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Peter Mallory's Blog

Grasping the Shadow

20 December 2014

A not very well known story about George and Stan Pocock . . .

In 1916, World War I had been raging in Europe for two years, and the United States was poised to join in. Rowing at the University of Washington and everywhere else had been suspended. In their shop near the UW campus, there were no shells for George and Dick Pocock to build. The brothers found themselves in a desperate situation.

At the same time, William E. Boeing was establishing a company in Seattle to build military airplanes and needed help with seaplane pontoons.


17 December 2014

Stan Pocock 1923 - 2014


9 December 2014

My father and my uncle and pretty much all of their friends had been Naval Officers during World War II. Lots of salty language. I have lived my life in summer camp cabins, prep school and college dorms and locker rooms. All male bastions. Lots more salty language. So what do you do when you write a memoir and you want to recreate the atmosphere . . . but you want to keep it as clean as possible as well? You choose your words very carefully. Not always an easy proposition, as I have learned over the last quarter of my life.

The Reviews are Coming In!

4 December 2014

Recently posted by Göran R. Buckhorn on his blog: Hear the Boat Sing:

I’m sure most of you already know that the name of this peerless award-winning website comes from Steve Fairbairn’s The Oarsman’s Song:

All through the swing he hears the boat sing
As she glides on her flying track,
And he gathers aft to strike the craft
With a ringing bell-note crack.

No Animals Were Harmed in the Writingof This Book

1 December 2014

No animals were harmed in the writing of this book!

. . . but you will find a story about a wise old orange tabby named Tom, a scary moment with a startled goose, and a couple of photos showing a scruffy, fuzzy, cockapoo puppy named Jayvee.


29 November 2014


In the United States, Black Friday, the traditional beginning of the Christmas shopping season, has come and gone, and the introductory 50%-off sale price for the complete works of the incomparable Steve Fairbairn is about to expire. Don’t delay. Visit Remember, it is my personal gift to you. I have donated all the proceeds.

While you’re there, I have another holiday suggestion, another of my donations:

But Wait! There's More!

13 November 2014

On Rowing by Steve Fairbairn,
with a new introduction and notes by Peter Mallory

Why Peter Mallory? Why me? Why did I spend endless hours bringing Steve’s words back to life? I have always made every effort to give back to the rowing community that has been my adopted family all my life, and I am absolutely thrilled to introduce Steve to the rowers of a new century. I hope that passion comes through.

But wait! There’s more!

Where Have You Been, Peter?

11 November 2014

"Where have you been, Peter?" I've heard that a lot recently.

The reason that my blog has been largely silent these last several months is that I have been spending a great deal of my time in the close company of a famous old rowing coach, a coach both beloved and reviled in his time to an extent almost unimaginable today.

Of course I am speaking of Steve Fairbairn, and I must confess to you that he is a relatively new acquaintance of mine.

Introducing my Good Friend, Daniel James Brown

30 October 2014

On 12 October of this year at the One Book One City event in Beverly Hills, California, I had the distinct honor of introducing my very good friend, Daniel James Brown. Here is what I said:

You may not be aware that The Boys in the Boat is Daniel James Brown’s third published book of narrative nonfiction. He has a bachelor’s degree from Cal and a master’s from UCLA. He has taught writing at San Jose State and Stanford. This overnight sensation has actually been working at his craft for many years now.

An 1848 Rowing Portrait as Art as Well as History

30 October 2014

[Another blog which relies heavily on images, sadly missing from this archive. If this subject really interests you, contact me.]

The following is a presentation I made a year ago to the Rowing History Forum at the River & Rowing Museum in everyone’s favorite rowing town in the world, Henley-on-Thames in England. It was very well received, and I think that all of you will also enjoy it.