Legends Never Die, pt. 5

by: Essy Jane

The dawn approached as Jose woke up. He hadn’t been sleeping very well. He
watched the sun rise. By the time he would get to sleep, it was about
midnight. Jesse had noticed this sleep pattern and wondered what was up with
his cousin. It had been nearly a year since he had moved in. Luke went back
to New York, maybe that was the problem. Whatever it was Jesse wasn’t about
to sit around and let it get bigger.

He walked onto the porch barefoot. Jose turned around and looked at his
cousin. He didn’t understand why Jesse was up. After all, at least if Jose
couldn’t sleep his cousin could get some. “What’s up?” Jesse asked. Jose
looked at him and wondered why he would even ask. But then again here in
Hazzard people care more.

“Well you don’t really want to know,” Jose replied. He turned from his
cousin. He looked at the trees rustling in the wind. They were moving in
sync with the grass. Jose’s eye was caught at the two friends walking down
the road. His head sunk low onto his chest.

“Come on, you can tell me.”

“My best friend has taken sick. I can’t even go and see him. He lives so far
away and I am on probation! I can’t stand this.”

Jesse remembered his best friend Jason his good buddy. He died before Jesse
could see him. It was after that horrid car race. Jesse’s world crumbled
apart for that moment in time. There was nothing he could do about it. “I
know how you feel, I…”

“No you don’t Jesse. This isn’t one of your small town stories. This very
real; I mean you have no clue. My friend has cancer. This is a friend that
has saved my life many times over. I was almost stabbed to death and he
brought me into the hospital. He gave me his identity so my parents wouldn’t
find out.” Jose lifted up his shirt and showed the giant scar that went from
his left shoulder to his right hip.

“Holy!”

“Yeah I know. I had internal bleeding and it caused a lot of damage. I
should never have gone out there that night. But that was in the past. I am
now going to make good decisions. But it doesn’t mean it won’t haunt me. It
also doesn’t prove that I can’t love my best friend.”

“You don’t have to give up your feelings for friends.”

“Yeah but I might never even look into his face again. I will never be able
to thank him. I will never be able to tell him that what he did for me saved
my life in more than one way. I could’ve been dead. But I could’ve called an
ambulance and still have been alive. He called me stupid that night. I
wondered why he would say such a thing but he did. I didn’t want to believe
him either.”

“What do you mean? You’re one of the smartest kids I know. I mean for crying
out loud, you have a higher grade average than me.”

“That comes with hard studying. I may be book smart but I am not all that
smart. I mean I never took responsibility. Until I was put here I didn’t
even know the meaning of the word.”

“Well you have certainly come far since then. You know it as well as I do,
you are getting better. I mean look at that farming face of yours. You get
up and milk the cows with the best of them. I have seen you come home
earlier than you said you were. I mean Jose; you’re turning into quite the
young man here. I know that I don’t have enough experience to say that but
you should’ve seen yourself when you first came here. Jose, you told me that
you wanted to run away. Did you do it?”

“No, I stayed.”

“See what I mean? You have grown so much.”

“I still don’t think I have. I am worried that I will go back to my old
ways. I almost did when my friends showed up”

“You have learned to control yourself. I mean you aren’t that same person.
Living here has done you a world of good.” Jose thought about that. He
thought about all the people here that were willing to be friends with him.
Jose never met that many people that would just talk to a total stranger.

“I have my dad to thank for that. I mean if he never sent me here than I
probably would have been dead or in jail. As tough as I act, I am just a
scared little kid. I am always trying to hide it with this fancy attitude I
have. I have done it so much that now I don’t think I can go back.”

“You’ll find your way in the end. I know you have the power within you Jose.
Well scared little kid, why don’t we make some breakfast? Dad will be happy
I did it for my sister. Besides, I will give you the credit.”

“Sure, why not.” The two walked inside. Jesse put his hand on Jose’s back as
they walked in the house. Jose wasn’t the best cook in the world nor was
Jesse. They burnt the food that they were making. Jo Anna could smell the
crisp burnt eggs from her room. She walked out and laughed at the two men
with dark smoke residue on their faces.

“Y’all suck,” Jo commented.

“I suppose you could do better?” Jose questioned. Jo smiled and rubbed her
hands together. She had that determined grin upon her face that Jose hated
so much. Jo would do anything to prove those two that she was better and
smarter. But that was just because she had nothing better to do with her
time.

“Oh I could do way better. I have made dog food better than how your dish
looks. What do you call it anyway?”

“This happens to be…umm. Jesse what were we making?” Jo laughed. She grabbed
a fresh pan and put it on the stove.

“You better open the door to let the smoke out. Y’all are lucky Mom and Dad
are on vacation or they’d both have your hide. Jesse, Jose, my word of
advice to you is stick to farming. At least that’s one thing y’all can do
with your hands. I will tell you some good honest truth; you’ll never be
good cooks.”

Both Jesse and Jose didn’t like that comment. They were about to prove Jo
wrong. Even if it meant talking to someone about cooking; that was always
hard. They knew one person who could cook well. This one person was one of
their best friends in the world. Denver-Jones Waylon Strate or as they
loved to call him DJ; he had to teach them how to cook. DJ was the only one
with enough patience to teach Jose anything.

