One Armed Bandits

Welcome to Hazzard County, a stretch of land where three states converge, none of which claim Hazzard as their own because, frankly, they don’t want it. It’s also where the local sheriff, Rosco P. Coltrane smuggles hundreds of slot machines into the county, which is the premise of the Dukes of Hazzard pilot, “One Armed Bandits.”

That’s right––the sheriff is a gambler. He’s also in cahoots with the county commissioner, J.D. (Jefferson Davis) “Boss” Hogg, the wealthiest man in the county who has all that money because he owns almost all of Hazzard County’s property and businesses. Always at the ready to “Get them Duke Boys,” Hogg isn’t exactly on the right side of the law he supposedly upholds.

And the Duke boys, Beauregard “Bo” Duke and his cousin, Lukas K. “Luke” Duke, while finding their way to trouble in most every episode, are perhaps more morally sound than local law enforcement. In the pilot, the boys’ goal is to turn the illegal slot machine racket into a good deed.

Where did the idea of public servants being corrupt come from? Well, we know it happens from time-to-time that county commissioners have more power than state senators and some of them find their way to sideways activities––not all of them, of course.

I mention this because the first episode of Dukes of Hazzard aired January 26, 1979, thirty-seven years ago this week. It is because of Dukes that I’ve met some of the best people I’ve ever known, who taught me about the same deep morals and values that we tried to impart by way of the show––those people are you, the fans. Thank you for your consistent support throughout the years.

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