DESTIN — It's been just over a month since Joseph Oakes got his five minutes of fame after two local celebrity sightings.
Oakes, who lives in Destin, got his photo taken with Donald Trump Jr. down on the docks and with one of the "Swamp People" TV stars at a local restaurant. So when Oakes learned last week that his new employee just happened to be a former reality television star, he called the local newspaper.
"I guess I just get out and about a lot," he said of his triple claim to fame. "This time, I just got lucky enough to get a call from Thomas (Dowden), who needed a job."
Dowden recently moved to Destin and took a job with Oakes at a family-owned construction company.
His family had been featured on "Bayou Billionaires," which ran for two seasons on CMT, after a deep pocket of oil was discovered on their Louisiana farm.
"I had my 15 minutes (of fame)," said Dowden, who is 40. He's the youngest of his parents' four children and identified in the show as a "mama's boy."
"We're the modern-day 'Beverly Hillbillies,'" he added, referring to the hit TV show from the '60s. "We didn't move to Beverly Hills or nothing.
"As far as being high faluting and all that, we're still a bunch of rednecks from Louisiana."
He said his family had money even before that stroke of luck and had always been hardworking. After their fortunes increased, they each went out and bought a new car, but that was the extent of their increased spending.
Dowden, who is married, was a stay-at-home dad, but decided to go back to work recently.
"He's just a hard-working dude," Oakes said.
Starring on a reality TV show gave the Dowden family a chance to travel and do a lot of cool things. But it also had its pitfalls and Dowden was glad when it ran its course.
"They put us in positions we weren't really comfortable with," he said. "Acting like (idiots) instead of acting like ourselves. They got to sell the show. It's understandable."