Jesse missed his parents. Sometimes Jo was so bossy when Bo and Nancy-Lou
went away. She was always pretending she was Jesse’s mom when Jesse was like
ten minutes older than her. It didn’t make poor old Jesse too happy to be
left with her.

Jose looked at his younger cousin and wondered what he was thinking about.
But he kept it to himself. Jesse was complicated. He always had his moods
where some days he was happy and others he was a grump. Jose thought that’s
the way some people are. But no matter what type of mood Jesse was in, his
older cousin still liked him. He was a very kind and wonderful person. Jesse
was wise beyond his years.

Jesse sat down on the ground and bunched himself in a ball. Jose knew
something was wrong but didn’t know if he should ask him. Jesse began to
make a groaning noise to himself. “Yo Jesse, are you okay?” Jo Anna asked.

“Don’t worry about it, I am sure it’ll pass,” Jesse replied. He began to
breathe deeper and harder. You could tell that the pain was becoming worse
as Jesse’s breathing became irregular. He rocked back and forth hoping the
pain would just go away. Jesse’s eyelids clenched together tightly.

“Where does it hurt?” Jose asked. He remembered one of his friends on the
street that was sitting the same way and doing the same sort of motion. He
was very sick and Jose had to get him to the hospital fast.

“My stomach,” Jesse replied.

“Have you had your appendix removed?”

“No why?”

“I am having the same pains and I haven’t had it removed either.” Jo looked
at Jose wide eyed and wondered about the current situation. The boys got
into her Jeep and they all sped away.

Over at Boss Rosco’s house…

Destiny was working out with her favourite personal trainer. The music was
killing Rosco’s ears. Perry P. Coltrane was laughing at his mother for all
the push-ups she had to do. “Go suck a lemon Perry. I warn you, one of these
days I am going to wipe that smile clean off your face!” Destiny exclaimed.

“One of these days I will be in the police force. I will be Daddy’s top
deputy. We will be able to rule the world together as father and son!
Jit-Jit,” Perry remarked.

Perry was a little bit too much like Rosco. The way he bumped into walls to
the way he crashed his car. It must’ve gone right down the line. Coltrane
women with their brains in tack and Coltrane men with well…scattered brains.
But hey friends, that is just Hazzard life. Rosco grew out of it a bit with
greed. He couldn’t replace who he was.

“Turn off that music woman! I can’t concentrate,” Rosco yells as he comes
down the stairs. Destiny threw her towel down and gave her husband an evil
glare.

“Concentrate on what my pet? Putting your pants on one leg at a time?”
Destiny replies through her teeth. She hated when her sessions were broken.

“No my flying squirrel, I am working on important stuff to make us rich
jit-jit.”

“Well we need more money. I can’t stand being this poor.” Rosco looked at
her with baffled eyes. They were rich. Some people had nothing but others
had lots. Boss had enough to live off of for the next 50 years. It was more
than enough. But his wife wanted more. She was always twisting his arm just
a little bit more. Destiny wouldn’t stop until she had a big 24 karat gold
house. That’s basically what she aimed for and she wouldn’t stop reaching
until she got it. That was just what greed did to you. But not even the late
Boss Hogg with this ruthless, yes he did love money but no he wouldn’t rob
people of everything.

“We’re not that poor plum cake.”

“Well maybe not but we need more to be known throughout the world.”

“We’re known throughout Hazzard.” There was a knock at the door. As Perry
went to get it, the door swung open. In came a woman that had brown curly
hair and a big appetite for life, Mrs. Lulu Hogg. She walked in and dropped
her bags on Rosco’s toes. She glared at him with that mean stare she used to
give J.D.

“You germanous pigheaded low life scum! There are millions of more names
that I could come up for you. What’s this I hear about probation on Bo
Duke’s son?” Lulu screamed.

“Well…umm….you see…” Rosco began to explain. But Lulu was used to this sort
of vile behaviour. She wasn’t about to take Rosco’s excuses.

“Now you listen here, when my husband sold you all his ownin’s in Hazzard I
thought you would be responsible with them. But now I hear what you are
doing to Dukes still?”

“Butterball…let me explain.”

“How dare you use J.D.’s Pet name for me. You know perfectly well that I
didn’t stand for what he did and I won’t stand for what you’re doing. Now
you did wrong to those boys and I feel it in my bones.”

“But Jesse’s a scandalous teenager and a brat…”

“Yeah sure he is and that’s what I like about him.” She walked up the stairs
to the spare bedroom but not before kicking Rosco hard in the leg. Destiny
laughs at Rosco and keeps working with her personal trainer. He couldn’t
believe that Lulu was back in town. This would make things different in
Hazzard again.

Meanwhile at the hospital…

Jesse woke up and looked at Jose who was already awake. “Wasn’t that just
weird?” Jose asked. Jesse smiled groggily still stunned by the drugs. He
pulled the blankets off and lifted his hospital attire. He wanted to see his
scar.

“I wonder how we both managed that. I mean how many cousins get the same
thing at the same time?” Jesse laughed. Daisy walked into the hospital room
and smiled at the two. She knew that the two were becoming good friends. It
made her heart rest at ease.

Daisy sat in between them and looked at Jose. “How are you doing my cousins?
I hope it doesn’t hurt too much. I wouldn’t know because I never had my
appendix out before. Bo did and so did Luke,” Daisy started the
conversation.

