These pictures of Dukes of Hazzard stuff

 Surely, at age 7, Tina and I must've looked EXACTLY like Daisy Duke.

Surely, at age 7, Tina and I must've looked EXACTLY like Daisy Duke.

Who was your first love?

Bo Duke was my first love. It's hard to say exactly when it happened — after all, Dukes of Hazzard was on from 1979 to 1985 — but suffice to say that, somewhere between the ages of 3 and 6, I fell in love for the first time. Apparently the sex appeal of shaggy blonde hair, dreamy blue eyes, and tight jeans transcends puberty. 

At daycare, my friend Tina and I used to "be" Daisy Duke while we made the other, younger kids play the roles of Bo and Luke Duke, Uncle Jesse, Crrraaaaazy Cooter, Roscoe P. Coltrane, and Boss Hogg. Tina and I would do the thing where you pull the bottom of your t-shirt up through its own neck to create a makeshift crop top. We were transformed: We were Daisy.

My insistence on continual inhabitation of Hazzard County didn't stop when I got home from daycare. My brother had the full set of Dukes of Hazzard matchbox-type cars. He and I could come up with infinite plotlines involving the General Lee, Daisy's jeep, Uncle Jesse's pickup truck, Cooter's tow truck, and the fleet of police cars belonging to Hazzard's hapless team of deputies and sheriffs. Yes, it involved a great deal of launching of the General Lee from various household surfaces.

 My brother totally had this exact set of Ertl cars. 

My brother totally had this exact set of Ertl cars. 

That's why my visit to Cooter's Place, a Nashville museum and gift shop devoted to all things Dukes, was legitimately magical. It was as if someone had taken a capsule containing my earliest hopes (being Daisy Duke) and daydreams (marrying Bo Duke someday) and spilled its contents out into several rather haphazardly arranged glass cases.

Thank you, Cooter (aka actor Ben Jones, who runs the place), for understanding my needs. I didn't know how much I needed to see all of this again until it was right there in front of me. 

For your viewing pleasure, please enjoy these selected innards of my childhood.

 These dolls are frightening. (Did Daisy have a nose job?) I would've wanted them anyway. 

These dolls are frightening. (Did Daisy have a nose job?) I would've wanted them anyway. 

 Kids at my school totally had these lunch boxes. But not the stupid Coy and Vance (fake Duke boys) one. That one's stupid. Nobody liked Coy and Vance.

Kids at my school totally had these lunch boxes. But not the stupid Coy and Vance (fake Duke boys) one. That one's stupid. Nobody liked Coy and Vance.

 Making Boss Hogg oddly skinny in doll form? A fascinating choice.

Making Boss Hogg oddly skinny in doll form? A fascinating choice.

 Dukes of Hazzard dream bedroom, complete with creepy kid who undoubtedly had his very first sexual feelings about Daisy Duke.

Dukes of Hazzard dream bedroom, complete with creepy kid who undoubtedly had his very first sexual feelings about Daisy Duke.

 ONE of the General Lees. Apparently they had a fleet of them, as well as on-staff mechanics who were tasked with hammering out all the dents as quickly as possible after each taping. Those inevitable-in-the-plot-line General Lee jumps weren't for pansies! But seriously, how was there ALWAYS something the Duke Boys needed to jump over in their car? A compelling challenge in the writers' room, to be certain.

ONE of the General Lees. Apparently they had a fleet of them, as well as on-staff mechanics who were tasked with hammering out all the dents as quickly as possible after each taping. Those inevitable-in-the-plot-line General Lee jumps weren't for pansies! But seriously, how was there ALWAYS something the Duke Boys needed to jump over in their car? A compelling challenge in the writers' room, to be certain.

 Those pre-special-effects stunts were actually damn impressive.

Those pre-special-effects stunts were actually damn impressive.

 It was amazing how vigorously and continously they managed to belittle Roscoe.

It was amazing how vigorously and continously they managed to belittle Roscoe.

 Uncle Jesse's spirit spoke to me. (Not really. But I still wish I had my own Uncle Jesse to whittle and spit on the back porch with.)

Uncle Jesse's spirit spoke to me. (Not really. But I still wish I had my own Uncle Jesse to whittle and spit on the back porch with.)

 A scale model of town presided over by an oddly heavenly Boss Hogg? What could be more heavenly than that?

A scale model of town presided over by an oddly heavenly Boss Hogg? What could be more heavenly than that?

 Roscoe's beagle Flash's ability to distract Roscoe and thus save the Duke boys? Equaled only by Daisy's ability to distract.

Roscoe's beagle Flash's ability to distract Roscoe and thus save the Duke boys? Equaled only by Daisy's ability to distract.

 Total dreamboat, amiright? Even somehow acceptable with '70s porn-star mustache.

Total dreamboat, amiright? Even somehow acceptable with '70s porn-star mustache.

 Still dreamy after all these years. 

Still dreamy after all these years. 

 After checking out Cooter's Place, we went next door to the Nashville Palace for lunch. Bo Duke totes followed me there.  

After checking out Cooter's Place, we went next door to the Nashville Palace for lunch. Bo Duke totes followed me there.  

 My husband John shows his appreciation for Cooter's Place — which, yes, was riiiight next to Willie Nelson's store and museum. At Willie's, you could buy tiny red headbands bearing braids made of brown yarn. You know, so that you can turn your infant into a miniature Willie Nelson. 

My husband John shows his appreciation for Cooter's Place — which, yes, was riiiight next to Willie Nelson's store and museum. At Willie's, you could buy tiny red headbands bearing braids made of brown yarn. You know, so that you can turn your infant into a miniature Willie Nelson. 

 SUPER BONUS PHOTO of Willie fortune teller machine. (As-yet unrealized film sequel opportunity: Remake  Big , but with Willie starring as the creepy machine this time.)

SUPER BONUS PHOTO of Willie fortune teller machine. (As-yet unrealized film sequel opportunity: Remake Big, but with Willie starring as the creepy machine this time.)