Alan is the oldest of the Duck Commander Robertson brothers. He is sometimes known as the “beardless brother”. His parents Phil and Kay were pregnant with Al before they were married.
The book opens with reflections and endorsements from family members. I had heard a part of Alan and Lisa’s story in the book The Women of Duck Commander. I listened to the audiobook version of the book which was read by Alan and Lisa. They rotate telling their stories. The book includes helpful lessons learned and reflections at the end of each chapter. The authors hope that others will learn from their mistakes and experiences.
Alan tells his story of growing up before Phil was saved. Phil drank a lot and at one point kicked Miss Kay, Alan, Jase and Willie out of the home. At age 8, Alan helped to raise Jase and Willie as the man of the house as Phil wasn’t fulfilling that role.
Lisa tells of a secret that she kept for many years, being sexually abused from age 7 until she was a teenager by a family member in grandmother’s home. She carried the secret and the corresponding shame with her.
Lisa was never close to her mother because of how she treated her sister Barbara who left home early. Lisa mentions that Barbara was also molested by someone. Lisa was closest to Barbara and her father. Barbara struggled with alcoholism before she died.
Lisa first caught sight of Al when she was in the 6th grade. Al was very popular and didn’t really notice her. Al started going downhill spiritually when he was in the 9th grade, even though he was only 13 years old. He became sexually active with an older girl. He was living a double life, drinking and smoking marijuana.
Later, after Lisa had matured physically Al noticed her. Before long they were having sex and Al introduced her to drinking and drugs. It took Jase to tell his parents the truth about Al.
Al left Lisa and went to New Orleans where he was almost killed by the husband of the woman he was dating. He would return to Louisiana, recommit his life to Christ and be baptized by Phil in the river. The love that Phil showed his prodigal son changed Al’s life and relationship with Phil forever.
When Al went to New Orleans Lisa went on a downward spiral of sex and drinking. She got pregnant and had an abortion, even though her boyfriend wanted her to keep the baby and marry him. But Lisa still longed for a relationship with Alan. Eventually they did get back together and were married in late 1984.
Their first daughter Anna was born premature. Lisa wondered if Anna’s early struggles were punishment for her earlier abortion. Anna had to have heart surgery when she was very young. The doctors gave the surgery only a 40% chance of success. The surgery was successful and Anna went home on a heart monitor when she reached 4 pounds. She experienced no more problems, and has lived a normal life, getting married and having three children. Lisa would have a second daughter Alexis and then later a miscarriage. She continued to feel shame for the abortion.
Lisa and Al struggled financially in the early days of their marriage. Al and Jase went to preaching school and Al would preach at churches on the weekends. But Lisa didn’t want the life of a pastor’s wife. She was unhappy and had an inappropriate relationship with a married man. Al forgave her, but told her that if she was ever unfaithful again he would divorce her.
Later, she would have a 14-month affair with an old boyfriend. Lisa originally denied it, but Al confirmed it through Lisa’s cell phone records. Al asked her to leave the family home. That same night Lisa surrendered to Christ for the first time.
Lisa was then fired from Duck Commander when it was discovered that she had been stealing money to fund her affair (to pay for clothes and makeup). Their daughters were just 10 and 12 years old at the time
After much prayer, Al decided to choose forgiveness, despite many family members disagreeing with the decision. They purchased new wedding rings and renewed their wedding vows privately. Lisa wrote a letter of apology to family and tried to pay back the money she stole from Duck Commander, but Miss Kay would not allow it. Lisa also changed the way she dressed and acted around men, which previously had been provocative.
The couple now helps to counsel others and hold marriage retreats. They feel that if they can help one other couple from their story it will make their pain redemptive.
Al left the ministry in 2012 to work with Duck Commander and Duck Dynasty. An appendix is included in which they teach from scripture how men are to be respectful and women are to be lovable.
UnPHILtered: The Way I See It by Phil Robertson with Mark Schlabach. Howard Books. 224 pages. 2014.
The latest book from the Duck Commander group is the second from Phil Robertson. He follows up his best-selling Happy, Happy, Happy with this book, also written with Mark Schlabach, who also worked with Willie and Korie, Jase and Si on their books.
