Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
RogerDuke

Ray Kohn's Dukes Show

79 posts in this topic

I just got home from an amazing experience near Youngstown Ohio. It was a Dukes of Hazzard stunt show that was absolutely unbelievable. Words can't describe how amazing it was but I'll try anyways when I write up a lengthy review of it tomorrow.

Once again, thanks to Daney Duke for posting the information regarding this show on the northern DukesFest thread. Without her, I never would have known about it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's the morning after the big show and I woke up late still in awe of the experience.

I left my house at 5:00 yesterday and arrived at Yankee Lake (just north of Youngstown Ohio) around 6:15. Scattered thunderstorms were forecast and right on cue, it started downpouring when I pulled in. I sat in my car for about 15 minutes and then the sun started shining and a beautiful full rainbow appeared right over the spot where Ray Kohn of Northeast Ohio Dukes was sceduled to do his big General Lee jump. I wondered if it would be cancelled because of the car not being able to get good traction in the mud. Or, maybe the rainbow was an omen that Ray would have a safe and awesome jump. I like to call it a Raynbow,

Yankee Lake was a blast. There is a hill and bleachers overlooking a valley that was full of mud. It was "Truck Night" and everybody and their redneck brother was down there getting their four wheel drives buried. Needless to say, I immediately felt right at home. Google "Yankee Lake Ohio" to see lots of great videos of muddy trucks.

I've never seen so many orange shirts in one place. I'm not sure what the attendance was. Somebody there told me 7,000 but it sure looked like a lot more than that. There must have been 1,000 people with Dukes shirts on. I've never been to a DukesFest but this is the next best thing to it.

I didn't know what to expect from this show. I called Ray a month ago and he told me they had some cool stuff planned but it exceeded my wildest expectations.

The show played out like an episode. The annonuncer introduced the characters. Ray was Bo Duke. They also had a Luke of course. The Duke boys had a show car for a General Lee and a General that was scheduled to make the jump. Cooter and Daisy drove around in Daisy's white Dixie Jeep. There were three police cars, one was an original looking Fury. Boss Hogg had an original white Boss convertable Caddy that was driven by a chauffer. Boss was played by Ray's brother. My favorite character was Uncle Jesse. He drove a 1973 Ford F-150 just like my hero had. I talked to him for a long tiime before and after the show. He looks and acts so much like Jesse I felt like I was talking to the genuine article. And....he's Ray Kahn's father. This family is as close to the real Dukes as you can get!

For sake of length, I won't go into the plot of the episode. The narrator introduced the characters and the fun began. To make a long story short, Boss tried to set the Duke boys up by having Rosco plant moonshine in the General Lee. The stunts were spectatular. I was expecting a big General Lee jump and a couple minor little stunts but what I got was drama, fights, Daisy being kidnapped, several chases, two police car jumps and a hair-raising roll with an explosion and a bad guy stuck in a car on its roof. To make matters more scarry, the car smoked so bad I thought it was going to catch fire.

What a spectacular show!! I didn't know it was going to play out like an episode and I was delighted. I felt like I was sitting on top of Eagle Rock in Hazzard County looking down at the adventures of the real Dukes. Talk about getting into the fantasy!

Just as the experience started, it ended with a storm. The episode was coming to a close and the wind started to kick up. Then it really started to blow! Trees were waving all over the place and I wondered if the big jump would be cancelled. Lightning was getting close. But, just like a real episode Ray....excuse me, Bo....busted though the road closed sign (that had fallen down in the strong wind) and made a spectacular jump at the end to save the day. Unbelievable! Seconds afterward, it started raining cats and dogs. If they would have tried to make the jump one minute later I doubt they could have pulled it off. You don't get more dramatic than that. I don't want to give Ray too much credit though. His special effects team was great but not good enough to create a thunderstorm and time it perfectly like that. Unbelievably!!!

It was a once in a lifetime event for me and I'll never forget it. Well, maybe not once in a lifetime....Uncle Jesse told me there's a show in Painsville (east of Cleveland) next month. I'm not sure what it will be like compared to this one but I gaurantee you I'll be there. We'll post more information on it later.

After the show I helped Ray's father load up the F-150 with a couple small items. I felt like I was working on the Duke farm helping Uncle Jesse. It probably didn't seem like a big deal to Mr. Kohn but it was a thrill to me.

Now if I can just get the Kohn family to adopt me!

