Here’s a great book that will drive all those bad thoughts out of your brain!
Answers to questions nobody was askin, by Tim Sample, published by Down East Books
Tim Sample’s new book could probably be categorized as a biography, because there are many stories about Tim’s interesting life. But the book is much more than that. And yes, of course, there are some hilarious stories. Tim did not become our state’s most popular and well-known comedian by chance. He’s a very funny guy.
And while I enjoyed all the funny stories, and the special Maine humor, I was particularly captivated by some of the more serious stories.
I also found that I share many of Tim’s memories. His story Where Were You? told us he was “a twelve-year-old boy sitting at a desk in the seventh grade classroom of the old Boothbay Harbor Grammar School” when his teacher informed the students that President John F. Kennedy had been shot. They got out of school early and he spent the afternoon glued to the TV, listening to the news about this great tragedy. I was in high school on November 22, 1963, at band practice, when we got that news, and I can still see myself walking home and sitting in the living room listening to the sad sad news.
Tim’s trip to Montana brought back great memories of my trips there, especially as he drove that very scary winding road in Glacier National Park. They don’t call it the “Road to the Sun” for nothing!
You will enjoy his stories about friends he worked with from Charles Kuralt to Steven King to Robert McCloskey, but it’s the stories about folks I didn’t know that were special for me, like Leon, a local lobsterman who was beloved for always helping others, and who was shot and killed will trying to stop an incidence of domestic violence. That story is called “One Final Hug,” and it is one you won’t forget. I also really enjoyed his story about serving as a stern man, at the age of 16, with a lobsterman who rarely spoke to him – until Tim’s last day. I won’t spoil the surprise here. But it’s a great story.
There are wonderful stories when Tim was doing his popular “Postcards from Maine” for CBS, a program that was popular all over the country. And of course, the story titled, “Oh, Deer!” was one of my favorites. “Of course not all hunters are successful in their quest to bag the elusive whitetail,” writes Tim. “Although they come here looking for deer, a fairly high percentage of out-of-state hunters end up mostly finding beer.” He could have added residents to that statement.
Noel Paul Stookey (and if you don’t know who he is shame on you!), a long-time friend of Tim’s, wrote the introduction and described the book much better than I can: “Funny, insightful, expressive – full of exaggeration and Maine lore. Riotously excessive and reverential of all things Maine, particularly the people… Through these talks related by Tim, you’ll come to recognize people we all know (or would delight to know) in moments that we’ve lived (or wish we could live). This is a must-have book. Witty enough you’ll want it close at hand for reference and renewal. Profound enough you’ll want it in the bathroom.”
You will find more book reviews at www.georgesmithmaine.com.