George Rigby recounts his childhood in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, weaving his family narrative together with historical events during and after the Gold Rush to create an intimate picture of small-town life in the land of rattlesnakes, poison oak and gold. Sitting on the side porch, the boy listened to the yarns of his elders. Rigby was already known as “The Sage of Smartsville” when he began, at the urging of his fellow townsfolk, to contribute articles to the Newsletter of the Mooney Flat Volunteer Fire Department. The number and variety of stories he wrote over the years amounts to a very large collection of lively and highly readable Californiana that begins with the discovery of gold at neighboring Roses Bar in 1849. Best-selling author Chris Enns calls it "a most entertaining and absorbing memoir," and retired Wells Fargo Bank Historian Dr. Robert J. Chandler recommends Rigby's book as "enjoyable fun."
312 pp. 2 maps; 100 illus, 119 biographies; bibliography, sources, notes; paperback