January 26th was The Dukes of Hazzard Day, so we went looking for “Cooter” who portrayed the wild, unshaven mechanic in the TV series – a.k.a former Congressman Ben Jones (Dem. GA). We found him in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with a little help from his wife Alma Viator who has been a friend of Hollywood on the Potomac for many years. Together, they are the proprietors of “Cooter’s Place,” the “Dukes of Hazzard” museum, and shops in Sperryville, Virginia; Gatlinburg and Nashville, Tennessee. They also founded “Dukesfest,” a huge annual gathering of “Dukes” fans.
The Dukes of Hazzard premiered on CBS in 1979 as a television comedy about two good-old-boy cousins in the rural south and their souped-up 1969 Dodge Charger known as the General Lee. The show was known for its car chases and stunts and the General Lee, which had an orange paint job, and a Confederate flag across its roof and the numbers “01” on its welded-shut doors. The General Lee also had a horn that played the first 12 notes of the song “Dixie.” The final episode originally aired on August 16, 1985, but the show resurfaced as several TV specials and a 2005 movie starring Johnny Knoxville, Seann William Scott and Jessica Simpson.