PORTSMOUTH — G. Sam Piatt wore several hats during his time in southern Ohio and northeastern Kentucky.
Readers of this publication likely know Piatt for his descriptive outdoor columns and time as a reporter during two different stints in the 2000’s.
His final column that was featured in The Daily Times titled, “Is life better now than back then?” ran just under a month before his passing on June 25 at the age of 88.
He opened that column with this, “The Great Outdoors always played a role in my growing up in that little Ohio River village on the Kentucky shore, across from the western end of Portsmouth. The river, which lay about 100 yards from our doorstep (and at least once over the doorstep to seep onto the front room floor) was our main source of recreation.”
In his columns, Piatt often told a story that was either purposely funny or just happened to be so, or a lesson learned from his time spent in the outdoors or in his fishing boat.
In addition to his time spent with The Daily Times as a writer and columnist, Piatt retired from the Ashland Daily Independent full-time in 1998.
Piatt authored two books, a work that featured stories from local World War II veterans titled “Men of Valor” in 2012, and “That Summer of ‘45” in 2014 that told the story of he and five friends growing up in Beattyville, a community in Greenup County.
One of those featured in his second publication was lifelong friend John Euton — a man who spent countless hours growing up with Piatt in Beattyville and later in life going fishing all over the Tri-State area.
“We played outside from daylight till dark,” Euton said. “We played in the streets, and of course the streets were dirt. We’d play marbles, kick-can, we’d swim in the river. We’d even swim across the river, believe it or not.”
Piatt graduated from South Portsmouth High School in 1953 and was later inducted into the Greenup County School District Hall of Fame.
During his adult life, Piatt was a member of the United States military. He served for 25 years in the U.S. Naval Reserves and another four years in the Kentucky Army National Guard.
Prior to his retirement from the Daily Independent, Piatt graduated from Marshall University with a Regents Bachelor of Arts Degree, with an emphasis on journalism and art, including photography.
Throughout his life, Piatt’s time on any nearby fresh water body made for relatable stories for his columns.
One story from Euton of their time together fishing made Piatt’s fish-catching abilities seem as natural as his writing.
“He owned two boats — a nice, big bass boat and a john boat. He was had never fished in a kayak, I still fish out of a kayak. He wanted to go to the Kinniconick, so I showed him how to get into it and pushed him to the water. We went out and he beat me, caught more fish than I did.”
Funeral services for Piatt will be held on Saturday, July 2 at 1 p.m. at the South Shore First United Methodist Church.
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 370-0713 ext. 1930, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved