By His Own Blood.
I wanted to write this book about my father's death because it happened in a way that was deeply disturbing
to me and all of the many other people who loved him. By His Own Blood is a result of love, encouragement, and
assistance from many people, advisors, friends and relatives.
The book began in 2008 after a conversation with my brother, Gene, who told me that he thought the story about our father should be told and that maybe I should consider writing a book about it.
Then my cousin, Pat Montandon, herself an accomplished author, shared with me some of her insights about writing a book. From that, I began to convey the story in a way that took on a life of its own.
I met Cleve Jones in San Francisco on a mission to learn about The AIDS Memorial Quilt and how I could get one of the Quilt panels made as a memorial to Daddy. Cleve answered all my questions and provided advice about taking the story to a broader audience.
Mary Jo Blue is an award winning producer and director. She enthusiastically agreed to read this book's manuscript and offer her critique for improvement as well.
I had the pleasure of studying with Dr. Wayne Strom, one of the most respected professors at Pepperdine University's renowned business school. He read the manuscript, made valuable recommendations, and wrote a review of the book.
The finer touches to the book were handled by my good friend, Richard Parker, of Creative Direction, Inc. Richard provided final copy editing and story-line refinement in addition to creating the cover and design of the book and web site.
Finally, I could not have written this book without the support of my wife, Karen. I am sure there were times when she wondered if I would ever finish it, especially after three years sitting with my computer most evenings and many hours each weekend. Thank you, Karen, for your love and unwavering support.
The Best Man I Have Ever Known.
When I was a small boy I rode on Daddy's shoulders a lot.
He always felt big and strong. He was what I assumed all dads were supposed to be like. I felt secure and on top of the world riding on his broad shoulders. I can remember how his hat looked, how he smelled, and how he would grab one of my arms and gently swing me down to the ground. I wanted to get back up on his shoulders or stand on his shoes while he walked. Anything to be close and to be held. He was good at that.
Daddy was the unstated nurturer of our family. He created a vast comfort zone for my brother, Gene, and me. We felt secure and warm just being with him. Kindness was his strength. Daddy had strong convictions and his own principled way of living. We always knew where he stood and we relied on him to be there for us when we needed parental love and guidance. He was never judgmental and would always give us the benefit of the doubt should either of us waiver in our paths. We never felt threatened by him. We had tremendous respect for him. Daddy set an example for us during his entire life. To the very end.
My brother, Gene, and the Daisy Red Ryder BB gun with the leather strap on the right located just above the trigger that Santa left for him one Christmas.30 year old "Doc" Eugene Montandon first met 17 year old Mary Lee "Nooks" Hackfield in Knox City, Texas, on a sunny afternoon in July of 1937.Daddy and me in the cotton field in Rhineland, Texas. All of us loved the smell of the dirt and the beginning of each growing season in early spring.This is the small Montandon family Texas farm house as it still looks and stands today.Still standing after all these years, the pump house is where Doc taught Gene and me how to build a structure from the ground up.