Two years ago today my old man hung himself by the neck. I find that as time goes by I miss him more and more. I forget the things that were infuriating about him, and think mostly about his big generous heart. This year it’s particularly sad for me, because I’m in the process of building myself two new shops.. one for metal work, and one for wood. There’s no one that I can think of who would have been more gung ho and interested in the whole process than Bill Sam. I’m a pretty decent fabricator, and the whole learning process began in his shop.. I didn’t learn FROM him as much as I learned NEAR him. He had a sneaky way of teaching. He’d set you up in such a way that you’d discover things on your own. He didn’t want any credit. I think he just took great pleasure in quietly watching us learn. My older brother, Zach, spoke at his funeral, and said something that summed it up perfectly. “We were amazing, because he was amazed.”
There are many things that I can be upset with him about, not the least of which was his inability, or maybe unwillingness to treat the depression that ultimately killed him. I’d like it if he was still around! On the anniversary of his death, however, I choose to focus on the things that I admired about him. Generosity, warmth, charisma, open-mindedness, and great big love for just about everyone who crossed his path and whose favorite insult was “he’s got NO imagination!!” These are all things about the man that I aspire to.
Sleep well, Bill Sam.