Along Came A Frontage Road

Along Came A Frontage Road

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Along came a frontage road was a story that told different relationships between three different fathers and their sons. The first father that Michael Chabon introduced to the story was Nicky’s grandfather. The portrayal of his Nicky’s grandfather painted him as a lukewarm person who seemed to bond with his son only when they shopped for pumpkins. I came to this conclusion because it seems like Nicky’s father is following in his father’s footsteps by annually taking his son pumpkin hunting.
Michael Chabon gave the description that Nicky’s grandfather wasn’t such a loving person. He states that when he would cut the pumpkin up that he was very efficient and didn’t at all like to get his hands dirty. I took this as maybe he wasn’t very playful with his son and didn’t do a lot of fun activities with him. This is why Nicky’s father relives this memory, because it may have been one of the few that he actually enjoyed.
The next father that Michael Chabon introduces is Nicky’s father. Nicky’s father shows affectionate towards his son, but he also possesses the ability to be stern. During the story you find out that he and his wife lost their little girl at the age of 17 weeks. Through the mourning of the death and trying to move on from the situation, Nicky’s mother suggests that Nicky and his father go pumpkin hunting for Halloween.
Nicky’s father took his son out with the intention of having him look for a pumpkin and bringing it back home. Not at all did he suspect to encounter anything more but indeed he did. Nicky and his father went looking for a pumpkin at as place that he describes as “a piece of land so devoid of life and interest that from January to October, I’m certain, no one sees it at all”.

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Although this is what Nicky’s father saw in this place his son loved to go there, and he viewed it as a magical place. Before going to look at pumpkins, Nicky’s father realizes another car in the lot where a little boy was sitting alone listening to the radio. At this point the little boy isn’t paid any attention too, and Nicky and his father go over to begin the pumpkin search.
Nicky walks along the pumpkins not looking for the biggest or brightest one, but one that would catch his eye. While Nicky continues his search, his father realizes the little boy he saw in the car now speaking to a man who seems to be his having a not so friendly conversation. He witnesses the older man pull out a little Ziploc baggie and shows it to the little boy while telling him to get back in the car. While the little boy was walking back he and Nicky’s father made eye contact and the little boy smiled at him.
I think at this point the little boy instantly felt comfortable with Nicky’s father. He saw a dad taking his son out to get a pumpkin and wanted to know that feeling too, and I also believe inside he envied that a little. The little boy said his name was Andre. When Andre saw the little red rusty pumpkin that Nicky had chosen he questioned it. He asked Nicky’s father why he picked such a little pumpkin, but then bragged about how big of a pumpkin he had already gotten.
Also confused about the choice of the pumpkin Nicky’s father encouraged Nicky to go back and get a bigger pumpkin, but Nicky declined. He said he that was the pumpkin that he wanted, and he also told his father that he didn’t want him to cut the pumpkin once they got home. Andre asked Nicky why he didn’t want to cut the pumpkin he told Nicky it doesn’t hurt pumpkins to be cut.
Nicky began to get upset and told his father he wanted that pumpkin and also wanted to name it Kate. I think that Nicky wanted to name the pumpkin Kate, because he lost his little sister and Kate was her name. At that time he wasn’t ready to let go and he choose that pumpkin, because that was what was going to remind him of her. Although Nicky thought the idea of naming the pumpkin Kate his father didn’t see it as a good idea.
He told Nicky that he couldn’t name it Kate and he knew exactly why. At this point Andre’s father comes back and sees that Andre is not waiting in the car like he had been instructed to do. He yells at Andre and tells him to get back into the car. During this time Andre ask his dad if he can get a pumpkin. His father gives a look as to say last thing on his mind is getting a pumpkin.
Nicky’s father sees the little boy for the last time in the car as his father drove off and he can’t help, but wonder how that little boy will face a hard time in life with his dad. At this point Nicky’s father feels bad and he tells Nicky to get the pumpkin he wanted and tells him he could also name it Kate.
I think the protagonist of the story is Nicky’s father and the antagonists are Nicky and Andre’s father. I choose them both because I think they forced Nicky’s father to open his eyes. Although Nicky picked that pumpkin for a good cause, and Andre was mean because that was his nature, they both played a major role on Nicky’s father heart towards the end. Without either of those experiences happening Nicky’s father would not have left the frontage road with the compassion that he found within himself.
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