My how far we have came. I remember it was 1982, home fresh from the 1981 Salt Lake City AutoRama, our General Lee, sitting in front of the shop, and one of the guys came running in saying look your car just got featured in Custom Rodder February 1982. Guess the went and shot photos of the 81 AutoRama, which our General got more spectator votes than the one Warner Brothers had on tour in the other area of the show. At least ours ran, and it was seen as more authentic. So with that in March Jimmy MacDonald, myself, Allen Culbertson Junior, Karl and Alfred Kuhn, amongst others assembled in the shop and said, lets start a hot rod club, and have as our foundation everything Hazzard, aka Dukes of Hazzard. So Kathy Dodge, Amy Kuhn, Willie and a few others under Jimmy’s guidance publicized a meeting, got some local gear heads together and did the state registration for the Club’s charter in Idaho, and just before my birthday that year with inspiration of a movie called the Hollywood Knights, the Hazzard County Knytes Kustmz Association was formed. 15 local gear heads met at the then Polish Palace now Snake River Grill, in Hagerman that shortly after gained the name Hazzard, and the club was born. But I did something stupid, showing off for a girl, Allen and I in ye old General, ran from a starting stop to 180 in a quarter mile aka Hazzard’s main street. Now had a kid not been crossing the street at the old post office we would have sailed through without gaining much attention. But that kid on the pedal bike, and the General’s brakes and cutting new grooves in fresh pavement and I was required to do 90 full days in Gooding County’s jail. Yep 90. No TV, no radio, only TV dinners lots of coffee , no Skoal, and only paper and pencil. A few National Enquire papers, that was it.
Last week in August 1982, I got out of jail about floundered over to Cook’s Foodland for Skoal, and all was in business again. In October 1982 just before Halloween the state charter papers arrived and once again at the polish Palace and it was official, the Hazzard County Knytes became something very real. Long before anything Internet, but lots of national press, exchanges between us and Warner Brothers on car and truck supply as a vendor and some other arrangements, and we were the official/unofficial Dukes fan club. Now the real reason Jimmy and I started the Club was to infuse business to the shop, give the locals a place to build grass roots customs, parts supplied by us, and such and both did well, the club gave us a legit tax deduction, . Then came the day in March 1983, I had went to Boise to fetch a car from an Idaho Government official to restore for his son, got home and found my Mom had passed away. What happened next is hard for mny to believe but it happened. The entire cast except Ben Jones aka Cooter showed up in Hazzard aka Hagerman for Mom’s Funeral. The expression of love and support from them meant and still means a lot to me. In May 1983 KTOW FM 105.7 signed on the air, we gained subsidiaries from the Iron Knytes Association a over the road big truck organization, the Deere Dazzlers Association, which is a farm equipment restoration organization focused mainly on John Deere equipment, that had as its organizing President, none other than Utah Jazz Head coach at the time, Jerry Sloan. Which brought in sponsorship from Larry H Miller Auto Group. In 2003 we formed the Hazzard County Choppers Klub, whic is a custom Harley/Indian motorcycle club which is now called the Knytes of Dixie, and in 2006 we formed the AyreWolvez Military Aviation Association for warbird enthusiasts as well as to honor us who flew in and with various squadrons of the Navy and Marine Corps. At last accounting off all units of the organization, we have a membership of 300,000 and a treasury of $250,million in the cash stash. All started from a small rural country hot rod shop in a town of 800 called Hagerman aka Hazzard Idaho.