Duck Dynasty: Making bucks from the ducks


Imagine turning your hobby into a multi-million dollar business. That’s just what Phil Robertson. The legendary Louisiana outdoorsman didn’t think the duck calls being sold in sporting goods stores in the 1960s and early 1970s sounded much like real ducks, so he set about making his own.

In 1973, he created the Duck Commander Duck Call. For years he made them in his backyard shed and would travel the state to sell his duck calls to mom and pop stores. Progress was slow but steady. Today, with the help of his son Willie, the Duck Commander is the most trusted duck call ever created and has made the Robertson family redneck millionaires.

In addition, the family’s exploits have become cable channel A&E’s most watched program each week as viewers can’t seem to get enough of “Duck Dynasty.”

Learn your Ducky Dynasty trivia, and you could win big at Dan The Man Trivia on Wednesday, April 10. The show begins at 7:15 p.m. at the Sanford Elks Lodge, 1006 E. 2nd Street, Sanford, FL. And where your camouflage. They team with the most camp wins bonus points.

Did you know?

  • Phil Robertson was the starting quarterback for Louisiana Tech University during the 1960s. His back-up? Terry Bradshaw. Robertson gave up football to concentrate on duck hunting, and Bradshaw went on to become an NFL Hall of Famer with 4 Super Bowl rings.
  • Though he quit football, Phil Robertson understands the value of an education. He earned a master’s degree in education, and spent several years as a teacher.
  • Robertson has four sons. Alan, the oldest, is in the ministry, while Jase, Willie (CEO of Duck Commander) and Jep are involved in the family business.
  • The Robertsons call West Monroe, Louisiana home.

 Before the Beards: Below are some photos of the Robertson men before they grew their bushy beards.


Phil Robertson during his football days at Louisiana Tech.


Brotherly love. From left, Jase, Jep and Willie Roberston.


The Robertson boys, from top clockwise: Alan, Willie, Jep and Jase.


Uncle Si during his military days.


Jase and his future wife Missy at a high school function.


Willie and his wife Korie.

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What do you know about Barbie and G.I. Joe?

Early versions of Barbie and G.I. Joe.

Early versions of Barbie and G.I. Joe.

Who needs plastic surgery when you’re made of plastic to begin with? Certainly not Barbie, the iconic doll that made its first public appearance in March 1959 at the American Toy Fair in New York City.

Barbie was created by Ruth Handler, who named the doll after her daughter, Barbara. And when it was time for Barbie to hook up with a male companion in 1961, Handler name Barbie’s new beau after her own son, Ken.

Mattel’s success with Barbie (and Ken, et al) spurred rival toy maker Hasbro to develop a similar doll for boys, though the company coined the term “action figure” knowing boys would shun any product referred to as a doll.

Stan Weston and Don Levine created G.I. Joe in 1963 and, like Barbie, introduced it to the public at the Toy Fair in New York in February 1964.

Did you know?

  • Barbie’s real name is Barbie Millicent Roberts
  • When Barbie hit the store shelves soon after, she sold for $3. Today, collectors pay as much as $10,000 for an original Barbie in mint condition.
  • Barbie is from Willows, Wisconsin.
  • Barbie has four sisters: Skipper (introduced in 1964), Stacie (1992), Kelly (1995) and Krissy (1995)
  • The original G.I. Joe action figures were 11.5 inches tall.
  • The first G.I. Joe prototypes were named “Rocky” (the marine or soldier), “Skip” (the sailor) and “Ace” (the pilot). Levine eventually settled on the generic G.I. Joe moniker after watching the 1945 movie, “The Story of G.I. Joe.”
  • Hasbro introduced a G.I. Joe with “Kung Fu Grip” in 1974.
  • Levine’s hand-carved, wooden G.I. Joe prototype sold for $200,000 in 2003.
  • The number of G.I. Joes sold worldwide tops 400 million.
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2012 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

19,000 people fit into the new Barclays Center to see Jay-Z perform. This blog was viewed about 130,000 times in 2012. If it were a concert at the Barclays Center, it would take about 7 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Oooh fuuudge! Trivia about ‘A Christmas Story’

Flick color

The annual 24-hour marathon of “A Christmas Story” on TBS is just around the corner , so now is a perfect time for some trivia about Ralphie Parker and the gang.

