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June 14, 2014

Duck crazy

Fans show up in droves to meet the women of ‘Duck Dynasty’

TERRE HAUTE — Some came just to get their books signed.

Another wanted to share a recipe.

One lady asked for prayer.

A variety of fans waited — some all night — for a variety of reasons, to meet and greet “The Women of Duck Commander” when the leading ladies of TV show “Duck Dynasty” appeared Saturday morning at the Sam’s Club in Terre Haute.

Matriarch Miss Kay, along with her four daughters-in-law — Lisa, Missy, Korie and Jessica — graciously greeted fans who patiently waited in a line that stretched from the front of the store to the back, then through the produce section and back up front to the pharmacy area.

The women signed copies of their latest book, which tells of the Robertson family’s challenges and successes, including how each of the women became a Robertson.

Dawn McAdams of Terre Haute was the first person in line for the book signing.

She told the Tribune-Star that she started the line outside the store at 10:30 p.m. Friday, sitting outside with chairs and blankets with her two grandsons and a friend until the store’s doors opened at 7 a.m.

“I just love all of them,” McAdams said of the show and its cast. “I just love the hunting they do. And Miss Kay, I just love her.”

McAdams purchased seven books to be signed. She gave each of her grandsons one, and she planned to send another autographed book to a friend in Utah.

John Natale of Centenary arrived outside the store with his family just a few minutes prior to the arrival of the Robertson women’s large motorcoach announcing the book tour.

“We buy all their books when they come out, and we watch them on TV,” Natale said. “We were watching this week when they were making hamburgers.”

“I love the show,” said 11-year-old Sam Natale, standing with his mother, Bobbie, and older brother, John.

John said that since cooking and feeding others is such a big part of the show, he brought along his spaghetti sauce recipe from his former restaurant, Natale’s Cuisine.

“It’s the best in the area from what everyone tells me,” he said.

Seven-year-old Chelsea Hastings was tickled to get in line with her parents, Jackie and Ryan Hastings of Hillsdale.

“It’s funny,” Chelsea said of the show that she enjoys with her father. “He loves it like I do.”

About 45 minutes into the line, the Matson family of Greencastle — Robert and Sandy, son Ethan and his grandmother Sue — held copies of books to be autographed.

While they like the Robertsons’ recipe book, they also enjoy reading the devotionals from the Duck Dynasty clan.

On a spiritual note, Debra Tarwater of Terre Haute waited patiently with books in hand with a special request of Miss Kay.

Tarwater is scheduled for brain surgery on Wednesday in Indianapolis to repair a deadly aneurysm that was found while she was being treated for injuries she suffered in an automobile accident in December.

“If I could have Miss Kay say a prayer with me, it would help me,” Tarwater said. “I’m scared to death.”

With a friend nearby, Tarwater waited patiently, telling of how she and her husband are raising her granddaughter. The woman said she recently donated more than 12 inches of hair to Locks of Love in preparation for her surgery.

When she reached the table where the five Robertson women signed the books, her request to Miss Kay was answered as the two women stood together with their heads bowed.

“She said a prayer for me. I feel better,” Tarwater said afterward. “She said, ‘God, you made her, and you will help her.’”

The fan phenomena inside Sam’s Club on Saturday was well-managed by the store staff, which accommodated the winding queue of fans as well as shoppers who filled their carts.

“It’s amazing,” said general manager Jim Behnke of the crowd inside the store. He noted that a book signing a few months ago by former Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy and his wife brought in several hundred people, but was small compared to Saturday’s event.

The tour is traveling to eight places, Benhke said referring to promotional materials, but the Sam’s Club stop was the only free event for the fans.

Outside the store, several fans also gathered around the motorcoach to have their photos taken with a backdrop of “The Women of Duck Commander.”

Reporter Lisa Trigg can be reached at 812-231-4254 or lisa.trigg@tribstar.com. Follow her on Twitter @TribStarLisa.

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