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James J Bug book signing

November 28, 2023 @ 11:30 am - 1:30 pm

|Recurring Event (See all)

One event on November 28, 2023 at 11:30 am

Five years ago, Gary Ridout and his grandchildren, Ava and Jonah, were building a sand castle on the beach. A large rhinoceros beetle washed up on the shore and the trio examined it

“He’s dead,” said Ava emphatically.

“Well, let’s lay him on the beach towel and finish the sand castle,” said Gary. A few minutes later they looked at the beetle. He was very much alive and cleaning himself. He spread his wings and flew away.

“That’s James J. Bug!” said Gary.

That beetle became the inspiration for Gary Ridout and his grandchildren to write the book, James J. Bug. Gary’s wife, Linda Ridout, who is an artist and co-owner of The Johnston County Arts Cooperative in Smithfield, created the illustrations and cover for the book.

Gary and his family will be a part of a double book signing in November.

On Saturday, November 11 from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm, all four family members will be signing books and talking about their work at The Story Keeper BookStore, 125 North Raiford Street in downtown Selma.

On Tuesday, November 28, from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm, Gary and his wife Linda will be at Linda’s Johnston County Arts Cooperative, the art studio that she co-owns with artist Michelle Fields-Laughinghouse. The studio is located at 619 South Third Street in Smithfield. Twins Ava and Jonah will not be present.

Gary Ridout is a retired educator, a contributing writer to The Smithfield Weekly Sun, and the author of two books. He is also the founder of Triangle East Writers (formerly the Johnston County Writers Group). Linda and Gary are both spotlight artists in the new book, Johnston County Creates: 50 Years of Creativity. Ava and Jonah Ridout live with their parents in Wilmington, North Carolina.

For more information, contact Gary Ridout at 919-915-1283.


November 28, 2023
11:30 am - 1:30 pm