The Prince of Frogtown by Rick Bragg
Welcome back to a season of podcasts hosted by a weirdo.
This season will be cut short to only 2 episodes due to a late dropout, but you don’t want to miss these, the first of which you can find here and listen to while you drive to Piggly Wiggly.
I gushed with superlative praise enough on the show; I’ll hold back here but not before reiterating just once more that The Prince of Frogtown is a top 5 book of mine, and it became so not fifty pages in.
Because of Rick Bragg and this book, I will write about my family before I die. You can count on it.
As is custom, this blog will be short and sweet since it is the accompanying piece to the recorded podcast, but while I have you, it would be fitting for you to also read Laura’s work here.
I’m ashamed of myself for not knowing who Bragg was before Laura threw this book out there. Apparently, he is quite popular. A hopeful future guest of mine, a public figure who would be known by many and maybe even all in Alabama, when I requested his top three books, chose not one, but TWO books by Rick Bragg, including this one.
And here I am thinking I’ve found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. I’m simply late to the party, reveling in my naivety. To my defense, however, how am I to know all books? My list is already a mile long, and the world is compiled of many miles.
I did find this book particularly intimate because I attended college in Frogtown. Of course, said city prefers to be referred to as Jacksonville, Al – uh – BAM – UH!
Bragg takes breaks from the flow of his story to write about his (now) stepson. These intermissions from the primary dialogue could be the single greatest accomplishment known to the writing world. Peppered throughout the book, they are five pages at their longest and some are as short as the front of one page.
There is one in particular that I believe everyone should read, if not the entire book. Bragg is explaining a time when he was trying to teach his son how to punch somebody. Like every father does at some point, right?
It’s hilarious. It’s sincere. It’s solemn. All at the same time. I reread that short piece recently, finished it, closed the book, chuckled, shook my head, put it down, and muttered audibly to the empty room…