This is a collaberation between Dixie Davenport and myself, the story is complete but we are still editing.
It was a bright beautiful morning in Hazzard, nothing could go wrong thought BL Davenport as she walked Sadie, her Sheltie a beautiful miniature Lassie lookalike. Stopping to read the town notice board, BL saw a notice that caught her attention instantly, it was a notice looking for a replacement for Miz Tisdale the postmistress.
“Come on Sadie, lets go ask Cooter about this.” BL gave the rose print leash a gentle tug, pulling Sadie away from the grasshopper that held the dog’s attention. Crossing the street to her cousin Cooter’s garage, BL smiled brightly when she saw the Dukes were all there too. “Hey have ya’ll seen this?” Handing the notice to Cooter, BL removed Sadie’s rose print leash, the dog wagging her fluffy tail happily at the group’s attention. “I don’t believe it, Miz Tisdale given’ up the post office.” Daisy said, reading the notice in her hand. “Do you know anything about this Uncle Jesse?” Luke asked.
Balladeer: Now it’s no secret to the assembled young folk, that Miz Emma Tisdale, is sweet on Uncle Jesse and, most likely told him her reason for leaving the position as postmistress.
Before Jesse had a chance to answer, a familiar Thunderbird whipped into the garage's lot. Cooter's 'little' sister Dixie got out dressed in her old blue jeans, boots and a blue summer shirt with spaghetti straps. "Hey ya'll what's going on?" It was Luke who replied first, "We were just asking Uncle Jesse if he knew why Miz Tisdale is giving up the Post Office." "She is?" Dixie said in surprise.
Jesse then replied, "Well, it seems her sister hasn't been getting along real well lately and Emmar is going to go stay with her for a spell. I think it will do both of them some good. I think that's why she's stayed working this long is that she is just lonely." Luther Davenport had just gotten off the phone inside the garage where he'd been watching the goings on outside. He walked outside, "There's a tow up on Iron Mountain." He looked around at the group and reached in his pocket for the keys to the wrecker. He was about to do something he hadn't done in years. He tossed the keys to Luke.
Luke had quick reflexes and even though he wasn't expecting in a million years to be given the wrecker by Luther he caught the keys.
"The kid inside is wanting a job around here." Luther explained, "Take him out and see what he knows."
The surprised look on Luke's face showed, but he replied, "Alright." Luke headed toward the wrecker, "Come on." He called to the kid who had no idea
that he was getting an unofficial interview.
Jesse had walked across the street as Luke and the kid pulled out.
Dixie and BL were talking about the post office.
Cooter looked at Luther and said, "They still get under your skin don't they?"
”Yeah they do”, Luther replied.
“Never thought I’d see that again” BL said.
Dixie looked at her, with a look of confusion and asked “what?” “Uncle Luther ain’t give Luke the keys to the wrecker, since you left Hazzard.”
“That was six years ago”, Dixie said. BL nodded ‘yes’ then asked “are you coming to the Founder’s day celebration? There’s a dance next Saturday night, at the old grits mill. Everybody will be dressed in clothes from the period.”
Dixie replied, "I'm off that weekend so I probably will if I can talk you and Daisy into helping me find or make something to wear. How am I supposed to know what they wore back then?" Luther had heard the girls' conversation about clothes for the dance and added, "Well, for starters they had a lot more material than anything I've seen you wear since you've been home." Dixie rolled her eyes.
Cooter said lowly as he walked around to the other side of the car he was working on, "I thought you wanted her to stick around?" Luther grumbled something as he went toward the back of the garage.
“Sure we’ll help,“ BL replied then looked at Daisy, “won’t we Daisy?”
“You bet, we’re going to Fanny’s Fabrics, to look for material later you should come with us”, Daisy invited.
Bo had been thinking about Miz Tisdale leaving and looked at Cooter, voicing his thoughts “Sure is gonna be strange around Hazzard without Miz Tisdale, wonder who her replacement will be?” “Yeah sure is”, Cooter replied.
BL spoke up saying “hopefully that replacement will be me. I was walking Sadie, when the notice on the notice board, outside the courthouse, caught my attention and I came to see if Cooter knew what it was all about. I’m going over shortly to ask if the position is still open. Bo nodded encouragingly, "I think you'd be good at it, .... but I didn't know you rode a motorcycle." He ribbed her just a bit at the end of his encouragement. "Well, I think Sadie could ride in a sidecar." Cooter added.
"There's a big difference in driving one than riding with Jeb on his or, on the back of a dirt bike with you, which I've done plenty of times." BL said in response to Bo's ribbing. " I’m going to let Sadie bring the mail, right up to the front porch." BL said.
"The doggy express instead of the pony express."Bo and Cooter grinned.
