Recollections by David Law
I have so many GREAT memories of Sam. You know that it was Sam who made me feel welcomed among the scholorly elite of early RESNA. It was Sam who encouraged me to get involved, and it was he who introduced me to ALL of my 'in the trenches' friends, like Leslie, Anderson, Weisman, Childress, and so many others. These friendships remain strong to this very day because of Sam.
Do you remember when I would always carry a guitar to RESNA, and Ed Irwin & I would sit in a lobby somewhere and sing? I can STILL hear Sam McFarland singing "Scarlet Ribbons"! Sam had a wonderful singing voice too! It was Sam who introduced me to 'longneck beer"'..... the ONLY kind that Texans drank! I was thrilled when Sam hired on in D.C. at National Hospital. On many occasions when I would be in D.C., Sam and I would either meet at National, or go out for dinner together for Red, White & Blue BarBQ, or Fuddruckers (he liked to remind me that they started in San Antonio!) I remember getting snowed-in one time, and Sam INSISTED that I stay over with them. (Molly had just left for college, so I slept in her ''frilly" bedroom. That was just the kind of caring that made Sam so revered and loved.
After Sam passed, I wrote that tribute song about this dear friend, whom we will NEVER forget! If you recall, I sang it at the next RESNA meeting, to a standing ovation (for Sam). I sent a copy (and recording) of it to Sam's dear mother, who wrote me that she never knew Sam had impacted so many people, and thanked me for remembering him in such fashion. My heart overflows with so many great memories of Sam. That's why I proposed the Mentor Award while serving on the BODs, and why it was unanimously accepted. EVERYONE had been encouraged by Sam McFarland! I owe MUCH MORE to Sam, than a simple tribute in song. Sam was a TRUE friend, who embraced ALL newcomers to RESNA and our professions. In my opinion, he was the original MENTOR within RESNA.