° empty

Duck Dynasty encounter leaves local quacking on grounded Louisiana family

Willie Robertson, from left, Korie Robertson, Stacey Heflin and Stuart Heflin wait for a flight at Monroe Regional Airport. Stuart, a West Monroe native, grew up with the Robertson family, who is know famous for their role in the A&E reality television series, Ducky Dynasty. (Submitted photo)
SUBMITTED PHOTO — Willie Robertson, from left, Korie Robertson, Stacey Heflin and Stuart Heflin wait for a flight at the Monroe Regional Airport. Stuart, a West Monroe, La., native, grew up with the Robertson family, whose members are now famous for their role in the A&E reality television series, “Duck Dynasty.” 

NATCHEZ Natchez resident Stuart Heflin grew up with the Robertson family of Duck Dynasty fame, but when he saw them recently at an airport, he still had to ask for an autograph.

Even though the autograph wasn’t for him, Heflin said he couldn’t help but get a little red in the face asking for the signature of someone he used to play ball with years ago.

Heflin, a West Monroe native, grew up with the Robertson family, who own and operate their family business, Duck Commander.

Stuart Heflin, left, and Willie Robertson display their trophies after a duck hunt in 1998. Heflin grew up with the Robertson family who now start in the show Duck Dynasty. (Submitted photo)
SUBMITTED PHOTO — Stuart Heflin, left, and Willie Robertson display their trophies after a duck hunt in 1998. Heflin grew up with the Robertson family, the stars of the show “Duck Dynasty.” 

The family stars in a reality television series on A&E that debuted in 2012 and has since become one of the most-watched nonfiction cable series in history.

But Heflin said he still sees them as just the family he grew up around.

“I’ve hunted with all of them, and played on a competitive men’s softball league team with some of them,” Heflin said. “That’s just how I’ve always known them.”

Heflin and his family ventured to the Monroe Regional Airport July 29 to board a flight to London en route to Paris.

When the Heflin family walked to the boarding area for their flight, they ran into a handful of the Robertsons who were boarding the same flight to London for a different trip.

Heflin said he started catching up with different members of the family, all in between the many requests the TV stars received for photos and autographs from others at the airport.

“They just got swarmed by everyone, but the great thing to see was that they never said, ‘No’ to anyone,” Heflin said. “They signed every single autograph and took every picture they were asked just like it was nothing.”

Heflin and his wife, Stacey, took a photo with members of the Robertson family at the airport, too, and shared it with friends back home.

Heflin, who is an agent for State Farm Insurance in Natchez, said one of his employees quickly reached out to him and asked him to get an autograph for her son.

“I felt embarrassed to ask for an autograph because we grew up together, but I told (Willie Robertson) who was asking for it and pulled out a piece of paper to see if he would sign it,” Heflin said. “He pulled out his boarding pass and signed that instead, which I thought was nice of him to do.”

The Heflin family flew with the Robertsons from Monroe to Atlanta where they slowly started to part ways to get on the flight to London.

“They all kind of dispersed throughout the airport going to different places because they said sometimes they can’t ever get anywhere if they all go together,” Heflin said. “They just get stopped and asked for pictures and autographs all the time, it can take them forever to get from one terminal to the next.”

Heflin said he and his family walked the rest of the way to the terminal with Korie and Missy Robertson and chatted with them about the somewhat unexpected rush of fame from the television show.

“Korie was saying how God had prepared them for all this because they had started with smaller deer hunting televisions shows early on,” Heflin said. “She was saying how all that was baby steps that led them to the big show they have now.”

Heflin said his goodbyes to the family as they boarded the plane and went to separate seats.

But Heflin said he kept thinking throughout the flight how good it was to see the family had remained so grounded.

“They’re still the same people and family they always were, but just a lot more famous,” Heflin said. “It’s just great to see them sticking to their roots and knowing they’re all still down to earth.”

News

Photo gallery: Jewish community celebrates Passover with Seder dinner

News

NASD graduation rate up, but still lags behind state average

News

The Dart: Vidalia man studies, takes care of family, too

News

Natchez Early College Academy Fun Day to help raise money for trip to Washington, D.C.

News

Parent University set for Thursday

News

Sunday focus: Voters to determine a quarter million in salaries May 10

News

Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office investigates body found in Monterey

News

County seeking ambulance proposals

News

‘Suzi’s Girls’ remember lasting legacy left by coach

News

Natchez man killed in Ferriday wreck Friday night

News

Photo gallery: The bluff has gone to the DockDogs

News

Tactics in case surrounding alleged attack of parish DA questioned

News

Student charged in verbal assault of teacher

News

City back in court to determine damages in Roundstone case

News

Report: Cuts put school district $1.5M short

News

Faith and Family: R.V.I.C.S. helps Children’s Home

News

Photo gallery: Chalk artist inspired by God creates artwork at First Baptist Church

News

Man previously arrested on rape charges, charged with another sex crime

News

Natchez-Adams School District to pay $127K to former principal

News

Judge dismisses former assistant principal’s lawsuit against school district

News

City receives Urban Youth Corps grant

News

Natchez police make arrest in weekend attack

News

Natchez tourism director’s car left in limbo without commission

News

News photos: Ferriday fire