Sam Glanden, The River Man

Sam poses as he floats down the river on his homemade raft.

Courtesy of Sam Glanden

Sam poses as he floats down the river on his homemade raft.

Cooper Garvey, Reporter

Within the long dark of the Florida bog, among the whispers of the dragonflies and the snaps of alligators, a man lies in wait. Clad in glasses, a baseball cap, jeans, old shoes, a ragged old shirt, and sometimes a coat, this man eyes the waters as he prepares to delve into the wonders of nature. 

This man goes by the name of Sam Glanden. 

Sam, a sophomore here at Oviedo High School, specializes in typical outdoorsman activities. He has taken a keen interest outdoors and enjoys spending his time out in the wild.

“The outdoors are a place where humanity comes from and where one day we shall return. If there is a God [which I believe there is], nature is the place where we would see it”, Sam says. “The outdoors is a place where man has been and will be fascinated with for the rest of his time in the universe. Nature is the purest form of this world where all the complexity of our modern society is thrown out for the simplicity in it all”. 

Sam’s views on nature and the feelings it gives him are a mutual sentiment for many who are as passionate about the environment as he is.

He also has a passion for the art of poetry. When describing his love for nature, he quotes Gareth Paisley, one of his favorite poets, with the phrase, “Nature is where you can only hear the sound of your own heart, and all you can feel is your lungs flood and the blood course”. For Sam, the outdoors is where he can not only draw out the most inspiration for his writings, but feel at peace. 

However, don’t be mistaken for thinking the riverside is all sunshine and rainbows – especially when Sam inhabits it. 

For instance, one time he was floating through the river on a homemade raft (one of his many acquired talents) when he came across a hungry 12-foot alligator. The battle lasted only about 2 minutes, and from Sam’s perspective, it was like a medieval battle.

“Whence then an uncouth creature came from the bowels of the river disturbed out of its deep slumber. Upon gazing its beady eyes ‘pon my raft, it launched with an anger unrivaled,” he says. “When the beast realized I was a force of great reckoning, it retreated back to the shadows, not to be seen since”.

Yet, despite the dangers and tranquilities the river provides, Sam calls it home. Some other of his other hobbies include working with javelins and cooking lizards (which he affectionately called ‘Sam’s backwoods Lizard Recipe’). 

Sam also has extensive literary knowledge, having read many works from the likes of greats like of J.R.R. Tolkien and Dante Alighieri. As an accomplished linguist, he is fluent in German. His extensive knowledge in the subject has led him to plan on becoming an exchange student in Germany, an opportunity he sees as highly advantageous. On top of that, he is in the process of learning Seminole dialect while inventing his own language that he aptly named “Samaranian”.

For those curious about the adventures he takes part in, he is creating a Youtube chanel called “Backwoods Sam”. His goal is to provide a place where others can take part in sharing the love for nature that he has. In his own words, “the YouTube channel is so you all can come along on the adventure, and be taken away into what life in the backwoods is like.”

All in all, it can be said that Sam is a very accomplished and cultured person. Whether you’re passionate about linguistics (real or ficitional), literature, outdoor activities, or Mother Nature, inspiration from Sam’s lifestyle is easy to find.

Sam’s ideals can be summed up with his personal motto: “Safety is my number two priority, number one is [having] fun”.

Courtesy of Sam Glanden