by Dede Montgomery
Publication date: October 2017
The author’s dad was a Titan of the Willamette River. My Music Man uses stories of seven generations of family living near Oregon’s Willamette River to illustrate the power of story telling. As she move through grief to accept the death of her dad, these stories shed light on change, acceptance and forgiveness among relationships and of natural landscapes. The reader is catapulted into autumn on the Willamette’s riverbank in the 1960′s with the author and her four brothers, where they discover their dad’s own childhood stories and the intimate relationship he shares with the Willamette River.
These memories detail picking berries and filberts, traveling through the West Linn locks by boat, and swimming in the Willamette River on a hot summer day overwhelmed by the smell of blackberry and carp. Tales of generations of family in times of canoes, American Indians and steamboats weave between time periods; held together by the constancy of place. She shares small town life in a school where everyone knows everybody, and how it felt to be an only girl in what often felt like a never-ending sea of boys. The past intersects the present as she shares the recent death of her dad, pushing her into despair at the loss of her story teller, and music maker.
Why we signed My Music Man . . .
It’s a narrative of Oregon history through the stories of seven generations of the family. We like learning about early history of Oregon settlement through the eyes of a native Oregonian.
From the Author . . .
My dad was a Titan of the Willamette River. My Music Man uses stories of seven generations of family living near Oregon’s Willamette River to illustrate the power of story telling. As I move through grief to accept the death of my dad, these stories shed light on change, acceptance and forgiveness among relationships and of natural landscapes.
About the Author . . .
Dede Montgomery is a six-generation Oregonian and a certified industrial hygienist working in research at Oregon Health & Science University, where she blogs in Oregon and the Workplace. Dede’s family ties have instilled in her a deep connection to the land, and curiosity about life in early Oregon and the stories, good and bad, that lay there. In her book, Dede explores the jumbled path of forgiveness, reconciliation, courage and gratitude, through the memories and stories stirred after her father’s death. Dede lives with her husband in West Linn, Oregon where she never tires of exploring new places along the banks of the Willamette River.