I'd like to begin with a disclosure: I was not an official student of David Montgomery. By “official,” I mean to signal the parochial ways in which institutions recognize and quantify mentorship. I came to Yale University too late to have the opportunity to work with him in any formal way; I entered the combined doctoral program in African American studies and American studies there in the fall of 2002, long after David had retired. While this fact presented a major obstacle to those of my graduate colleagues who hoped to work with him, it was only a minor disadvantage for me because David and I were already connected through a genealogy of mentoring; my college mentor was Peter Rachleff, one of David's Pitt students, and he made sure that each of us knew of the other upon my arrival in New Haven. What I didn't know of David—and there was a lot—I would soon learn through my numerous engagements with him and his work.