Happy, Happy, Happy
By Jamie Bayne, Information Services Supervisor at Boyd County Public Library
If you read my review of The Duck Commander Family from a few months ago, you already know I’m a big Duck Dynasty fan. So, of course, when I heard Phil Robertson, the Duck Commander himself, was publishing a book, I was ecstatic.
Let me begin by saying, I DID enjoy the book, I really did. As with The Duck Commander Family, the Robertsons’ pervasive faith and strength as a clan really shine through. However, I must say I was a little disappointed that the content in this new book covered a lot of the same stories already told in TDCF. It had a few new insights and some details not previously revealed, but the overall story was much the same.
Happy, Happy, Happy is the retelling of Phil’s life story in his own words. The book highlights his childhood and rather scrappy beginnings. Phil’s mother was very ill from the time he was a small boy, and his father was in a debilitating accident leaving him nearly incapacitated. Phil, his brothers and sisters were left to essentially be the adults of the family; bringing home food and provisions and taking care of the household. Phil’s love of hunting and survival instincts originated in these difficult beginnings and set him up for a lifetime of being in the woods.
Phil met and married Miss Kay when they were both teenagers, and she followed him to college. They started their family while Phil was still in school and the pressure of football, supporting a family and keeping up his grades gradually got to Phil. He fell in with a rather rough crowd and began his dark descent into drinking. Despite the set-backs, Phil continued to do well enough in class and very well on the field. In fact, Phil was set to go the NFL when he decided he’d rather be in the woods, so he quit the team.
Despite many hardships and heavy drinking, Phil managed to get his diploma and then a master’s degree in English. He taught at a small Christian school while his family grew to include three boys. But, things took a turn for the worse and Phil’s drinking got out of hand. Phil dragged his family through the proverbial mud and then abandoned them. His story obviously has a happy ending though; he eventually found help and salvation and regained his family. Through years of struggle and adversity, with his family’s help, he was able to carve a life and business from the rough Louisiana woods and that foundation has created that empire that Duck Commander rests on today.
Again, I did enjoy the book. If you haven’t already read TDCF, this book would be a mesmerizing read of faith, family and determination. If you have read it, you could probably skip this one – unless you are aching for a few more details and insights into Phil’s childhood. Aside from some great one-liners (as Phil is wont to drop), I felt I already knew what I was reading and that left me feeling a bit wanting in the end.
Robertson, Phil. Happy, Happy, Happy: My Life and Legacy as the Duck Commander. New York: Howard Books, 2013.