"Folks'll get a kick out of that, especially the young'uns", Cooter said approvingly.
A few miles from town Luke asked the 'kid', "So what do you know about a wrecker?"
He saw the kid trying to figure out how to answer that. "Not really a lot. My parents told me I needed to find something to do after school and weekends. I have a car and I want to learn how to work on it, so I figured that maybe I could help around the garage."
It was a good enough answer for Luke. "Alright, when we get out here we'll see what we have."
A few minutes later, Luke saw the pickup off the road and across the ditch. It didn't look like it was hurt but stuck. He pointed to the pickup as he pulled to the rear of the truck. "Let's get out and take a look see." The kid watched as Luke got out of the wrecker and followed him to the driver.
Jim Smith looked just a bit surprised to see Luke Duke getting out of the wrecker instead of a Davenport.
"Morning Jim. What happened?" Luke asked as he approached the driver.
"Ole Toby was out this morning. I wasn't paying as much attention as I should have been when the fool came around the curve on my side. All I could do was get away from him." Jim said.
Luke nodded, "Are you in a real big hurry? I got Chris here with me and I need to show him what I'm doing if you got a few extra minutes."
Jim shrugged, "I got all day."
Luke showed the kid what he was looking at, no oil or gas leaks, no damage to the vehicle. With the way the truck sat, he said, "It looks like it will come out just the way she went in with a little encouragement from the wrecker." Not knowing the kid’s experience with vehicles, Luke turned to the owner, "Can you get in when I get ready and just keep the wheels straight?"
"Sure Luke." Jim said.
In no time Luke was backed up to the edge of the road and began getting the cables out. "Ok take the hook here and hook to the frame on your side. I'll get this side." Luke went to the truck and had the hook where he wanted it in seconds. Then he went to the other side to check where the kid had hooked up to. After a minute or so of watching, it was obvious to Luke that the kid didn't know where the truck frame was. "Here, let me show you where I want it so that it doesn't bust a break line or hurt anything on the truck." Luke flipped the hook where he wanted it like he had done it in his sleep hundreds of times. He went to the control panel and showed Chris which lever to pull and began pulling the truck back, up and over the ditch. Once the truck was clear, Luke put the cables back in place, grabbed a clipboard from the cab and went back to Jim, "That should do it. I didn't see any damage underneath."
Jim asked, "Thanks Luke, what do I owe you?"
Luke advised, "It was a simple tow out, twenty five should cover it."
Reaching in his wallet, Jim took out the money and handed it to Luke.
"Let me write you this receipt." Luke quickly wrote out the receipt and put the cash in the clipboard. "Hope your day gets better Jim."
"It will be as long as Toby went home to sleep off last night." Jim said with a wave.
Luke asked after getting pulled back onto the road, "Did you learn anything?"
Chris admitted, "I think I learned what a frame was." Luke laughed, "It's a start." As they rode back Luke explained about the truck, its gauges, and things to watch for on it. He noted the gas level was low.
"Now see here, the gas is under a quarter of a tank. We'll be going by the Boar's Nest where I could get gas but I know the truck, I've got enough to get back to the garage and fill up there. It's several cents cheaper there since it's not owned by Boss Hogg."
"What difference does it make? It needs gas and it's not your money." Chris asked.
Luke advised, "Because if I treat it like it's my money, Luther can afford to keep me." He said as an example, not really figuring that he'd ever work for the senior Davenport again like he did in high school.
As Luke rounded Hazzard Square in the wrecker, Boss Hogg was looking out the window. "Well, I do declare! That Luke Duke is in the wrecker!"
Rosco hurried to try to see, "He is? Wonder if he's working for Luther again?"
"I don't know or care." Boss Hogg affirmed, "What I care about is who gets the Post Master job once that old bag is out of there." Boss had been checking the notice board from the window to see who may be Miz Tisdale's replacement. "The notice is gone Rosco!"
Rosco confirmed, "Yes it is. I wonder who could have taken it."
Boss Hogg replied, "Someone interested in the job I suspect!" He looked around but didn't see anyone in the Square. "The only person I've seen anywhere near the square is that Davenport girl with the dog."
"Git, kit, kit! That would be BL and her little puppy Sadie, Boss," Rosco stated and continued, "It's such a cute puppy, Flash likes her but she is just too quick for him......"
"ROSCO! Enough of the Wild Kingdom!" Boss said. "I need to know my plan is going to work. It never would with that old bat and all her postal regulations!"
"Wish me luck. Come on Sadie, time to go," BL clipped Sadie's leash to her collar, when the dog bounded to her side. Waving to the group, she walked past the court house where Boss Hogg was still watching out his window.
