His Life

Sam & Jeane

We had many good times fishing at Mirror Lake, Nelson Lake, Green River. So many movies, esp the Drive-in on the Barre-Montpelier Road. The long talks every weekend. Plans to homestead in Alaska, get away from our equally dysfunctional birth families. You wanted children, I thought there were too many people already in our world. You won that issue, we have 3 lovely children. However, you continued to drink and as you became more and more like your father, you were not nice to your children, either. They lost out having a real father who knew how to handle real love for his children. I am so sorry I gave them that.

We were so happy in the little camp on the Brook Road. Remember the raccoon? The horsehair worms in our drinking water? How about no running water in the winter? Those things never fazed me. We did spend too much time with your older sister and her friends. We should have been with friends our own age - not the group 10 -12 years older than us. We should have moved far away so that we only saw our families once a year at the most. Then maybe you would not have continued drinking. Even may have lived much longer.

I miss the man you were in the 1970s.

Sam's Childhood

      Sam was the 4th child born into an alcoholic family. He was followed by his twin sister. They had 2 older sisters and 1 older brother. Seven years later another sister joined the family. Their father was a difficult man to live with. He drank daily, spent hours after work each day at the VFW or the American Legion. Sam started drinking at age 14. One of his older sisters would brag that she gave him his first 6-pack of beer. Sam told me about his father beating on the kids when he was drunk. Sam remembered seeing his Dad knock out a couple of his eldest sister's teeth. His mom would work all day and then sit in the car reading or knitting while waiting for her husband to finish at the VFW so they could go home. Their workdays were 7am to 3:30 and most days they were at the VFW for another 4 hours before going home. Not much time with the children. Except on weekends. Which, for the most part, were all day drinking parties. Sam's family moved frequently. He and I used to compare how many different houses, apartments, towns, etc we had each lived in by the time we reached age 18. (I had the higher number, 21 places. The family I grew up in was just as dsyfunctional as Sam's, except there was no alcohol involved.)

      Sam did have some good friends whose families tried to watch over him. I remember some of his friend's parents telling me the ways they helped. And why. One friend got him into boy scouts, which Sam spoke of often. Yet, when his sons wanted to do cub scouts, Sam had difficulty being involved with their activities. Maybe, because his parents were never there for his. He told me how his parents never came to his 8th grade graduation. A few of his classmates did say that was true.  I think his parent's lack of positive attention affected Sam greatly in his adult life. Friends tried to help him move on, but Sam drank on a daily basis, usually 6 -12 beers every evening and much, much more on weekends. (We lived together for 19 years - only 2 of those years did he try to quit, but he drank the so called light beer during that time. I thought that he was still drinking when not at home and that did turn out to be the case.)

I really wish Sam could have conquered the alcoholism. Then maybe he would have learned to enjoy and be happy with and for his children.