Edited by RogerDuke

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Roger- Thank you sooo much for sharing your wonderful experience with us! The thunderstorms and rain was amazing for me to hear it worked out so well for you. I am glad that it did! You sound like you were in for a great show...like you were watching an episode being made! Wow talk about drama and excitement! I am so glad you got to go and got to help "Uncle Jesse". You talking about Uncle Jesse made me think of this guy I saw at Dukefest that looked just like Jesse. Got my picture taken with him and all. Anyway, am glad that you got to go, it worked out great for you, and that you had such a great time! I hope you get to go to the Cleveland show!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmmm, I'm wondering if it might have been Mr. Kohn. Did they have a lot of Jesse look-a-likes there? Was he standing near a white F-150 with a tribute to Denver Pyle on the back window and Ohio plates?

If he was near a truck you probably didn't pay attention to the plates but I just thought I'd ask. Next time I talk to him I'll have to ask if he went to DukesFests. I know his son did. Do you know what year it was?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Boy Roger, you ask a lot of questions...LOL. I think it was the final two Dukefests that I went to. So that would be in '06 and '07. He did have a white truck that looked like Jesse's, but I didn't pay attention to the plates. He may have had stuff for Uncle Jesse on his truck, not sure though. I'd have to find the pictures.

Glad you had a good time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If he was the only person there who was being like Uncle Jesse there's a good chance it was Mr. Kohn. If there were a lot of Uncle Jesses there, then we may never know.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

He was the only one I remember seeing, but there was a lot of people there so that don't neccesarily mean anything seeing as he was in the crowd and everything. In the crowd and he had his truck with the other cars. It could be him...it'd be interesting to find out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just got off the phone with Ray Kohn and it looks like I was right about two things.

The next Dukes Stunt Show is in Painsville Ohio on August 21st. Painsville is in Lake County east of Cleveland and the stunt show will be at the Lake County Fair. More information will be posted later.

The other thing I was right about is the number of people who witnessed the last General Lee jump. In my review of the show, I made the statement that someone told me there was 7,000 people there but it sure seemed like a lot more. The actual attendance was 13,000.

They sure saw a great show!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If anybody is interested in more information on the next Dukes Stunt Show. It will be located just east of Cleveland Ohio on Saturday August 21st. You can go to www.lakecountyfair.org for more information. When you get there click on the picture of the General Lee to get more information about Ray Kohn or go to www.northeastohiodukes.com.

To the best of my knowledge, this is the only Dukes of Hazzard Stunt show that exists in the world so it's worth going to if you get a chance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since I don't really like to travel far from home I've never been to a DukesFest. The cool thing about Ray's show is how they play it out like a full episode. (In case anybody didn't catch my review of the last show go back to the original page on this thread to see it.)

What I was really thrilled about, was just being around so many other fans of the show. Of course you get that when you go to autograph signings where the stars are but the feeling at these stunt shows is much different. You feel as if you are in Hazzard County watching a day in the life of the Duke boys and the rest of the good folks of Hazzard. I'm excited about experiencing it again. I can't wait until Saturday!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To be quite frank Roger, I just viewed these videos about the jump show and all, and it kinda made me ill, I am dying to have such a car, and these folks just wreck em all, gosh that makes me sad...

I am 45, and my long dream of ever owning my own General lee is fading away, does not look like I will ever have this dream of mine come true......

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
To be quite frank Roger, I just viewed these videos about the jump show and all, and it kinda made me ill, I am dying to have such a car, and these folks just wreck em all, gosh that makes me sad...

I am 45, and my long dream of ever owning my own General lee is fading away, does not look like I will ever have this dream of mine come true......

What a sad post Dukefan. Sorry to hear you think your dream of owning a General Lee fading away. I can see how that would be discouraging and frustrating to see people jumping them and wrecking them like that.

But I have to say, being to Dukefest four times, it is awesome to see them jumping The General like that. It is like nothing else...talking about the excitement. Kinda like being in one of the episodes and watching the boys jump The General like they do. In your view, I can see how that would be kinda frustrating, but being able to witness it, it made for a great time. Know that will probably won't help you out much and I am sure I see it way differently than you do, since I know I'll never have the money or the know how to own a General Lee of my own, but for me, it was worth it (afterall, we all know they wrecked The Generals on the show as well!).

Once again, Dukefan, sorry to hear you feel that way. I hope things will change for you and that you will accomplish your dream of owning one of your very own General Lee. That would be awesome for you as well. Never give up hope or your dreams. You never know. . .