Back at the garage, Luke parked the wrecker in front of the pumps, got out and automatically filled the wrecker's tank with gas. He took out the clipboard and logged the date and amount in the receipt book so that there were 2 copies. Luke took the first copy and the twenty five dollars with the copy of the receipt he'd written out for the truck owner and headed into the garage. He almost stuck the money and receipts in the register without thinking but he stopped himself. "Luther, here's the receipts and twenty five for the tow out."
"You know where it goes." Luther said.
Luke looked around, Cooter and Luther were elbow deep in a car. Catching Dixie's eye, Luke nodded for her to put the money in the register. Dixie continued to finish her sentence to Daisy as she went to the register and put the money in the register with the receipts under the change drawer and went back to where she and Daisy had been talking.
Luther saw Luke's actions but also saw how attentive Dixie was to him. Looking up he saw that the wrecker was still in front of the pumps, "Say Chris, how about you moving the wrecker out of the way."
Chris walked over to the truck and got in. A couple minutes later everyone noticed the wrecker was still at the pumps and thus far not even running. "Something wrong?"
Chris replied, "It's got three pedals."
His statement took a whole minute for the group to figure out what he was talking about.
"Oh good grief!" Dixie said as she stepped to the wrecker door "Move over." She got in, pressed the clutch in, started the wrecker and promptly backed across the lot and put it in its place almost without looking. She set the brake and hopped out.
They had all seen what had just happened, Luke shook his head. The kid really didn't know nothing about vehicles. Bo couldn't help but grin, the kid had just been showed up by a girl, nevermind the fact said girl was the garage owner's daughter.
Over at the post office BL was feeling pretty good, she met all the requirements for the job. "Be here Monday morning 8 A.M. sharp, when the mail truck runs." Miz Tisdale said she was glad to know her post office was going to be in good hands, BL was a responsible girl.
"Yes ma'am, I'll be here at 8 A.M. sharp.Thank you ma'am", BL said, picking up Sadie's leash, heading to the door with a wave. She would miss the feisty little old lady of course. Miz Tisdale had run the post office her whole life but as sad as Miz Tisdale leaving was taking over was exciting, she couldn't wait to get back to the garage and tell Cooter and Luther.
Chris was amazed even though Dixie was Luther's daughter that she put the truck in its spot that easily. "Ya'll seen that right?" Though most everyone thought Dixie showing the new kid up was funny there was one pair of eyes that didn't find it at all funny. Luther frowned as he watched Dixie talking
to Daisy. Luke grimaced a bit and merely said, "Sorry." Meaning that it was largely his fault that Dixie could drive and operate the wrecker as good as Luther, Cooter or himself.
Luther looked at the kid and asked, "Can you pump gas and sweep?" "Yeah, I can do that." Chris said.
"OK, you can start now by giving this place a good sweeping." Luther said.
Dixie looked up, "Hey, BL is finished."
BL picked up her pace a little, grinning from ear to ear, she was glad everybody was still at the garage and she could tell them her good news all at once.
"How'd it go?",Dixie and Daisy asked at the same time.
"It went great, Miz Tisdale said for me to be there at 8 A.M Monday, that's when the mail truck comes."
"Congratulations, you'll do great!", Bo said.
"Yeah, congratulations BL knew you could do it." Cooter said Luke and Luther congratulated her too.
"Dixie, are you and Daisy ready to head on over to the fabric shop now?"
"Sure, let's go." Dixie said.
Across town Boss Hogg laughed as he saw the group at the garage and it looked like BL had given them good news, "Rosco it looks like that Davenport girl is going to be the new Post Mistress." "She is?!! Well, that will be nice." Rosco said.
"No, it's down right perfect." Boss Hogg said.
BL left Sadie at the garage with the men while she, Dixie and Daisy went to Fanny's fabrics, the bell over the door tinkling merrily as they entered the shop.
A woman with gray hair pulled into a bun, smiled warmly, greeting from behind the counter,"afternoon, how can I help you ladies?:"
"We're looking for material and dress patterns to make dresses for Founder's day" BL answered for all of them.
Franny, the woman who was also the owner, walked over to a table of cotton print fabrics, most of which was a small floral print.
"Any of these will make beautiful dresses and, you'll find patterns over there in the books, just find something you like in the book, then find the pattern on the rack by the number in the book. Let me know if you need any help." At nods from the three young women, Franny retreated back behind the counter. The girls flipped through the McCall's patterns. Some were dresses for a 'higher class lady' while others could be wedding dresses. Some they all knew would get them killed by Jesse or their fathers. Finally Dixie settled for a blue Victorian Civil War Hoop Dress with a bit of light blueprint and a bit of white ruff around each layer. It was off the shoulder so it wouldn't be as hot as the long sleeves. "What do you think of this one?" "I like it and Luther will approve", BL said.