“How long do we have to stay here?” Jose asked.

“Well a week but that’s not that bad.”

“Dang it Daisy I want out now! This isn’t fair you know that. I thought
doctors were supposed to patch up and send out. Now we can’t show Jo whose
boss.”

“I think y’all scared her with that double appendix thing. You already
showed her enough.”

“No way, we need to show her still. She told us that we could never learn to
cook.”

Daisy laughed. Memories of teaching Bo and Luke were stuck in her mind. She
remembered how long it took her to teach Luke how to make an omelette. To
this day that is the best thing he made. Y’all can ask Jesse if you don’t
believe me. Bo on the other hand went after one of his much-loved
girlfriends and her favourite thing to do was cook. He dated her for three
months and ended up learning how to cook better than Luke. Bo was lucky on
that end.

“Y’all have to understand that you both come from men that are cooking
impaired. Luke couldn’t make a salad without something not tasting right. Bo
learned in the end. It takes a while when you don’t practice. Who are you
going to get cooking lessons from?” Daisy asked. She looked at her gold
watch with wandering eyes. Daisy hoped they would ask her. She loved
teaching people things.

After Daisy opened that dance academy she was sure that this was all the
teaching experience she needed. She grew to love dancing by minute. Teaching
it was a passion. The students loved her more than anything. But from then
on Daisy knew her life was to be devoted to students. She loved to teach.

“Well Daisy we’re going to ask DJ. I mean there aren’t many people that can
stay that calm for that long with Jose. This guy’s not only the king of
intolerance but he has a temper when things don’t go good,” Jesse replied.
Daisy frowned but understood. She would still be there if DJ didn’t work
out.

“If all else fails I am here for you,” Daisy remarked.

“Thanks cousin, I love you for being more like an aunt to me than someone I
am sure I wouldn’t ever see. I am happy you’re so wonderful cousin Daisy.”

“Well Jesse, I am glad to be here for y’all. You better get your rest.”

“Yeah okay we will. Just don’t tell my dad about this. He’ll come all the
way back from New York just to make sure our scar is heeling properly. Dad
can’t enjoy anything without worrying about his kids.”

“Your father is a worry wart. Now go to sleep or I’ll come in after you with
a sleeping pill.” Daisy winked and waved. She walked out of the room. Her
high heel shoes went clip clop on the cold tiled floor. Jose smiled. He
really likes Daisy even though she was so much older than him.

“I tell you Jesse, if I were a few years older. That girl has one heck of a
smile,” Jose remarked.

“Well she’s also your cousin and to top all of it off she’s married you big
jerk. Her daughter is older than you,” Jesse replied.

“Well then, maybe Lilly-Rose likes younger men.” Jesse roared with laughter.
He knew that not even Jose’s charm could win over Lilly-Rose especially when
she was he cousin.

Lilly-Rose was different from most women. For one thing she beat all of the
mechanics out of Hazzard. She could fix cars faster than the average
mechanic. People trusted her more as well. It was because she had Duke
Blood. Dukes rarely lie. They’re true to their customers and to themselves.
Lilly was also a great looking person. People loved to go in there just to
see her smile. She could make the saddest man smile.

“You’re funny Jose. That’s one thing you know will never happen,” Jesse
commented.

“What ever happened to the whole second cousins marrying each other thing? I
thought that happened a lot in hick towns,” Jose grumbled.

“First off we’re not a hick town. Secondly, we don’t marry our cousins; it’s
just a fact of life.”

“Why do all the good looking people have to be in our family? I mean look at
Lilly’s long tanned silky legs. She has a nice figure too. This girl’s
fixing cars? She should be a model somewhere.”

“Well you never know what your future will bring when fixing a car. I know
that my grandpa was a congressman.”

“Well I don’t want Lilly-Rose to have that job. I want her to be on the
front of a swimsuit edition. Jo can join her that is if she ever wears one
of those two piece swim suits.”

“You are nuts, I mean not even I want to think of Jo Anna in a two piece.”

“That’s because you are her brother.”

“Even so, that’s just sick to even think about. I don’t care if I am her
brother or not. You’re her cousin and you still have those dirty thoughts
floating through your head. There are plenty of pretty girls in Hazzard. You
don’t have to go after your cousin to get a date.”

“Maybe you’re right. But you better let me date a few girls. Pick them up in
the General and have some fun…”

“You better not think you’re going to harass them. I will not allow you to.”

“Oh come on Jesse I just…”

“If my great Uncle Jesse ever heard you saying that he would tan your hide
so fast.”
“I would think he would be proud.”

“Don’t you know anything about this family?” Jose wondered about his late
Great Uncle Jesse. His dad had a hard time mentioning him but Jose didn’t
know why. Luke just had some left over baggage that he wasn’t willing to
deal with. Every time Jose would mention his Uncle or anything about the
farm, Luke would almost crawl into a ball and die.

“Well I don’t even know that man.”

“I do by all the stories I am told about him. Didn’t your dad say anything
about him?”

“Only that he raised him and that he was an amazing man.”

“Boy oh boy, that’s not enough information to write a paragraph on. Well
your Uncle Jesse was the one that got my dad and yours out of trouble.”

“I didn’t know my Dad was in trouble a lot.”

