Behold Sammy. Clean. Crisp. Strong. And the beer in his hand? There's only one possible answer: Boont. Boont Amber from Anderson Valley Brewery, the world's best beer, and one of the many Principles of More Evolved Living I've learned from Sammy. Sammy, as we know, is man of strong convictions. And all of us wise enough to get on board the Sammy Express are rarely disappointed. Sammy at 40 is a good time to recall my Unified Theory of Sammy Change (more colloquially, we refer to this as "What Makes Sammy Run"). And it goes something like this: if you want to know where business and culture and (in some years) sports is headed—not to mention what beer to drink—watch Sammy. He always know the right time to quit his job and go biking for the summer, the best time to buy in Rockridge, was totally on the cutting edge of rocking out kids. But I've digressed from that pint in the picture. Sammy's schooling me in the ways of Boont led to my dream of having a keg of Boont Amber at my 30th birthday party. When that didn't happen, I made sure it did at my wedding, much to Sammy's approval. His worldview is infectious, and in this case, quite tasty.
Sammy's intense convictions about the way things ought to be and should go can sometimes result in strange behavior patterns particular to his Sammy Species. There was the time a bunch of us were hanging at our then-traditional post-Seinfeld gathering at a terrible pizza place in the Lower Haight called Benvenuti (they had cheap pitchers of beer of Thursdays). Sammy couldn't join us for Seinfeld that night (a night that for a lot of us was pretty much the highlight of the week; what can we say, times were lean), because he had…. a date. This was a good sign, because, well, he didn't date so much, or at least date the same woman twice. I can't remember what the young lady did to upset Sam so much that night (it might have been that she didn't realize it was a date? She had plan to go camping without him the next day? Things are foggy). But we do know this: In rapid order, Sammy stormed into the joint, guzzled a beer, disavowed the quality of the pizza and the date, and proceeded to leave a $15 tip on a $40 tab, one he had next to nothing to do with. Sammy was pissed. And tipping big. I'll never understand it, but I'll always respect it. It's just that way with him.
Happy Birthday, Sammy!