Grew Up… in the small town of Thalia, Texas. It seems like everyone who grows up here sticks around. It’s one of those places where everyone knows each other and your past is only hidden by bad memories or intentional forgetting. But Sam isn’t the kind of person to forget.
Living… past his prime in Thalia. Sam has just about had enough with the cruelty of people around here. And it’s not even that things didn’t used to be this way, either. As Sam says, “I’ve been around that kind of trashy behavior all my life, I’m gettin’ tired of puttin’ up with it.”
Profession… business owner. Sam owns and operates the local pool hall, Thalia’s only café and, best of all, the local picture show. His businesses win him a lot of respect in the town, where his name is known far and wide, and his reputation as “the Lion” precedes him with every new generation.
Interests… remembering times past. After recounting a story about a woman he used to run around with, he says, “If she was here I'd probably be just as crazy now as I was then in about five minutes. Ain't that ridiculous?... Naw, it ain't really. 'Cause being crazy about a woman like her is always the right thing to do. Being an old decrepit bag of bones, that's what's ridiculous. Gettin' old.”
Relationship Status… his washed up love life. He won’t be seeing any more of that any time soon. He let the best one get away from him and marry another man. Sam is wise enough to know that another woman like that won’t be coming round again.
Challenge… keeping the local kids on the right path. They stray quite a bit, treating each other badly and getting into trouble. Sam almost bans a group of local kids from his pool hall after they take advantage of Billy, a kid Sam has taken in as a son. But after a while he lets some of the good kids come back, realizing it’s more important that he shows them the right way to be, rather than leaving them to their own devices.
Personality… thoughful and wise. He cares deeply about others, which can take its toll and has made him “a bad sleeper.” Sam has a strong moral backbone. He takes pride in teaching the local kids about life, love, and loss. His wisdom serves local kid Sonny Crawford especially well, and Sonny doesn’t know another man in Thalia who he looks up to with more esteem.
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