The Whisper Of The River
PG has finished reading The Whisper of the River. It is the second volume of the Sambo Trilogy, written by Ferrol Sams. Dr. Sams is a physician, who decided when he was sixty years old to write novels. The Sambo Trilogy is the tale of Porter Osborne, Jr., inspired by the life of Ferrol Sams, Jr.
A few days after PG finished Run With The Horsemen, the first Sambo (spell check suggestion:Mambo, Rambo, Samba) book, he went walking to the neighborhood yard sales. There was a sale at this house at the top of the big hill on Skyland Drive. There was a treadmill, which might be fun if PG had a much larger house. There were also copies of the second and third books of the Sambo trilogy. PG usually tries to negotiate at yard sales, but handed the man a dollar, without a seconds hesitation, for the two books.
The Whisper of the River is the story of Sambo at Mercer University. When he left the farm, he was a “raised right” boy, determined to make all As, and not spend any more money than necessary. He met an assortment of characters, had some experiences, and was a different person when the story ended. The book ends December 7, 1941.
The story is tons of fun to read, but sometimes you wonder just how accurate this is. Sambo develops as a man, and the reader suspects a bit of enthusiastic memory. An Amazon reviewer, Mike in the Middle (Midwest), says “While I love this book, I don’t think it is perfect. It could have used a bit more editing; I think it would have worked better with at least 50 fewer pages. Also, Porter is sometimes a tad too sweet. I am not sure I could have stood to be around him in real life. One interesting side note is the portrayal of John Birch, the inspiration for the nutty John Birch Society. He attended Mercer at the same time as Mr. Sams and clearly left a strongly negative impression on him. “
When Sambo gets a yankee jock for a roommate, there is a problem . Sambo asks that he not use the name of the Lord in vain. What the jock said was “goodgodamighty”. Years later, PG had a hellish working relationship with a professional Jesus worshiper. One of the PJW’s favorite expressions was “goodgodamighty”. The third commandment is a flexible instrument. PG had the sense that “goodgodamighty” wasn’t really a good use of a sacred name. He was amused to see where a semi fictional character agreed.(The spell check suggestion for “goodgodamighty” is goodnight.)
Mercer University in the late thirties had several visits from the larger world. A young man named John Birch led a rebellion against some divinity professors who didn’t interpret the Bible strictly enough. Clarence Foster had a series of speeches, raising money for Koinonia Farm. (Sambo wrote a check for twenty dollars, and told his daddy it was for books.) A man named Boston Harbor Jones worked in the kitchen, became friends with Sambo, and joined the Navy. In the last part of the book, Mr. Jones sent Sambo a letter. He was stationed in Hawaii, aboard the USS Arizona.
PG is not a literary critic. He is a slack blogger that likes to read, and is happy with a good story. The Whisper of the River is a good story. Pictures today are from the Australian War Memorial .