I am an antique dealer with a Phd in American history, living in North Brookfield and teaching part-time at Community College of Rhode Island. (Yes, it's a somewhat long commute, but worth it to stay in the town that I love.)
I grew up in Maryland, with an Italian-American father from rural western New York and a Jewish-American mother from Massachusetts. I studied history at Brown University in Providence and completed my Phd at Columbia University in New York City, where I also taught classes until 2016. My attraction to the history and artistry embodied in everyday objects led me start dealing in antiques, and I moved to North Brookfield to continue with the business and to be near friends and family in New England; I currently sell in Barre and also supply vintage goods to stores in Providence and Brooklyn.
While it may be a little unusual for a gay Jewish man in his 30s to run for office in rural central Massachusetts, I know that there are few places in the world that I would rather live, let alone have the honor of representing, than these New England towns steeped in centuries of history. Many of my early memories are of time spent with my grandparents in the small town in western New York where my father was raised, and where my aunt, the head of the Chamber of Commerce, could not walk down the street without every passerby shouting out to her as if she were a celebrity.
Although my parents came from different backgrounds, both sides of my family have always had basic beliefs in common -- in civil rights, the dignity of work, and the respect due to working people. Descendants of immigrants who came to America between the 1870s and the 1920s, both of my grandfathers served in the Second World War, and they and their families supported the values of the Roosevelts, Truman, and the New Deal. My great-grandfather, Isador, was a dentist in Lawrence, Mass., and I remember my great aunt telling me about how he would treat anyone who came into his office, even when they could not pay. I continue to believe in a future when no one has to ask for health care as a handout or an act of charity, and every one of my friends and neighbors, whether they are prosperous or broke, can have basic safety, health, and peace of mind.
Sam's maternal great-grandmother's family, East Boston, ca. 1900
Sam's maternal great-grandfather Isador, graduating from Tufts dental school, 1908
Sam's paternal great-grandmother Rosa and children, on immigrating from Italy to America, 1927
Sam's maternal great-grandfather Milton at his army-navy store, New Bedford, 1940s
Sam's maternal grandparents' wedding photo, Boston, 1942
Sam's mother, grandmother, and aunt, Mattapoisett, 1950s