But one of Eldridge's questions in the study guide was "who was your boyhood hero?" and "did you take on that persona?" Being that the point of the group is for vulnerability, accountability and brotherhood.....I won't share too much, at least not use names. However, I will admit what I said.
I've already written about my stint as the superhero crime fighter "Tomahawk Kid" (I made up my own superhero); but I don't know if I've ever mentioned my wishing I was one of the Duke boys. Oh yes. In fact I used a cassette recorder to tape all of the shows, practically had them memorized, and fantasized about living on the Duke farm in Hazard County....and no, I was too young to appreciate Daisy in her short shorts.
For some time I felt that the South should have won the war; I created a Rebel flag and put it up in my window, I even bought an orange dirt bike, same color as the General Lee, and named it that. I started wearing cowboy boots and button-down western shirts. My grandmother, who drove a 2-door Pontiac of some kind-powder blue-was mortified when my cousin and I would roll down the window and hop out like Bo and Luke at the grocery. My first wristwatch played "way down yonder in the land of cotton" (the horn from the General Lee?), until I wore it out.
I wish I could say that I had grown out of it by high school, but even after the show was cancelled and I had my driver's license....I was still pretending to be a Duke boy. Something that a friend of mine reminded me of at our school reunion when he asked if I remembered taking the elevated railroad crossing on a certain back road at 70 mph with my pick-up.....pretending I was jumping with the General.
So, having to admit this to these guys, who only know the Dukes from reruns on cable, made me delve a little deeper into why it was I wanted to change my last name to Duke and move to a dumpy farm. I think it had a lot to do with what Eldridge points out of boys wanting to be men. The Duke boys drove a fast, flashy car.....beat up the bad guys.....always put that crooked king of Hazard County-Boss Hog-in his place......and always rescued the beauty. Boy did that realization settle some unresolved issues.
And now, I still am kind of like the Duke boys. I try to squash villainy in our own little country bumpkin version of Hazard; its just that our Boss Hog has a bit of an English accent.