BL flipped the pattern book to the halloween section.Daisy leaned over to look at the picture, Dixie wAs showing them "nice, I can't find a thing."
"Me either, hey Dix what color are you thinking about? That blue is really nice, you'd look great in it", BL said.
"I like that color, so yeah I hope to find something at least similar", Dixie said.
"Luther approving isn't what this is about ya'll." Dixie thought a moment more, "If ya'll aren't getting anything I may just remember this number and look some more. I can always run back and get it. Did y’all look in patterns for maybe Halloween? Are ya'll trying to go authentic, dressier than what people here in those times would wear or are you trying not to push Uncle Clyde's buttons?" BL shrugged her shoulders, "I don't want something as tame as Laura Ingalls but, I ain't really trying to push Daddy's buttons either but if it does I can't help that, now can I?"
BL flipped the pattern book to the halloween section. "That's pretty much me. I would like to be noticed but I would NOT want to be seen in some of those dresses by one of my 'inmates'." Dixie stated since she worked at the Tri-Counties Jail as a correctional officer. As soon as it was out of her mouth she knew how it sounded by the looks on Daisy and BL's faces . "I didn't mean it to sound that way. I know all of us have been known to see the other side of Rosco Iron Bar Hotel but that is and always has been Hazzard justice. We get guys from all three counties and I don't need someone I've arrested or comes in often seeing me in a next to nothing dress. It could open a can of worms I'd have to close the next time they came in the jail. Not to mention if one of them said something in front of Luke."
BL cocked an eyebrow in Dixie's direction, at the mention of Luke. This wasn't a straight up confession that Dixie was seeing Luke again but helped confirm BL's suspicions they were together, why else would Dixie care what Luke might hear.
Back at the garage Clyde Davenport pulled into the garage lot, in his tan pickup truck, he got out and waved as Bo passed in the General Lee. Cooter and Luther were elbow deep under a hood when he walked up, Luther wiping his hands on a grease rag as he came over,
"What brings you by brother?", Luther asked.
“I had to come up town for a bit, I just stopped to see if you’d seen BL today.” Clyde said.
“She was here a bit ago. She had been to see Miz Tisdale, now as you can see, we are dog sitting Sadie, while she and the girls are off looking for material or something for that dance they have all been talking about.
Luther mumbled a bit, “Yeah, I’ve heard about it.”
Clyde took the moment to kid with his older brother, “Well, ain’t ya going, …. It will be the biggest dance of the year.” He said stressing the last part, as he’d heard nearly everyone in town referring to the dance.
“I ain’t got time for such foolishness, besides I’ll have the wrecker so they can all go.” Luther said.
Clyde frowned a bit, “I thought you had someone interested in helping with the wrecker.”
Luther let out a sigh, I did have, …. Right up until the point he got in the truck and said it had too many pedals!”
Clyde nearly spit his teeth out, “He couldn’t drive a stick shift?”
Luther said discouraged, “I don’t think the kid had ever seen one.”
"How about this, it's pretty", BL said. She held the Simplicity pattern book so Dixie and Daisy could see the Victorian Civil war hoop dress of dark green, with a lace trim about 3 or 4 inches from the hem. It was off the shoulder with a sweetheart neckline.
"Nice", Dixie said, Daisy nodded in agreement. "I like this,it's simple but still elegant", Daisy showed them a yellow Victorian Civil War hoop dress, with a small white dot print and off the shoulder, same as the others. Finding the pattern numbers, the girls found some material, making their purchases they headed back over to the garage.
"Dixie, can you give me a lift home? I don't want to carry all this stuff and have to try to keep Sadie under control."
"Sure," Dixie replied.
Sadie barked a greeting, seeing the three girls approach the garage.
"Wonder what Daddy's doing here" BL asked, noone in particular. Going over to Dixie's car, putting her purchases in the backseat,then walking over to the two senior Davenport men, she said "hi Daddy, what are you doing here?"
"I had to run into town, get some screws from the hardware store. How did it go with Miz Tisdale?" Clyde asked, he had seen the notice for postmaster a few days ago and had mentioned it to BL, who was looking for a job that was more than part time or just to make a few extra bucks.
Smiling wide, BL said "You are looking at Hazzard's new postmistress. I start Monday morning at 8 A.M., when the mail truck runs."
"That's great honey!" Clyde said.
"Luther said ya'll was looking for material for ya’lls dresses,
find anything?' Clyde asked. BL nodded 'yes'.
Dixie piped up before Luther could say something sarcastic "you should be happy Daddy, they'll cover more than our shorts do."
"Good", Luther grumbled as someone pulled up at the pumps and he walked away.
"I better get back to the cabinet shop", getting his pickup, Clyde waved.