Hi, my name is… Sam Baker.

I’ve lived in Scottsdale for… Thirty one years full time, and four years as a snowbird.

A typical day in my life includes… My mornings are rather routine: I read the newspaper, have breakfast, and answer my email. My afternoons include a trip to the gym, working on my next children’s book, and making phone calls before having dinner. I am the author of award-winning children’s books that you can see at sambakerbooks.com.

One thing I cannot live without is… My family. They are my top priority. They are so essential to me, and I try to let them know it at every opportunity. The computer, email, and Zoom are wonderful tools I use to stay in touch with them.

My favorite movie I could never get tired of watching is… To Kill a Mockingbird. There are so many lessons about life that we can learn about that are contained in that film.

When I was younger, I wanted to be… An orthopedic surgeon, but when I entered high school, I realized that I had trouble hearing certain sounds and knew that I could never master a foreign language, required to attend medical school, so I turned my efforts toward civil engineering. I wanted to build bridges.

The people who motivate me are… My children now that my wife Janet is gone. They are my prime motivators. They are that gentle push in the back, “Daddy, it’s time to get busy, you can do it, let’s go, how can I help?” And then there is my wonderful friend Linda Larson Schiltz who helped make my dream of becoming a children’s book author in my 90s come true. She set up a crowdfunding campaign and created beautiful marketing materials through Canva for my second book “Oscar the Mouse,” which was released in September 2020. She helped get my book over the finish line – her capabilities are unlimited.

The last thing that made me laugh out loud… I am a firm believer that what this world needs now is more laughter, and no more hate. Carol Burnett’s shows made my stomach hurt from all the laughter. Bob Hope used to perform before the soldiers in the combat areas to bring laughter to an area where death and destruction were the normal to reinforce the fact that there was another, better future.
The best gift I’ve ever received was… My children. I left for Alaska on board the ship Pathfinder working for The Coast and Geodetic Survey (now NOAA), on Tuesday, April 16, and my daughter Sally was born on Thursday, April 18. I only knew her from pictures until I returned in late November. We had a wonderful time getting to know each other and developing that bond, which is so essential. I was home when Michael, my son was born and had three months with him before I left for Alaska again. The bonding between parents and their children is essential for both the parent and the child, and bonding really never ends.

The best piece of advice I’ve ever received was… From my mother. Her best and greatest advice to me was, “You never will learn anything when you are talking.” That’s so true. It has stayed with me, and I have passed it along.