Once again, am looking forward to how your day went, Roger!:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

dukefan, you make a very good point about Ray's jumps ruining Chargers and I could see why you might think that but it's simply not true. Ray is also concerned about that, and he is very selective about picking a car for a jump. He has a General Lee show car that he takes to the events but the cars he jumps are anything but show cars. To be quite honest, they're pieces of junk. They look decent at a distance but they're loaded with bondo and sheet metal that can only be visible upon close inspection. The cars he picks up are ones that are in such bad shape they're not restorable. There's two reasons for that. He's a huge General Lee fan...one of the biggest on the planet. He doesn't want to ruin cars that could be restored. Also, '69 Chargers that are in great shape don't come cheap. Even if there were billions of Chargers left, nobody would wreck an expensive one when a cheap one would work just as well. Believe me, if I thought these cars were restorable I'd be upset too. Today I saw pictures of the jump car in the process of being prepared for the show and I inspected the car close up and it wasn't a car that anybody would fix up. If Ray wouldn't have bought it for the show, it would have just rotted away.

Speaking of the show, it was cancelled because of rain. It rained for about 5 hours before the show, making the track unusable and unsafe. We were all pretty upset. On the bright side, I did get to spend several hours with some great people. I'm now a member of the stunt show so I'm thrilled. I spent the day doing a wide variety of odd jobs and loved every second of it until it ended with the cancellation news. I was especially thrilled when Ray asked me to come up with trivia questions for the audience to win prizes. Sadly, it never materialized though. Thanks Ray, for letting me be a small part of your great team! I picked up a 1:18 scale metal General Lee so I have a lasting memorial of my first day on the crew!

Edited by RogerDuke

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is good news to hear about The Geneal Lees not being wasted like that. It is fun to watch, but never really thought of them ruining good cars like that. It'd be a shame to ruin a good General Lee or one that could be restored.

I am sorry to hear that your show got cancelled or rained out! I get disappointed and frustrated when a race gets rained out, I can only imagine how you feel! Glad you got to meet new people. It is exciting to hear that you got to join Ray's team! :D Am very happy for you, he couldn't have chosen anyone better!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What a shame that the show was cancelled. I watched the videos from previous years and he seems to go higher and longer each year.

I also looked through the 'Jump Car Build' photos - if you look at these it's easy to see the type of wrecks he starts out with. The one in the photos is a very battered/rusty '68 that gets just enough of a makeover to pass for a '69 from a distance.

After looking at the pictures on the website the only thing I'd query is the use of a 2-door Plymouth/Dodge/Chrysler Neon as a patrol car. Surely bigger 4-doors like the other one pictured aren't in short supply are they?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, you got me on that one Hoss. I hadn't really thought about it.

I can't speak for Ray so I'm only guessing here....

I wonder if he just gets what's available. Old Furys would look original but would take a lot more work to find. Plus they're heavy and you have to get them up to speed in a relative short distance so they'd need a big engine and that would make them more expensive. The Charger is heavy too compared to today's cars but he uses a muscular 440 ci engine so that makes up for it.

Ray and his crew are pretty smart and I bet they've done a lot of research on how various cars would perform under jump conditions....not to mention what they've experienced themselves.

The bottom line is that there's just more junkers laying around from the 1990s than the 60s. I'm sure there are newer heavier cars available that would look more like a Fury because of their size but I'm guessing they just wouldn't jump as well because of their weight and putting an oversized high performance engine in them would be expensive. It would also be impractical if the engine couldn't physically fit in.

In the end I don't think it has an effect on the show at all. I talked to a lot of people at last month's show and I never even heard one person mention it. I'm sure people noticed that the cop cars were newer and smaller. They just didn't care because the rest of the show was just so awesome.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It looks like my friend Ray Kohn is up to it again.

He has a Dukes stunt show scheduled for Saturday June 11 at Barberton Speedway in Ohio.

Unfortunately I have a family commitment that has been planned for months so I won't be able to attend but I will be at his show on July 1 at another Ohio location. I'll be posting more about that in the future.

Since I won't be going I haven't looked too much into the event but I do know that they're AWESOME!

To get information just google North East Ohio Dukes or Barberton Speedway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Brian for putting it on the Home Page. I'm sure Ray appreciated it. He is a regular reader of the HazzardNet even though he rarely posts. I just got home from being gone for three days so I still haven't heard how things went. I sure hope everything came out okay. Those jumps are pretty risky.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for posting about it, Roger. Always feel welcome to shout it out here on the Forums, and I can put a post on the homepage prior to the event. Looks like they have two more shows coming up this summer -I'll keep 'em on the radar.

Anybody who goes through such lengths (and heights, and risk, and expense) to pay tribute to the Dukes of Hazzard, deserves some attention.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0