LEAPING INTO SAM'S LIFE
 

 

The leap home

Sam was raised in a family where his parents were good listeners and advisers to him. If the need arose, he was always certain he could count on them.

His father [ episodes 4/ 24/ 31/ 75/ 77/ 79/ 83 ]
John-Samuel Beckett worked on the family's farm 16 hours a day, seven days a week. He looks gruff but has a big heart. As grouchy as Sam is sometimes, John is however very proud of his children. He instructed them in the love of the earth and roots, the respect of true valor and essential things. He taught Sam the names of the constellations, how to ride a horse; and when he was ten, in the family's fields, he let him drive the tractor. For lack of crop yield, he would later lose his farm.
At this tragic time, Sam had just left home to be a student. Sam would regret all his life not having been there for his parents when they certainly needed him the most. We can wonder if the premature death of his father the following year, in 1972, (Sam was 19 years old), was due more to this reversal in fortune or to the fact that he smoked too much, drank too much coffee and had an excessively high cholesterol count. Ironically, John believed that all doctors were quacks, while his son was going to graduate from medical school.

His mother [ 1/ 31/ 79 ]
Curiously, Sam spoke very little of his mother, Thelma-Louise. We know she is sweet, attentive and very proud of her kids, with a special admiration for the younger one, who will become a doctor... Widowed and children gone, she will leave in 1974 for a new life in Hawaii.

 

His brother [ 10/ 31/ 32/ 83 ]
Tom, the elder, is Sam's hero. Thelma even says that he followed Tom around like a puppy ever since Sam first learned to walk! It was Sam's dream to be like him. Perhaps because with Tom, things seemed to be easy, although Sam was a tormented teenager. Tom was an attentive brother. He was the most aware of Sam's incredible capabilities and it wouldn't be difficult for him later to persuade Sam to study physics. Tom was also an accomplished athlete: at the age of 18 years, he played
in the seniors divison basketball nationals and with his team, won the University of Indiana Championship in 1964. After finishing basic training, Lieutenant Tom Beckett returned home briefly for 1969's Thanksgiving, just before leaving for Vietnam. He died the next year on April 8th. The death of Sam's brother was an essential impetus toward the research Sam would conduct throughout his career in conceiving the Quantum Leap plan. Suffering all his life from this bereavement, Sam would change history and save his brother when he leapt in Vietnam. The downside was that instead of his brother, a young journalist woman died. It was Sam's punishment for having interfered in his own life. Tom returned alive from Vietnam in December 1971.

His sister [ 1 / 7/ 31 ]
Catherine (Kathy), born in 1957 (so 4 years after Sam), was the youngest
child of the Beckett's clan. We don't know a lot of things about her besides her being fond of the Beatles when she was young, especially John Lennon! Apparently she ran away from home at an early age with an alcoholic named Chuck, whom she married at 17 years old. But Chuck was a violent man, especially when drinking. As she was too frightened to leave him and too ashamed to speak about the situation, we don't know how Kathy put an end to this bad story. Sam always felt guilty for not having known what was going on. Then Kathy married Jim Bonick, a Navy officer.

Other family ties [ 1/ 31/ 74/ 92 ]
Sam had a Grandma Mirthy, a paternal grandfather who died at the age of 57 years (that is to say as prematurely as Sam's father) and Aunt Lilly, the only person to call him "Samuel". Far back in the family tree, Sam's great-grandfather was Captain John Beckett. He was in the Union Army during the Civil War. Wounded in a battle on September 20, 1862, in Virginia, he met his future wife: Miss Olivia Barett de Covington, aka Miss Livy. She treated his wounds and hid him illegally even though the Blues had killed her husband from the Confederate Army, Daniel Covington. Widowed from this first union at 24 years, she had married Daniel just two years before. A woman of character who helped the slaves escape off toward the northern border, she would finally leave, too, with John--with whom she would bear the descendants we know--symbolic of the North and South alliance!

 

 

 

Youth [ 1/ 21/ 27/ 31/ 34/ 41/ 75/ 77/ 93 ]

Sam was born the August 8, 1953, exactly at 12:30! Raised in Elk Ridge, Indiana, where corn is grown, he stayed at home with hens, pigs, and cows, plus his two cats Donner and Blitzen until he was 18 years old. Sam had a quiet childhood and during his spare time he was a member of the local Indian Scouts. Also, hunting with his father's .22 caliber
rifle, he sometimes caught a rabbit or two. In fact, Sam was quite resourceful at a young age, even though he discovered when he was 9 years old that he suffered from vertigo (this after climbing in a tree to play
"Tarzan," which he'd just seen at the movies!). The biggest trip of his youth was over his summer holidays when he was 12: in his father's van, the whole family travelled throughout the United States. As a teenager, Sam was upset about being different: at 15 years old he felt bad about himself, thinking he was too intellectual. Wanting to follow in his brother's footsteps, Sam also played basketball: at 16, he wore Number 11 of the local Cougars team, in the Seniors Divison.

