Pappy, by Betsy Phillips

I love this photo of Sam’s dad, taken by my lovely and talented sister in law, Betsy Phillips. I feel like it shows an essential element of Sam’s background. We’re both city kids who grew up rural—me in the Ozarks, Sam in the shadow of the Sierra Nevadas. I see that modern-day mountain-man element in Sam, in a lot of ways.

Also, Sam is a wonderful father. And I think that men who take easily, naturally, to parenting generally do so because they had close and nurturing relationships with their own fathers. So when I look at this photo, I see one of the people who made Sam into the man that I love so much.

4 Responses to “Pappy”

  • Shannon Phillips Says:

    I also think the composition of the photo is great. Something about the way his face is in shadow makes him seem like an element of the landscape, like an outcropping of rock. I don’t know if it was intentional but it’s like an oblique commentary on Dave’s character–solid, grounded, very much “in place.”

  • Susan Reid Says:

    It is a wonderful legacy as we were raised by a loving and nurturing father as well! I CAN see it in Sam.

  • Dom Camus Says:


    Also: GOATS! 😀

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