Editor’s note: We will miss you, Sam

sam-toll taker

Photo by Coco Hibbitts

Many of you are aware that Sam Samsonov, a toll tender with the Gasparilla Island Bridge Authority for 30 years, is no longer at the booth. There has been a flood of responses on social media regarding his leaving, and we wanted to acknowledge him.

Sam, you were a Gasparilla Island fixture. Many people saw different sides of you, but those of us that saw you all of the time for many years know what a good heart you have. Your lollipops for the kids and dog treats for the dogs are being recollected as we speak, by island residents and by people who have only been here once or twice.

You represent part of what so many like about Boca Grande – a person can be gone for years, but once they cross that bridge they’re back in the land of familiar faces. It’s people like you that we took for granted would always be there in the booth on weekday mornings.

We will adjust, we will adapt, but we will never forget you, Sam. Thank you for your service to our community. You’re a good guy. Stop by and see us once in awhile.

Marcy Shortuse, Boca Beacon editor