Jean Shepherd was a radio and TV personality who wrote of series of humorous short stories for Playboy in the early 1960s about growing up in Northwest Indiana. Shepherd had the stories published by Doubleday in 1966 in a book titled “In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash.”

B-movie director Bob Clark heard Shepherd tell the story of “Flick’s tongue” on New York’s WOR radio station in 1968 and became interested in doing a movie based on Shepherd’s stories. The studios had no interest in such a film until 1981, when Clark’s semi-autobiographical movie “Porky’s” became a box-office hit. The studio wanted a sequel to “Porky’s,” which Clark agreed to write and direct if he the studio would agree to let him produce “A Christmas Story.” The rest is history.

The Parkers’ house in the movie still stands today and is a museum for “A Christmas Story.”

Did you know?

  • Ralphie’s last name is Parker
  • The neighborhood bully is Scut Farkas
  • Ralphie’s friends are named Flick and Schwartz.
  • The Parkers to eat Christmas dinner at the Chop Suey Palace & Co.
  • Ralphie and his family live in Hohman, Indiana
  • The movie takes place in the 1940s
  • Ralphie’s younger brother is named Randy
  • Ralphie’s father drives an Oldsmobile (“Some men are Baptists, others Catholics; my father was an Oldsmobile man.”)
  • Director Bob Clark says Jack Nicholson was originally considered for the role of The Old Man

Now that you’ve acquired these fun facts about “A Christmas Story,” you’ll want to show off your knowledge. But don’t waste your wisdom on you co-workers at the office Christmas party. Exercise your brain with Dan The Man as he hosts the monthly trivia contest at the Sanford Elk’s Lodge.

The fun begins at 7:15 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12 at the Sanford Elks’ Lodge. It’s also Wing Night at the Lodge, so arrive early and pick up a basket of wings and fries for $8.

You do NOT have to be an Elk to play, though you will have to sign in as a guest. The food is cheap, the drinks are cheaper and the socializing is the best in town.

The Sanford Elks Lodge is located at 1006 E 2nd Street, 1 block south of Fort Mellon Park. The Lodge is non-smoking, but there is a smoking deck available outside.

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Epcot Trivia

The weekend may be a full work week away, but your favorite mid-week celebration is only 2 days away!

Dan The Man Trivia kicks off at 7:15 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 10 at the Sanford Elks Lodge. Invite your friends and neighbors to join you in competing for prizes and free drinks. It’s also PER Wing Night, so forget about cooking dinner and doing dishes. Let PER Bart Peterson take care of those chores. A basket of wings and fries is just $8.

The Sanford Elks Lodge is located at 1006 E 2nd Street, 1 block south of Fort Mellon Park. The Lodge is non-smoking, but there is a smoking deck available outside for those who need to light one up.

To get you ready for Wednesday, here are a few clues in honor of Epcot’s 30th anniversary (Oct. 1). Did you know?:

• Epcot covers some 300 acres, more than double the size of the Magic Kingdom.

• Construction took three years and between $800 million to $1.4 billion, making Epcot the largest construction project in the world at the time.

• Epcot’s parking lot can accommodate 11,211 vehicles.

• Approximately 10.8 million people visited Epcot in 2011.

• Epcot is located in the city of Bay Lake, Fla., one of two cities controlled by the Walt Disney Co.

• Bay Lake has a population of 47, according to the 2010 census.

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Save the date: June 16, 2012

Hey trivia fans! Dan The Man Trivia will return to the Elks on Saturday, June 16. Just like last time, Joni will be serving up her World Famous BBQ about 6 p.m. and trivia will start about 7:30 p.m.

You do NOT have to be an Elk to play, though you will have to sign in as a guest. Also, you will have to pay as you go for your drinks (no tabs for non-members). Speaking of drinks, they’re cheap. Bud Light draft is $1, domestic bottles are $2.25 to $2.50, well drinks are $2 to $2.25, calls are $2.50 to $3.50 and premium liquor drinks are $4.50.

