The Captain and the Kid

Below is an email that I wrote to my family and friends the night my Granddad passed away (August 8, 2000), it ended up being a really nice tribute, so I'm posting it here to share.

Here is his obituary which is also a nice tribute to a man so rare.


Jimmy Buffett wrote a song the year I was born, The Captain and the Kid, about his grandfather that has always conjured up thoughts of my relationship with my granddad every time I hear it. Tonight I can think of nothing else. My granddad died a few hours ago and this song keeps playing over and over in my head. I've shed many tears tonight remembering all of the wonderful experiences I've had with him and the stories I've heard.

The few of you that met him, may know a little about the Old Salty Dog, Sam Farris. He has been truly a great man. He had to lie about his age to join the Navy to fight in WWII and has spent his life on and around the sea here in Santa Barbara. When our family gets together, we always meet for breakfast down at the harbor. Everyone who would pass by would stop and say hi to him. Some of my fondest memories are being out on the boat with him. Mostly just little family cruises when we'd all get together. I'll never forget the time he took just me out on a rescue. I was 12 and we were in town visiting from Lompoc and he got a call from the harbormaster about a boat that was stranded. He took me out and we rescued a small boat with a family in it that was off of the beach in Carpenteria and towed it back to the harbor. And one of the happiest moments I remember with the family out on the boat was being the lead boat in the Parade of Lights at Christmas time. He sold his boat to a friend not too long ago, but if you're walking around the Santa Barbara Harbor the "Samson" is tied up to the Navy Pier.

My granddad lived a full and good life. He has 5 kids, 14 grandkids, and as of last Thursday, one great grandson. I was the first grandkid and though I know he loves us all, I've always felt there was something extra special between us. I rented a house from him next to his boat yard for 6-7 years and I'd see him all the time and spend time talking to him after we were both done with our day, leaning on the back of his pickup, and we'd often be smiling if not out and out laughing at whatever the topic of the day was. I'll miss our talks together and it's going to be real sad for awhile as I think back on all of our memories and realize that we won't get to make any more together. Even though he's gone, he will always be in my heart(and in many others too).

We will be putting him to rest at sea next week.

Andrew (The Kid)

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The Captain and the Kid
By: Jimmy Buffett 1970

I never used to miss the chance to climb up on his knee
And listen to the many tales of life upon the sea
We'd go sailing back on Barkentines we'd talk of things he did
Tomorrow just a day away for the Captain and the kid

His world had gone from sailing ships to raking mom's backyard
He never could adjust to land although he tried so hard
We both were growing older then and wiser with the years
That's when I came to understand the course his heart still steers

He died about a month ago while winter filled the air
And though I cried I was so proud to love a man so rare
He's somewhere on the ocean now that's where he oughta be
With one hand on the starboard rail he's wavin' back at me

I never used to miss the chance to climb up on his knee
And listen to the many tales of life upon the sea
We'd go sailing back on Barkentines talk of things he did
The world was just a day away for the Captain and the kid
For the Captain and this kid


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