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Fall Philly, 2008- The Great Rumbleseat Blanket Caper

Fall Philly, 2008- The Great Rumbleseat Blanket Caper

Before I reveal this story, a small bit of history must first be applied. The blanket in the below photos is a true piece of history and is priceless. It originally belonged to the King of the Aztec Nation and was almost destroyed in the Spanish Inquisition. It took six brave Aztec warriors two months of heavy travel to save it and was then given to the Chief of the Pawnee Indian tribes for safekeeping.

As the years passed, it was passed down to the following generations until it found its way to a small Nebraska souvenir store where it was purchased by a Hollywood prop department for use in movies. The blanket was then given to Clint Eastwood as part of his wardrobe in Sergio Leone's classic movie, "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly". The pair of boots belonged to Country Music great, Little Jimmy Dickens and were on his feet the night Porter Wagoner caught Little Jimmy and Dolly Parton in his dressing room. They were greased up and had nothing on between them and the Lord but these boots and Dolly's wig. The legend is that Little Jimmy kicked Porter off the Opry loading dock and straight got his Dolly on.

So there is a small bit of history behind these iconic pieces, which are currently being used in the world- wide advertising campaign for Rumbleseat Music. The owner of Rumbleseat, the mysterious Mr. E has these items flown into each guitar show he attends and escorted in by armed ex- Navy Seals. They are of limitless value and again, priceless.

Cut to last weekend at the Philadelphia Guitar Show. The boots and the blanket were part of the Rumbleseat display, accompanied by vintage ES-335's and Les Pauls. Lee and I were sitting in our booths, chipping the ice off our feet when all of a sudden, two masked scalawags bolted by our spot with these two icons tucked under their coats and making a quick getaway towards the arena door. Without thinking, Lee and I immediately assumed our alter- egos of Bo and Luke Duke and beat a hasty track after these two scoundrels (they were quite unwashed and not hard to follow). It was at that moment that I realized that I had my camera around my neck and as we reached the loading dock, I yelled, " Hey you two, stop right there"!

As they turned around with blood in their eyes and looking for a fight, I snapped off two quick pictures (to ensure both the legitimacy of our story and our innocence) and then Lee whipped out his Rebel Flag boomerang. He caught the tall one in the eyebrow and dropped him like a bad habit, but the short, fat one was ready to take it all the way. He threw the boots towards the cardboard compactor to distract us and rushed in our direction, slobbering and growling. Lee looked like Shaquille O' Neal as he did a 30" vertical leap to grab the boots and as he landed, the fat one threw the blanket over my head and began to pummel me with a Philadelphia salt spreader ( they keep these things everywhere because it's always chilly in Philly).

Here's the scene: I'm on the ground with a swollen noggin, my eyes and nose full of salt and yellin' for Lee to hit this mad midget with something, for God's sake. Lee's on the ground with a cracked shin from landing on the tall thief's neck and this cross- eyed, hyena- breath oompah loompah is cracking me over the tater with a 30 pound, rolling box of salt. It was at this exact moment that I remembered; When we were visiting Frankie B. in Jersey, he had given us a Jersey City survival kit that included a pre- paid calling card, a "Languages of New Jersey" translation book and an 8" piece of #4 re-bar. I pulled that piece of re-bar out of my sock and knocked that small ball of wolverine out like he was in a Mike Tyson fight. Then, I crawled over to the tall one, who was trying to wake up and reintroduced his behind to the sandman again. And, because my blood was up at this point, I cracked Lee in the shins for letting me take the beating of my life for a stupid blanket and a pair of boots that wouldn't fit a 2- year old.

We gathered the boots, the blanket and our faculties as best we could and limped back into the show where we were greeted to thunderous applause, heated covers and hot soup. The mysterious Mr. E came over to us and said to come to his booth when we were feeling better and take whatever we wanted for free, as a reward. Gary and Bonnie Burnett offered to load our van when the show was over and to never charge us booth rental for as long as they put on shows. Eddie Van Halen's manager came over and told us that the next time one of us had a birthday, Van Halen would play our backyard for free and as the cherry on the cake, the local Hooters bar sent 6 Hooters waitresses over to give us each a massage and all the free wings and beer we could hold.

Thinking back on the events of this past weekend, Lee and I would like to add an additional service to our website. If you ever need something recovered, protected or inspected, just call on the Duke Boys and we'll get the job done. Whether it's a puppy or a diamond ring, we'll get it back for you and the only stipulation is you cannot complain if we slide the General Lee sideways in your front yard when we arrive. It's just how we do things down here in Georgia......

Fall Philly, 2008- The Great Rumbleseat Blanket Caper