It was a fantastic weekend in downtown Texarkana with the 2nd Annual RailFest, and the 5th Annual Bandit Run. Making an appearance with this years Bandit Run, was none other than Buford T. Justice himself, and of course his son Junior, the jilted groom.

Saturday, the streets of downtown Texarkana were full of Meat and Muscle.  While the BBQ Cook-off took place with the Railfest celebration, filling the air with the aroma of the tastiest ribs you could imagine, just one street over outside of the Kids Play Village, some of the most famous muscle cars in American history lined both sides of the street with the 5th Annual Bandit Run celebrating the 1977 movie "Smokey and The Bandit".

The film starred Burt Reynolds as "the Bandit", Jerry Reed as Cledus Snow (aka The Snowman), and Sally Field as the runaway bride, "Frog".  The movie helped cement the Trans Am's iconic place in American Muscle Car history, and fans and owners of Trans Am's came together in Texarkana from all over the country, no, the hemisphere as one of the cars this year made the journey from Canada.  We met our long distance online listeners, and friends Sharon and John Barr from Sydney Nebraska, who made the trip in their gold Trans Am.

The Bandit ran interference for The Snowman, as they sped across the country to pick up 400 cases of Coors Beer in Texarkana U.S.A., and take it back to "Big and Little Enos Burdette" in Atlanta Georgia.  Along the way they pick up a runaway bride, and give her the CB handle "Frog", and she's all about "I'm a dancer, I have great legs, take off your hat and kiss me"... remember I was like 12 years old and didn't really care about the romance part..that was like a year later...

Anyway, picking up "Frog" just put them under the hammer of one of the finest law agents that ever was, Buford T. Justice.  He started chasing them across the country at first because Field had run out on the wedding he had paid for, then it became his quest to catch the Bandit.

I just LOVED this movie.  When I was a kid, we went to see it at least a dozen times at the dollar show, with popcorn that mama had popped at home, because we were already spending $2 for me and my brother Doug to see the show. (...and a gallon of gas was 85 cents.)

I have always been a fan of Buford T. Justice played by the great Jackie Gleason and he reminded me of most of the male adults in my life at the time.  One of my most favorite scenes is where he gets his horn stuck at the scene of an accident and a state trooper cusses and raises his voice to Buford, and once he's had enough he starts poking the young trooper in the chest and he yells back,

Hold it. Hold it!  Don't you ever, ever raise your voice to me.  Do you know who you're talkin' to?  I happen to be Buford T. Justice, a distinguished officer of over 30 years' seniority!  One of the most decorated and highly respected  law-enforcement agents in the United States of America.

I love that scene, and it's one of my favorite lines, that and what became world famous,


I have always loved the movie. I just watched "Smokey and the Bandit II" again the other day, the one with Dom DeLuise, and I think it was good too. (However, I will not even acknowledge "III"...sorry.).

Being all caught up in the excitement of the cars, and talk about the movie, it was a really big deal when I got to meet the reincarnation of Sheriff Buford T. Justice (David Betz), and his son Junior Justice (Mike Hodgins), at the Bandit Run 2012, celebrating the 35th Anniversary of the movie.

The meeting did not go as planned...

I really did have a great time, and cannot wait for the next Beer Run... sorry, Bandit Run. (I will also be looking forward to any car club doing a Cannon Ball Run from here... hint, hint.)

Here are a few photos from Saturday May 12 at The Bandit Run 2012 in downtown Texarkana...

The Bandit Run leaves town Monday morning at 9 a.m., from Broad and Laurel in downtown Texarkana (The cars will begin gathering at the Auto Museum around 8 a.m.) and head out of town on Highway 67, to Highway 82, then head out of town on the loop... East bound and down!  The parade out of town will be something to see.

The Bandit Run makes their next stop in Lafayette Lousiana on their way to Atlanta. For more information on the Annual Bandit Run contact