In Memory

Sam Howell

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08/22/13 02:14 PM #1    

Sally Suhm (Rodgers)

Sam and I did not share classes in high school. He was a year ahead of me. But we did share countless, laughter filled marathon canasta games in my dining room at 414 South Water Street. Sam was my first boy friend who was not a dating boy friend. He was my pal. My parents, our canasta opponents, adored him. Sam was almost deaf in those days, but he read lips and people well. It hurt him that some people avoided him because of his hearing loss. It was never an issue in our friendship - or canasta games.

In 1998 my son Kurt and daughter Rachael and I came to Wichita for my mother's 90th birthday. Sam treated us to dinner at his favorite haunt on East Kellogg, if memory serves about the address. By then, he had a bionic ear, a cochlear implant, a much deserved life blessing. He cracked my kids up with stories of High School Times while Rachael took pictures of us laughing our proverbial you-know-whats-off.

One day during that trip, we all drove to South Water to show my kids the site of Our Games only to find the entire block had been razed. Sam got out of the car to stand where we imagined was once the dining room with his armed stretched wide wearing his biggest elf grin.  My daughter took the picture.

I treasure those photos as I treasure the memories of his laughter, his warm best pal hugs, his kindness and his friendship.


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