In this book, Phil refers often to the controversial interview with GQ magazine and he offers 15 fixes for America. The book contains a strong presentation of the Gospel throughout. Here are some passages that I highlighted as I read the book:
• I’m here to tell you that the American dream is still out there. My family and I are living examples of it. But as you’ll read in the pages that follow, I’m very concerned about the direction of our country. It looks nothing like the republic our founding fathers built more than two hundred years ago—or even like it did only a few decades ago. A large part of what was once the American culture is crumbling around us.
• My utmost goal in life is to portray Christ as best as I can and share the Good News that He offers to each and every one of us.
• And here’s where the undergirding spirit of this whole book comes into play: love God; love your neighbor. If we all lived out those principles, I wouldn’t need to write this book. My purpose in life and in writing this book is only to point people to Jesus and to help turn our country’s people around by reminding us all to love God and love one another.
BIBLICAL CORRECTNESS Fix No. 1: Replace Political Correctness with Biblical Correctness
• Political correctness tries to dictate what is right and wrong, instead of our country having a moral system of righteous laws.
• The way things are going, it’s okay to have an opinion in America, as long as you don’t offend anyone and don’t quote the Bible.
• The “PC police” constantly preach tolerance and acceptance, but they’re intolerant of beliefs that aren’t in line with their own. Certain Americans condemn businesses like Chick-fil-A for speaking out against same-sex marriages, but then we’re told to celebrate companies like Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and Starbucks because they embrace them. Is it not a two-way street? Isn’t there supposed to be freedom of speech on both sides of the issue?
• The amazing thing to me is that biblical correctness has never changed. It’s written on the pages of the Bible and the words have remained the same through the ages. The sins are listed and are there for everyone to see. Each of us has the ability to read them, study them, and then decide whether we’re going to sin or follow God’s commands. Conversely, political correctness is constantly changing and evolving.
• Political correctness trumps everything else in America nowadays, and I’m convinced it’s another example of the Evil One’s ploys to deceive us. Today’s truth is based on what is socially acceptable, and biblical correctness has somehow become hate speech.
SPIRITUAL DIETING Fix No. 2: Count Your Sins, Not Your Calories
• I’m not against diets or counting calories, but Americans are more concerned with physical fitness and what they eat than they are with their spiritual health.
• There’s no question physical training is of some value while we’re on this earth, but spiritual training is worth far more. In 1 Timothy 4:1–10, Paul the Apostle tells his younger protégé Timothy: For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.
MONEY Fix No. 3: Focus on Your Eternal Inheritance, Not Your Portfolio
• The truth is that God owns everything and everything we receive comes from Him. Our goal should be to live below our means and be content with what God has given us.
• Learn the secret of godliness with contentment. It’s not about money, no matter how much you make.
• Save your money, buy only what you need, give generously, and, most important, prepare yourself for God’s inheritance.
SOCIAL MEDIA Fix No. 4: Mind Your Own Business
• I’m convinced that the Internet and social media in particular, the very things that were supposed to bring us closer together, have actually distanced us from each other more than ever before.
• Imagine what you could do with the time you’re spending on your mobile devices and computers. You could actually talk to your spouse and kids, volunteer at a food bank or school, throw the football in the backyard, or take your kids hunting or fishing.
• Much of the reason some people are so attracted to social media is gossip.
• We’ve become narcissistic, wanting to share everything with our “friends.” We have to tell them what we’re doing, what we’re wearing, who we’re with, and where we’re going. Then we’ll sit in front of the computer for hours to see how many friends “liked” or shared the photos.
• When you come home from work, turn off your cell phone, computer, and TV. Spend some quality time with your spouse and kids.
FAMILY Fix No. 5: Raise Your Children in a Godly Environment
• We had a simple, biblical system of discipline in our home. We didn’t overdo it and didn’t have a long list of rules on the icebox. Miss Kay and I worked hard to ensure one thing—that our boys obeyed us.
