Robert U. Montgomery

Fun, Mystery, and Adventure Await in Nature

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Following are excerpts from stories and essays in
Fish, Frogs, and Fireflies: Growing Up With Nature.

"In all of our many previous trips up here, we had never had such a visitor to our camp, I realized, and knew that Linda did as well. Yet, as startling and unexpected as it was, the white bird had brought an overwhelming sense of peace with it." ---
A Wilderness Love Story by Brenda DeGree

"I knew I had done the job well when I heard Dad say, 'Wow those are good ones!' They were crawling all over the yard, across the patio, and down the sidewalk." ----
Crawdad Day by Blake Muhlenbruck

"We told of the treasures that lurked in the waters of Kent Creek. Bullhead as big as men! Bluegills as ferocious as piranha and as plentiful as blades of grass." ----
Kent Creek by Randy Joe Heavin

" No video game can compete with watching a spider build its web or listening to the melodic call of a mockingbird. These common things provide substance to our being and remind us of our place in nature. We must pass these simple pleasures on to future generations as those in the past did to us. It is our deepest and most meaningful responsibility." ---
Grandfather's Gift by Andy McDaniels

"Slowly, I started walking again, and watched over my shoulder to see her follow. When I stopped again, so did she, possibly a little closer than she had been before. When I knelt and slowly turned to face her, she sat down and watched me with those gold eyes." ----
Dog Gone by Robert Montgomery

Halloween Treat From Book That You Will Enjoy Year Around


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Halloween is one of the times that I remember best from my childhood, a simpler time when many Baby Boomers were growing up. This is an excerpt from "Dracula's Disciple" in Under the Bed: Tales From An Innocent Childhood. If you were a child during the 50s, 60s, or 70s, this book will take you back in time and awaken your own fond memories.

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Big Sam Anecdote and Tips


Sam from Steve


Born on a houseboat in 1937, Sam Griffin started guiding on Florida’s Lake Okeechobee when he was 12.

“Back then, the compression on those motors was too much for me to crank 'em so the customer had to come back there and pull the rope,” Griffin remembered. "I could run it all right. That lasted about a year and then I got strong enough to do it myself."

Along with the 5 horsepower outboard, the youngster's guiding tools included a push pole, oars, canoe paddle, and sculling paddle.

"The more I fished the marshes, the more I learned where the fish liked to stay," Sam said.

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Two American Treasures



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My latest book,
Big Sam and the Big O, now is available from Amazon and other booksellers.

For those of you who don't know, "Big O" means Lake Okeechobee, the largest lake in Florida and the 8th largest natural lake in the U.S. It also is one of the nation's best bass fisheries.

Book will be available from Amazon and other booksellers.

Here's an excerpt from the introduction:

This book is about two American treasures.

Mostly it is about my friend, Sam Griffin, a legendary fishing guide and luremaker who was inducted into the National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame in 2019.

But by extension, it also is about Lake Okeechobee, one of the nation's premiere bass fisheries. Sailors talk about the sea being their mistress. For Big Sam Griffin, it is the Big O.

Sam was born and grew up on its waters. As an adult, he has spent thousands of hours there, field-testing his wooden baits, guiding clients, and catching the lake's "little green creatures." All the while, too, he has studied his mistress, her moods, her peculiarities, and, sadly in recent years, her declining health. Arguably, no one knows the Big O as well as Big Sam.

Part I,
Life on the Lake, provides a look into Sam's formative years, growing up on the lake, helping out his father Joe with commercial fishing--- as only a rambunctious young boy can--- and, later, at Uncle Joe's Fish Camp. It reveals how he transitioned into the lure business. And it provides a look at the lake and its fisheries and how they changed as Sam grew to adulthood.

Part II,
Baits and Bass, examines his handmade lures and reveals the fish-catching expertise that he has shared with me over the years, especially with wooden topwaters, his specialty. As with the Big O, arguably no one knows as much about topwater fishing as he does.


Part III,
The Man, the Myth, the Legend, takes a look at the life of Sam Griffin, as related by relatives and friends, including me.



Showered With Blessings

Bright Spots Robert



I'm so honored that my essay, "Showered With Blessings," will be included in Bright Spots: Motivation and Inspiration to Light Your Path in a Changing World.

The launch date is October 1. For 24-48 hours on that date, Kindle version will sell for a special launch price of just $1.

Thanks to Cathy Davis of Davis Creative for organizing and publishing this inspirational anthology and for including me!

Here's an excerpt from my essay:

During August, my least favorite month, the Perseid meteor shower serves as my bright spot. In the late-night hours, I forget about the heat, humidity, and bugs as I gaze at the shooting stars. With crickets and tree frogs harmonizing in the dark woods around me, I marvel at the celestial beauty, give thanks for another year, and count my blessings.

Blessings aren't elusive. Because they make us happy, they're easy to recognize.

Usually.

But this year has been like no other for me. And not just because of the global pandemic and its impact. Consequently, it's taken me a while to understand how blessed I have been during this summer of the shutdown.

At the beginning of the pandemic, because of their vulnerable clientele, senior centers were among the first to close, including the one where I had been volunteering for more than nine years. The homebound, however, still needed assistance, and so the Meals on Wheels program continued. In fact, demand grew, even as we lost volunteers with pre-existing conditions who feared for their own well-being.

As someone who had been blessed with good health, I helped pick up the load, distributing meals twice or even three times a week for more than a month.
And then it happened. One week I delivered meals; the next, I was receiving them as I suddenly began to experience the most painful summer of my life.