As I was finishing my tribute blog post yesterday about Mary Williams of The Supremes passing away, my wife came to my office. She told me Billy Brown of The Alaskan Bush People died.
I guess Bear Brown said his father, Billy, had a seizure and died. He was 68 years old.
My wife and I loved The Alaskan Bush People and watched it all the time. We saw every episode.
"We are heartbroken to announce that our beloved patriarch Billy Brown passed away last night after suffering from a seizure," Bear wrote on his Instagram. Before he switched his account to private, I used to follow him, until I created a new Instagram and couldn't follow any more.
Watching them was entertaining and heartwarming. The romantic thought of living off the grid and doing life your way was very appealing.
I believe the Discovery show started airing in 2014/15. The last I heard, they moved to Washington on a 400-acre piece of land in the mountains.
It is sad news, and I feel for the family. Judging by their show and the social media posts they made, they were a close family that loved each other.
When I was young, I thought 68 was extremely old, ancient! When my father passed away from cancer at 64, I realized that he wasn't very old at all.
I always felt the Brown family got used by Discovery and exploited rather than documented. As the show continued year after year, the scenarios became more contrived and manipulated. It was becoming apparent that the producers were trying to get more entertainment out of the family than there truly is in real life.
I would have loved watching the show as it was, dull moments and all. I mean, that's the beauty in a documentary, accepting the exciting along with the mundane.
Within the mundane is where reality strikes chords with viewers and makes the excitement that much more entertaining.
Either way, I feel the industry did them wrong, and by the last season, it was wearing on them, and you could tell.
Having lost my father at a young age, I feel for them. I pray they keep the faith they appeared to have on the show and continue supporting each other, perhaps growing even closer because of the tragedy.