In the environs of Boston where Sam spent his childhood, he found solace in the comforting words of Henry David Thoreau. Throughout his existence, the philosophical discourses of Thoreau, as well as those he inspired – figures like Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi – served as an intellectual feast for Sam. Thoreau’s reflections on civil disobedience have guided Sam in confronting distinct and significant instances of injustice, albeit with a caveat of not upsetting the legal framework entirely. Sam firmly believes in the continued significance of Thoreau’s notions on freedom in today’s society.
During the course of his adult life, Sam found a renewed connection with the poetry of Walt Whitman, wherein he discovered comfort and inspiration. Expressions such as “Battles are lost in the same spirit in which they are won,” from Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, have served as a source of joy during challenging phases of his life. Whitman’s fondness for freedom, the individual, the divine, and nature have been a source of inspiration for Sam. In 2017, the publication of Life and Adventures of Jack Engle by the Walt Whitman Quarterly Review was an unexpected pleasure that Sam greatly appreciated.
While living in Florida, Sam had the chance to revisit the captivating literary creations of Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway’s words, “In order to write about life first you must live it,” are a testament to his own life – a saga of endless adventures. For Sam, who led a comparatively regular life, Hemingway’s tales transported him into a world of adventures, from The Sun Also Rises to The Dangerous Summer.
From the moment Sam participated in a school production of Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, he was drawn towards learning more about the celebrated author. More than a century after Twain’s death, his influence remains paramount in American literature and lifestyle. Hemingway acknowledged this in 1935, saying, “All modern American literature comes from a book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn,” acknowledging Twain’s casual style’s deep impact on American authors. Twain’s enduring humor continues to entertain, making even the most skeptical readers smile today. Quotes such as “Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest” have guided Sam in his personal and work life.