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Former Americus resident has book published

SIMONS ISLAND — Cal Duke, former Americus resident, has his first book out — Keep On Smilin’.

According to a press release on the book, Keep On Smilin’ is an inspirational memoir by Duke relating his stories about growing up in the South during the mid-1950s through the 1960s. Laced with humor and drama, the author covers his spirited high school and college days, his experiences as a teacher and coach, and his creation of an award-winning publishing firm at the age of 29. His thought-provoking ‘life lessons learned’ (in spite of trials and tribulations in the 1970s through 2017), are presented at the conclusion of each chapter.

The book contains stories about sports, music, entrepreneurship, travel, romance, and adventure, and contains 62 photos related to travel and family. Duke and his wife Patty live on Saint Simons Island. Cal Duke Publishing­­ Inc.  produced 541 full-color Chamber of Commerce publications for 68 communities in Georgia  and Alabama over a  41-year  stretch.

Duke was asked by the Americus Times-Recorder how long it took to write his book.

“It took over two years to pretty much write a ‘chronological order’ manuscript, followed by another year for character development,” he said. “I added historical sidebars of interest through research and interviews. Travel journals and diaries came in handy as did old annuals and prior articles I had written in the past. Wikipedia was helpful to substantiate some of the facts I remembered! And yes, several old photos plus some of my travel images were utilized.”

Having decades of experience in the magazine publishing world, Duke was asked how he found penning his own book as compared to publishing magazines about communities.

“In my opinion, the big difference in writing a book as compared to a magazine article is character development,” he said. “My wife Patty is an avid reader, so she helped guide me in that direction!”

Duke will be visiting Americus on the weekend of Feb. 17. A book-signing for his book is scheduled from 2-4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 17 at Sweet Georgia Baking Co., in downtown Americus. The event is open to the public, and Duke hopes to see a lot of familiar faces.