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Sunday, December 17, 2006

"Firefighting in Roanoke" - The book signing

Yesterday was the first book signing. I did not have a clue what to expect, but it went very well. Perry Franks, Jerry's brother, set up the event at the Roanoke Antique Mall. We had the good fortune of the article in the paper mentioning the event. I showed up a little early and was pleasantly surprised to find that the Rocky Mount Fire Department had sent up their 1929 Seagrave. That truck is in excellent condition. I arrived around 1230 and there were already people waiting for a signed copy. Over the course of the next several hours I had the pleasure of talking to many relatives of retired firefighters. Several of which were related to firefighters from the teens. That was very interesting. Many of the names mentioned, I had heard of. I ended up searching the book many times to see if the relatives were in the book. The event was really fun. I met the grandson of Stephen C. Snead, the daughter of Bobby Geary, Hugh Waid - a firefighter who left to go to Fairfax around 1965 after working here 10 years, a relative of Alfred and Ott Britt, several retired firefighters as well.
I had a couple people ask about Maurice Wiseman. That was really neat. Unfortunately, I never met him, so I could only offer a little bit of information on him. I did get to meat Earl, one of his brothers. He is pictured in the picture above with his wife, both in blue jackets. They were very interested in the book and we talked about Maurice for a while.
The Chief of the Rocky Mount Fire Department brought their 1929 Seagrave Engine to show for the event. Thank you for helping out and showing off the truck.
Thanks for Perry Franks for taking the pictures


Anonymous said...

Rhett you did a great job on the book. I finished reading it today You have put Roanoke fire department in the spot light more in the last few year's then it had in the last 100 years.Keep up the good work. Engine's 3 and 4 and medic's 3 and 4 had dinner last night at station 7 to wish Todd Reighley a safe trip to Irag. All the men were talking about your book, and the idea came up of doing a book of all the good stories that have been told in the fire houses for years.Maybe that could be a future book? Rhett i say again a job well done!
Todd Stone

Anonymous said...

Thanks for a successful book signing and sales!

Great book!

Perry Franks
Collector's Companion
Roanoke Antique Mall

FireFleitz said...

Thanks for the kind words Todd. I will have to post something on Todd Reighley's leaving. As far as the book idea, I hear that more and more each day. We will have to see what we can come up with.

Parry, thanks for your generosity.

Anonymous said...

I want to publicly thank Rhett Fleitz for making my father's dream a reality. Sorting through a tremendouse amount of records and pictures and compiling them into a book was a huge task and a labor of love. The book is fabulous!
With gratitude,
Teresa Wiseman Lotts