People who knew Sam well will tell stories and talk about him in ways I can not. But I will share, from my perspective, what I find remarkable in the hours since we received this terrible news.
When someone passes with a public persona, or who most know from their professional life, the immediate condolences all have a theme.
If a hockey player passes, people reminisce and pay homage about his hockey playing career.
If a baseball player passes, he was a great first basemen, or catcher, or clutch-hitter.
If a businessman passes, she was a great CEO.
If a musician passes, she wrote great songs.
After the initial condolence, then sometimes people talk about the person, and his or her life.
When Sam McKee passed, it was the exact opposite. The initial thoughts on social media and elsewhere were all about Sam as a person.
"He helped me when I needed a push"
"He made phone calls for me to help my career"
"I didn't know him, but he seemed like such a nice person"
"I met him once and he treated me like I was the most important guy in the world"
"I never met him, but he smiled all the time and that put a smile on my face"
"I met him once and I could not believe how much I enjoyed it"
That stuck out to me. Sam was the best race announcer in the harness racing world, and you'd never even know it.
I think that proves - beyond a shadow of a doubt - he lived life well and he was a good man.
Rest in peace Sam. We'll miss your race calls, and the Jug will never be the same. But we'll miss who you were as a person a thousand times more.
They say that everything happens for a reason, but i'm having a real hard time coming to terms with this. Sam we will miss you like no other pic.twitter.com/sKTtCDNYuP— Marc A. Guilfoil (@marc_guilfoil) March 9, 2017