Happy, Happy, Happy

Happy, Happy, Happy by Phil Robertson

Book: Happy, Happy, Happy by Phil Robertson Read Free Book Online
Authors: Phil Robertson
Tags: Biography, Non-Fiction
rumble!
    I went to my truck, locked its hubs to get it into four-wheel drive, and backed into the water as close as I could get to the boat and the fish. I climbed into the boat and, with a large dip net,started scooping up the thrashing fish and putting them into my washtubs. After throwing about fifty to sixty pounds into a tub, I transferred the fish to my truck. The blue cats weighed from three to twenty pounds each. From the time I started pulling up the net, I toiled with the rascals for more than two hours.
    I mean, it was work! I was sweatin’! I filled the truck bed until it was mounded up with fish. Then I drove the truck out of the water onto solid ground. Both Jase and Kay, when they came out and saw those fish, were stunned. Jase said he had never seen so many fish in one pile. When they took them to town to sell, they tipped the scales at one thousand pounds! Kay and Jase came back with three hundred dollars, and they sold them cheap—thirty cents a pound.
    That’s the most fish I ever caught in one net. Another time I caught eighteen Opelousas cats in one net weighing from about fifteen to fifty pounds apiece. They were big, but it wasn’t nearly as many fish as I’d caught the time before.
    The fishing business became somewhat lucrative—we were at least making enough money to pay the mortgage and utilities and take care of the rest of our needs—but I still didn’t believe it was my, ahem, calling in life. I kept going back to a memorable hunting trip I’d made with Al Bolen a few years earlier outside of Junction City, Arkansas. A large flock of mallard ducks had flown high above us, and I hit them with a long, hailing call when theywere on their way out of sight. I turned the flock, and it began to circle, dipping lower as the ducks approached our decoys and blind. When the ducks began to sail wide, I hit them again with a short chop-chop that turned them back toward our blind, where we waited. The flock dropped into the water directly in front of us, in perfect gun range.

    Big Al told me, “Man, you weren’t calling those ducks, you were commanding them!”

    When the shooting was over, Big Al told me, “Man, you weren’t calling those ducks, you were commanding them!”
    Al, who knew of my tinkering with his and other hunters’ duck calls, urged me to make my own and sell them.
    “And I’ve got the name for it: Duck Commander,” Big Al told me.
    I was struck by the phrase and it never left my mind: Duck Commander. It sort of has a ring to it, doesn’t it?
    Duck Commander was always in the back of my mind, its implementation only awaiting a trigger. When Kay and I were discussing our future one night, I told her that I wanted to build and sell duck calls but would continue to fish until I got the duck-call business off the ground.
    “I don’t know how I’m going to build the duck-call sales yet, but I’ll figure that out. When they get to where we don’t need to fish anymore, we’ll be on our way,” I told her.
    The move to Sportsman’s Paradise and my commercial fishing had turned out well. Our family was together again, and I was thriving both spiritually and emotionally. Would another life-changing gamble work again? With the good Lord behind the steering wheel, we were about to find out.



DUCK COMMANDER
    Rule No. 8 for Living Happy, Happy, Happy
    Never Sell Yourself Short (You Never Know, You Might Become a Millionaire)
    S ome of the most successful businesses in American history started as mom-and-pop operations, on nothing more than a family’s dream, hard work, and a shoestring budget. Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream opened its first store in a run-down gas station in Burlington, Vermont, in 1978. It was sold for $326 million to a competitor in 2000. Walmart started as a five-and-dime store in Bentonville, Arkansas, in 1950 before Sam Walton and his family created the world’s biggest retailer. In 1946, S. Truett Cathy opened a single restaurant, a twenty-four-hour diner

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