• Children have to see a structure in place. In our house, there was a patriarch and a matriarch, a mom and a dad. God has to be at the top.
• I really hope America can return to raising children in godly homes and environments. At some point during the last thirty or forty years, Americans stopped teaching, correcting, and disciplining (or training) their children, and now we’re seeing the results. They aren’t good.
• I think the most important values we can teach our children are a healthy fear of God and the importance of hard work
POLITICS Fix No. 6: Elect Godly Men
• Now, I love my country and every one of my fellow citizens, but there are some things about America that are flat-out embarrassing. And it starts with the people who are running our country in Washington, DC, and the people who are putting them there.
• If you truly want change and hope in America, we have to put godly men back in Washington, DC. The problem is not just our elected officials—it’s the ones who put them there. Our nation elected them and they are an exact representation of who we are as a country.
• Where there is no Jesus, you end up in a society where everything is political. That’s why there’s so much political correctness in our country today.
• Our founding fathers were godly men and created the greatest republic in the history of mankind. It only took us two hundred and thirty-eight years to screw it up!
• I am convinced the battle for America will be won from the bottom up, from the people to the politicians, and not from the top down.
• So here’s my advice, America: go forth, do the best you can, and try to turn the population toward God—hoping that when we get enough godly people, we’ll put godly men in government. What if that fails and we’re not able to accomplish it? Well, just remember that you who belong to Jesus are the kingdom of God and the kingdom of God will last forever, even if our beloved America should fall.
RACE Fix No. 7: Judge a Man by His Heart, Not the Color of His Skin
• Our opinions about certain lifestyles might be different, but I can promise you one thing: there isn’t a racist bone in my body.
• Our focus doesn’t need to be on diversity but on embracing unity.
ENTITLEMENTS Fix No. 8: Become Self-Reliant
• Entitlement spending has grown to be almost 100 percent higher than it was in 1960, and the Congressional Budget Office estimates that entitlement spending will consume every federal tax dollar by 2048.
• The entitlement problem we face in America is cultural. It’s really that simple. We have positioned our government as an enabler, and by doing so we’ve robbed many people of their own sense of personal responsibility.
GOVERNMENT Fix No. 9: Make the U.S. Government Smaller
• The U.S. government, as we know it today, is grossly bloated, inefficient, and ineffective at its current size.
• A flat tax would seem to be a much more equitable way of funding our government. It’s really a replica of the system of taxation God introduced to us in the Bible.
• Only 57 percent of American households paid federal income taxes in 2013, and the top 20 percent of wage earners in our country accounted for more than 67 percent of total income taxes, according to some estimates. It isn’t fair and it isn’t right. Too many hardworking Americans are carrying too much of the weight, and there are far too many freeloaders in our country.
GUN CONTROL Fix No. 10: Never Give Up Your Firearms
• But America doesn’t have a gun problem—it has a sin and self-control problem. Guns aren’t the problem; it’s the people pulling the triggers. It was never about the weapons. Was it a spear problem when tribes were slaughtering one another? Was it a sword problem back in medieval times? When kings and queens were having public hangings every afternoon at the gallows, was it a rope problem?
• Stricter gun-control laws won’t work because criminals will still find ways to get their hands on guns illegally, and law-abiding citizens will be left defenseless.
• I have to admit that I do find it remarkably ironic that many of the people who want to control guns are also pro-choice advocates when it comes to abortion. Many of the same people who want to rid the U.S. of guns are advocating for the murder of millions of babies.
• We have lost more Americans to murder through abortion than through all the wars we have ever fought. It’s embarrassing and a terrible blight on all of us. Fortunately, the blood of Jesus is more than sufficient to forgive those who have committed the act.
• As I wrote in my first book, it’s amazing to me that it’s more difficult to kill a duck in this country than it is to rip an unborn child out of its mother’s womb.
INTELLIGENT DESIGN OR BLIND CHANCE Fix No. 11: Look at Creation, You’ll Figure It Out
• When I look at our galaxy, our solar system, and Earth, the sun, and the moon—and all their interaction with and dependence on each other—it’s impossible for me to believe this all happened by chance. I have to believe there’s intelligent design behind it all.
