Written by by Kathleen Benner Duble
Young Sam, holding a scrapbook titled “Samson,” climbs into bed with his grandfather and they begin their familiar ritual of recalling the story and secrets of Grandpa’s house. Grandpa had been a member of the crew on the sailing ship, the Samson, the night it ignored the distress signals from the Titanic, which is one of the major regrets of his life. Other memories are happier, such as the time they rescued some men from an ice pack and Grandpa’s explorations with Admiral Byrd. After Grandpa left the sailing life and settled down, he kept his attachment to the Samson. The scrapbook contains postcards and photos of the ship’s later use as a traveling museum and its service during World War II. When the Samson sank off Chebogue Ledge in Canada, Grandpa was on hand to salvage the remnants that washed ashore and use them in building his home. Realistic pictures cover most of the space of the pages illustrating both Grandpa’s adventures and his loving relationship with Sam. The Samson was an actual boat built in Norway. A timeline of its major activities, from the ship’s completion in 1885 through its final loss during a storm in 1977, appears at the back of the book. Also includes an author’s note, a bibliography and a list of websites.