By Thomas Garcia
QCS Senior Writer
I don’t have the TV Land channel, but I do feel that its decision to pull the “Dukes of Hazzard” from its scheduled lineup is a bit much.
I know it has been a few weeks since this happened but I wanted to share my thoughts on the pulling of the ‘80s action comedy amid all the Confederate flag controversy.
I found nothing offensive about the show nor the Confederate flag that was painted on the roof of the aptly named “General Lee,” an orange 1969 Dodge Charger that carried Bo and Luke Duke on their many adventures in Hazzard County.
In fact, like many others, I wanted my very own “General Lee” to drive around — and across bridges and fields.
I had four “General Lee” Hot Wheels cars because even my sister, cousins and friends wanted to make our getaway in that car.
I can’t tell you how much fun I had watching the show and wondering how the Duke boys were going to save Uncle Jesse and Daisy from the clutches of Boss Hogg.
I know now that the Duke boys always managed to save the day. Although when I was a child, I was always on the edge of my seat with worry only to erupt for joy when I heard that horn blare and the Duke boys cry out in victory.
Even the fact that Hazzard County Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane was “on the take” did not offend me in later years.
Perhaps it was the fact that while Sheriff Coltrane may have been a willing accomplice to Boss Hogg’s schemes, he’d usually come to do good, be it by a foolish blunder or a genuine act of good.
I’ve also found it hard to root against someone who had a basset hound (Flash) as a sidekick. My mom would get a kick out of seeing the sheriff chase the Dukes while his basset hound was sitting shotgun.
Come to think about it, it’s kind of difficult to be offended by the show when one of its main protagonists spends his time loving his dog and trying to get a bite to eat from Boss Hogg.
Growing up, the Duke boys were the heroes of the show and it was not until much later that I discovered that they were actually on probation for running moonshine. As a condition of the probation, Uncle Jesse agreed to stop making moonshine and the Bo and Luke could not carry a gun.
This, of course, explained a lot, as I always wondered why they used the bow and arrow in several episodes. Even though they were not supposed to cross the county line, they were not supposed to break any laws. Those Duke boys sure spent a lot of time being chased around while trying to help out a stranger or one of their neighbors.
Maybe I didn’t understand prejudice and racism when I was a child; perhaps I don’t have the right perspective because I didn’t grow up in the South.
Even though my last name is Garcia and at some point this year I will be asked to recommend a good Mexican restaurant, I’m still find nothing offensive about the Confederate flag atop the “General Lee.”
Maybe I missed the episode where the Dukes help a “Grand Dragon” make it to a rally or set a blaze a church or two. I doubt it, but maybe.
Amidst all of the controversy, anger and politics about a flag and those fighting for the right to “fly it high” or “take it down,” I can’t help but feel we’ve gone a bit astray.
“Lost sheep to shepherd, lost sheep to shepherd, you’ve got your ears on?”
Thomas Garcia is a senior writer at the Quay County Sun. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org