Scott Montgomery

Profile Updated: October 17, 2019
Residing In: seattle, WA USA
Spouse/Partner: Marilyn
Web Site: Very soon
Occupation: Author, Affiliate Faculty
Children: Kyle - born 1988, currently applying to medical school

Cameron - born 1995, will start Santa More…Clara University this fall (2014)
Name your top five songs during high school.

Dazed and Confused
In a Gadda da Vida
Magic Bus
Fixing a Hole

Name your favorite teacher(s) at WJ.

Mr. Brawley (Chemistry)
Mr. Tippens (Problems of the 20th Century)

My Story:

After high school, fled the East Coast for the Heartland. Attended Knox College (Galesburg, Il) for undergraduate years, majoring in English, then went to Europe for a year with my then-girl friend, spending a good deal of time behind "the iron curtain" in Eastern Europe.

Returned home to Bethesda in 1974 to work for a year as a tree climber, before going to graduate school in geological sciences at Cornell University. Was placed in a fast-track PhD program, but left after 3 years with an M.S. due to my mother's terminal cancer.

When she died in 1978, I went to Japan for two years, studying the language and culture at a Franciscan missionary school in Roppongi, downtown Tokyo (I was not a Franciscan but was admitted, on the advice of a friend, by taking a language test). Traveled throughout the country, and got engaged to my Wife, Marilyn, in a cheap Ryokan (inn) in Nagasaki, luke-warm bathwater... Trained shotokan style karate at the headquarters dojo in Ebisu (Tokyo) for the whole two years, earning a black belt, several broken bones, a concussion, and bruises (in flesh and mind) that will likely never heal. Japanese karate is not like American karate.

After returning, I got married (wife, Marilyn) worked as a Japanese translator and, eventually, in the energy industry (geologist). Lived in Boston, Denver, then back to Boston again. After exploring various portions of the country, to decide where to settle and raise a family, we chose Seattle and moved here in 1986, where we've been ever since.

I began writing book reviews and essays in the late 80s, as well as scientific papers and reports, then moved on to books in the 1990s. In 2003, I joined the faculty at the University of Washington as an adjunct (note: "promoted" to affiliate faculty, which means I'm treated a bit better but at the same pay grade) and have taught in the international studies department--courses in energy, climate change, geopolitics, East Asia--and the honors program (lots of different courses, e.g. English as a Global Language, Science and Art, others). I guess I've written fifteen books now, including several textbooks (petroleum geology), with several others underway. Most have been scholarly, so didn't make much money.

The scholarly part's changed now, as of 2015. The remunerative part hasn't, however. Ah, well. We'll all be better appreciated when we're ashes and dust. One work, Shape of the New, did get a very nice review in the New York Times Book Review section, by Fareed Zakaria. He didn't invite me on his show, though, which would have been very nice. He probably saw a picture of me somewhere. I guess I don't blame him... I won't talk about my books here, as authors can be like academics when speaking about themselves--easy to get them talking, impossible to shut them up. I did publish a work on nuclear power and climate change in 2017 and have another coming out next year on energy (series of essays). Working on another about Darwin's impact on the modern world (he walks among us, shaking his head), and one under consideration about origins of the scientific revolution.

These days I also write a column on energy for a British journal Global Policy, published by Durham University and London School of Economics (Mick Jagger's alma mater). Some of my students (I assume, as I can't imagine anyone else doing it) put up a Wikipedia page with my name attached. The information on there astounded me when I read it, as it has many details I never talk about but must have at some point when in a lubricated or celestial state. I guess I need to shut up at this point.

Marilyn and I have two great sons, Kyle (31) and Cameron (23), who were both soccer players and top students in HS, making me feel I can't easily discuss my own WJ years. In fact, however, I did recently show my senior year grades to Cameron, who just laughed. Kyle's in med school, after deciding to make a life change. He's also engaged and, with his wife-to-be (Cassidy), wants a big family. I take this as direct frontal criticism on our having only two progeny. Cameron is now working for a software consulting firm in San Fran and will soon engaged himself to a rather striking young lady from Singapore (speaks 5 languages).

We also have an 8-year old rhodesian ridgeback (aka: lion hound), a beautiful and challenging 90-pound member of the family who, like us, is ageing fast.

We continue to love Seattle, and our big rambling 1917 house, for everything it offers. The city, like some others, is in an odd condition--many new buildings going up, all over, including a series of them for Amazon, representing billions in investor dollars, yet Seattle itself is starved for funds, as almost every new tax proposed has been turned down by voters. Our public services and infrastructure are in terrible shape. Not that I'm complaining, of course. And not that I think this is a unique circumstance. But when Marilyn and I spent a day in D.C. this past summer (2019), on our way to NY, we were amazed at the excellent condition of the roads, lights, much else.

At my (our) age, complaints tend to come most freely in the form of confessed medical ailments. Since our last reunion, I've added a proud number of scars to my aging carcass. Two back operations and a hip joint replacement helped here. My years of martial arts training are repaying me with arthritis, esp. in my left hand, which was broken three times in various tournaments (I'm left-handed, of course). I've been through PT (physical therapy--but then you all know what this is, I'm sure) several times and now go to the gym routinely (swimming and weights) to try and counter the deficits I've been facing. It's worked fairly well, but also tends to replace former ailments with new ones.

The 40th Reunion was a wonderful event in all ways, for which I offer deep appreciation to Ben, Dave, and Linda. The old WJ school is now unrecognizable, we all felt, being more of a small college campus than a high school, but perhaps all the better for that. A final wave of the hand to everyone with whom I had a chance to speak at the event (and everyone else, too). I plan on attending once again this October. Hope to take more time with old friends and associates. The 50th will assuredly be still a better time, as we've lost a significant number of people in just the past 5 years, a collective tragedy in any sense.

Hoping to shake hands and offer hugs to as many as possible at our 50th. It's a time in America and in the world when warmth and affections are deeply needed and appreciated.

School Story:

One of my better/worse memories is going to press (The Pitch), pasting everything up and having it ready to go, and then me spilling a cup of cocoa over the boards so that we had to do it all over again (Steffy Green, I'm sure, never went out with me because of that).

Scott's Latest Interactions

Scott Montgomery has a birthday today.
May 30, 2020 at 4:33 AM
Oct 17, 2019 at 6:25 PM
Scott Montgomery has a birthday today.
May 30, 2019 at 4:33 AM
Nov 03, 2018 at 1:57 PM

Hey Ben - Another happy B-day to you, and many more. Best to you and Deb and Alyssa.

Scott Montgomery has a birthday today.
May 30, 2018 at 4:33 AM
Scott Montgomery has a birthday today.
May 30, 2017 at 4:33 AM
Scott Montgomery has a birthday today.
May 30, 2016 at 4:33 AM
Scott Montgomery has a birthday today.
May 30, 2015 at 4:33 AM
Posted: Dec 24, 2016 at 9:35 AM
Kyle (top), Scott, and Cameron. Photo was taken in 2005 when Kyle was 16 and Cam was 9 (and Scott still had a few dark hairs in his mustache).