God Willing and the River Don't Rise
James J. Simon lived an incredible life marked by stories told around the fire, floating the Missouri River, and shared moments with grandchildren. I'm fortunate enough to have been one of those grandchildren. My father and aunt had obtained some of my grandfather's stories to be compiled into a family book—memories preserved to be told and re-told again. James Simon was born into 'The Greatest Generation,' leading a life that saw World War II, great technological advances, and a changing landscape in his home, Montana. The book follows his life from a young boy homesteading the Missouri Breaks to a father of 8 children working on the Great Northern Railway.
Photographs my grandfather collected over the years proved to be a daunting and expansive collection. However, they displayed a life long lost from today's contemporary setting. Along with the stories, we felt a sense of stewardship in archiving and sharing these photos.
Raw, gripping accounts.
James Simon never finished High School. In spite of this fact and the grammatical errors that appear throughout the book, the stories read like he told them. His strong voice is the commanding presence that carries the book, so we created a simple design that could compliment the stories, and was characteristic of his era.
A preservation for the future family.
My grandfather wished for his stories to be preserved and shared with the future generations of the Simon family. The book is a historical account of lives lived before us, a resource of stories we Simons love to tell, and an homage to a man we all loved dearly.
A Proud Moment
"Somewhere in Dad's early life, he picked up several sayings that demonstrated the steadfast nature and determination required at that time. Among these was, 'God willing and the river don't rise.'"—Stephen A. Simon.
This book design was a private family project, and is not available for purchase.