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Turkey Day, Duck Dynasty style

Bonnie Willis's picture

I never thought I would say this, but I am definitely a Duck Dynasty fan. My appreciation for the show, however, was not love at first sight, because I proverbially, “judged the book by its cover.” I thought there was nothing this group of self-professed “rednecks” and I would have in common.

However, one fateful evening I decided to watch the hit series. To my surprise, I found myself smiling at the gentle and country ways of sweet Mrs. Kay, laughing out loud at the slow witticism of Pa Phil and Jase, and busting a gut at Uncle Si, “simply telling the truth, Jack!”

Now I look forward to a new episode each week wondering what my virtual country redneck family has in store for me. And as I celebrate Thanksgiving this week, I realize that Duck Dynasty, or the Robertson family values, epitomizes all the things that I am grateful for during Thanksgiving: family, food, God, and contentment.

One only has to watch a single episode to know that this family has a genuine love and respect for one another. While they may often disagree about what they should do, or how they should go about doing something, they are always respectful in their disagreement. Even when the idea is a train wreck, like making wine from grocery store grapes and sugar, they have each other’s back and allow family members to learn from their mistakes.

When it comes to food, it is sometimes a challenge for this “city girl” to cook major meals for my family. So, when I see Mrs. Kay effortlessly whipping up country culinary feasts for her clan, I marvel.

Sometimes I wish I could join in eating Louisiana meals like fried catfish and corn on the cob. Other times, I am glad I am grateful just to watch them eat their more exotic delicacies like frog’s legs and fried squirrel.

Still, no matter what the delicacy, I appreciate how the family members sit respectfully, and with eyes closed, share in the prayer for thanksgiving before eating.

In a culture that seems to avoid any reference to God, and particularly Jesus Christ, it is so refreshing to see the Robertsons live out their faith in God each week. They show that faith does not have to be fake, manufactured, or political. Rather, it can be a quiet abiding witness to a personal relationship with God, which they demonstrate, for example, in their commentaries, conversations, and meal-time prayers.

Perhaps the thing I find most profound about the Robertsons is that in spite of being incredibly wealthy, they are content in being who they are. In other words, they have not “gone Hollywood.”

Rather than trying to ingratiate themselves with Louisiana’s elite, they seem more content in simply going fishing or hunting together. And rather than acquiring large homes, cars, and other signs of wealth, they seem content with living off the land and making use of their hoarded treasures.

After each episode of Duck Dynasty, I find myself feeling a little more light-hearted and grateful for my own family and friends. I see how the simple traditions I am forging for my own family are not so frivolous and that sentimental treasures truly do have value.

Having this sense of gratitude in life is, I believe, the very heart of Thanksgiving. So, this Thanksgiving I hope we can all catch Duck Dynasty fever by feasting with our families, being thankful to God, and simply being content with who we are.

These are the values that have made our country truly great, “and that ain’t no bull, Jack!”

[Bonnie B. Willis is co-founder of The Willis Group, LLC, a Learning, Development, and Life Coaching company here in Fayette County and lives in Fayetteville along with her husband and their five children.]


ginga1414's picture

I just love your analysis of the Duck clan!!

Whether a lot of folks want to admit it or not, all of us from the South have at least a little of the Ducks in us. It is just a shame that more of us can't admit it.

Since I am one of the "quiet abiding" Christians, thank you for acknowledging us.

Thank you for your light hearted and heart warming view on family, God, simple traditions, and the Ducks.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING to you and your family!

suggestion: How about we really show our thanks by posting nothing but nice things for today and tomorrow. I know it will be hard but the practice would benefit us all. No snide remarks, no pointing fingers, no finding racist intent in every post--just be a happy camper for two days. I am sure most of you have a lot to be thankful for-- I know I do. So let's dwell on those things and be kind to our fellow bloggers and especially our politicians, old, new or soon to be. It may be hard but you can do it for 48 hours---and by the way HAVE A WONDERFUL THANKSGIVING....

Cyclist's picture

Thanks!!!! You do the same.


Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

the next best thing to being with family. Come to think of it, in some instances it is better than family! Family feels they have to put up with you, friends choose to put up with you. So I am doubly blessed in that I have wonderful friends who always want to have me around. Have Gobble Day to you and yours.

I am very thankful.

Miss you all. Hope to be up there soon.

Congrats to Councilman Mike King! It's about time.

PTC Observer's picture

By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor-- and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be-- That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks--for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation--for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war--for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed--for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted--for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

and also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions-- to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually--to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed--to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord--To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and us--and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

Go: Washington, President of the United States


A lot of us could learn some lessons from the Duck Dynasty family. Happy Thanksgiving and many blessings to you and your family.

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