Monday, February 12, 2018

Sam's (1941-2013) Birthday

Sam, my best man at our wedding



My friend Sam Carslely would have been 77 today.  But he took his own life April Fool's Day, in  2013. 

From his experiences with his mother's decline with Altymizer disease he knew he had it and he did not want to put his wife Lita through the same hardship.

Sam and I knew each other since baby-hood.  We lived down the street from him in the Clay Homes and were lifetime close friends.  His father, Norman Carsley, born in Great Britian, joined the Navy when we got into War World II, and was killed on a ship by a Japanese Kamikaze plane.  My father tried to give special attention to Sam as we grew up, he knew every growing  kid needed a father.
Sam, although well educated and well salaried, lived a humble life.   He bought our house when shortly after Rocky was born and we needed a bigger house.  I don't think he made one change of the house, up until the day he died. 

He compulsively felt "don't have it if you don't need it".  He one time went to great lengths looking for a phone that did not have a dial on it.  The house we sold him, he used one room as an exercise room, he wanted a phone in that room in case he got a call while exercising, but he saw no reason the phone should have a dialer because he wouldn't be calling anybody from that room.

He was an expert photographer, which he introduced me to.  He was an aquired comic book collector and connesieur as well as science fiction books... which gave me an insight on my literature taste.
I could go  on and on and almost fill a book of Sam's compulsive behavior  quirkiness, kind heartedness, perfectionism,  and so on.

I  want to tell of two of our nerdy adventures when he was Georgia Tech student studying physical engineering.

Sam figured out that if you throw a paper air plain off the Allatona Dam on the Etowah Valley side a constant west wind that is always coming down the valley will like it always does, swoop up the high dam and if you so-happened to throw a hand-folded paper airplane off the dam on that side it will be launched upward.  We brought a stack of notebook paper to the dam and started making them and throwing them off and watching fly upward then downward, until it hit the updraft and it would sore upward again.  We did about 20 paper air planes and it was a crazy sight.  It looked like the planes were having cat fights, bumping into each other,  and all.  They showed no signs of landing when we suddenly left after we saw the sign not to throw anything off.

Another time he learned about inertia motion or energy which also has a simple version of Einstein's Theory of Relativity.  He used as a example standing in the aisle of a bus with the bus traveling.  If the bus suddenly stopped the person standing in aisle would feel a motion trying to thrust him forward.  Because you are moving at the same speed the bus is.  If you would jump up in the air when the bus suddenly stop you would keep moving, maybe ramming the dash of the bus.  Along that same time Sam had just  bought a used 56 green and white Chevrolet convertible in very good shape.  He wanted to prove the movement theory.  It was a nice night to ride around in a convertible with the top down anyway.  For some reason I don't remember we went to Paulding County, on a dirt road near the Dallas Drag Strip to do our experiment.  We were to get up speed, then when Sam said NOW! I was to throw a beer can I was holding straight up and at the same moment he was to stop.

NOW!  I threw the can up. The car stopped.

WHAM!  It landed on the car's  hood and left a bad looking mark.


My parents' 50th, Ed West, Mama, Sam (front row)
back row Barbara and Larry White


Sam and Lita Carsley

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