Lot 113: Rare AMQS by Poet Sam Walter Foss
Rare Autograph, Manuscripts & Book & Aviation Auction
27 October 2016
Miami, FL, USA
Rare AMQS by the poet Sam Walter Foss, from his work known as the” Side of the Road”. Foss (June 19, 1858 - February 26, 1911) was an American librarian and poet whose best known works included The House by the Side of the Road and The Coming American.
On Summerville Public Library letterhead, titled "The House by the Side of the Road", signed "Sam Walter Foss", dated "Dec. 19, 1899".
“Let me live in my house by the
side of the road
Where the race of men go by-
They are good, they are bad, they are weak, they are strong,
Wise, foolish- so am I.
Then why should I sit in the scorner’s seat
Or hurl the cynic’s ban?-
Let me live in my house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man
Sam Walter Foss”
For many years the opening lines from Foss's The Coming American ("Bring me men to match my mountains / Bring me men to match my plains / Men with empires in their purpose / And new eras in their brains") were inscribed on a granite wall at the United States Air Force Academy to inspire cadets and officers, but they were removed in 2003 to harmonize in perception to the Air Force Academy's having become coeducational. These words are currently engraved and displayed at Epcot in Orlando, Florida and at the south end of the Jesse M. Unruh Building near the State Capitol building in Sacramento, CA. These opening lines are inscribed onto the Rocky Mountain Cup trophy, which is contested annually between MLS teams Real Salt Lake and Colorado Rapids.
Longtime baseball announcer Ernie Harwell alluded to Foss's The House by the Side of the Road whenever he described a batter taking a called third strike: "He stood there like the house by the side of the road and watched it go by."
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