Dr. Ferrol Sams - physician, humorist, storyteller, and best-selling novelist passed away the end of January. I did not know this until reading the obituary of his wife in the Tallahassee Democrat last weekend and then searching for more information.
Quite interesting to learn that she grew up in the rural area west of Tallahassee and still had family in town. And doctors too, a family of doctors!
More about my favorite Southern storyteller below.
Copying from them that copied from Wiki, here is a list of his published works.
Run with the Horsemen (1984)"Run with the Horseman" is a delightful coming of age novel set in the Depression in rural Georgia. No doubt Porter is a stand-in for Dr. Sams and the stories are things he did or stories he heard. I met him a decade ago at a book-signing here in Tallahassee. He was having a great time but I forget what all he said or any stories he told the audience.
The Whisper of the River (1986)
The Widow’s Mite (1989)
Christmas Gift! (1991)
When All the World Was Young (1992)
The Passing: Stories (2001)
Down Town (July 2007)
The Fayette County historian blogged about him. As she relates, many locals would end up in his novels, not all for the best. I'm not sure how many people called him Sambo - I sure wouldn't; it's Dr. Sams, sir.
Poking around I found an article from May 2012 with a photo of him seated in a walker, oxygen hoses dangling. It was an event to honor him by naming a room for him at the public library. Relating back to his first novel is this:
At the end of the reception and book signing opportunity, Sambo delivered a very personal prayer. He stated that he had not given a public prayer since he was 10 years old and got his hind end paddled when he got home. It seems he named names in that prayer.That article also mentions he was an Fayetteville city councilman for over 25 years. As the county historian noted - he was used to getting his way. Deservedly so I might add for one who did so much for his community.
Another article was about the 75th reunion of the Class of 1936. I love the piece about the classmates writing and "willing" things to each other. "One of the wills that we know came true: Mary Burch and Muriel McEachern willed their noisy manner to Ferrol Sams, class of 1938." Also of note was a reference to his father as Supt. of Schools - another parallel to his first novel.
The last article I found was in Feb 2010 - a write-up about 12th Annual Blended Heritage Celebration. Dr. Sams was there "reading a humorous anecdote from his book in progress." We can only hope there is one more novel or series of stories yet to be published.
One last thing from Wiki - I had to go look up Fayette county to see where it was, a little west of Atlanta. Being close to Atlanta, the list of notables is extensive and funny: 5 pro wrestlers and a bodybuilder; various other athletes; singers and rappers (Cee Lo Green!); actors; CEOs - Walmart & Hooters; and authors -- Dr. Ferrol Sams being my favorite.
Thanks for all the stories...