Sam Howe

Our good friend Sam Howe died earlier this month at the age of eighty-four.

I grew up with Sam and long ago got used to long, fruitful, historically rich conversations with him. “At any rate,” was his stock conversation filler.

He was always well turned out. I loved his stripey socks, jaunty hats and his many needlepointed belts and cummerbunds (courtesy of Dodi Fordham, his wife). He loved talking history. I recently went through a photo album of his from the 1964 National Doubles which were held in Minneapolis. The names were sometimes legendary and, to me, sometimes obscure, but Sam had a funny story about each one.

He had fun. Years ago he gave me a framed newspaper, the Montclair Monitor. Dated April 1st, 1961, it was an April Fools paper with the tagline: “All the Dirt That’s Fit to Sweep.” (“Cost: Only Your Self-Respect”). Some squash guys had gotten together to produce it. There was a lot of insidery ribbing and joking. One article declared that Howe was getting demoted to the third division of the Philadelphia district because of poor play (highlighted by losing to his college-age brother Ralph).

At any rate, we will miss him.