• So in the beginning Earth was a big ball of water, and then here comes the ground. The land comes out of the water, and the sky is lifted above the seas. For my money, it could not have happened without a Guiding Hand!
• In the end, you put your faith in either blind chance or an intelligent Being. I find the latter much more satisfying and reasonable.
GOOD VS. EVIL Fix No. 12: Choose to Live Righteously
SIN Fix No. 13: Repent and Ask God for Forgiveness
• Everything moved along pretty smoothly until December 2013, when GQ magazine published a cover story about Duck Dynasty. The first question out of his mouth to me was: “Do you think homosexual behavior is a sin?”
• The scripture I quoted to the GQ reporter was written by Paul and is what God said, so I believe it to be true. So when the reporter asked me if I believed homosexuality is a sin, I quoted Scripture, specifically, 1 Corinthians 6:9–10, which says: “Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”
• In my opinion, the really sad part about the flap from the GQ interview is that most of the mainstream media in America didn’t even know I was quoting from the Bible. Apparently, they believed I was just running my mouth.
• Was I mad about being put on indefinite hiatus? No, I was sad about it. I wasn’t mad then, and I’m still not mad today.
• What the GQ reporter left out of the story and what a lot of people seemed to gloss over was that after Paul gave the Corinthians the list of sins, he finished with the following scripture: “And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of God” (1 Corinthians 6:11). Paul was trying to encourage them and described how they used to behave. But the Good News—and this is what much of America missed—is that God erased their sins and forgave them. Paul was warning them not to go back to their former lives.
• Which list are you in? Where do you stand before God? What list do you practice? You have seen the two lists. One includes love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control; the other includes sexual immorality, idolatry, adultery, homosexuality, thievery, greed, drunkenness, slander, and swindling. You can usually tell by what comes out of our mouths and what we do after dark.
DEATH Fix No. 14: Prepare for the Recall too.
• I want everyone to come to repentance. My desire is to help others out. That’s why I’m telling everyone to turn from their sins and accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
GOOD NEWS Fix No. 15: Embrace Jesus Christ
• I hope I’ve helped you reach the conclusion that there are two problems we can’t fix.
• The first problem is sin, and it’s what’s plaguing the world today.
• After we’ve sinned, we walk around the rest of our lives waiting on physical death. The first problem is spiritual death, and then physical death comes along. But if we’ve accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, our problems are solved. Jesus Christ is the solution to sin and death.
• Escaping your grave isn’t hard. Repent of your sins and confess Jesus as Lord.
• It is time for all of America to repent and turn back to the Lord, and we had better do it now before it’s too late for our beloved nation. Can you do that? Love God and love your neighbor. It’s as simple as that. I’m doing it—not perfectly, but I’m doing it—and I’m not the only one. There are a lot more people doing it too, but not nearly enough. America, we need to get back to the gospel of Jesus as quickly as we can. If we do, we’ll live happily, happily, happily ever after.
The Duck Commander Family: How Faith, Family, and Ducks Built a Dynasty by Willie and Korie Robertson. Simon and Schuster. 272 pages. 2012. Audiobook read by Willie and Korie Robertson
Last year we started watching the A&E reality series Duck Dynasty. The show is about the Robertson family and their Duck Commander business. Father Phil Robertson started making duck calls out of his home about 40 years ago, and the Duck Commander business has grown significantly over the years, especially since son Willie bought 50% of the business and took over as CEO in 2005.
In this book Willie and his wife Korie tell their story and the Duck Commander story. Each chapter begins with a Bible verse and each chapter also includes one of their recipes.
Willie tells us that in early days of his parent’s marriage his father Phil drank a lot and one time kicked his mother Kay and the children out of the house. He was later converted, and the Robertson’s faith plays a big part in this family.
Willie and Korie come from diverse backgrounds. Willie was a “redneck” country boy with little money growing up, while Korie is a self-proclaimed city girl from an affluent family. They talk about their parenting philosophies, for their children, including one that is adopted and also an extended member of their family, a former exchange student from Taiwan that came to live with them.
