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‘He was a great ambassador’: Mick Montgomery, staple of Dayton music scene, dies at 71

Published: Saturday, January 13, 2018 @ 4:58 PM

Longtime staple of Dayton music scene Mick Montgomery dies

Mick Montgomery — a longtime staple of the Dayton music scene and former owner of the Canal Street Tavern — died Saturday morning of natural causes at Kettering Medical Center. He was 71.

SUMMER OF LOVE: Mick Montgomery: Never say he was a ‘hippie’ at heart

Montgomery’s 225-seat venue opened in late 1981 and hosted everything from folk, blues and country rock to bluegrass, indie rock and punk. Canal Street also drew well known acts, such as Mary Chapin Carpenter, Los Lobos, The Del McCoury Band, Leo Kottke and Bela Fleck & the Flecktones.

Dayton commissioners in 2014 named a portion of East First Street from North Patterson Boulevard to Sears Street as “Mick Montgomery Way, near his business at 308 E. First St. 

MORE: Street named for local music icon to be dedicated

“He still, even last Saturday, said, ‘man, can you believe my name is on a street sign?’” said Shelly Hulce, a friend who organized a gathering for Montgomery a week before his death. “When he was going home, when the guys were getting him back in the car Saturday night, he said, ‘I’m going to be on a cloud for days.’”

“He was a great ambassador,” she said. “Way before the internet or MTV, he was giving us a glimpse of what was happening out in the world.”

The final show under the Canal Street Tavern name was in November 2013 after Montgomery sold the venue in 2012. Montgomery was contracted to stay on as the club’s bookkeeper, but after health issues and squabbles with the new owners, he decided to leave and take the tavern’s name with him.

More than 400 local music lovers turned out for the final show under the Canal Street Tavern name. 

“People usually only get together like this when somebody dies so I was glad I was out of the hospital in time to get out for both shows,” Montgomery said at the time. “I’ve seen so many people I haven’t seen in years. It’s been amazing and a little overwhelming.”

MORE: Canal Street Tavern fans say goodbye to venerable venue

Michael “Mick” Montgomery graduated from Fairview High School in 1964 — a diploma that came despite getting in trouble for having long hair. It was around this time he first heard the word “hippie.”

“It was the worst, dirtiest name you could think of,” Montgomery told the Dayton Daily News in 2007. “I was not a pacifist. I ended up getting in quite a few fights about being called a hippie.” 

Married with an infant, Montgomery was rejected by the draft board during the Vietnam War. He formed an electric band called Tonto’s Headband and gained a following among University of Dayton students. The band rehearsed at the East Dayton commune house where Montgomery lived. 

He crossed the country for San Francisco in an Opal station wagon with five others in 1967. Again, the long hair caused problems — this time, with police in Oklahoma. “They said we couldn’t go before the justice of the peace until we looked like Americans, so we got some drunk in the jail to cut our hair,” Montgomery later recalled. Once in California, he found “a big, three-story mansion that was just the cliche of the hippie commune house.” 

He moved to Los Angeles in 1968 after being robbed at gunpoint for the second time. 

“The Summer of Love was truly a remarkable experience,” he said. “Music and art and a lot of the cultural things were so intertwined. … There were so many things happening that made people feel like the world was becoming a better place.” 

“We had the thing of being invincible and immortal, and we got away with it for a few years. Then they shot a few kids at Kent State and a few demonstrators in L.A. The powers-that-be reasserted control,” he said. “The old rubber band stretches in one direction and then another. Maybe it’s time for it to stretch in the other direction and decide we’re not going to live in fear.” 

Montgomery’s family said a Hootenanny will be held for him at a later date.

Tom Beyerlein and Don Thrasher contributed to this story.

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Spring is back for the weekend; Lyrid Meteor Shower peaks overnight

Published: Saturday, April 21, 2018 @ 6:38 AM
Updated: Saturday, April 21, 2018 @ 2:00 PM

The chance for rain returns early next week.

Filtered sunshine, but milder for the afternoon, Storm Center 7 Meteorologist McCall Vrydaghs said. Temperatures approach 60 degrees, which is closer to normal.


