The Boys in the Boat: A Daughter Remembers

January 28, 2019 7PM

The critically acclaimed non-fiction novel The Boys in Boat, by Daniel James Brown, celebrates the 1936 U.S. men’s Olympic eight-oar rowing team – nine working class boys from the Pacific Northwest who stormed the rowing world, transformed the sport, and galvanized the attention of millions of Americans. Join us for an explanation of the book’s genesis and stories from the Judy Willman, the daughter of Joe Rantz, one of those working class boys who made history.

This presentation will begin with a little history on how the book was “born” and covers some of the process involved in its writing. Our speaker will take a brief biographical look at each of the boys and include both a reading from the book and film footage of the actual Olympic race taken from Leni Riefenstahl’s period documentary movie Olympia. Willman will then share what Joe Rantz was like as a father, touch on his later life, and probe the question of why the book has had such an impact on those who read it. A slideshow of historical pictures accompanies the talk.

Judy Rantz Willman is the daughter of Joe Rantz. She grew up in Lake Forest Park, Washington, and graduated from the University of Washington with a Bachelor of Science degree in Home Economics Education. She and her husband, Ray, live on five acres outside of Redmond accompanied by two horses and two cats. They have two adult children and four grandchildren.

Judy sings in the choir at Washington Cathedral in Redmond, Washington, and is a member of an adult drama group. She writes short stories and essays and has been published several times in national magazines. She also won awards in international writing competitions.She will happily autograph any books brought to the event by audience members.