There Goes Sam

"Sam" painting by Paul Dodd oil on canvas 68" w x 44"h 1998
“Sam” painting by Paul Dodd oil on canvas 68″ w x 44″h 1998

In 1998 Sam used my camera to take a self portrait. I did the painting above based on his photo. It hangs near the front door in our home. Geri called us this morning to give us the bad news. Her son, Sam, died last night of an apparent heart attack. I can’t imagine her grief.

Eternally youthful, Sam was special in so many ways. He had his oxygen supply cut off during childbirth and he was later diagnosed with autism but his personality was fully developed. Like his late father, Bill, he was an early Macintosh enthusiast. He sent us a photo of his old Mac Plus which he kept in the basement. For years he would call us whenever a new Mac OS was available and he always kept all his gear up to date. We took him out to the Apple Store when he broke his iPad and we watched as the Apple representative explained that breakage was not covered and then he gave Sam a brand new iPad. He was that sweet.

Sam Jones camping at Pete and Shelley's
Sam Jones camping at Pete and Shelley’s

We celebrated a few of Sam’s birthdays at Chuck E Cheese’s in Henrietta, Sam’s choice. The place was heaven to him. Sam and his family camped out at Pete and Shelley’s place in the mountains the same weekend we were up there. He formed an immediate bond with them.

For the last few years Sam was living in a group home in Elmira and then independently in an apartment with the same organization. We went down there to visit one weekend and Sam took us to Five Guys and Target. We will miss him.

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