Published On: Thu, Nov 14th, 2013

Area women spend time with Duck Dynasty’s Robertson family

LAUREL —  A Laurel-Concord High School alumn and a Randolph woman have been working with the cast of Duck Dynasty, a hit show on A&E cable TV, which has become the number one non-fiction series.

Kristy Stark-Knapp, a 1994 graduate of Laurel-Concord and daughter of Kenneth and Janice Stark of rural Dixon, was hired to take photos at a “Faith, Family and Ducks” event held in Springdale, Ark. Oct 20.

Angie Brodersen, Randolph, helped with preparations for the event, which included setting up the vendors, putting security in place and  working with the “meet and greet” that was held in the press room.

Stark-Knapp and Brodersen were hired by the event managers, The Ballard Group.

Stark-Knapp followed the Duck Dynasty gang around snapping pictures of the group performing on stage and in the VIP room, along with other moments during the day’s events.

“A former employer of mine, who had moved to Arkansas, put on the event. She called and asked me to photograph the event,” Stark-Knapp said. “We took photos of them getting in and out of the car, going into the elevator, talking to people and while they were on the stage,” Stark-Knapp said. “They are just as cool in person as they are on TV. They are very down to earth.”

Willie Robertson, CEO for the family business, took the company from a mom-and-pop business in Monroe, La., to a multi-million dollar sporting empire which makes products for duck hunters, primarily the Duck Commander duck call.

Willie has said being a redneck millionaire has its perks, which include buying new trucks, gadgets and swanky suits, although working with kin can be a headache.

“Willie was extremely friendly. He joked with us and was a lot of fun,” Stark-Knapp said. “Si was actually quieter in person than he appears to be on the show. Miss Kay was polite and showed a lot of compassion to others.”

Stark-Knapp had a first-hand glimpse of Miss Kay taking time to pray with a lady she had met at a Wal-mart Store the day before the event.

“The lady had breast cancer and Miss Kay invited her into the VIP room and prayed with her,” Stark-Knapp said.

Stark-Knapp found the experience to be very rewarding.

The event drew thousands of people to the Duck Dynasty speaking engagement at the Arvest Ballpark Complex in Springdale.

The Robertson Family told how “Faith, Family and Ducks” built a dynasty for their family.

“They talked about their faith and how important it is to put Jesus first. They told the family’s rags-to-riches story. It was remarkable,” Stark-Knapp said. “I came back renewed.”

Robertson family members — Willie and his wife Korie, Uncle Si and Miss Kay — shared some of their life experiences at the event.

They spoke very candidly about their lives, according to Brodersen.

“Miss Kay told how faith has gotten them through. Her husband, Phil, had previously been an alcoholic and she had prayed for him every day,” Brodersen said. “Miss Kay was a sweetheart. She is everyone’s  grandmother.”

Si, who is known for his story telling, was the funny one of the group.

“The things Si said didn’t always make sense but he was hilarious,” she said.

Brodersen felt she really got to know the Duck Dynasty family members during the “meet and greet” in the press room.

“They were so nice and friendly — it wasn’t a fake friendly,” Brodersen said. “It was fantastic experience.”