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Book tells stories of Gainesville High School
Sammy Smith
Sammy Smith

Book signing

When: 8-11 a.m. Saturday

Where: Longstreet Cafe, 1043 Riverside Terrace, Gainesville

“The Ghosts of Bobby Gruhn Field” is a “nostalgic collection” of stories connected to City Park and Bobby Gruhn Field, Sammy Smith, the book’s editor and a Gainesville Board of Education member, said Thursday.

The stories are about “the folks on whose shoulders we stand today,” Smith said. “One should never, ever, forget those shoulders.”

Smith will be at the Longstreet Cafe, 1043 Riverside Terrace in Gainesville, from 8-11 a.m. Saturday for a book signing. The book has been out for one week, he said. It is a “limited edition,” but Smith wouldn’t say how many copies were printed. The cost is $20.

“I had plenty of help compiling, writing and editing the stories,” Smith said.

He pointed to the acknowledgements, which lists 10 names, including former Times Editor Johnny Vardeman and former Sports Editor Phil Jackson.

Smith said the book was written to help celebrate Gainesville High School’s 125th anniversary. He said the Gainesville school district was started in 1892 with only the high school grades.

Smith noted that each chapter of the book is about someone who is dead — hence the ghosts of the book’s title.

Smith, a 1970 Gainesville High School graduate, has been on the school board since 2008.

His company, Rainmaker & Associates, published the book. He said it is the third book his company has published.

It produced “50 years of Cheers and Jeers,” a collection from Jackson during his time as sports editor.

More stories are a near certainty. Smith said, “Plans are in place for at least volume 2 — at least.” He noted the acknowledgements for the book are “soliciting story lines for a subsequent volume” but said no timeframe for another collection has been set.

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