The ducks won. Again.
Last week’s column on Duck Dynasty’s two teenagers coming to town got more response than any other column (three) written so far. Okay, West Words is new and people don’t know about it, but hey, three responses!! Two from relatives! Com’on guys!! Talk to me.
Anyway, three is better than none, so we’re gonna give it another try. The two teenage reality stars from Louisiana – John Luke and Sadie Robertson (grandchildren of the founder of Duck Commander duck calls) – perform in Cisco June 20 for the annual Rock the Ranch fundraiser. They headline the 2013 benefit sponsored by a local partnership of churches, religious and nonprofit groups, and interested organizations and businesses.
Sadie and John Luke Robertson of West Monroe, Louisiana, are part of the family headed by patriarch Phil Robertson and featured in the unquestionably red-neck reality television series on the A&E channel.
In the League of Kardashians
Duck Dynasty, like several other reality circuses I can mention, is in the league of the Kardashian cult of spoiled rich girls who have no qualms whatsoever about exposing every single intimate detail of their uneducated minds.
The genre has shows on cheating spouses, Honey Bear Do Dah or whatever her name is, doctor’s wives, wives of rich guys, wives in Florida, rude restaurant critiques, and others. Think of just about any bad personality trait, and believe me, there is a reality show to exploit it.
Ducky Dynasty has risen above the thundering herd and developed a fan club of people you’d never guess would join that maddening horde. For whatever reason the show has caught the fancy of a wide swath of the American public. Because it is about a family with an unbelievable grasp of red-neck lingo? Because it tells the tale of a family’s cottage industry that made a whole group wealthy?
The Duck Phenomenon is headed by Patriarch Phil, called the Duck Commander after his mind-blowingly successful Duck Commander duck call. Phil, brother Si, and Phil’s sons Jase, Willie, and Jep, are known for long, flowing beards, American-flag headbands, horrible grammar, and generally-give-a-hoot attitude. In spite of being well-educated, some to the point of Masters Degrees, the duck people have a steady flow of red-neckedness spewing forth from their hairy mouths.
Listen, this little media phenomenon is scary. At Walmart last week I viewed no fewer than four Duck Commander look-alikes – long, messy beards and hair, camouflage clothing, lace-up boots, etc. And several point-of-purchase displays of tee-shirts, DVDs, and other paraphernalia. No kidding. The Duck People have added another stream of revenue to their bird calls.
These Duck People clones are springing forth from the marshes around Lake Leon, Lake Cisco, Lake Bernie, rivers, creeks, swamps, bayous and other local watering holes, the latter in both senses of the commonly-used phrase.
Eastland County’s current catastrophic drought makes any kind of water a fairly enviable thing. Unless you’re a pool owner under the ‘no filling swimming pool’ directive. Don’t question my knowledge of all things water. I was a teenager on West 14th Street in Cisco during the ‘50s when the National Guard was flying helicopters overhead with water to West Texas cattle dehydrating to the point of death.
Rock the Ranch 2013
This year’s Rock the Ranch headlines are appealing youngsters, neither with a beard nor appearing to have a chaw in the cheek, and charmingly normal except for the fact they have become overnight sensations with lives permanently changed by… duck calls.
One wonders how can a child go forward into the rigors of life with duck calls as the springboard?
In a recent program John Luke follows his father and great uncle on a hunt for a first car for the boy. Now think about it for a minute. This is a group of seven-to-10 family members – all undoubtedly millionaires – scouting for a cheap bargain vehicle for their teenager. In junkyards!
They test drove Uncle Si’s ancient pickup, considered a junk-yard truck with a sizeable plant growing under the hood, and settled on a brand-new pickup. John Luke drove away looking happy. Uncle Si in a grandiose sentimental gesture dynamited his old truck and probably now is driving a Range Rover or Escalade with leather seats and Sirius satellite radio.
Back to Cisco.
Rock the Ranch 2013 is a high-profile, faith-based event for families and teens. Director Lee Lewis of Cisco promises a night of faith, family, and fun staged behind the Cisco High School track field and the Myrtle Wilks Community Center.
My advice: Bring anti-giant-mosquito repellant, like maybe a baseball bat slathered with DDT. Coolers of iced-down water are not allowed. Sponsors will provide those and other non-alcoholic drinks for sale, and food and drink vendors are frying up stuff even as we speak. Attendees are advised to “Bring blankets and lawn chairs but no coolers.”
Gates open at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, June 20, with performances from 6-9 p.m, tickets $5 per person at the gate. Breckenridge native Morgan Frazier and High Valley, one of Billboard’s 2013 Acts to Watch, will perform.