Although the celebrated writer Nadine Gordimer, also a native of Springs, in later years wrote snidely about mining life, for Sam it was rather great fun. He also loved the bioscope in Springs, which required a journey by train. Winter holidays saw the family travelling in a small DKW Auto Union motorcar to Badplaas, the preferred holiday resort many Afrikaans speaking families in those years. They also visited his mother's relatives in the Karoo, whose family connection he was only able to determine in later years.
Sam loved reading, although there were few books in their home, perhaps due to the family's meager finances. Nevertheless, he saved for his first camera and thus made photography a hobby that he still practices.