JOHN KETCHUM, LOCAL AUTHOR Guest Speaker at the SRACC Oct. 17 General Meeting (Posted by Ginger Smith)

John Ketchum






Dear SRACC Member,

This is a reminder about our next GENERAL MEETING:
12 noon
Lunch will be available to purchase from a limited menu choice.



Our speaker this month will be JOHN KETCHUM, LOCAL AUTHOR.

John was born into a show business family and because of that became an actor and dancer in summer stock theaters. For a while he played drums with Shirley and the Dukes.

He thought the military might be more interesting and in 1952 found himself a machine gunner with the old water cooled machine gun. He served in every enlisted position possible until going to OCS at Fort Benning, GA and gaining his commission.

While in the Army Reserves he was a full time police officer in the Miami area and because of that, was transferred from the Infantry to the Military Police. He bootstrapped for his Bachelor degree in Law Enforcement and Corrections and his Masters in Psychology.

He served a tour in Vietnam with the First Infantry Division, (The Big Red One) and was awarded a Soldier’s Medal, two Bronze stars, five Army Commendation Medals with “V” device and a Purple Heart. He finished his career as Lieutenant Colonel assigned to CINCPAC.

Back in civilian life, he founded the largest private investigative/polygraph agency in the state of Washington. Before selling the company, he conducted or supervised 3000 investigations and performed 6000 polygraphs. John enjoys writing and published his eighth novel in the John Bodie detective series and two in the Aubrey Finley war in America series. John is presently working on his eleventh novel (the second one that takes place in Izard County).

He and his wife Donnie live in Horseshoe Bend.

Our mailing address is:
Spring River Area Chamber Of Commerce
2423F Highway 62/412
Highland, AR 72542

We look forward to seeing everyone there. Bring a guest!

Ginger Smith joined OGTC in 2014 as a volunteer, and has lived in this area since 1972 when she moved to be near her parents, the late Doss and Vivian Burgess. Her late father was Independence County Appraiser and any time family, whether kids or grand kids, came to visit for even a short time, he would take them to A.D. Hill’s grocery store, and get them a soda pop and candy bar, see the talking bird there, and end up “checking out the great White River.” All the kids and grands have played on the banks there, picnicked, and played on the old train. Ginger is adamant, since she moved to Batesville, there is just no other place to raise a family. Her love for the area and desire to help promote it in her professional capacity led her to seek volunteering, and Charlie Morris, whom she met when she was a typesetter at the Daily Guard Newspaper, put her in touch with Cathy Drew, Executor Director of OGTC. She has been on board since then and says she has loved everything she has done and is proud to represent North Central Arkansas.
The last 20 years of her employment she worked for the late County Judge David Wyatt, West Elementary School Principal Jerry Harris, and Circuit Clerk Claudia Nobles and Judge John Kemp. At the Guard Office she says she made friends for a life time, and then the West Elementary teachers, students, and their families grew close to her forever. Her last job she was hired in a newly created position to collect felony fines and restitution. She was so proud that after three years she more than tripled the annual revenues that she retired! Her part-time retirement job was with the ortho docs, Drs. Allen and Angel where she also met many people from all over the area, and made another set of new friends! She is a published writer and has also written feature articles for the Batesville Guard TV Guide and the Arkansas Democrat Gazette.
She has a daughter, Misty Long Sparks, son-in-law Dloyd Sparks, and three grands, Dalton Lee, Victoria Lynn and Anna Rose, who own her heart, and three more heartbeat grands, Nico and Corbin of Washington, and a late granddaughter, Ginger Savannah. Her late husband, Ken Smith, was the Batesville Postmaster.
Totally retired now, Ginger offers her time and writing abilities to OGTC as she travels around the state and visits with so many nice folks, writes reviews, and tries to be a worthy representative for Ozark Gateway Tourism. She is a people person who really cares for all God has blessed us with in our beautiful state of Arkansas in the United States of America.