Willie tells about founding the companion company Buck Commander (deer hunting). He has partnered with several major league baseball players like Adam LaRoche and Chipper Jones. Willie also tells us about some of the Duck Commander employees that we don’t know as much about.
This is an easy to read account of the Robertson family and the successful Duck and Buck Commander businesses, and how faith holds everything together.
This book is written by the leader of the Duck Dynasty Robertson family, sixty-six year old Phil Robertson. Phil writes that what separates the Robertsons from a lot of other families is their faith in God and love for each other.
The book’s chapters are broken into rules. For example, the first rule is “Rule No. 1 for Living Happy, Happy, Happy Simplify Your Life (Throw Away Your Cell Phones and Computers, Yuppies)” It sounds light and fluffy, and at times it is, but Robertson definitely speaks his mind about important topics, such as the family and the state of our nation, in this autobiography.
He grew up in a little log cabin in the woods. He writes that he grew up in the 1950s, but his family lived like it was the 1850’s. He slept in the shed with his three older brothers. His younger brother, Silas, slept in the main room on the west end of the house. His older sister, Judy, also slept in that room. His youngest sister, Jan, was the baby of the family and slept in a crib next to his parents’ bed until she was old enough to sleep with Judy. His father and mother slept in a small middle room in the house.
He writes of sleepless cold winter nights and bathing in cold water because they didn’t have a hot water heater. Nearly everything they ate came from their land. He learned to hunt and fish shortly after he learned to walk. He writes that kids in America today are overweight and lazy, and it’s their parents’ fault for letting it happen. Kids sit around playing video games and eating junk food all day, and when they’re not doing that, they’re texting on their cell phones.
He says that as a boy, living off the land influenced his outlook on life probably more than anything else and influenced many of his decisions. His time out in nature shaped the rest of his life, and it’s something he wanted to make sure his sons learned to enjoy. Whether it was hunting, fishing, or playing sports, his children were going to grow up outside. They weren’t going to be sitting on the couch inside.
Phil is married to “Miss Kay”. He was sixteen and she was fifteen when they were married. He was the high school football quarterback, and she was a cheerleader. They first started going together when she was in the ninth grade and he was in the tenth. Phil writes that Kay learned how to cook from her grandmother. She can prepare anything from wild game to unbelievably good pies, biscuits, and just about anything else.
Phil played football at Louisiana Tech. He was quarterback for the Bulldogs from 1965 to 1967 and was the starter in 1966, throwing for more than three hundred yards against Southeastern Louisiana University. He writes that during preseason camp the next year, he looked up and saw a flock of geese flying over the practice field and thought to himself, “What am I doing out here?” He walked off the practice field and never went back. The quarterback behind Phil on the depth chart was Terry Bradshaw, who was a lot more serious about football than Phil was. Bradshaw started the next three seasons at Louisiana Tech and was the number one pick in the 1970 NFL draft. He became the first quarterback to win four Super Bowl championships, with the Pittsburgh Steelers, and was selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
After leaving college, Phil took a teaching job in Arkansas. He became a heavy drinker from age twenty-one until twenty-eight. He states that the only things he seemed to be worried about were how many ducks he could kill and when his next drink was coming. By then, he had a growing family at home. Sons Jase and Willie had been born, and Kay was at the end of her rope with Phil.
After Phil resigned from his teaching position (before the school board could fire him), he made one of the biggest mistakes of his life: he leased a honky-tonk in the middle of nowhere. He managed the place, worked the bar, cooked for the customers, and broke up occasional fights. Kay worried about Phil, so she worked as a barmaid most nights to make sure Phil stayed out of trouble. After a fight in the bar, Phil took off, eventually landing a job working in the oil fields offshore in the Gulf of Mexico.
In the meantime, Kay had to handle everything concerning the move back to Louisiana. For about the next year, she and Phil somehow endured, though their marriage was under tremendous strain. Phil tells of throwing Kay and the boys out of the house and accusing Kay falsely of an affair. When he eventually asked if she would come back, she said it was contingent on him turning his life over to the Lord. He did so and was baptized. After he was baptized, he attended regular church services three times a week. He also studied the Bible with someone or a group the other five nights of the week. He went back to teaching and worked for Ouachita Christian School, which had just opened in Ouachita Parish.
