“By His Own Blood”
Texas Tech alumnus unveils story of his father’s tragic death.
by Norman Martin
A California-based alumnus from Texas Tech’s Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics (AAEC) has authored his first book–“By His Own Blood.” The work by John Montandon is an account of his father’s horrific death and the author’s search for answers and healing.
In Montandon’s account, his father Doc Montandon, a hard-working and religious Texas farmer, was transfused with tainted HIV blood during exploratory surgery. To make matters worse, his father was not apprised of his condition.
“I felt other people needed to learn about what can happen to anybody. I want readers to be aware of what could happen to them or their family,” Montandon said. “I also wrote the book because I wanted to explain how the entire ordeal took me from having old prejudices when I was raised in West Texas in the ’50s and ’60s to overcoming those prejudices.”
At that time in the late ’80s, most people were frightened and uncertain about HIV and AIDS. To even talk about AIDS made people uneasy. And the social stigma attached to the disease was devastating. The family was made aware that Doc had AIDS only six weeks before he died at age 81.
The book, which was named the winner in nonfiction narrative by the International Book Awards and also received an honorable mention in both the Los Angeles and New York Book Festivals earlier this year, begins as a story of Montandon’s growing up on their small farm and the positive influence his father had in shaping his son’s life.
“My father was a very kind man,” Montandon said. “He believed in his faith, and a lot of what I talk about [in the book] is how that brought him to understand himself better. He was very well-versed in the Bible and lived the way he believed was right.”
Montandon, 66, received his bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from Texas Tech and Master of Business Administration from California’s Pepperdine University. Montandon went on to become president and publisher of Farm Press Publications. In 1996, after 21 years with the company, he and business partner Scott Smith launched Multi Ag Media, a diversified company with interests in print, broadcast and database management.
Rockford Brownstone Publishing, located in Hermosa Beach, Calif., is the book’s publisher. Company officials note that the firm is dedicated to developing and promoting self-published books, e-books and audiobooks.
About the Author
John Montandon is the former president of Farm Press Publications and co-founder of Multi Ag Media, LLC.
Norman Martin is Director of Communications & Marketing for the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at Texas Tech University.