I have two memories of SAM that stand out in my head. I don't know if this is 100% official or not, but I remember the first Molten Core raid that Corsairs ever went on, and how nervous and exciting it was. And do not ask me why, but I clearly remember Startamer winning the roll for Stryker's Mark off of Magmadar, and getting the Guild's first Epic raid drop. And I was so happy that SAM got it. He was the epitome of what Corsairs are all about, a bunch of friends who get together to play and have fun, and at the same time drop an epic bow in the hands of our hunters and you can kiss your DPS meter goodbye. It was the first time I felt like I was in a real guild, even though our numbers were small. With SAM out front, leading the way. For about 2 sec until the mob turned him into night elf jelly.
(I dug back through the archives a bit tonight and Eric first told us about raiding the Core with Divinity on May 29, 2006, and on June 4th he sent an email stating "Startamer has 12 DKP due to paying for the epic bow he won")
The other thing I remember is going on Friday night Naxx scrub runs, playing catch up while others were hammering out the quirks in Ulduar. I had heard a little bit about what was going on with his health by then. He would play for as long as he could, but generally wasn't able to finish an entire clear in one night. Near the end of the run he would send me a tell, apologizing but that he had to leave early. And I would think to myself... here is a guy listening to Pat bitching about a rough work week, and he's not saying a word. If I live to be 100, I won't know a fraction of the pain that SAM went through, and not only is he not complaining about it, but he's apologizing because he thinks he's letting his friends down because of it. That is the kind of person I want to be, someone who truly understands what is important in life.
I think we learn from every person we meet in life. I never met SAM in person, but I pray that I never forget the lessons he taught me.
I think that last one was from Patrick
I too only met Sam once briefly over a meal, but he was a good friend after years of interacting via WoW and TS.
Sam was always pushing to do more, and especially pushed COKT to do think bigger. His fingerprints are all over COKT as we know it today, from expanding our members, to policies, but most importantly – to the wonderfully positive, infectious impact his attitude had.
I credit Sam with making our BC 25-man raids happen – and those raids were a lot of fun and re-invigorated COKT from the stagnant dead-end of running Kara week after week with no further 10-man options. I also really valued the perspective that Sam brought to our officer email exchanges, especially the long and very intense debates we had about the very first DKP system that was put in place for 25-man runs.
During one of our first 25-man runs, I think it was just after Gruul had cleaned our clocks and we only had Gruul down to 80%, Sam spoke up as everyone was running back in and getting ready to buff. He said, “We almost had him that time folks, we’ll get’em on the next attempt.” It didn’t matter how poorly things seemed to be going, he always knew we were one more attempt from success. That is the example I always think of when I think of Sam’s eternal optimism.
My funniest memory Erika already brought up – watching the utter chaos as he pulled the first set of pats in AQ20.
Lower the Jolly Roger to half mast and line up the 21 bow salute.
Wow, where do I begin about Sam? It's hard to think back to which came first Sam or playing WoW with Sam - but there was a time before WoW. We shared real life group for years and eventually joined the guild through Sam after we learned that we were all playing WoW. Chups and I even left our old server and started new players - little did Chups know when he named my new character Starr that he was trampling on Sam's territory! Some of the best times I've had playing WoW have been with Sam and Tara.
If you thought he was amazing as Star, you should have known him in real life. He is one of the funniest, sweetest, and caring people I've ever known. The world shined a little brighter with him in it. But although we'll miss him achingly here, I know he lives on with our Father where there is no more pain.
I miss you Sam. Hope to see you again one day!!
I don't think my memories of World of Warcraft would be the same without him involved.