Authors: Phil Robertson
Tags: #Non-Fiction, #Biography
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To my four sons: Alan, Jase, Willie, and Jep
“Let them revere nothing but religion, morality and liberty.”
—Excerpt from letter to Abigail Adams from her husband John Adams regarding their two sons, April 15, 1776
HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY
hen A&E TV approached us about doing a reality TV show based on our family, I was somewhat reluctant and wasn’t quite sure if it would work.
“Let me take a guess here,” I told the producers.
I told them that there was probably a boardroom meeting at the A&E headquarters in New York City, where all the suits, yuppies, and best creative minds were kicking around ideas for a new reality TV show. At some point during the meeting, someone probably spoke up and said, “Uh, Bob, I know this might sound weird, but why don’t we try portraying a functional American family?”
And I’m sure the guy sitting across the table shouted, “Now, that’s a novel idea!”
Everything else on TV nowadays is dysfunctional and for the most part has been that way for forty years. The last TV shows we saw that featured functional families were
The Andy Griffith Show,
The Waltons, The Beverly Hillbillies
(don’t laugh), and
Little House on the Prairie
. That was a long time ago!
I’m sure someone else in the A&E board meeting probably then asked, “Bob, where do we find a functional family in America?”
For whatever reason, they looked for one in West Monroe, Louisiana.
To be honest, our family isn’t much different from other families in America. There’s a mom and a dad, four grown kids, fourteen grandchildren, and a couple of great-grandkids. We started a family business, Duck Commander, which turned into a pretty lucrative enterprise with a lot of elbow grease, teamwork, and God’s blessings. But as you’ll find out by reading this book, we’ve had our share of trials and struggles, like a lot of other families. We’ve battled alcohol and drug abuse, sibling rivalries, and near poverty and despair at the beginning of our time together as a family. It wasn’t always like what you see on TV. So except for our very manly appearances, it might not seem that we’re all that different from everyone else.
But I think what separates the Robertsons from a lot of other families is our faith in God and love for each other. It’s unconditional, and it has been that way for as long as I can remember. For me, the most dramatic part of every
episode comes at the end, when our family gathers around the dinner table to
eat one of Miss Kay’s home-cooked meals. You don’t see families gathering up like that anymore. Everybody in America is so busy, busy, busy. Americans are too preoccupied with their cell phones and computers, so they don’t take the time to sit down with their spouses, children, grandchildren, aunts and uncles, and grandparents to eat a meal together. The family structure is slipping away from America, but not in our house.
Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States, probably said it best. Shortly after our founding fathers left the large cities of Europe for the wide-open spaces of America, Jefferson said of the American people, “When they get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, they will become corrupt as in Europe.” You’ll never find me living in a city, folks. Where I live, I am 911. Like I say, if you spend too much time in the subdivision, you go a-runnin’ when the snakes fall out of trees!
What separates the Robertsons from a lot of other families is our faith in God and love for each other.
The other problem in America today is that the young girls don’t know how to cook. Their grandmothers and mamas cooked for them, but they never took the time to learn how to cook. They were more interested in other things. If you go out into the subdivisions and suburbs of America, where all of the yuppies live, you’ll see the restaurants are packed with people.
They don’t want to eat slop and they’re looking for good food, but they don’t want to take the time to make it. Dad is working, Mom is working, and so no one has the time or energy to cook a good meal anymore. So our families end up eating in restaurants, where they’re surrounded by noise and clutter, instead of sharing quality time in a family setting.