  • Clouds may keep us from seeing Lyrid Meteor shower tonight
  • A quiet day Sunday 
  • Chance for rain Monday - Wednesday 

>> Live Doppler 7 Interactive Radar


Tonight: Partly to mostly cloudy skies are expected this evening and overnight tonight. Temperatures will drop to near 40 degrees. Because of the few clouds sticking around, it may be difficult to see the Lyrid Meteor shower overnight and early Sunday, but with a few breaks you may be able to see some.

Sunday: We’ll see a little bit more sunshine on Sunday, but once again passing clouds and filtered sun is expected, highs in the middle 60s.

>> 5-Day Forecast

Monday: A dry start is expected, but rain is expected to move in later in the afternoon and the evening. Highs will be in the middle 60s.

Tuesday: We will see mostly cloudy skies with a chance for showers, highs will drop back into the upper 50s.

>> County-by-County Weather

Wednesday: A few lingering showers are expected for the first part of Wednesday, highs will be near 60 degrees.

Thursday: Should be a dry day with partly sunny skies and highs near 60 degrees.

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Casa del Sazón open for business despite fire 

Published: Saturday, April 21, 2018 @ 1:32 PM

Tex-Mex restaurant Casa del Sazón notified its patrons via their Facebook page they have resumed normal operations after a fire was put on the premises Friday evening.

The fire department was dispatched at approximately 8:30 p.m., after a cigarette was thrown on mulch outside the building. 

LOCAL: Woman killed, 2 infants and man critically injured in buggy crash 

Restaurant manager Armando Soto said no one was hurt, and the only damage caused was to the sidewalk next to the mulch. 

"Thankfully we caught it in time and it only damaged the sidewalk," said Soto. 

"The fire department came quickly and everything is OK,” Soto said. 

The restaurant resumed normal business hours this afternoon.

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University of Dayton and Deca High students help clean up Five Oaks

Published: Saturday, April 21, 2018 @ 3:23 PM

University of Dayton and Deca High School students joined together today for the annual Five Oaks neighborhood cleanup in recognition of Earth Day weekend. 

Located on the UD campus, Deca High is a preparatory school dedicated to helping students achieve their goal of graduating college. 

Bill Marvin, presdient of the Five Oaks Neighborhood Association and UD philosophy professor, said approximately 80 to 100 students came out to help clean up the neighborhood, around 20 of them Deca students. 

"Five Oaks is one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the city," Marvin said. "A lot of good people come together and it's really good for the community." 

RELATED: Volunteers help at Five Rivers MetroParks 31 annual Adopt-a-Park

Members of the community also participate, helping the students with trash pickup, weed pulling, and tree plantings. 

"The more we take care of our common space, the better it is for everybody because we are all in this together, " said Marvin. 

Dona, a junior at Deca, sees the cleanup as an opportunity for herself and her classmates to come together and do something that benefits their community. 

"We don't have to come here, said Dona. "But we are tired of seeing trash everywhere and the neighborhood looking bad. We came here for our younger kids so we could show them that we can do things together that don't just benefit us." 

Cleanup efforts will continue April 22.

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Volunteers help at Five Rivers MetroParks 31 annual Adopt-a-Park

Published: Saturday, April 21, 2018 @ 4:23 PM

Five Rivers MetroParks held its 31 annual Adopt-a-Park cleanup event Saturday in honor of Earth Day.

Volunteers of all ages helped remove trash, plant trees, repair trails, and prepare flower beds at more than 2 dozen sites. 

Volunteers received a free lunch at Riverscape and a T-shirt for their efforts. 

"We see families, individuals, church groups, students and children participate in Adopt-a-Park,” said Kevin Kepler, volunteer services manager for Five Rivers. 

“The community really comes out in full force, which is great because all this important work couldn't be accomplished without our dedicated volunteers. It's the perfect occasion to celebrate Earth Day with your fellow Daytonians,” Kepler said. 

RELATED: University of Dayton and Deca Prep High School students clean up Five Oaks

Last year, more than 1,800 volunteers removed 65,000 pounds of trash, 32 miles of river ways were cleaned and more than 15 acres of invasive plants were removed, according to a press release. 

"I think the success of this event reflects the community's support of MetroParks' mission to protect the region's natural heritage," said Kepler. 

Adopt-a-Park is sponsored by Vectren and Barrett Paving Materials, Inc. 

To find out more about Five Rivers MetroParks, log on to or call 937-275-PARK (7275).

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