“Yep, it’s just like us running from the law all the time. I mean they were
always chased by Rosco. Boss Hogg blamed them for so much. Dad and Luke got
hauled into the station more in one day then the average person would be
hauled in over a life time.”

“How much did Bo tell you about my dad? I mean I really never heard
anything. All I know is how my parents first met.”

“Well Luke was in the marines. He hated it and came back with a lot of
battle scars that were further than skin deep. Luke was distant from my dad
until one day Dad got in trouble. He was getting beaten up by a bunch of
goons and Luke punched them out. Dad had to get stitches after that one.”

“Dad was a pretty tough guy?”

“Yeah, kind of like you. He was quiet though and spoke his mind when ever it
was needed. But Luke had a wild streak to him. I mean wild. When Dad would
get into trouble, Luke would be there to get him back out. I mean it was
amazing how they were always there for each other. Why are you asking me all
of this?”

“I never really talked to my dad about his past. I didn’t care to know. He
mentioned Hazzard a few times. But as soon as he was getting to what he said
was the good part I would end up running off.”

Jesse thought about how hard it would be not to talk to his father. Bo was
too amazing to shut out. If you didn’t want to listen to his story, he would
show you in the General. It was something that Bo was good at. He loved his
kids and everyone else’s for that matter. Bo would baby-sit at the drop of a
hair pin.

Jesse also wondered how Jose could isolate himself from his family the way
he did. No matter how much Jo drove Jesse insane, he always loved her. Jo
Anna was overbearing sometimes almost crazy but Jesse would drop everything
just to show that he cared. Jo treated him with enough respect for it too.

Jose sat in his hospital bed just staring at the wall. He wondered why he
hadn’t told anyone anything like this before. Even when Jose talked to his
mom it wasn’t a normal conversation. He didn’t talk about his feelings at
all with her. Jose just talked about how he wished he was on his own. But
Jose didn’t feel like that anymore. In fact he knew he needed people.

Jo Anna walked into the hospital room and looked at the two boys. She
wondered what they had been talking about. Both were really quiet so Jo knew
it was something good and emotional. Jo Anna didn’t like any mushy stuff.
She liked cold hard fact. “Hey Jesse, hi cheese ball, how y’all doing
today?” Jo asked. Jose didn’t like his nickname one bit.

“Now that’s what makes Jo loose her girlish charm,” Jose joked. Jesse began
to laugh as did is cousin. Jo Anna looked at them with a puzzled tone
painted across her face.

“Male bonding,” Jo mumbles softly to herself.

“What’s that sugar lips?” Jose asked.

“You ever sugar lips me again, hospital bed or not I will strangle you!” Jo
Anna exclaimed.

“You egg her on too much Jose,” Jesse laughed.

“Well it’s all part of the trade. Who does she get this rage from?” Jose
replied.

“As far as I can tell, your father told me that Dad used to have the same
temper. It got him in trouble a lot.” Jo Anna stormed out of the room.

“That’s the last time I am nice to anyone that’s sick,” Jo Anna grumbles.
She stomps off in the pit of rage. Jesse reaches over and high fives Jose.
The two finally settle down and get to sleep.

Two days later…

Jesse and Jose were pushing two little girls around the hallways of the
hospital. “Faster Jesse faster you can do it!” April exclaimed.

“Okay April! Here we go,” Jesse remarked. He pushed on the wheelchair a bit
harder.

“Are you going to let him win Jose?” Emily remarked. Jose laughed.

“That boy couldn’t beat me in a wrestling match,” Jose commented.

“Prove it!” Jose started to move a little bit faster. He waved to his cousin
who was inching more and more behind him by the second. Jesse grumbled at
the sight. He began to run just a little bit faster. Jesse was getting
faster by the second.

Jose could see his cousin through the corner of his eye. They were both
almost totally out of breath. But what was worse was that food carts that
were in their way. Both Jose and Jesse turned the wheelchairs around and
ended up smacking right into them. The boys were covered in food.

“You have anymore smart ideas like this and I will kill you,” Jose grumbled.
Jesse reached over towards Jose’s face and spooned off some jell-o with his
finger.

“Mmmm, fruity,” Jesse remarked. Jose rolled his eyes and tried some of the
jell-o on his face. It was rather tasty. But the chocolate pudding on
Jesse’s face looked much more appetizing.

“Yours tastes better.”

A few hours later…

The doctors had decided to let the boys out early. They seemed to be
recovering faster than the doctors had expected. Jose and Jesse were also
too wild to keep in a hospital. When they phoned Daisy to pick them up,
Jesse made her promise to bring the General by. She agreed of course.

As Jesse saw the sight of the general pulling up he almost cried. “What are
you crying for, it’s only a car,” Jose remarked.

“The General Lee is anything but a car Jose! He’s a friend of the family…no
he is family,” Jesse retorted.

“Whatever you say Jesse, but I still think that a thing made out of medal is
a thing and not a family member.” Daisy moved into the back seat of the
General.

“I know that he may not seem like family to you but you haven’t been around
him long enough.” Jesse revved the engine and smiled. He grasped the
steering wheel tightly as he put on his driver face. Jesse was ready to
speed home. But he would take it a step at a time.

