirs

(picture courtesy of: )

It's a tough world out there. A boy needs healthy examples of family and friends (those who got your back) and heroes (courage and ethics). Any self respecting American boy should also be brought up with a distrust of law enforcement and government power (truth to power). I got all of these through the Dukes of Hazzard as it aired roughly around the time I was about age three to age eight.

(for those looking for a detailed description of this great programme, check here: )

The tail end of that period (not that it was a perfect age - no age is perfect) where men could unapologetically be men, fast well made American cars dominated the markets and roads, and it was understood that it was one's duty to stand up for their own honor. Only the bad guys whined. (Now we all whine).

The Dukes made my first memorable television moments along with Waylon Jennings doing much of the side commentary, keeping us in suspense over commercial breaks (commercials were better than too). A good show will make you want to be part of it, and its conflicts, and I wanted to be a Duke.

And while I couldn't be a Duke, (if they did exist in real life, they would've hated me for being a Yankee Catholic) we did, (my brother and sister and mother) come up with a fun Dukes of Hazzard ritual I remember to this day very fondly during the hot summer nights in Shadyside.

We had cardboard boxes. We each sat in our own. We could decorate these boxes to look like the cars in the car chases. I was probably three years old, so I'm sure mine looked like shit. Regardless, it made us feel as though we were participating in the chases along with an element of creativity. Consider early 1980s virtual reality. A couple other neighborhood kids would come over too. Nobody was too cool for this shit. This was the shit.

Mother would make Chef Boyardee from those pizza "kits" and it was the bomb. (While I make my own well-crafted pizzas these days, I often think about buying one of those pizza kits to bring me back to those times).

All of this was watched on a black and white television. We had decent reception.

Life wasn't hard then.

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