The Sanford Elks Lodge is located at 1006 E 2nd Street, Sanford, Fla., 1 block south of Fort Mellon Park. The Lodge is non-smoking, but there is an outside smoking deck for those who need to light ‘em up.

I’ll post more info closer to June 16. In the meantime, did you know:

Before Timothy Leary began urging people to “turn on, tune in and drop out,” he earned a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Alabama in August 1945.

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New event Saturday, April 21, 2012

Hey trivia fans – Dan The Man is hosting a trivia contest at the Sanford Elks Lodge on Saturday, April 21. It’s a fundraiser for the lodge that will feature Joni’s Arkansas Pulled Pork B.B.Q. with Dixie Pig Sauce. The dinner is $8 and begins at 6 p.m. Trivia will start about 7:15 p.m.

I’ll have some prizes to give away, and there will be a grand prize for the team who has the highest score at the end of the night.

You do NOT have to be an Elk to play, though you will have to sign in as a guest. Also, you will have to pay as you go for your drinks (no tabs for non-members). Speaking of drinks, they’re cheap. Bud Light draft is $1, domestic bottles are $2.25 to $2.50, well drinks are $2 to $2.25, calls are $2.50 to $3.50 and premium liquor drinks are $4.50.

The Sanford Elks Lodge is located at 1006 E 2nd Street, Sanford, Fla., 1 block south of Fort Mellon Park. The Lodge is non-smoking, but there is an outside smoking deck for those who need to light ’em up.

Dan The Man dances for dollars

If you’ve ever wanted to see Dan The Man make a fool out of himself, show up at the Sanford Woman’s Club on Friday, April 29.

I along with several of Sanford’s leading citizens, including Mayor Jeff Triplett, officer Matt Thornton, Steve Richards and Seminole County Supervisor of Elections Mike Ertel (he’s not really from Sanford), will be raising money for the American Cancer Society in a most entertaining way. Among other things we will be performing a choreographed routine to the song, “It’s Raining Men.”

Yes, you read that correctly.

Here’s the thing, if my buddies and I are willing to put our lack of dancing skills on public display, we need you to show up and donate money to the Cancer Society. It will work like this: after our dance routine, we will mingle throughout the crowd to collect money from the audience. Whoever collects the most money is crowned Mr. Bunny.

Yes, I know, it seems implausible that a bunch of grown men would compete for the title of Mr. Bunny, but it’s become quite competitive. Mayor Triplett says he plans to pack the crowd with his supporters, and officer Thornton, well who knows what he will do – he’s got a taser and handcuffs.

So Dan The Man needs you – and your money!

There is no cost to attend the event, just bring dollars (or fives or twenties) to help Dan The Man win the crown.

The specifics:

7 p.m. Friday, April 29, 2011
Sanford Woman’s Club
309 S. Oak Avenue, Sanford, FL 32771
There will be light appetizers. Beer and wine will be available for a donation.

All joking aside, every one of us knows someone who has battled cancer. Thanks to research and medical advances, many people are able to win this battle. But more needs to be done.

Our dancing is not going to be much to look at, but we plan on having a lot of fun raising money for this serious cause. Please come out and support us.

If you can’t attend, but would like to donate, please e-mail me at

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Ken for Celery King

Hey trivia enthusiasts – Dan The Man will host a one night trivia contest to benefit the Ken Martin for Celery King campaign.

The entry fee is $15 per person with ALL proceeds going to Creative Sanford’s Celery Soup project. Ticket price includes 1 free drink.

There will be drink specials and plenty of prizes, including cash prizes of $75, $50 and $25 for three lucky raffle winners.

The fun begins 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 24 at the Sanford Wine Co, located at 114 S. Palmetto Ave. in Historic Downtown Sanford.

Creative Sanford is a 501C3, non profit organization. Celery Soup was created by Creative Sanford to interview residents and take their stories to produce a live stage performance. The first production, “Touch and Go,” was a huge success. In order to keep these productions in our future, fund raisers, grants, and donations are necessary.

