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Author V.J. Smith to tell about “Richest Man in Town” at Cultural Heritage Center

Aaron “Marty” Martinson was not a billionaire, but that’s what author V.J. Smith called Marty in his best-selling book, “The Richest Man in Town.”

Smith will tell about the life lessons Marty taught him and the journey of writing a best-selling book at 7 p.m. CST on Monday, Feb. 11, at the Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre.

“My book is about a ‘little guy’ who ran a cash register at Wal-Mart who completely changed my life,” Smith said.

Smith was waiting to go through the check-out line at the Brookings Wal-Mart when he noticed that the elderly cashier, Marty, made customers feel special. People would stand eight-deep in Marty’s line just to be waited on by him. A friendship developed between the two men. Smith learned about Marty’s life and lessons in how to live a more fulfilling life.

The free program is sponsored by the South Dakota Historical Society Foundation as part of the History and Heritage Book Club. Everyone is welcome to attend.

“Marty changed Smith’s life. Hearing Smith or reading ‘The Richest Man in Town’ could change your life, too,” said foundation President Catherine Forsch.

Smith is former executive director of the South Dakota State University Alumni Association. He has been a professional speaker for more than two decades, giving presentations to businesses, organizations and schools throughout the country. He represents District 7 in the South Dakota Legislature.

“The Richest Man in Town” is available at the Heritage Stores at the Cultural Heritage Center and the Capitol.

Please call 605-773-6006 for more information about the program.

About the South Dakota State Historical Society
The South Dakota State Historical Society is a division of the Department of Education. The State Historical Society, an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, is headquartered at the South Dakota Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre. The center houses the society’s world-class museum, the archives, and the historic preservation, publishing and administrative/development offices. Call 605-773-3458 or visit for more information. The society also has an archaeology office in Rapid City; call 605-394-1936 for more information.

About the South Dakota Historical Society Foundation
The South Dakota Historical Society Foundation is a private charitable nonprofit that seeks funding to assist the South Dakota State Historical Society in programming and projects to preserve South Dakota’s history and heritage for future generations.

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