J. Gordon Duncan

Culture, Business, Fitness, Etc.

Happy Father’s Day Sam

I am my fathers son cover half sizeIn honor of Father’s Day and in remembrance of my wonderful late father Sam, I’ve included an excerpt from the book I wrote in his honor, “I am my father’s son”.

Happy Father’s Day.  I miss you, Sam.

Sam wrote a ton of books in his lifetime.  In fact, at one point and time, he owned a publishing/printing company and ran it out of the back of the flower shop.

 In the late-seventies, the Johnston County Writers Guild met our house once a month.  I would sneak in and listen to their poetry and various other contributions.  From that group arose local author, Doris Cannon and internationally famous author, Margaret Maron.

 Sam eventually published, “Poems Opus One” – a wonderful collection of poetry.  He followed that with two books of piano instruction.  In the early 90’s, he extensively interviewed a local bootlegger in prison.  Realizing that his congregation couldn’t handle his name on a book detailing such a lifestyle, “Bojack” was released without any reference to Sam at all.  He ghost-wrote an incredibly fascinating book.

As he moved into retirement, Sam began to write on theology.  He published, “What Every Christian Should Know”, and ultimately wrote a 700 page theology book.  That one remains unpublished.

Heading into East Carolina University, I didn’t really know what to major in, but I eventually settled into the English department.  Upon graduation, I took a job teaching at an alternative school.  To qualify for my school, you had to be expelled from another.

All of a sudden, I was walking the path very similar to the one Sam did with his early prison ministry.

Housed in our school was the school system’s print shop.  I wasn’t even aware of how I was following Sam’s influence there, but I eventually published “Coffee Papers”, and one year later, I published “A New and Undying Vocabulary” in honor of my one year anniversary with Amy.  Eight years later, my thesis was published.

Unfortunately, the books I write now have all been released after his death.  Sam would have taken great joy in reading them, and he always encouraged me to write as much as I could.

But as I launched “The Gospel Carries Us”, I was incredibly aware of walking in my Father’s shoes.  In the introduction, I wrote this:

But one other event had a great influence in my assembling these words.  My father passed away a few months ago.  Sam, as I affectionately called him, slept peacefully into eternity recently.  He was a pastor, a scholar, a father, a husband, and a host of other incredible titles.  He loved me and was incredibly proud of every single thing I ever did.  So much of my life is due to Sam’s efforts.  He prayed with me to know Christ as a five year old.  He championed my going to college.  He celebrated my teaching career and told me I would be an “idiot” if I didn’t marry Amy.  Thanks, Sam. 

I still sit in awe of the legacy Sam gave me.  Every time I write and publish, I think of the rich heritage I received and am thankful.  Not every kid gets that kind of legacy to have or to build on.

Thanks, Sam.

“I am my father’s son” is available on Kindle, in paperback, or download it free in pdf here.


June 15, 2013 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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