At least that was his plan until speed trap number 2 was taken place. Cletus
was getting even more creative lately. This time he didn’t turn on his
sirens. Jesse didn’t notice him on his tail. But as soon as Jesse went a
little over the speed limit, that’s when Cletus went for the police lights.
Everyone in the vehicle jumped, looking back to see who it was. Sure enough
there is dipstick two, Cletus. He looked determined to catch someone.

He wasn’t having a good week. Cletus wanted to lead Hazzard County with Boss
by his side. But that couldn’t happen. Boss Rosco said it was passed down
from commissioner to sheriff not deputy to commissioner. He wasn’t too happy
about that in any way. He deserved to help Boss Rosco. But instead he was
chasing the Duke boys. But that was fine too.

Enos didn’t do it very often. He was a law biding man after all. Enos was
lucky he had Cletus. Without him, Enos would be fired faster than you can
say it’s harder to tutor two tutors to toot the tooting tooters flute. Boss
liked Enos simply because he was Rosco’s very first dipstick. It didn’t
matter if he was gone or not, he would always be Boss’ partner.

“Why does he try this?” Daisy asks.

“Just to bug us,” Jose replies. He moves his foot onto the accelerator and
pushes down on it hard with his foot.

“What are you doing? I am the one that’s driving here!” Jesse exclaimed.
Jose knew that this was true. He stopped going a little ways.

“He has nothing on us.”

“Yeah and that’s why we’re going to pull of to the side and see what Cletus
wants. I mean in all honesty it shouldn’t be as bad as other times; unless
you really want to avoid a ticket.”

“Well it’s your money because I ain’t paying your ticket again.”

“Oh come on Jose.”

“No I mean it. I am putting my money into that mustang too. You think for
one second I would be able to put my money into your tom foolery?”

“Okay, we’ll speed it up.” Jesse pushed down on the gas and let the General
fly, thanks to the dip provided. Cletus did the same. He flew up in the air
and crashed the front of the car. It was a wonder these cars didn’t die out
on them. But Boss Rosco would just patch them up and pay expenses.

“Is he okay?” The boys saw a door open and a man slip off the edge of it.
Cletus landed on his bum. He didn’t move really.

“Come on boys! Help your friend Cletus. Please! I am sorry I chase y’all. I
was just doing my job. You know I want to be sheriff someday. Enos gets to
hog all the glory while I am stuck working deputy,” Cletus winded.

“Well we have our work cut out for us getting your car out of the air. I am
surprised this thing lasts the way it does,” Jose laughed.

“Yeah no kidding Cletus, when’s Boss going to get y’all new ones?” Jesse
asked.

“When they’re too damaged to fix,” Cletus replied. Jesse walked over to the
radio as Jose climbed into the police car to grab Cletus’ lunch. He was
quite hungry and didn’t want to wait for Lilly-Rose or Cooter to some and
his car. It was the way poor Cletus was. Jesse and Jose would wait until
one of the Hazzard’s finest mechanics were there to get the cars down.

Jose jumped out of the car and handed Cletus his lunch. “Thank you kindly
Jose. Man, am I ever hungry. I could eat a mountain full of ice cream though
I might get a little cold. You want a trout sandwich Jose?” Cletus took it
out. The aroma of the sandwich filled the air. Jose’s face went bitter and
sour. He pushed Cletus’ arm away hoping the smell would go away.

Just then, another car was speeding though Hazzard County. But as the driver
caught sight of the orange car he slammed on his breaks. A man set around
Bo’s age was sitting in the driver’s seat. Jose walked up to the car and
glared in, wondering why he had stopped. “Hi there, I was heading for the
Duke farm when I saw the General Lee. Is Bo Duke around here?” The stranger
asked.

“No, he’s on vacation believe it or not,” Jose replied.

“Then why is the General out here?”

“Well the General Lee is mine and that guys over there. You know the one on
the CB? Anyway, I have been driving it for a bit over a year now.”

“What’s your name?”

“Jose, Jose Duke. I am the son of Luke Duke.”

“Oh, Luke’s little boy Jose? Well how about that who’s in the back of the
General?”

“That’s my cousin Daisy.” The door opened slightly. Jose moved over so that
it could swing open. The blonde hair man came out. His moustache stuck out
more than anything else. Another door was open and a wheelchair brought out.
A man, around the same age as his dad was wheeled out.

“Thanks Coy,” Vance stated.

“You’re welcome cuz, you know I wouldn’t leave you in there don’t you?” Coy
replied.

“Yeah I guess you wouldn’t.” Vance scratched his head and wondered what
coming back to Hazzard like this would be like.

“I ain’t a mean cousin you know. I am just worried about you sometimes.
Daisy’s in the General.”

“Now there’s a person I haven’t seen in a while. She must still look the
same.”

It had been quite sometime since the accident. Vance didn’t have any breaks
on his car and ended up rolling it. As it finally stopped, he was hit about
four more times by oncoming traffic. He was lucky to be alive, so the
doctors said. But one thing would remain and that was his paralysis. He
would never drive again. Never get behind a wheel watching the country
before him. He had to count solely on someone else.

Coy didn’t mind helping him after all they were as close as Bo and Luke.
But both cousins came to realize that their personalities would change. They
had to change. It wasn’t because they didn’t like who they were it was that
for so long they were trying to live up to their cousins. But somehow it
didn’t work. All that they knew was crumbling past their eyes.

