Many years ago, I was taking part in a summer program between my junior and senior years of high school. As part of our six weeks of instruction and enrichment, an author came to speak to us.
He was just beginning his writing career after spending more than 30 years as a widely-loved and admired physician. His name was Ferrol A. Sams Jr. He signed a book for me, a book he did not write, but it was the only one I had on me.
Dr. Sams died earlier this week at the age of 90. His books eventually became successful and were very well-received. As I saw the story on his passing on the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Web site, I couldn’t remember who else of my friends knew him. Turns out the circle is small indeed.
He had been my friend Dal Cannady’s family doctor many years ago and Dr. Sams was the great-uncle to another good friend’s wife.
I only got to spend a couple of hours with Dr. Sams, far less time than Dal or Jay ever got to spend with him. I enjoyed it immensely anyway and came away the better for it.