 

 

 

Studies and special gifts [ 1/ 2/ 9/ 10/ 11/ 13/ 18/ 21 à 23/ 25/ 31/ 43/ 47/ 75/ 79/ 89/ 92 ]

Sam was soon found to have an uncommon mental capacity: with his photographic memory he was able to write at 4 years old, at 5 mental arithmetic was no secret from him and by 10, according to Al, he could defeat a computer ! So there's nothing surprising about the dozen of schools and university propositions our little genius received even at 16 years old...He hesitated in choosing between the famous Boston MIT, another technical school, and a grant by the Unversity of Indiana. Tom convinced him to choose physics after a Professor at MIT told him that a boy with Sam's abilities could only be found once in a generation or two! So at 18 years old, he left the nest to enroll at MIT...and received his Bachelor of Science degree in two years instead of four. One of his mentors, Prof. Lonigro, would have a particular impact on the young researcher's destiny. From this time until the summer of 1973, Prof. Lonigro and Sam shared a lot of weekend research hammering out the first quantum program theory in Lonigro's shed in the Berkshires. Sam earned six doctorates (one degree in Physics with quantum physics as his major and another degree in ancient languages including Egyptian hieroglyphics) and won the Nobel Prize in Physics...Time Magazine called him "the new
Einstein"! Regarding languages, we know Sam can also speak fluently in Japanese, Spanish, Russian and German. But he is not only a great brain: karaté, judo, boxing, kick boxing and taekwando have made of him a sound mind in a sound body.
To complete that already nearly too marvelous picture, add a pinch of classical and electric guitar, another of singing (with a large repertory since he can sing John Lennon's "Imagine", Elvis' "Blue Moon of Kentucky", musical plays like "The Man of La Mancha" and even hard rock...) and also a special gift for playing the piano since he gave
a performance at Carnegie Hall, NY, when he was 19 years old! The only downfall: Sam is not too wild about literature!

 

 

 

Loves

Tennage years [ 18/ 31 ]
While his peers began their first tentative experimentations with the opposite sex, Sam was too shy and hung up to venture into such things. The first woman he loved was Nicole, his piano teacher (who was ten years older). But she could only be a phantasmagoric muse for him. When he was 15 years old, she moved to try her luck on the NY stage. Disenchanted by the wild competition and a checkered comic career, Nicole finally resumed teaching piano, waiting for the perfect role. Sam would get the chance to make his far away fantasy reality during one of his leaps, while he replaced a Don Quixote understudy and his beauty Nicole won the role of Dulcinea! At sixteen, he had a crush on Lisa Parson, a nice blonde-haired school friend. As the story goes, when she asked him to go with her to the dance to be held after a basketball game, embarassed, Sam ran away as fast as he could! Long years afterward, Sam would change the original
timeline, where Lisa had been married one year later to a bad guy of an opposing basketball team, with whom she'd have two children before divorcing.

His wife [ 2/ 11/ 53 ]
Donna Elesee (name of her mother) was a brillant physics student, too. She was studying at the Lawrence Catholic University of Marion, and at the same time worked as a waitress at the Rathskellar.
She met Sam when she was 30 years old, just after she left the Starbright Project, around 1984. Sometime later, on the 5th of June, in a mission chapel, Donna stood Sam up--although he was there, waiting for her
longingly, before the altar. And she would be his lost love. But by the second episode Sam changed the story and broke Rule Number One which forbade the time traveller from taking advantage of his situation lest it interfere with his own life. Leaping into the period wherein Donna was still a student, Sam discovered why she eluded their wedding ceremony: affected
by an absentee father (the Colonel Woodjovitz, working for the Pentagon) when she was only eight years old, she woud be fearful all her life of being abandoned by other men she could love. To avoid this, she always left men when a relationship became too serious. Helping her to see her father again, Sam put an end to the trauma so that in the new timeline, Donna is there the day of the marriage to become Donna Beckett. But ironically Sam can't remember that he has a wife because of the leaps which make him lose part of his memory. While Sam is leaping from life to life, Donna waits for him as Penelope hopes for Ulysses' return...

Abigaël [ 81/ 82/ 82bis/ 89 ]
Abigail had inherited the history of the tragic infanticide committed by
her grandmother on her eight children, except for Abigail's mother, who had survived physically but was far too traumatized to be unharmed mentally. Abigail's father, the Sheriff Clayton Fuller, died in their house's burning when she was a kid. Her mother decided to have herself committed, and Abigail was then brought up by the former housekeeper. When Sam leaped in to ward off the fate which dogged Abigail, he fell in love with her. Sam didn't hide that one of his dreams was to have children. His wish would seem impossible, however... and yet the night of June 15, 1966, that he shared with Abigail wouldn't be without consequences: Abigail would become the mother of Samy-Jo (Samantha-Josephine Fuller). Sam is her father: his chances of being the father are estimated to a probability of 91.9 % by Ziggy, and it became unquestionable when we discover Samy-Jo's 194 IQ and the photographic memory she has inherited--from Sam. The choice of the child's first name was also puzzling... Abigail was really in love with Sam even if she couldn't see him under the aura of her fiancé's Will. Besides, after this leap, Abbie and Will never married each other. At eleven years old, Samy-Jo was the spitting image of her mother at the same age and she dreamed of travelling in time to find her father and telling him that she loved him. Leaping again in this action-packed story, Sam prevented Abigail from ending up on the electric chair to which she was condemned to die July
13, 1984. And he prevented her daughter from having a miserable life, alone in Florida writing electronic book introductions for some lousy place. Instead of that prospect, she would be married to a good guy with whom she leaves Louisiana for Chicago. Presently, she's working on the QL staff, especially on the development of a theory for a return in his own
time of Dr. Beckett, although she doesn't know him to be her father. And Sam will never remember he has a daughter, either.

 

 

Misc. [ 24/ 31/ 64/ 89/ 92 ]

- Food : hates coffee but likes tea ; can't stand seafood ; fond of peach pie.
- Cult films : "Rebel Without a Cause" (James Dean) ; "Some Like It Hot" (Marilyn Monroe, for whom he sometimes played hooky whenever a new movie of hers came out...)
- Music : fond of Elvis (had programmed all his songs into Ziggy's memory).

 

 

 

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Translation of this page: Thanks a lot Sherry and Lorraine for your help!