On Sunday while walking in downtown Portland, I heard the theme song for the General Lee from the Dukes of Hazzard. As I looked down the cross street at the intersection I was in, I see the actual General Lee (or a replica) driving fast down the street, blaring the horn. It brought back memories from my childhood. See, some might say I was a deprived child, and some might say it was a blessing in disguise. I grew up without a functioning television set in our house.
What did that mean for me? I absorbed television at friend’s houses and when I spent time with my grandma. Those were the days of Nick at Nite, and the constant circulation of reruns. One of my favorite shows with the Dukes of Hazzard. Of course I watched plenty of Love Boat, I Love Lucy, Three’s Company, and more current versions of my childhood Full House, Perfect Strangers, and Family Matters. It was the 80’s.
With all the recent talk about the Confederate flag, I heard that the owners of the actual General Lee may paint over the Confederate flag. Why? I am not saying I support the Confederate flag or what it stands for, but the General Lee is a car with the flag from a television show from 1979-1985. It is a moment of time in the history of television. In any case, I digress. What I really wanted to talk about was Daisy Duke. I adored her. While she tended to be the only “known” woman on the show (none of the other women that were young had reoccurring roles), somehow I wanted to be Daisy. What little girl did not? Scary as it might be the “look” of Daisy Duke is not that much different from “models” today.
While I have nothing near the body of Daisy Duke, the one thing I loved about her — no one pushed her around. Sure, half the men were speechless in front of her, but those that could hold their own usually ended up with a kick in the ass by one of her heels. Maybe that is why I liked her so much. I can remember one year (I think I was in third grade), Daisy Duke was going to be at our mall and I got a photograph of her signed. I was so excited — I thought I had met my own version of Wonder Woman. I wonder whatever happened to that signed photo of Daisy Duke?
My sister and a good friend just had babies in the last two months. It is fun watching (well I guess more through pictures at the moment) and thinking about Chris being a father someday. It has also prompted me to be reflective about my relationship with my own father. It was not really a rock-solid relationship. We had hard times, we had good times, but through it all we had memories. Here are a few remembrances of my dad:
If I knew I would lose him at such a young age, I would have kept all the letters he wrote to me on Christmas Eve (aka Santa who ate my cookies and drank the egg nog). Of course we left out egg nog for Santa, my dad LOVED his egg nog. The letters from Santa though, I guess I got rid of them, and they were the few letters I had from my dad. It would have been fun today to hear his wisdom. Especially during a holiday he loved. I am positive his letters probably shared his best self.
I wish he had been here long enough to meet Chris. He would have inadvertently taught him about construction. Chris would have picked up things quickly and learned to leave the truly professional jobs for the professionals.
He would have fun talking to Chris about cars. His “Automobile Quarterly” was a cherished possession. The two of them would geek out, although he would probably talk Chris’ head off with his endless stories of growing up on his Dad’s car lot.
The only movie I can remember seeing with him is, “Who Framed Roger Rabbit.” Seriously? What was he thinking? Bad movie, Dad.
His blue pickup truck was, well honestly, a piece of shit, but it was his truck and it contained all of his endless notes, crappy construction items, odd-shaped pencils, tape measures, clipboards, and what I will never forget, the device you could wire to the horn and play my favorite ever – the Dukes of Hazzard theme song. How cool I thought it was to have that blaring from the truck as we drove down the street.
I wish I knew I had a short time with him. I would have gotten over the grudge I held for so long. Not that it would have been easy for him, but I would have made us talk through our differences.
I do not remember it as much as a kid, but as I got older and saw him less and less, he seemed to show his emotion more and more. If only that had started earlier on in my life. If only.
He was a good/big hugger. Maybe that is where I get it from.
He had an addiction to Ritz crackers and peanut butter. I do not share this addiction. It just makes me think of sandpaper and glue. Dry and sticks to your mouth. Lime chips are where it is at! Wish I could spoil him with my addiction.
He would have loved iPhones. Not for the email, or phone, but for the games. If he knew you could play Cribbage, Euchre, Scrabble, Solitaire, I can imagine how unproductive he would have become. I think he would have played me from wherever he would be living.
What activities made you happy as a child? Could you list them right now? If so, do they bring a smile to your face? I started thinking about what made me happy as a kid this past weekend when I came across this picture of me on my Dukes of Hazzard Big Wheel.
me on my new Big Wheel
I LOVED Daisy Duke. She was just the epitome to me at the time of what I would now call a badass. We did not have a TV growing up, so I would live for the chance to watch Dukes of Hazzard at my grandma’s house each week. I remember a local store (I think it was called Zayre’s) had a photo signing by Daisy Duke herself. I do not remember if I actually got to meet her, but I was so proud of that photo with her signature. In my mind she was famous.
I also loved the Dukes of Hazzard theme song. Hey, I am from Indiana. You can take the girl out of Indiana, but you cannot take an Indiana childhood out of the girl. Enough said.
As you can tell from the above picture, I obviously loved my Big Wheel too. It looks like it is brand new and I do know that I am riding it in our living room (flip flops and all). Somethings do not change, I still check the temperature in April to see if I can wear my flip flops yet, and in October to see if I can continue to wear them or if I will freeze.
What I love most about this photo is the absolute glee and happiness on my face. This is my inspiration this week. That I can approach life today with as much excitement and joy as I did on my Big Wheel version of the General Lee.
Are you with me? What Big Wheel riding, Dukes of Hazzard moment of your childhood made you feel like a badass and you smiled from cheek to cheek?