Veterans Day book launch party for ‘The Sage of Smartsville’ |

Veterans Day book launch party for ‘The Sage of Smartsville’

This Veterans Day (Tuesday) the people of Smartsville will celebrate not only the veterans of the armed services but also the release of a long-awaited new book by George Rigby, one of their own native sons and the so-called “Sage of Smartsville.”

From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Smartsville, co-editors Lane Parker and Kathleen Smith will host a book launch of their newly-released volume, The Sage of Smartsville: The Collected Stories of George Rigby. The event will include a community potluck picnic, live music, readings from the book, a Q&A session with the book editors and publisher, and a guided walking tour of downtown Smartsville.

“They call it Veterans Day now, but to me,” writes Rigby in a story from the new book, “it will always be Armistice Day.” In “Armistice Day,” Rigby, who died in 1992, recounts Armistice Day in Smartsville, the day commemorating the end of World War I in 1918. Rigby was nine years old at the time. He later became a veteran himself, serving in Europe in World War II.

“I think George’s story about Armistice Day is a good illustration of why these stories are important,” says co-editor Kathleen Smith. “It tells us what the first Armistice day was like in Smartsville, and how the local people felt about it, their optimism about the end of ‘the war to end all wars’ and about how in retrospect things didn’t turn out like they thought they would.”

Smith notes that the event will be held on the grounds of the historic Catholic Church, beneath a redwood tree planted in 1918 as a memorial to Smartsville’s only casualty of World War I.

Lane Parker, co-editor with Smith, sees the event as appropriate and meaningful. “There’s no better way to launch this book of Rigby’s writings,” says Parker, “than to have this party on a day and in a place that meant so much to George Rigby.”

Everyone interested in the history of Smartsville, in the stories of George Rigby, in honoring America’s veterans, or in a good old-fashioned community potluck picnic is invited to attend the book launch party for The Sage of Smartsville.

The book is available for sale on the day of the event or through the publisher, Comstock Bonanza Press, at

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