Author to Speak at Jacksonport State Park Visitor Center
Carla Barringer Rabinowitz, a descendant of the some of the early settlers of Randolph County, will be reading from her new book, Borderers: Becoming Americans on the Southern Frontier, at 2:00 PM., Wednesday, July 24, at the Jacksonport State Park Visitor Center, 111 Avenue St., Jacksonport, Arkansas.
Borderers draws on the author’s seventeen years of research into original documents, court records, state and Federal archives, deeds, letters, and estate inventories to produce a richly detailed picture of four generations of her ancestors. More than a family history, it is a narrative of race, class, religion, and community in the early years of America, tracing the journeys of its characters from the Atlantic to the Pacific coast over the course of 150 years. There are wars, rebellions, lawsuits, and murders – Baptists, Quakers, Methodists, and Freemasons – Patriots, Loyalists, corrupt officials, and Regulators – free people of color, Highland Scots, Cherokees, Choctaws, and more.
In the course of her research, Rabinowitz discovered a whole set of cousins she had known nothing about: the descendants of her great-great-grandfather, Arkansas Governor Thomas Stevenson Drew, and his enslaved mistress, his wife’s first cousin Martha Bettis. The author’s investigations led her to Jacksonport, where Martha, now a free woman, finally made enough money to buy and free her son, twenty years after she herself was freed. How did she do it? The variety of possible answers casts light on the bustling society of an early river town.
One reader described the book as “a beautifully crafted and riveting tale…a captivating story of how ordinary people, striving to survive and prosper in a young America, shaped the social and political evolution of their country. Rabinowitz is a masterful storyteller.”
Carla Rabinowitz has worked as a family mediator and as the executive director of an education-related non-profit in Worcester, Massachusetts, and is a sixteen-year member of the Athol-Royalston Regional School District Committee. She has previously written about the history of the Barringer Meteorite Crater in Arizona, and the ways in which parents raise successful learners. She lives in Royalston, Massachusetts, with her husband Phil Rabinowitz. They have two adult sons.
Copies of Borderers will be available for purchase or signing. Brief articles on many of the topics covered in the book can also be found on the author’s blog, at www.carlarabinowitz.com.
Cathy Drew is a lifelong resident of the region that she loves to promote. As a matter of fact, she was born in downtown Batesville in the late ’60s, which is in one of the eight counties she now enjoys encouraging people to visit.
Jeff Drew is her husband of almost 29 years. They have a son, Jonathon (Jon) Drew, his wife Devyn Stewart. Drew is also grandmother to Jon and Devyn’ s son, Jase Drew.
However, Drew can’t skip the other part of her family: the pets! Lady Bird (a stray dog welcomed into their home in June 2012) and of course, Howard – – a puppy compliments of Lady Bird shortly after arriving at the Drew home. They also have Kasha whom Drew inherited when her mother passed in 2016, and they adopted Bullet, a stray in November of 2016.
Drew, became associated with the Ozark Gateway Region in 1990 while working at the ad agency (The Media Market Inc.). The agency handled marketing for the regional association where she along with her co-workers produced an annual tabloid publication. She began work as the director of the Ozark Gateway Region In June 2000.
After Drew became director, she took the region to the next level by helping the tourism organization create a new website and moved it from the old newspaper paper tabloid publication to a color magazine format.
Over the years Drew has helped the organization meet new marketing goals, such as in- and out-of-state marketing, assuring that all 105,000 copies of their magazines are distributed each year.
Drew also helped the region create a heritage trail map that is still on posters in many establishments across the region and Arkansas. She oversaw development of a motorcycle route map that folds into a credit card format for riders, as well as those seeking scenic routes to enjoy the beautiful Ozark Mountains.
She has attended several AARP Shows across the U.S., representing Arkansas. She helped open a visitor center for the Ozark Gateway, allowing visitors to pick up information from across the entire state 24/7.
In 2016, she assisted creating the first Ozark Gateway Region Golf Classic and the tournament continues to grow each year, allowing the organization to grow its co-op program, helping each county have dedicated promotion. Drew stays busy at Ozark Gateway as the ad sales manager, magazine editor, day-to-day office operations, trade show representative, as well as magazine distribution representative all while making sure that the region is represented all over Arkansas and southern Missouri.
Drew has been featured in several local and statewide publications over the years as well as the 1997 cover of the Ozark Gateway Region tabloid along with her then 4-year-old son, Jon. She has received several awards such as the Batesville Rotarian of the Year in 2010 as well as a three-time Paul Harris Fellow.
She also has served as an Independence County election commissioner for several years and now serves as their co-election coordinator, helping with behind-the-scenes management of voting equipment, day-to-day election deadlines as well as poll worker training.
Drew serves on the Arkansas Travel Council Board of Directors, Ozark Foothills Film Fest Board of Directors, Batesville Rotary Club Past President and is the Rotary Clubs current publicity chair.
In March of 2018, Drew was honored with induction into the Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame for her many years of dedicated service to the tourism industry.