Tag Archives: James Best

Remember Me With Laughter

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Remember Me With Laughter
a poem by James Best

When the autumn leaves are falling.
To cover the earth with gold.
As time runs out for the aged.
So little time left for the old.

Just to see one more Spring
Or to live for just one more fall
Would be a blessing.
That’s all this old man’s asking.
Just a few more months. That’s all.

A few more moments with loved ones.
To say how much I cared.
And talk of the fun and laughter
That we have always shared.

We’ll speak of all the loving times.
As we look back in the past.
But now must face the painful truth
That good times never last.

For soon now I must leave you
But my memory will not die.
For I shall always be, with you
If within your heart you’ll try
To just remember me with laughter,
That way you’ll never cry.

Rest In Peace, Jimmie

OhNoRoscoJames Best, Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane, has passed away. Rather than mourn his passing, I choose to celebrate his long, amazing life. And to do that, I’ve spent the day recalling all the fond memories I have of him, as I’m sure many of you have also done. I was fortunate to have a unique personal relationship with Jimmie. I have Craig Byrne to thank for that. He told Jimmie about this little website I ran dedicated to the Hazzard County Sheriff’s Department (which later became this site). Jimmie visited it, liked what he saw, and sent me an email on June 5, 1996. Yes, I marked the date. What fan wouldn’t?

It’s hard to condense a friendship down to a blog post, but I’ll do my best to share my best memories of the man. I first met Jimmie in person on the set of the first Dukes of Hazzard reunion, along with Craig Byrne. We were his guests. Upon seeing me, before he even spoke, Jimmie gave me a huge bear hug. He was a great hugger and that was the first of many I’d get over the years. Craig and I spent a most amazing and surreal day with “Rosco P. Coltrane” and the rest of the cast. Jimmie was a consummate professional and we got to see that first hand on the set. We also enjoyed several personal moments with him while we were there. I think one that stuck out the most for both of us was when “Rosco” stole Craig’s french fries at lunch in the WB commissary. In Craig’s words, “Holy $***! Rosco just stole my french fry.” It was hysterical. That’s a word I have used multiple times today when sharing stories about Jimmie with friends. Jimmie was hysterically funny. He loved making people laugh. He loved having a good time.

You’d think you couldn’t top a day on set with Jimmie as the best time ever, but you’d be wrong. My best memory of Jimmie involves a day fishing on the St. John’s River. As we left the marina, the livewell was seriously overflowing. I propped my feet up on the side of the boat, out of the growing puddle of water on the bottom, and tried to get Jimmie’s attention. “Hey, Jimmie? Uhh, Jimmie?” But with the engine noise and the fact he had hearing loss (from WWII), I had to start yelling. He finally turned around and it was a total “Rosco” moment. “Wooo gee!” It was hilarious. He fixed everything up and got the pump going to drain the livewell. He was laughing at me “Here we are sinking in gator infested waters and you’re all non-chalant.” “Well,” I told him, “I don’t have to outswim the gator. I only have to outswim you. I’m pretty sure I can do that.” We spent the day trading stories and jokes and not catching much in the way of fish at all. In fact, the only thing I caught was an old net attached to an anchor. Having nothing to show for our day, I decided we should pose with it as if it were a prize catch and Jimmie obliged.

jimmie_fishing

Jimmie wasn’t funny all the time. He had a serious side as well. We had many private, serious moments, which I won’t talk about here, because, well, they were private. We discussed the mysteries of life, spiritual matters, medical issues, “what ifs”, and even death. He told me that some of the things he shared with me, he’d never told anyone else before. Because of that, I cherish these moments even more than the fun times. I remember spending many hours consoling him after the death of one of his beloved beagles. I calmed him down many times when he’d lose his cool. We shared a unique connection.

As I give Craig credit for my friendship with Jimmie, I have to give credit to Jimmie for bringing me together with my best friend, my husband. It was our mutual love of Rosco that brought us together and when my husband finally got to meet Jimmie, we told him just that.

