Honrando ‘Mando’ Montaño

By Maia Larson
Associate Editor, Pegasus Books

I wanted to share my favorite memory of Mando — I worked with him in the Scarlet and Black at Grinnell College my senior year (I was the copy editor, he was the news editor) and we often were the last ones in the office (along with the editor-in-chief) as we tried to put the paper to bed. This would often be around 4 or 5 a.m. on a Friday morning, and though I planned my schedule so that I had the mornings to sleep, Mando obviously packed his schedule as full as possible and had class in the morning. While I was always bitching about how tired I was and whining about how I wanted it to be done, Mando was always, always positive and excited about something.He’d play pop music (and some strange music – Muskrat Love was a favorite of ours, he’d be Muskrat Susie and I’d be Muskrat Sam, he’s still in my phone as Muskrat Luv) to keep us motivated and do wild dances, etc. Anyway, on the morning of Kate and William’s wedding, I was hoping that the paper would keep me up long enough to segue seamlessly into an early morning viewing, but we ended about an hour earlier than when I was meeting up with my friends to watch (I know, I know – I just love royalty!!). Being me, I whined about it, saying that I knew that if I went back to my room to wait I would just fall asleep and miss the wedding, so Mando took it upon himself to be my Official Entertainer for the hour that I wanted to stay awake – even though he had class in a few hours and could have gone home to sleep. He insisted, so he came back to my room with me and decided that the best way to occupy our time was to watch Princess Diana’s entire wedding on YouTube – a four part, 45 minute commitment. We turned off the sound and did commentary ourselves, and damn if Mando wasn’t funny enough to make the entire 45 minutes interesting. For the last fifteen minutes, he made me sit still while he ran around my room picking out a suitable “viewing outfit” – tiara, comfortable pajamas, glitter, etc. When the time was finally up, he went home to sleep, and I made it to my wedding watching party. I had a lot of great times with Mando, but for some reason that one really sticks out. He was a great, great friend.

I appreciate that you’re writing a column about him, he deserves the best.
Maia Larson
Associate Editor
Pegasus Books
80 Broad Street
5th Floor
New York, NY 10004

– 30 –

By Patti Weintraub

Mando and I met in middle school but our friendship didnt really take off until Bebe Santa-Wood came to town in 7th grade. We were all in the IB program. Mando was obsessed with pop culture, journalism and hamburgers. In High School when we were aloud to go on “solo” runs for cross country there were many times when he and I would “run” to wendys for frosties, frys, and burgers. Or run to chipoltle where he would order in spanish and the little old ladies who worked behind the counter would be so charmed by him they tended to give him all his food for free. He could charm anyone not matter the age, sex, or ethnic background. As soon as he smiled and belted out a laugh you couldnt find a single reason to dislike him. He had this laugh that you could hear from the next room, loud snorting usually fallowed by snot or spit, which made him and everyone else laugh harder. Mando and Bebe were the dream team on the school news paper the Lever. I could not imagine working on the newspaper with out them, lever late nights meant Mando was going to be strung out on diet coke and french frys belting George Michael songs and finding disturbing photos of Ted Haggard to post around the room, or kitten photos. Its hard to come up with just one story, there are so many Mando stories, but not all of them are appropriate for the public…
I have attached photos, I worked as the photo editor of the school news paper and used to take way to many photos so if you want more let me know. The photos were taken in high school ranging from freshmen to senior year.

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