Met with him at the state fair last fall ... he'd just turned, or was about to, 93 years old. His mind was sharp as a tack that day and I got to spend a couple hours just chatting with him. He loved to talk with other woodworkers and was always full of kindness when he spoke.
I'm very thankful I was able to shake the man's hand before his departure. Rest in peace, Sam. You'll certainly be missed.
I had the pleasure to spend time with Sam on numerous occasions. Words fail to express the man's talent or largess, so great were both. He honored all of us by his example of woodworking. I'll never forget the first visit to his shop, where he pushed a 3-1/2" x 2" hunk of walnut through his bandsaw on its edge, undulating slightly from side to side, to cut out an armrest for one of his signature rockers. He commented with a grin, "Don't try this at home!" I'll also never forget the last time our paths crossed serendipitously at a woodworking show in Anaheim. He saw me coming down the escalator, shouted out my name in greeting, and then invited me (and my group) to his house later for coffee and ice cream. Four hours of swapping woodworking stories later and we sleepily escaped his unending hospitality. He joins his beloved Freida, an artist in her own right.
Peace my friend, you have left the world a better place with your presence here.
"The reverence that the object maker has for the materials, for the shape, and for the miracle of his skill transcends to God, the Master Craftsman, the Creator of all things, who uses us, our hands, as His tools to make these beautiful things."
It has taken me awhile to be able to post about this at all. I was born in Upland and went to college in Alta Loma as well as lived there. I have been aware of having Sam as a neighbor since the guy who ran the downtown Hi-Fi store bought one of his chairs for his wife. Last I knew, (30-odd years ago) it was still in the living room.