There have been so many great memories swirling around in my head today, stories from Jimmie’s days in Hollywood, tales from WWII, personal moments. It’s hard to put them all down in one blog post. Perhaps, I shouldn’t even try. Perhaps I should just continue to share the good times as they occur to me. A lot of them are already documented on the site here.

Some short, sweet remembrances:

– Spending Jimmie’s 75th birthday with him at his home and seeing video greetings to him from Paul Newman and Burt Reynolds

– Watching Jimmie compete in a fast draw competition and coming in second with an unbelievable time of 4/10ths of a second. (He was about 70 at the time.)

– Playing Call of Duty together. When we played co-op and had to go up stairs in a building where we knew the enemy was, I’d always say “Age before beauty” and he’d counter with another funny line. Inevitably, he’d try chucking a grenade upstairs only to have it bounce back and kill us both. LOL!

– On the reunion set, on a break from a photo shoot, Jimmie did a hilarious bump and grind that had all of us nearly on the ground from laughter.

– During the second reunion, when Sonny was backing the car out of the camp site, he ran into the tent and nearly took it down. Without missing a beat or breaking character, Jimmie yelled “Enos! You dipstick!” The whole set erupted in laughter.

You’ll be missed by so many, Jimmie. Rest In Peace.

You can ready Jimmie’s obituary here.

“The Sweeter Side of Life” Gets Sweet Ratings!

Promotional Photo of James Best & Kathryn Morris in The Sweeter Side of Life

James Best & Kathryn Morris

Good news! Good news! “The Sweeter Side of Life” was seen by nearly 3.1 million unduplicated viewers. “The Sweeter Side of Life” ranked as the #2 rated Prime Time ad-supported cable movie of the DAY, as well as the #3 movie of the WEEK. The Hallmark Channel movie beat theatrical titles such as “Cinderella” (ABC Fam), “Iron Man 2” (FX), “The Book of Eli” (TNT), “Aladdin” (ABC Fam), “Wedding Crashers” (CMDY), “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines” (TNT) and “Spiderman 3″.

The Bests would like to thank all the fans that helped make this possible.

James Best in The Sweeter Side of Life

Set your DVRs and VCRs! James Best’s daughter Janeen and son-in-law Michael Damian have written and directed a new movie set to air on the Hallmark Channel January 19th. In it, James Best plays the father of a pampered Manhattan housewife who suddenly finds herself divorced and looking to put her life back together. She gets a job working at her father’s bakery. From the trailer (below), it looks to be a great romantic comedy. Check your local listings for air times! For more information, check out The Sweeter Side of Life Facebook page.

Dukes of Hazzard Reunion In Georgia

Dukes of Hazzard fans, mark your calendars for March 8th through March 10th! The Dukes of Hazzard cast will be together again for the Dukes of Hazzard “Reunion in Georgia” Classic Car Show & Music Festival. The Old Middle Georgia Speedway will play host to thousands of Dukes of Hazzard fans as they get together to see John Schneider, Catherine Bach, Tom Wopat, James Best, Sonny Shroyer, Rick Hurst, and Ben Jones, as well as checking out some great cars at the car show, listening to some fantastic music, and participating in tons of great family activities. All the particulars, such as event times, ticket prices, and directions are on the Cooter’s Place website.

Dukes of Hazzard Reunion in Georgia

Dukes of Hazzard Family Reunion and Car Show, Sept 29

Livingston Parish, Louisiana will become Hazzard County for a day on Sept 29, 2012! Most of the original Dukes of Hazzard cast is scheduled to appear in person, including Catherine Bach, John Schneider, Tom Wopat, James Best, Sonny Shroyer, Rick Hurst, Don Pedro Colley and Byron Cherry.

You can expect to see a number of General Lees on site, as well as vintage muscle cars of every make and model. Live music by Billy Dean and Johnny Lee will be featured. Best of all, admission is FREE!

But you’ll still need to pay for autographs and such, and each individual cast member has their own fee and policy. Bring money!