The largest fund raiser is the Celery Ball. Men and women from the community are asked to be candidates for the “King” and “Queen” of the Celery Ball. The candidates are asked to raise funds for Celery Soup, and the ones who submit the most money are crowned as the new King and Queen of the Ball.

Ken Martin is a King candidate for the 2011 Celery Ball. Ken owns the Sanford Wine Company and has been a resident and member of the Sanford Community for a number of years.

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DTM Playlist for Dec. 6

Here’s the songs that are topping my playlist this week. As always, a couple of these will be used in the music round on Dec. 8. The link will take you to iTunes to hear a sample of the songs.

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Meet George Jetson …

On Sept. 23, 1962, Americans were invited to “Meet George Jetson” and the entire Jetson clan. The animated series “The Jetsons” was set in the year 2062 and featured flying cars, house-cleaning robots and entire meals in a single pill.

The series was created by Hanna Barbera, the same company that had scored a hit with the wildly popular “The Flintstones” in 1960. While “The Flintstones” was set in prehistoric times and based loosely on “The Honeymooners,” “The Jetsons” was created to be a Space Age twist on “Blondie,” the comic strip that was turned into a series of 1940s movies and a long-running radio show.

“The Jetsons” lasted just one season, from September 23, 1962 to March 3, 1963. However, the original 24 episodes were continuously repeated through the years, which helped the show become ingrained into the American conscious. In 1984, Hanna Barbera created 41 new episodes and combined them with the original 24. In 1987, 10 more new episodes were released, as was a television movie “The Jetsons Meet the Flintstones.”

“Jetsons: The Movie” was release to theaters nationwide in 1990. A live-action (non-animated) Jetsons film is rumored to be scheduled for release in 2012 by director Robert Rodriguez.

Did you know?

  • The Jetsons live in Skypad Apartments in Orbit City.
  • George works at Spacely Space Sprockets.
  • In the very first episode, Jane Jetson was 32 years old.
  • The Jetsons’ phone number is VENUS-1234.
  • George and Jane’s wedding anniversary is June 2.
  • Much like the Flintstones, the 24 original Jetsons’ episodes were broadcast in prime time (Sunday nights) on ABC.
  • Mel Blanc, best known as the voice of Bugs Bunny, provided the voice for Cosmo Spacely, George’s boss.
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A cupful of facts about coffee

Most Americans get their day started with a cup of coffee, but image having no cup of joe to give you that early morning jolt.

That was the case 68 years ago this week when the U.S. began rationing coffee in the midst of World War II. The U.S. of Office of Price Administration limited each adult to one pound of coffee every five weeks. Those in need of a constant caffeine fix resorted to reusing old coffee grounds or buying ration stamps from their non-coffee drinking friends.

Coffee rationing didn’t last long. By July 1943 coffee was removed from the rations lists, and Americans were able to satisfy their habit for the java buzz.

Did you know?

  • Lloyd’s of London, the largest insurance market in the world, began as a coffee house. Edward Lloyd opened his coffee house in 1688 an catered to sailors, merchants, and ship owners.
  • According to the International Coffee Council, Finland has the highest per capita coffee consumption. The Finns consume 11.98 kilograms of coffee per person each year. Norway is second with an annual per capita consumption of 9 kilograms, followed by Denmark (7.9 kg) and Switzerland (7.68 kg). The U.S. per capita consumption is 4.13 kg.
  • As of Dec. 27, 2009, Starbucks had 16,706 locations around the world.
  • The average American adult drinks 26.7 gallons of coffee each year
  • Melitta Bentz invented the coffee filter in 1908.
  • A Yale University study asked 200 people to identify 80 common aromas. Coffee topped the list, followed by: 2. Peanut butter,
3. Vicks VapoRub,
4. Chocolate,
5. Wintergreen oil,
6. Baby powder,
7. Cigarette butts,
8. Mothballs,
9. Dry cat food,
10. Beer,
11. Ivory bar soap,
12. Juicy Fruit gum,
13. Orange,
14. Cinnamon,
15. Lemon,
16. Tuna,
17. Banana,
18. Crayons,
19. Cheese, and
20. Bleach
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