Daisy got out of the General at sight of them. Neither she nor any of the
other Dukes were ever told about the accident. “What happened to Vance?”
Daisy asked.

“Well Daisy girl, I did something awful. I did a flip cycle on the free way.
It wasn’t very good that’s for sure,” Vance replied.

“When did this happen?”

“A long while back is when it happened! We were just worried about if I
could even make it. Coy didn’t want to tell anybody so we didn’t. Left it a
complete secret all that time because of fear; besides that we didn’t want
y’all to be our supervisors in everything we did.”

“Now that’s not the way to look at it Vance Duke and you know it. We were
family. That is until you lied to us. Now you’re just a couple of strangers
in my book.”

“Daisy, we’re sorry.”

“Well we didn’t know where to find you when Uncle Jesse passed on. You
should’ve been there at his funeral!”

“He’s dead?”

“That’s right! You weren’t around for it. You missed out on everything
because you didn’t call or even write. Bo got married and so did Luke. I
mean come on really! I couldn’t even find y’all because of your partying all
the time. I can’t believe how much you two changed and it’s not for the
better either.”

“We’re good guys again honest Daisy.”

“When are you going to grow up Vance? I bet you were drunk when you rolled
your car. I don’t want you near those boys. I don’t want you to even look at
them. It isn’t right for you to come waltzing back here with that same
attitude and expect someone to change it for you. You know that’s not
right.”

“I am not trying to mess with everyone again. I am a changed man, no matter
what you say. I know what I am doing Daisy.”

“That’s what you said last year when you left that part of the family. Do
you know what happened? Their house burnt down.”

“I am sorry.”

“Daisy, he is sorry, so am I,” Coy mumbled.

“As for you, well you can just stay out of our Hazzard!” Daisy screamed. She
climbed back into the General Lee and called for the boys to come too.

With trying to be like Bo and Luke, the other two boys lost what was
important to them, their identities. Coy and Vance did some awful things
while they were away from the farm. One of the things they did was they
would go on all night drinking binges. It got so bad that they were sent to
prison on many occasions. It wasn’t for being drunk. It was the destruction
they cause while in a drunken state.

The two could wreck whole bars and topple over pretty fast afterwards. They
were too drunk and too stupid to know any better. It was like the whole
thing didn’t even happen. Now you hear many people tell others that they had
a good time because they couldn’t remember a thing. Well does that really
make sense? How is it a good time if you can’t remember how wonderful the
time was?

Well Coy and Vance dried out in those prisons. The bail was always set high
and as usual, they couldn’t pay it. They didn’t hold jobs nor would they
hold jobs. They couldn’t do it because of their alcoholism. When they did
get jobs it lasted for two weeks to a month. It wasn’t long enough to keep
them on their feet. Every cent they did get went for another bottle of suds.

The police had to call their next of kin. That had to be Uncle Jesse. Uncle
Jesse had to drive all night long to bail them out of prison. But it wasn’t
the last time. Jesse had to take another mortgage out on the farm just to
make ends meat.

It got so bad that Bo started working at the construction site with his
friend Birdie. Luke had already left by then. He couldn’t stay any longer.
Luke’s dreams were waiting for him. Bo was soon to follow but now without
getting his Uncle out of the hole. Bo worked two jobs after that, getting
his Uncle that much closer. When Bo left, Jesse had hired help. He couldn’t
do as much as he used to. About a year later Bo returned to Hazzard County
when Jesse took sick.

“Look, I am sorry for what we did in the past. I am sorry we hurt you all.
But Daisy, this is crazy. You can’t hate your family. I can’t let this go
on. Vance was drunk when he had the accident. We have learned out lesson,”
Coy commented.

“Well you should both be ashamed of yourselves. I don’t even know why you
came back to Hazzard. You were just wannabes from the start. I can’t think
of how many ways you have hurt me. I don’t want to deal with you anymore!”
Daisy exclaimed. She walked off. Jose went after her and Jesse stayed there.
He didn’t want Coy and Vance to go running off on them. Coy slammed his fist
hard on the handle bars of Vance’s wheelchair.

“I am sorry about what happened Daisy’s set in her ways,” Jesse apologized.
Coy lowered his head.

“No Jesse, I deserved it. You have to understand that what I did is
unfixable. Some things just can’t change on their own,” Coy tried to
explain. But Jesse wouldn’t take that as an answer.

“You’re spending the next couple of nights around my house. I don’t even
want to think that you have left. If you have a problem with that then
become the quitter you once were. Remember though Coy and Vance, you need to
prove yourself and this is the only way.”

“You don’t think that for one second that this would bring her thoughts to
ease do you? I mean you know that she’s set in her ways, why don’t you just
accept it Jesse?”

“Why would y’all come back if you weren’t any different? You can spend the
night okay? Just drive over to the Duke farm and wait for us. Don’t go in
because there is a person that could rip your head off better than Daisy
ever could.”

“Who’s that?”

“My sister Jo, man alive she’s a wonderful person and all but her temper
gets the best of her. I mean she beats up some of the toughest guys in
Hazzard.” Coy laughed. He was reminded of himself but more of Bo. Bo was the
ultimate forceful guy. He wanted everything to be his way. But Bo grew out
of it and Coy knew that Jo would grow out of it too.

