All But the Waltz: Lewistown City Cemetery

Grammy told us stories. She described the rural lane of her childhood, near Philadelphia, and the millpond where she and her brother, Elias, had tormented the miller by throwing stones in the millrace until he rushed out, screaming B’ys! B’ys! No stones….and how Elias came west in hopes that the thin air would cure his tuberculosis, and how he herded sheep for his uncle Abraham in the rain. Elias’s was the first grave, Grammy said, in the Lewistown cemetery. (68)

Blew, Mary Clearman. All But the Waltz: Essays on a Montana Family. New York: Viking Press, 1991.

About the Book

All But the Waltz

First published in 1991, All But the Waltz: A Memoir of Five Generations in the Life of a Montana Family is comprised of 11 virtuosic essays about hardship, death and survival on the rugged plains of central Montana.

While the settings in All But the Waltz: A Memoir of Five Generations in the Life of a Montana Family clearly reference actual locales, it is understood that the book—including its places—is ultimately the product of the author’s imagination. The intent of this literary map is to enrich the reading experience by interpreting those places, not to render them literally or definitively.

About the Author

Mary Clearman Blew

Mary Clearman Blew grew up on the site of her great-grandfather’s 1882 homestead, along the headwaters of the Judith River north of Lewistown, Montana. She holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Missouri and is the recipient of numerous awards for her essays, memoirs, short stories and novel—including