Sam Bragg is City Spotlight for April
Sam Bragg is a humble, hardworking, family man. Just ask anyone that knows him and that is exactly what they will tell you. In fact, working is all Bragg knows. Family is everything to him and he started working at a very young age after his father left. At age eleven, he worked in the coal yard and clay pits, with a pick and shovel for his Uncle Ed Fair, and then worked in the cotton mill. He is certainly deserving of this month’s recognition.
Bragg has worked as a Maintenance Operator for PARD since 2001. “I love my job and the people I work with,” says Bragg. “My previous supervisor, Larry Joe Barnwell, and now supervisor, Frankie Fortenberry, are the best. I enjoy being outside and hearing something running. I get hot and cold sometimes, but I like opening the door and seeing the big picture. It doesn’t get any bigger than when you walk outside.” Bragg was reminiscing about old times at work and said while working around the Old Train Depot, he found an old scoop that he used to use to shovel coal. “It was rusty, and the handle fell off, but I took it home with me.”
According to PARD Superintendent Janis Burns, “Sam Bragg is an exceptional employee! He is very dedicated and hard working. He takes pride in his work and pays attention to even the smallest of details. I have the confidence that when Sam is given an assignment, it will be completed with "meticulous thought" being put into it. Sam is a somewhat quiet natured and humble man that will encourage and assist his fellow co-workers. The City of Jacksonville's Park and Recreation Maintenance Department is very blessed to have a man with Sam's character, work ethic and values as an integral part of our team.”
Bragg is the son of Charles and Margaret Bundrum Bragg and was born in Jacksonville. He has two brothers, Mark and Rick. His brother Rick is a Pulitzer Prize winner and renowned author of many best sellers. “I’m really proud of Rick. He’s been good to momma,” says Bragg. Sam attended Roy Webb School as a young boy and then Jacksonville High School. While at JHS he worked half a day and went to school half a day and has been a hard worker ever since. He worked with his uncle Ed Fair for many years and then worked at the cotton mill until it closed. He began working for the city the very next day after the mill closed. When asked about where he got his work ethic he quickly responded, “My uncle Ed Fair; he taught me a lot. I used to ride on the tractor with him when I was really young, and he would let me control the bucket. I had a lot of respect for him,” says Bragg.
Bragg is married to wife Teresa and they have one daughter, Meredith, who now lives in Guntersville. They have resided in the Pleasant Valley community for going on 43 years. “I’m just a simple man,” says Bragg. “I still live like my family did. We heat our home with firewood. I keep my momma supplied with wood as well.” He told a story of when daughter Meredith was a little girl. She would help him split and haul firewood. “That little girl had a work ethic,” says Bragg. His wife Teresa was a familiar face at Food Outlet grocery store for 27 years. She now spends her time helping take care of her brother Todd, an aunt, and Sam’s mom Margaret. “That keeps her pretty busy,” says Bragg.
When asked about hobbies Bragg smiled and replied, “Not much time for all that. When I get off work, I cut grass, mine and some of our elderly neighbors, also momma has 40 acres that I take care of. I did used to enjoy fishing, I would fish tournaments, and was actually in the winning boat a couple of times in the County Classic.”
Bragg describes an incident that happened recently at work when he was cutting grass at Henry Farm Park and a woman flagged him down. “I wasn’t sure what I was about to get into, but she just wanted to thank me for doing such a great job and she gave me a cold drink. That was really nice. It felt good to be appreciated for what I do. I thanked her for the drink and said I would drink it when I got done. I really enjoy making things look good.”
Thank you, Sam Bragg, for your hard work and dedication to the City of Jacksonville.