Montana Memoir – “We never knew we were poor.”

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MONTANA MEMOIR
The Hardscrabble Years, 1925-1942
by William L. McGee with Sandra V. McGee
BMC Publications, 2016
138 pp, 60 B/W photographs & illustrations
Paperback 6″ x 9″, $19.95; Kindle eBook $9.95
Available from Amazon
Signed Copies

 

About Montana Memoir

In this coming-of-age memoir, award-winning author Bill McGee recaptures the hardscrabble years of the Great Depression growing up in Malta, a small cowtown on the Montana Hi-Line. 

In Bill McGee’s signature spare and straightforward style, he recounts his family’s struggles to survive after his father’s desertion in the depths of the Great Depression, claiming “Montana was gettin’ too crowded.”

An absolutely wonderful read. I can’t believe the experiences you were having at age sixteen… riding the rails, being on your own. And I love that the Wilsall Mercantile, started by your Uncle Clyde Lyon in 1916 or ’17, is still in operation today!
– Chase Reynolds Ewald, author of Cabin Style and American Rustic

In the author’s words

Author Bill McGee (left) and his three siblings, Montana, 1930I was farmed out, as it was called, at age seven to a neighboring rancher to work for my room and board. It meant one less mouth to feed at home. My mother, three siblings and I didn’t know we were poor. We always had clothes on our backs, even if they didn’t fit, and something on the table to eat. To this day, I honestly believe those difficult years instilled in me the very qualities I would need later on to make it in business and life.”

(Photo: “The Ragamuffins” – Bill McGee [left] and his three siblings, Malta, Montana, 1930)

Other Memoirs by William L. McGee

The Divorce Seekers: A Photo Memoir of a Nevada Dude Wrangler, 1947-1949
How I Learned to Sell and Make Deals, 1950-1958: Memoir of a Merchant Man
The Broadcasting Years, 1958-1989: Memoir of a Television Pioneer
Author, Publisher, Marketing Man, 1990-2015 (In the chute)
On the Research Trail of My Montana Roots, 1991 (In the chute)

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What Readers are Saying …

“Bill had the reputation of being a straight shootin’ author, but I found some of his writing to be touching. For example, the photo captioned ‘The Ragamuffins’ of Bill and his brother and two sisters during the Depression.  Bill writes, ‘We didn’t know we were poor. We always had clothes on our backs, even if they didn’t fit. My sisters, Doris and Betty, were wearing dresses made from decorated flour sacks as was common during the Depression.  I was farmed out at age seven to live and work on the Carl Holm ranch because it meant one less mouth to feed at home.’ That’s what I mean by touching.
– William
“Bill” T.  Lyons, editor, The Lyon’s Tale

“I read MONTANA MEMOIR in a single sitting because I couldn’t put it down. Bill McGee’s firsthand account brought to such vivid life a world I had heard of, but had never experienced. Thank you for writing this book.”
– J. H., a “city boy”

“MONTANA MEMOIR will make everyone want to be a cowboy.”
– Murray Olderman, nationally syndicated columnist and sportswriter

“This poignant memoir – written by my father, a genuine Montana cowboy – is a treasure. As I read the book, I could hear his deep voice reading aloud to me.”
– K. McGee

“I married into the Montana Lyon family and therefore am familiar with the chapter on Frederick A. Lyon, who settled in Forest Grove, Montana, in 1882. Bill McGee’s prose brought the Lyon ranch to life.”
– J. Nichols
“I offer my admiration to the 90-plus year old author for writing ‘one more book’ and sharing his wonderful coming-of-age experiences in Depression-era Montana … stories that might have stayed in his mind and never been told. What a legacy for all to enjoy.”
– S. M.