19 February 2007

Frog Town

Happy Birthday Morgen

If you were the Public Service Director of a country radio station in Fresno, California, "celebrated" meant only one thing: The third week in May and frogs, frogs, and more frogs. Championship frogs, children with frogs, DJs needing frogs, escaped frogs, and all of it because Mark Twain wrote a short story.

It was always our big May event with contests, charity promotions, and interviews. You've heard of herding cats. You haven't lived until you've found yourself on hands and knees under a desk trying to get a bulgy eyed amphibian to cooperate. Whatever feminine delicacy I might have had prior to that job, rapidly disappeared amid ice chests filled with warty denizens, not one of which was worth kissing, though some were probably better than the Program Director.
In the Sierra there is a peaceful little town named Angels Camp that swells to a half million of your nearest and dearest friends once a year, it is the location of the Celebrated Frog of Calaveras County. Should you ever find yourself in the Golden State in the Month of May, there is only one place to be. You can even bring your own frog to Frog Town.

If hopping amphibians aren't your cup of tea then you will find yourself in the beautiful Sierra with amusements that span the range from four star dining at local wineries to risking life and limb rock or cave climbing. You can even still find gold in them thar hills.

Until you can head that direction, pour a glass of wine and cuddle up with Mark Twain and his humorous tale.

The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County


BBC said...


Shouldn't you have done Mark

Like about thirty years ago?

Where have you been?

There is more than the rat race you know.


Durward Discussion said...

I've been reading Mark for 50 years. This job was back in the 90s. These days, it's all serenity.

AlanBoss said...

My first real encounter with Twain (sure, I was familiar with Tom and Huck, but I had not yet read them) was a copy of "Frog" that my dad gave me. The book contained the original story, then translated it into French, then translated it, literally, back into English, with hilarious results.

I occasionally use the technique, with the help of Babelfish, on a humor blog that I frequent. To this day, I think of it as "Frog jumping."

Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

it's all serenity for sure!

smiles, bee

Heather in Beautiful BC said...

Great 'celebrate' theme! Thanks - now, I want to go watch the frogs - warts n' all :)

Crazy Working Mom said...

We have a frog celebration here in Arkansas too...Toad Suck Daze. :)

Great Celebration post. Thanks for stopping by!

vanillabirdies said...

Well I like amphibians and though I've never had the pleasure of kissing one...I'm sure now of course I will.

Sounds great!! Have fun!!!

Mo and The Purries said...

Hi --
Thanks for the birthday shout out!
I love the Celebrated frog tale from Twain, and I would love to go to the Jumping Frog Jubilee -- that would be so much fun! And while hopping amphibians are my cup of tea (well, so long as they're not IN my cup of tea...) I would also love to visit this winery, and if there are any walking-accessible caverns (I love caving where you walk through the cave, but not spelunking like crawling on your belly one minute and rapelling down a sheer cliff face the next.)
Great post ~ Thanks!


Alice (in BC Canada) said...

Great post, Jamie. I enjoyed reading this story. Ribbbit.

Imma CelebratingToo

Claire said...

Very interesting indeed! I am off to read more on the frogs!
Where i went hiking on saturday is the location of the second biggest caving location in UK (i think! not 100%) and when i get photos off mates camera will be able to show you the entrance to it! its 320 foot down i think!
Great Manic Monday!

Linda said...

I've actually had the pleasure of visiting Angels Camp and some of the other great little towns in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada back when I lived in Stockton. Been to some of the local wineries and even went down into a couple of the caves (but not many as I'm a bit on the claustrophobic side!).

Makes me miss California now that I think about it again!

Durward Discussion said...

While I currently live in Washington, I was born and raised and spent over 50 years in California. Should anyone need helpful hints for a visit, just whistle and I'll try to be useful.

Anonymous said...

ok... I'll try this again... the last one was apparently lost somewhere in cyberspace. I love this area of California. We have a good friend who lives in Sonora and we spend considerable time in the area. About a year ago, DH and I spent a few days taking pictures and gathering information on the jumping frogs for my 10 yr. old g'son. We even found an almost original copy of the story. We even got a picture of Mark Twain's cabin up in the hills. This spring - alas, it must be in April - my g'son and his family are coming to Sacramento for the first time. This area of the Sierra is at the top of the tour list (also see old town Columbia, which almost became our state capital at one time... and Sutters Mine). It will be so much fun to see these kids discover this part of our country.