by Jay Scherder, KY3 News
6:15 PM CST, November 15, 2012
HOLLISTER, Mo -- Nathan Kissee lives to show off his General Lee. His car is in disrepair--a sad situation for the Dukes of Hazzard's number one fan.
A group of mechanical heroes, who have ties to the show itself, came to Holilster to make sure Nathan's dream doesn't die.
From the outside Nathan Kissee's General Lee is spotless.
"Nathan is Dukes of Hazzard from toes to his hat. Socks, underwear, shirt, the whole nine yards," said mechanic Tom Sarmento.
But much like Nathan...
"When Nathan was 8 weeks he was given an overdose at a hospital. He was given enough to kill an adult," said Nathan's mother Priscilla Kissee. "Every time I turned around he was going back in for a brain surgery."
The car has its share of obstacles.
"There were no seat belts in it, the brakes didn't work very good," said Sarmento.
Add to that list--a faulty steering column, a busted starter, worn out shocks--the list goes on and on.
"That was kind of scary," said Priscilla, "to think I've been driving this car and it's that bad and I had no idea."
Enter Tom Sarmento and his team of mechanics. "He came to one of the events in Bristol, Tennessee. That's where I met him and his mom."
Tom was the lead mechanic on the Dukes of Hazzard show. He now does stunt events across the country.
"It's just such a worthwhile adventure for us to come out here and do this," Sarmento said.
"Everything is just going through my mind about what they are doing. It's amazing," Priscilla said.
His team heard about Nathan's story and traveled hundreds of miles to make sure his car was as good on the inside as it looked on the outside.
"They don't have the money to do this," said Sarmento, "but there are so many good people out there that know Nathan's story."
They had some help along the way. "It's not just them coming, but it's everyone here too," said Priscilla," that's making it all come together."
Hollister based Kivetts donated shop space. O' Reilly Auto Parts donated parts and supplies. Port of Kimberling donated lodging. Olive Garden even pitched in lunch.
The mechanics that came with Sarmento also donated parts they had lying around. They also solicited parts from people they knew.
Along the way, Nathan became part of the crew.
"They made him an official member of the stunt team with the jacket," said Priscilla.
The crew became so much more to Nathan as well. He has known a life without a father figure for a long time.
"I said, 'what's the matter" I miss having a Dad mom," Priscilla explained. "It's not only about fixing his car. It's not just we are going to get this done for this kid and move out of here and we've done another good deed. It's not like that. It's like a bond."
What would have normally taken weeks and thousands of dollars took only a day.
"There's been a lot of tears, a lot of laughter," said Priscilla.
"She goes I pray to God that the car is going to start. I pray to God that it is going to make it through and not overheat. I said, look, all your praying on that Charger, we'll take care of that. Use your prayers for somebody else," said Sarmento.
Now Nathan truly has a General Lee to call his own.
The mechanics still aren't finished. They are planning to come back this summer. They found a few more things they'd like to replace to make Nathan's car even better.
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