After those last few remarks, both Jesse and Jose got into the car and drove
Daisy home. The stubborn woman refused to say a word all the way there. She
was angry about them even showing their faces in Hazzard. As far as Daisy
was concerned the Coy and Vance she knew were dead. Their acts seemed not
very Duke like.

Daisy wasn’t about to stand by those two if they were to double cross the
family again. It was bad enough when Uncle Jesse had to go and bail them out
for things. Daisy didn’t want Bo to have to do the same thing. The Duke farm
was becoming better and better everyday. Bo was making quite a name for
himself in the farming world. His crops had been successful even with the
drought and everything else.

Both Jesse and Jose were on probation now and Bo could only afford so much.
Sometimes the tickets Cletus gave out were horrendous. It wouldn’t be fair
for him to have to bail Coy and Vance out too; though it didn’t look like
Vance couldn’t get in much more trouble.

Daisy wasn’t willing to risk her heart either. The worry and the pain were
just too much to deal with a second time. She loved her cousins more than
anything. However, there were some things that she just wouldn’t do. Taking
those two back would be the biggest mistake of her life. She didn’t care how
much they supposedly changed.

Coy was a great guy when he wasn’t drunk. He took care of Uncle Jesse when
he was ten after he took sick. But when he left the farm, Coy beat people up
until they couldn’t move. It was wrong and hard on the people around him.
Coy wasn’t as much like Bo as he pretended to be. Inside he was a joker but
serious. Coy was caring and happy. He had this problem calling up girls
sometimes. You wouldn’t be able to tell that with how he was acting. But
trying to be Bo was hard work. Coy loved to drive just as much as any other
Duke but he was no Bo no matter how hard he tried. Coy worked as a mechanic
and tuned up cars to the best out of the whole staff of Lou’s auto body and
garage.

Vance too was a great guy when he showed his true self. Inside he was
compassionate and had a great love for people. Vance was emotional sometimes
and but otherwise very serious. He didn’t like when people made wise cracks
about people. That’s when his short string of anger would blow. Vance his a
pretty normal guy though. He fixes clocks for a living. It doesn’t seem like
much but it’s a job.

Hours later at the house…

All were eating at the supper table. Coy and Vance were eating Jo’s cooking
like they hadn’t eaten in weeks. “So where have y’all been in the last 16
years of my life?” Jesse asked. Jose rolled his eyes. Sometimes Jesse seemed
like the smartest person in the world and the next time he asked the dumbest
questions. Jose knew when to keep his mouth shut.

“Well we have been in prison a lot. For about the last six years, Vance was
in a comma. He didn’t seem to be doing any better and somehow my cousin just
got up and started to fight,” Coy replied.

“You know, I heard that you two were wannabes from a certain someone.”

“Yeah we both were. You see Jesse, it’s hard to live up to someone as great
as Bo and Luke and well…we had problems with it. Coy and I tried too hard to
become people who we weren’t. In the end we both failed miserably. Don’t you
two ever be someone you are not otherwise I will have to hire someone to
kick your butt. It didn’t do anything good for us,” Vance answered.

“Yeah, it just made us jealous. Oh did you hear the boys saved this person?
I mean we were so caught up in fame that we were competing with them. That’s
when we turned to alcohol.”

“Worst thing anyone could do is touch that stuff. I am not talking about the
watered down stuff that Boss Hogg serves at his bar either.”

“You mean Boss Rosco. Boss Hogg has been dead for quite some time now,”
Jesse corrected them.

“Man, I thought that guy would live forever,” Coy commented.

“The good lord takes people when he wants them. But I know my Uncle was a
good man and always will be. He’s sweet and loving. I think my Dad got the
good end of the deal.”

“Yeah we too were lucky in that sense. I didn’t think so at first. I
thought we had a terrible life when we had to come to Hazzard. I mean when
you come from a big city and you’re now in a town that has a low population
and farmland,” Vance replied.

“I know where you’re coming from there pal. Look at me, on probation in this
place. My father’s a cop and my brother gets all the attention. I go from
sky scrappers to elevators,” Jose said.

“We don’t use grain elevators as much any more,” Jesse retorted.

“You want a slap in the chops?”

“No.” Coy and Vance looked at each other. They both agreed that those two
were totally Bo and Luke in every way. They had it down to the very seam.

“You’re not supposed to correct me.”

“Well someone’s got to do it Jose and it might as well be me. I mean think
about it, if I didn’t do it Jo would.” Jo Anna smiled at Coy and Vance, she
was in the whole thought pattern too. That’s about the time when the door
swung open and the luggage was dropped. Bo and Nancy-Lou were home. Bo
looked at the two men sitting at the table. Vance wondered what his reaction
was going to be if Daisy’s view point was that strong. They were both ready
for a blow up.

“Daddy’s home and yes I got presents for everyone. Jose I am sure you will
like yours the best. I mean it’s from New York and all. Jesse and Jo I know
y’all will be happy with whatever I bring you,” Bo commented. As soon as
Nancy dropped her bags the kids snatched them up and took them into another
room.

“Them kids are vultures,” Nancy grumbled. She looked at her two guests. “I
don’t think we have met before. I am Nancy-Lou Duke.”

“I am Coy and this is my cousin Vance,” Coy replied. They shook hands.

