Tough life is ending up Happy, Happy, Happy for Robertson

January 30, 2014
Charles Biggs

I got Phil Robertson’s book, Happy, Happy, Happy, for Christmas. Phil, as most of you know, is the patriarch of the hit TV show Duck Dynasty.

Phil got crossways with his network, A&E, because some radical homosexual groups didn’t like the fact that Phil accepts the Bible’s condemnation of homosexuality and they got even madder when he had the audacity to express his opinion in public.

A&E suspended him for nine days but the public backlash (the Robertsons and Duck Dynasty are very, very popular) forced his reinstatement.

His book chronicles a fascinating life that led from extreme poverty to millionaire wealth and national fame.

Phil grew up poor in northern Louisiana. His early life reminds me of my late father, Harley Biggs, Sr., who grew up in Central Arkansas (near Conway), and his brother, Alton Biggs. All these guys at some point hunted and fished to put meat on the dinner table.

Phil grew up smart, resourceful and talented.

Liberal pundits equated him with the family on Here Comes Honey Boo Boo but in so doing they revealed their own ignorance. Anyone not from the east or west coast who has a beard must be a backward in-bred idiot in their views.

Phil Robertson has a master’s degree in education and was a teacher for awhile. He built a multi-million dollar empire – Duck Commander – from scratch.

His parents were poor and they hunted – sometimes illegally – for food. Phil became an expert duck hunter.

And he was quite a football player. He was the starting quarterback for Louisiana Tech after beating out Terry Bradshaw – a future NFL hall of famer. Phil could have played in the NFL but he chose rather to hunt ducks.

He married Miss Kay at an early age. He was a wild child in college. He envied his single buddies who had little responsibility.

Kay stuck with him even though it was not much fun (or very profitable).

When Phil realized his carousing was going to cost him his wife and sons, he humbled himself and walked into church. That began his intense study of the Bible, which he concluded was completely true.

He changed. His life was completely turned around.

After a short time as a teacher, he and Kay bought a house by the river and he determined to make a living as a professional fisherman. There was one two-year stretch when he never wore shoes (to toughen his feet).

One day a friend suggested that Phil start making duck calls. Phil had a keen ear for the multitude of noise made by ducks. They vary due to breed, sex, whether they are airborne or not and other factors.

A friend at church helped him get a loan and he bought a lathe to start mass producing the duck calls.

He tried to sell the calls at Wal-Mart and struck out in the beginning. Phil managed to get some Wal-Mart managers to carry a handful of duck calls until one day he got a call from the top buying in Bentonville, Arkansas, headquarters of Wal-Mart.

The buyer was upset that Phil had bypassed normal channels to sell a handful of duck calls. Phil apologized and explained his situation and that led to Wal-Mart buying a ton of duck calls.

That was the big break.

Later, when Wal-Mart scaled back it purchases, Duck Commander was firmly established in a host of sporting good stores and had added T-shirts, hats and other merchandise.

Phil and his family were on their way to becoming millionaires.

And Phil gives all the credit to Jesus Christ.

In fact, he chronicles the early failures. He knew that God would come through for him if he worked hard and was honest.

His four sons became involved in the company and later, the TV show materialized. Now, more than 14 million viewers – an amazing number for a show on cable TV – tune in every week to catch the antics of Phil and the Robertson Family.

When A&E threatened to kick Phil off the show, the rest of the family issued statements that there could be no Duck Dynasty without Phil. Phil sees the show as just a means to spread the Gospel. He is wise enough to know that the show will not go on forever.

Phil Robertson will be in Tulsa as part of The Tulsa Workshop (Church of Christ sponsored) on March 19-22. He will speak at 7 p.m. March 21. This is a free event at Tulsa Expo Square (fairgrounds).

For more information, go to www.tulsaworkshop.org.

Their Christianity is a vital part of the show. At the end of every show, the entire family (and some employees) sit down at a big dinner table and share a meal.

And Phil leads the group in a prayer – usually one that thanks God and Jesus Christ for the amazing success of a man who was born in a shed and had to shoot ducks to put meat on the dinner table.

• When an older woman called 911 complaining of difficulty breathing, two EMTs rushed to her home. One placed a sensor on her finger to measure her pulse and blood oxygen. Then he began to gather her information. “What’s your age?” he asked.

“Fifty-eight,” answered the patient, eyeing the beeping device on her finger. “What does that do?”

“It’s a lie detector,” the EMT said with a straight face. “Now, what did you say your age was?”

“Sixty-seven,” answered the woman sheepishly.

• A poodle and a collie are walking together when the poodle suddenly unloads on his friend. “My life is a mess,” he says. “My owner is mean, my girlfriend ran away with a schnauzer, and I’m as jittery as a cat.”

“Why don’t you go see a psychiatrist?” suggests the collie.

“I can’t,” says the poodle. “I’m not allowed on the couch.”

• A ventriloquist is performing with his dummy on his lap. He’s telling a dumb-blonde joke when a young platinum-haired beauty jumps to her feet.

“What gives you the right to stereotype blondes that way?” she demands. “What does hair color have to do with my worth as a human being?”

Flustered, the ventriloquist begins to stammer out an apology.

“You keep out of this!” she yells. “I’m talking to that little jerk on your knee!”

• Did you hear that NASA has launched several cows into orbit?

It was the herd shot around the world.

• An old farmer is inconsolable after his dog goes missing. He takes out an ad in the newspaper, but two weeks later, there’s still no sign of the mutt.

“What did you write in the ad?” his wife asks.

“‘Here, boy,’ ” he replies.