HazzardNet promotes all things Dukes of Hazzard, so we’re happy to pass this news along. However, we have seen conflicting press releases and advertising regarding the cast appearances – namely, when it comes to Tom Wopat and Ben Jones.  Rather than speak for the event, we’re gonna point you directly to the Dukes of Hazzard Family Reunion and Car Show Facebook Page where you can sort things out. Please submit any and all questions you might have about this event directly to the organizers.

As with all large-scale Dukes events, we suggest you book your hotel ASAP and plan to arrive at the event early!

 

Happy Birthday Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane!

Jimmie Best, known around the world as the inept, corrupt, but entirely fun-loving Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane, is celebrating is 86th birthday on July 26.  A veteran of Hollywood’s golden era, Jimmie has impressive film work on his resume. But it was his role in “The Dukes of Hazzard” that launched him into household fame and helped create the Dukes legacy.

Fortunately for Dukes fans, Jimmie has made hundreds of personal appearances at car shows and Dukes of Hazzard events.  He has endured thousands of miles of travel, and spent many long  hours of his life signing autographs. He’s done biker gigs, art shows, charity appearances, and bachelorette parties.  We’re kidding about that last one, but if his wife was ok with it, he’d be there! He’s befriended fans of all ages and he knows how to delight a crowd. He’s entertained audiences for generations, and his approachability has created a lot of goodwill for The Dukes of Hazzard.

Please join us in wishing Jimmie a Happy Birthday in our Forums and on our Facebook page! We also strongly recommend that you take the opportunity to visit him at Hazzard Homecoming on August 11 & 12 in Amissville, VA.  Ol’ Rosco might just decide to hang up the badge someday and spend more time fishing, so don’t pass up this chance to meet him!

We love ya, Rosco! Happy Birthday, and God Bless!

 

Dukes of Hazzard Cast in Galax, VA!

We’re closing in on “Hazzard Comes to Galax” on June 2nd! This Dukes of Hazzard fan gathering is affordable fun, with tickets at the gate running $10 for adults and a mere $5 for kids 12 and younger.  Scheduled cast appearances include John Schneider, James Best, Sonny Shroyer, Rick Hurst, and Ben Jones.

If that doesn’t already grab ya, then go for the Stunt Show performed by our crazy friends, the Northeast Ohio Dukes! If you have never seen the General Lee fly in person, you won’t want to miss it!

This is a one-day only event, Saturday June 2nd from 9:00 a.m. to about 7:00 p.m. Free up your Friday and hit the road! For directions, hotel information and all the details we were too lazy to spell out, visit their official website!

Dukes Cast Member Appearances Coming Up!

Dukes of Hazzard Bo, Luke, and RoscoLooking for a chance to see your favorite Dukes of Hazzard cast member in person? Then mark your calendar with these upcoming events!

Feb 4 & 5, James Best, known to us all as Rosco P. Coltrane, will be at the Mount Dora Art Festival in Mount Dora, FL.  While this isn’t a Dukes event, it’s a good chance to see Jimmie and check out his paintings.

Feb 17, 18 & 19, Tom Wopat, alias “Luke Duke” will be at the Canton Hot Rod Show at the Canton Memorial Civic Center in…you guessed it, Canton OH!  A General Lee is scheduled to be with him at the show. See the official website for show hours and admission fees. Note, Tom doesn’t do a lot of Dukes-themed shindigs, so this is a rare chance for a meet & greet.  If you are interested in Tom’s vocal performances, check out the upcoming show dates on his website.

March 23, 24 & 25, Ben Jones, a/k/a Cooter Davenport, will be at the International Auto Showcase at the New York State Fairgrounds. This huge indoor car show will feature classic and custom cars with an emphasis on old-school muscle. Cooter is always a crowd-pleaser, stop by and say howdy!

And don’t forget, tickets go on sale this Friday, Jan 13 at noon for the Tom Wopat & John Schneider concert on April 12 & 13! Last year’s gig at this venue completely sold out, so we’ve been alerting y’all about this as much as we can.

Us Dukes of Hazzard fans have it good, don’t we? Stay tuned for more Dukes of Hazzard news as it comes!

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