“More of your cousins Bo Duke? Well I have never heard of y’all.” Bo sat
down at the table beside his wife. He looked at the dirty dishes on the
table that were left by the kids. Bo knew that Nancy and he would have to
pick up after their children.

“Well darling, these two are the black sheep of this family. They decided
that they were going to be booze hounds. But I won’t hold that against you
two, after all, you’re family,” Bo answered. Vance and Coy looked at him in
bewilderment. They wondered what changed to make Bo so different.

“Is this the same Bo that made that beautiful orange car out there?” Vance
questioned.

“Yes, I have changed a lot. Some people do change. I mean take my better
half’s father for instance. I never thought Cooter would let me marry his
daughter.”

“Wait a minute, you do look familiar. Cooter’s daughter, you married
Cooter’s daughter?”

“She’s only three years younger than me.”

“I never thought you’d marry your best friend’s kid.” Bo goes up and looked
at kids in his bedroom. They were picking out which clothes were clean and
which were dirty. Jose was supervising since he hated going through people’s
stuff. Bo was happy to see them all getting along so well. He never thought
in a million years those three would become such good friends. Jo Anna was
always trying to kick everyone’s butt and Jose with his wisecracks.
Sometimes people like that don’t mix.

Bo looked back at Coy and Vance with big eyes. He knew that he couldn’t kick
the two out. There was something in them that had changed for the better.
“Look you two; I am letting you stay here not because you’re the best people
in the world but because I know that people can change. That includes you.
But both of you are going to help with the work around here,” Bo stated.

Coy couldn’t believe how much Bo sounded like their dearly departed Uncle.
But he was right about one thing, they needed to earn back their status.
When you’re the black sheep of the family you really have to work your way
up. You just didn’t get respect suddenly.

“I wouldn’t think of staying here if I wasn’t going to work for it,” Vance
replied.

“Good thing Vance. You two are grown men and know how to do farming. I know
that you Vance can still do some things even if you are in a wheelchair.
There will be no slacking. Coy you can work out in the field with Jesse. You
can give him tips and he can help you get reacquainted with the art of
agriculture.”

“Yeah well I will work hard Bo and you can count on me,” Coy responds. He
knew that this was one time he couldn’t let anyone down. Bo smiled at his
cousin.

A few days later…

Vance was working with Jo in the kitchen as Jesse and Coy walked in. Sweat
rolled down their backs as they sat down. “Boy I haven’t worked like that in
ages,” Coy commented as he put his feet up.

“Well Jo is teaching me how to cook and I ain’t ever been so confused in my
life. It’s like you need a dictionary for a cook book,” Vance answered.

“Y’all ain’t complaining are ya?” Jesse laughed. They both shook their heads
no.

“You know school is just around the corner,” Coy said, trying to make
conversation.

“Don’t remind me Coy. We have to go there and listen to some teacher blab. I
hate being younger than everyone else in my class. They all call me brainy
and other cruel things,” Jesse remarked.

“Your daddy was in higher classes though he didn’t tell anyone in his
family. He skipped up two grades when he first started high school. That was
when Luke was in Vietnam.”

Jose walked in and kicked off his boots. “You’re mentioning school around
me? Boy y’all have a screw loose!” Jose exclaimed.

“You say y’all, you’re turning into one of us,” Jesse laughed.

“Don’t you rub that in my face Jesse Duke! I thought we agreed that I will
never be one of you.”

“You may never be me, but you’re becoming one of the family.”

“Sure I am.” Jose got up and washed his hands. He used Jo Anna’s shirt as a
towel. Jo smacked him hard.

“You use your own shirt next time doorknob!” Jo exclaimed. Jose laughed. Bo
walked in and looked at everyone. He smiled to see such a family meeting. It
was missing one thing, Daisy. But she wouldn’t come near Coy and Vance. That
wasn’t very good on her part. She wasn’t willing to forgive no matter what.
But Coy and Vance were showing their changes within the Duke home. Now the
men were equals. They didn’t have to pretend to be Bo and Luke anymore. In
all reality they are Coy and Vance nothing would change that.

“She’s keeping her distance, it doesn’t matter how much I talk to her. Daisy
is convinced that you two are the biggest scum of the Universe. I tried
everything I could. Daisy just ain’t willing to be hurt again,” Bo
commented. Coy frowned. He didn’t know what to say to her to make Daisy
change her mind. There wasn’t much either of them could do.

“Bo I am sorry we came back to Hazzard,” Vance mumbled.

“Why are you sorry? The harvest is going faster than planned and y’all are
showing me the true meaning of love within a family,” Bo retorted.

“We’re causing you so much trouble with Daisy.”

“You’ll just have to wait. Daisy may be set on her ways but she can see
through things just as well as Uncle Jesse used to. That’s something about
her that I love.”

“I still can’t believe he’s gone.”

“I know that was hard for me to even think about. Jesse JR here is like the
man he was named after.” Coy looked at Bo in confusion. Jesse reminded Coy
more of a spider that tricked people. Jesse wasn’t the calm one; he had a
temper like Bo a lot of times. The young man seemed to be the type that
jumped into things without thinking. But Bo had a reason for saying what he
did. Uncle Jesse used to be as wild as Bo at one time. It wasn’t until Uncle
Jesse’s dad died he settled down.

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