Then Kay found six and a half acres of land just off the Ouachita River at the mouth of Cypress Creek outside of West Monroe, Louisiana. Phil created a duck call which was named the Duck Commander. He sold $8,000 worth of Duck Commanders the first year and within a few years sales rose to $35,000. When he was able to get his duck calls into Walmart stores the sales really took off. Robertson has also been making hunting DVDs for more than two decades.
He writes that the Lord has blessed he and Kay with four healthy, obedient sons, each of whom grew up to become a godly man who loves his wife and children and shares God’s Word through his work with Duck Commander and in their church.
Phil states that his philosophy on discipline was very simple. He kept the rules few
and far between. However, there was a code in the Robertson house: three licks was the standard punishment. It wasn’t ten licks or twenty licks for doing something wrong; it was always three: thump, thump, thump! It was a principle, and his boys always knew what their punishment would be if they stepped out of line. He writes of Alan and Jep going through difficult times of alcohol and drugs before turning back to the Lord.
Phil turned Duck Commander over to Willie and his wife Korie a few years ago, with Willie as the company’s CEO. Today Phil is not as involved in the day to day operations of Duck Commander. He does a lot of speaking engagements in which he preaches the gospel.
The book concludes with short sections in which Alan, Willie, Jep, Jase and Kay write about Phil.
I recommend this book for all who enjoy Duck Dynasty.
Just about all of the characters from the Duck Dynasty television series have written books now – and I’ve read them all – books by Phil, Willie and Korie, Si, the women of Duck Commander and now Jase. Uncle Si may be my favorite character on the show, but if he is, Jase is a close second, so I was really looking forward to this book. If you think he is just a silly maker of duck calls in a reality show, you’ll be surprised to find that there is much more substance to him in this book.
I listened to the audiobook version of the book, which was primarily read by Jase with some small sections read by wife Missy. The book opens with Jase talking about Phil’s infamous interview with GQ magazine. He states that due to the rudeness and obvious agenda of the writer, everyone left the interview, except Phil, who gave him a tour of his property.
Jase indicates that he didn’t have many good memories growing up until Phil was born again. As has been documented in the other books, the pre-Christian Phil was not a very nice man as a result of his drinking. He actually kicked wife Kay and sons Alan, Willie and Jase out of the family home.
Jase, who is Phil and Kay’s second oldest son, writes that he forgave his father because he has been forgiven by the Lord. Jase’s faith is a major part of this book. Ironically, Jase was later baptized by Phil in the river on Phil and Kay’s property. Jase now has a very close relationship with his father. He writes of fishing with Phil early on when the money from the fish was very important to the family. He states that the move to the river property and the changes that he saw in his parents were key items in his life.
Jase graduated from Bible College after high school and ministry is a significant part of his life today. He quotes several scripture passages in this book. He has a high view of the Bible, which he humorously refers to as a “weapon of mass instruction”.
Jase talks about his competitive nature and his love of playing dominoes and poker. He states that he loves to make duck calls, and had no interest in taking over the business side of Duck Commander, something that Willie and Korie have done very well. In addition to fishing, Jase of course loves duck hunting, but his favorite is frog hunting. His method is to catch the frogs with his bare hands.
He writes about his relationship with Missy and their commitment to go into marriage as virgins. Their ministry is important to them both and throughout the book Jase talks about those he has led to Christ and baptized.
Jase and Missy have two sons – Reed and Cole, and a daughter Mia. Mia was born with a cleft lip and palate. She has been through multiple surgeries. Jase writes that their faith has sustained the family through Mia’s health issues.
The book includes a lot of great stories about Jase and his family, including several about his hair and beard, which he calls “Facial Profiling” and hunting. All who enjoy Duck Dynasty will love this book.
