Tuesday, May 26, 2009


There as a request that I tell more about Sam. His family returned from England at the time when he had two more years of High School to finish. He went to San Mateo High School. He was on the Track and Field team and covered himself with glory. When we went West the first year we were married he was happy when he found his record in a short Dash had not yet been broken. I really did not know what he was talking about, since there were so many phrases that could not easily be translated. We had followed the 1936 Olympics on the radio in Sweden, and I certainly knew about Track and Field from that. Sam's family had many silver cups on their side table in the dining room, that Sam's mother proudly pointed out to me, that Sam had won in England.

Sam's English accent had been a plus for him also, and he became the President of the Student-body. His coach made an appointment with the Track and Field Coach at Stanford and he expected to get a scholarship. And then he got mumps and he never ran again. And so he worked for a year in San Francisco for Shell Oil Company. He worked in the mailroom. When he heard about some promotional work that had to be done for the company, he volunteered. It meant roller skating into little towns in Oregon, dressed in a Penguin suit. He must have had to sing the glory of the Shell Company. I only remember him saying he had a lot of trouble with his glasses fogging over.

When I met Sam, his English accent was mostly gone, but what remained made him very interesting. He was handsome in his uniform, and he stood out among his fellow Candidates when I met him. Robb, the Polo player from Chicago may have been more handsome than Sam, but Sam had better looking hands than the whole group. I carried a photo of Sam's hands in my wallet the whole time he was gone. They were very expressive. They went with his sensitivity when he read HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY on our honeymoon. He actually had tears in his eyes as he was reading. He smoked Chesterfields which drew a lot of attention to his hands, his accent and his voice were seductive, and the book was spellbinding.

When Sam became a civilian and put on his gabardine suit ( which his younger brother had worn out ) he was even better looking than in his uniform. We had a long time waiting to become parents, but you could tell from his reaction to his cousin's children that he was going to be a fabulous father. And when he would come home from a long hot trip, and he would see his one or his two or his three and four children, he would say, OK who can be the first one in the bath tub. And I would have to wait for my treat till later.


Charlene said...

Sam sounds like a wonderful husband and father. I'm so glad you have fond memories to look back on. Thank you for sharing these treasures with us!

weecyn said...

What an excellent man he sounds like - and the penguin suit and roller skates! It adds an entirely new level. Comical to picture, but I respect a man that can put his ego away and get to work. And clearly, he chose a remarkable woman as well. Thanks and good night!

Arinn said...

I love a man with nice hands! It was lovely to read about your Sam. It sounds like he brought so much joy into your life and it was a pleasure to read about.