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Just a good ol' boy

But he e-mailed the seller anyway, sort of half-hearted, and sent the link to Desiree.

"I knew it was a very good price," she said. "But my first reaction was 'No, absolutely not.' But then I thought of how important this car is to him and how it really helped him during his childhood."

See, "The Dukes of Hazzard" and its world of fast cars, and the General Lee in particular, always held a place in Matt's heart, helping him during difficult times in his early years.

"We had a rough childhood," Matt said of himself and his five siblings. "That show was always a kind of escape for me."

Matt grew up in a rundown housing complex in the City of Rensselaer. His mother worked nonstop to support her six kids, said Matt, and the going was tough. His father, a hard-drinking former Marine, was rarely around, and when he was well, Matt said, let's just say that the fictional world of "The Dukes of Hazzard" was a better alternative to the Ogren household.

"Every week I knew I could escape into that world," he said. "And when they were driving the General Lee around that tree at the end of every show, well, I'd get a little depressed knowing I had to come back to the real world."

And though the TV show was canceled in 1985, Matt's love of cars wasn't.

"I had a lot of toy cars at my house for when he came over. He would race them along the sill of this big, double window," said his grandmother, Frances Camponeschi of Delmar. The two were very close during Matt's childhood, and they would play with two Matchbox Corvettes, in particular.

"And one day I told him, 'Matthew, if I ever have a lot of money, I'm going to buy you a real Corvette,'" said Frances.

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