The Women of Duck Commander: Surprising Insights from the Women Behind the Beards About What Makes This Family Work by Kay Robertson, Korie Robertson, Missy Robertson, Jessica Robertson, Lisa Robertson with Beth Clark. Howard Books. 288 pages. 2014. Audiobook read by the authors
Duck Dynasty is my favorite television show and I’ve already read books written by Phil Robertson, Willie and Korie and Si, and look forward to reading Jase’s book next month. This book is written by the women of Duck Commander. I listened to the audiobook version of the book, which is read primarily by the authors.
What I most appreciated about this book was the women sharing not only the good things in their lives, but also the struggles in their marriages and with their children. They are open with the reader when they tell their life stories, and share about their faith, marriages, children, grandparents, etc.
Examples of their openness are Miss Kay sharing her marriage struggles with Phil in their early days when Phil was drinking heavily, before he was drawn to Christ. She also tells about Alan and Jep being prodigals as teens. She also shares that she and Phil had sex before marriage and Alan was actually conceived before they were married when Kay was just 16.
Lisa (Alan’s wife) shares that she was sexually abused by an extended family member whenever she visited her grandmother’s home for a period of several years beginning at age seven. She also tells that she was unfaithful early in their marriage, and that Alan had asked her to leave the home, and to tell their children why she was leaving. As a pastor’s wife, she then voluntarily went before her church and confessed her sin.
All of the wives are very respectful as they speak of Miss Kay and Phil. They speak about the positive impact that Phil and Kay have had on the family, particularly the grandchildren. Throughout the book all of the author’s strong faith comes through as the primary guiding principle in their lives.
Miss Kay writes that she learned to cook from her grandmother. Today, she teaches her grandchildren how to cook and about the Bible. She wants her grandchildren to remember her as Grandmother Sunshine, not as a grumpy grandmother. Table time is important for the Robertson family, at a time when many families don’t sit down and eat together any more.
Missy talks about daughter Mia’s health problems. Mia was born with a cleft lip and palate. She is now 10 years old and has had numerous surgeries, and faces many more in the future.
The wives find it funny that they are often accused of being “gold-diggers” because when they married into the Robertson family there was very little money.
The authors share the blessings and challenges of living in the spotlight of a very popular television show. As much as possible, they try to live a normal life – at church, their children at school, attending their children’s events and activities, etc.
Two things that makes Miss Kay irate are couples not fighting for their marriages when things get tough and the women who flirt and throw themselves at her sons now that they are popular.
The book concludes with the authors addressing the twenty most frequently asked questions of them, including:
- Is Si really as “crazy” as he seems on the show? (Pretty much so)
- Do you like your husband’s beards? (Mixed replies)
- Is Miss Kay’s cooking really that good and Korie’s really that bad? (Yes)
- Does everyone really get along as well as you do on the show? (Yes)
- How long will the show continue to go on? (Answer: as long as it is in God’s plan to do so). Anyone who enjoys Duck Dynasty will enjoy this book. You will come away with a greater appreciation for the wives and the high value they put on their faith.
Phil Robertson’s brother and my favorite Duck Dynasty character, Si collaborated on this book with Mark Schlabach, who also collaborated with Phil on Happy, Happy, Happy and Willie and Korie Robertson on The Duck Commander Family: How Faith, Family, and Ducks Built a Dynasty. Si reads the Prologue of the audiobook and the chapter on faith. The rest of the book is read by nephew in law Jay Stone.
Si tells us that about 95% of his stories are true – you just have to figure out which 95% they are. While there are funny stories included in the book, we get more of Si’s life story, including:
• His faith. In the chapter on faith, Si is very direct about what he believes.
• His 24 years in the Army, including one year in Viet Nam. He tells us that he was just trying to survive that one year.
• The story behind his ever present iced tea cup.
• His marriage of 42 years
• His children (one daughter and one son). Si and his wife did not know if they could have children. They put their trust in God for this.
• The health troubles that his son experienced early in life.
• His role at Duck Commander, making the reeds.
• Si’s heart attack and resulting bypass surgery. After that, he never smoked again.
The book ends with letters written to Si by his wife, daughter and son. The book is a quick read (or listen). I look forward to a volume 2.