The storyteller here is Mr. Chad Fullerton of North Georgia, an avid fan of "The Dukes" who's been featured on the BRBTV News Blog before (see the November 17 post). Chad emailed BRBTV a week or two ago with this story, and the bottom line is, we felt compelled to pass it along ...
"When I arrived back up here in North Georgia on Tuesday night, I stopped by the post office to gather my mail. When I opened my box, I discovered another key with details of a "larger" box waiting for me in another bin.
"Well, as soon as I made my way over the larger bin, I immediately opened the box and found a rather large package waiting there for me. The first thing that I noticed was the cost of the postage for the item. It was just under $8.00. The second thing that I noticed was that the package had the word 'fragile' written all over it.
"I was going to wait until I got home to open the box, but my curiosity got the better of me and I decided that I had to open the box right then and there. Once I opened the box and pulled all of the packing out, I saw the item. Let me rephrase that. I saw the item secured in foam wrapped by many strips of duct tape. I then proceeded to tear away the duct tape. It took me nearly five minutes to get all of the tape off! That was one heck of a 'hillbilly' wrapping job! (lol)
"Anyways, when I finally got all of the tape off, I discovered that I had been sent a 'custom' 1:18th scale General Lee renamed as the 'GA-Duke.'
"I literally had tears fill my eyes as I read the brief letter that accompanied the car. My friend, Jason Bagwell, had taken the time to build the car and apply custom decals that he had made specifically for me. 'GA-Duke' came from the screen name that I use on the message boards. It also references my Charger's actual state license plate which reads 'GADUKE01.' Jason also had a custom license plate made that reads 'Chad's' on the back.
"I first met Jason back in '99 at a 'Dukes' convention in Covington. To this date, I consider him to be one of the best folks in our great hobby. He had a General Lee replica that had a neat history. His old LEE was actually owned by Warner Bros. back in 1984. The car sat, with a few other Chargers, on a Warner Bros. backlot waiting to be 'General-ized.' However, it was never officially given a General Lee uniform, as the show was cancelled, and the car, along with the other few Chargers, were sold off.
"Anyway, Jason's old LEE was used and featured on an episode of 'Good Day, Atlanta' in 2000 as well as the Travel Channel's 'TV Road Trip' in 2001, that featured none other than 'ol Cooter himself, Ben Jones, wheeling the car around the backroads of Covington and Conyers.
"Fast-forward to 2004: Jason was working in a lab and was exposed to some harmful chemicals. To say the least, his health became an issue. Then, a few months later, he was laid off. That of course, led to the sale of his LEE. He was so bummed, but he said that there was "no other way." He did, however, keep his car's trunklid, which had many autographs on, including Denver Pyle and Waylon Jennings.
"Throughout all the guy has been through, he has remained pretty upbeat. He has replaced his full-sized LEE with models now and has hopes of building another car one of these days.
"I was really touched that he took the time and the money to build me a car. He certainly didn't have to do it."
Thanks to Chad for sending us this story. If you know of another true-life "Dukes" fan story like this one, by the way, email us, and we'll be delighted to post it ...