65. Continuing Our Exploration of “Simple” with Uncle Chris

Real Ballers Read returns to Langston Hughes’s legendary but long-forgotten character, Jess B. Semple in this week’s podcast episode! This time with our hilarious and brilliant Uncle Chris “CockaRue” Wesson.

Last summer, Uncle Chris asked if we knew Jess B. Semple and his favorite book series Simple Speaks His Mind, Simple Takes A Wife, and Simple Stakes A Claim.

We had never heard of Simple, or even knew that Langston Hughes wrote more than poetry. But today we share our conversation with Uncle Chris, where he tells the story of how Simple turned him into a lifelong reader and relatable storyteller.

This episode is full of laughs and wisdom, just like the Simple stories, so make sure to check it out this weekend wherever you listen to podcasts!

1:03 Chris’ backstory

2:30 Chris’ story of how he lost and found his love of reading

6:21 The Basketball Diaries

8:39 Bobby Seale

10:00 Discovering Langston Hughes

12:39 Buying his first copy of Simple

15:39 Miles and Jan’s favorite Simple stories

18:17 The story of Chris’ name

18:40 Simple: The American Folk Tale in Real Life

20:49 Look at my feet

22:54 Reading from “Feet Have a Life of Their Own”

25:12 The Bars Simple drank in vs. now

28:06 Simple, Politics and American History

32:25 “Dig and be dug”

33:19 Richard Pryor and Mudbone

35:06 When you run into the random cousin 😂

39:00 Reading “The Word from Town & Country”

46:59 How Langston Hughes impacted a career change for Chris

51:06 The Poet of the People

56:25 Gifting his love of Simple

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