O.K., it was on the last visit of our niece and her family to us on Golden Pond last December that I became aware of the “Duck Dynasty” phenomenon. In addition to my usual Houston Texans t-shirt, they gave me another one that blew my mind. It was a dirty UPS brown shirt with a picture of four camouflaged-clad, ZZ-Top looking wannabes glaring out with the caption, “Brothers of the Beard...Duck Dynasty.” I smiled graciously just like uncles have always done over Christmas ties, thanked them profusely, and then said, “Just what the heck is this?”
Casey and Billy were flabbergasted that I did not know about the Robinson Cartel of West Monroe, Louisiana, known throughout the free world as “Duck Dynasty.” On the outside chance you are not familiar with this backwoods “Dallas” hit reality show, I present the following overview of the Robinson family tree.
The patriarch of the clan is one Phil Robertson. In the early 1970s, he excelled as the starting quarterback at Louisiana Tech University (ahead of the then unknown Terry Bradshaw) and turned down a pro-football contract with the Washington Redskins because it would interfere with his hunting lifestyle and he didn’t want “...large, violent...men chasing me trying to stomp me in the dirt.” Phil is a legend in Louisiana and the duck-hunting world due to his unique “Duck Commander” duck calls fashioned from the wood of Louisiana cedar trees. About the time he began hand-crafting his duck calls, he married his grade-school and high school sweetheart, “Miss Kay” Robertson nee Caroway when she was 16 years old. The feisty Miss Kay is the real boss of the clan and cooks for the many family gatherings. No one can whomp up possum, squirrel, and ‘gater like Miss Kay. Phil and his whole clan are devout believers of the gospel of Jesus Christ and their family tree resembles one that might be found in the Old Testament.
Phil and Miss Kay (The Little Woman) have been married for 49 years and they begat four sons, Alan, Jase, Willie, and Jep. Rounding out the main clan is Phil’s younger brother, Si (as in Silas) who is a goofy Vietnam War Veteran and is known for his ever-present Tupperware container of ice-tea and back-woods homilies and story-telling. Si get proposals all the time but he has been married for 40 years to his wife, Christine, who brews him two gallons of that tea per day. You never see her or the two kids they begat.
Oldest son, Alan, originally left the business to become a preacher at the family’s church. Now he, and his wife, Lisa, are joining the show for the next season so he can spread the word to more people. Alan is the only brother without a beard.
Jase Robertson (as in Jason) is in charge of Duck Commander manufacturing and tuning of the duck calls. Jase married a city-slicker wife, Missy, and they begat three children: Reed, Cole, and Mia.
Willie is the CEO of Duck Commander and his city-slicker wife, Korie, is the office manager of Duck Commander. They have five children: they begat John, Luke, Sadie, they adopted “Lil Will,” and Rebecca is an exchange student from Taiwan.
Jep (as in Jules Jeptha) films and edits DVDs of the Robertson family hunting excursions. He is married to Jessica and they begat four young-uns, Lily, Merritt, Priscilla, and River.
Well, there you have a thumbnail sketch of the lovable, swamp and backwoods loving clan that takes reality TV to a whole new level. They absolutely own the A&E Network - my TV guide shows a half-dozen consecutive 30-minute segments every Sunday and Wednesday with some others sprinkled about through the week. They have been featured in magazines from People to this week’s Parade in our Sunday paper. I realized what a really big hit they were when the bearded boys appeared on “The View” a couple weeks ago. As Si said, “It don’t get no better than that.” Oh, by the way, the family is working on a Christmas album scheduled for release in October 2013 entitled, “Duck the Halls, A Robertson Family Christmas.”
I mentioned that Brother Alan is a preacher in the family’s church and the Robertson’s are all devout Christians but there are a few backwoods nuances to their services such as: opening day of deer season is recognized as an official church holiday; the choir is known as “The O.K. Chorale;” Baptism is referred to as “Branding;” the collection plates are really hub caps from a ’57 Chevy; the communion wine is Boone’s Farm “Tickled Pink;” and the final words of the benedictions are always, “Y’all come back now, hear!”
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Dick Platt is a Daily Sun columnist. His column appears on Tuesdays. Want to “Soundoff” on this column? Email: email@example.com