Principal’S Retirement Party A Lot Of Fun


Last Saturday, I had the good fortune to provide entertainment for principal John Ketchem’s retirement party. Yep, after 13 years of manning the ship at Tonto Basin School, Mr. Ketchem is finally hanging up his paddle (and I don’t mean oar) at the end of this school year.

The western goodbye party at Bill and Lori Brown’s ranch was attended by over 100 well-wishers of all ages. Family, friends, former and current teachers and staff gathered on a sunny and pleasant afternoon and evening to pay tribute to “Mr. Ketchem,” sharing their memories of their good friend and of the man who mentored so many.

One teacher recalled their early days together and the gut-wrenching tension she felt as she saw “John walk into the room with his huge paddle,” ready to mete out the swatting discipline that was to follow her student’s misbehavior. (That’s the way things were handled in those days.)

A friend remembered John’s love of hunting and two students shared that it wasn’t John’s paddle on the wall that kept them in line, it was “the look in his eye” that made them toe the line.

Perhaps the highlight of the retirement tribute was John’s wife Kathy’s (principal at Payson High School) sharing of how she and John first got together and the details of their first date. “A camping trip!” Kathy exclaimed. (Further details will be left to the reader’s imagination.)

In honor of Mr. Ketchem, this week’s music trivia question is: Can you name principal John Ketchem’s favorite song?

Is it A) “Any Man of Mine,” B) “The Man in the Mirror,” C) “I’m Just a Man,” or D) “I’m Your Handy Man”?

This Brad Paisley song was a No. 1 country music hit in June of 2008. It tells the tale of how men and women are wired differently and perceive the world in entirely different ways. The lyrics begin:

“When you see a deer, you see Bambi

And I see antlers up on the wall.

When you see a lake, you think picnics

And I see a large mouth up under that log.”

And ends with:

“These days there’s dudes getting facials,

Manicured, waxed and botoxed.

But with deep spray-on tans and creamy lotioney hands, you can’t grip a tackle box.

“My eyebrows ain’t plucked,

There’s a gun in my truck.”

Be the fourth caller this week and have the correct answer and you’ll win a Best of Brad Paisley CD, a 20-song collection of Paisley’s top hits over the past decade.

Now, let’s check out how we did with last week’s music trivia question: Can you name the artist of the 1962 chart-topping, instrumental version of “Stranger on the Shore?” Was it A) Mr. Acker Bilk, B) Mr. Big, C) Mr. Mister, or D) Mr. Bojangles?

The correct answer was Mr. Acker Bilk — who was born Bernard Stanley Bilk on Jan. 29, 1929 in Somerset, England. He later earned the nickname Acker from the Somerset slang for “friend” or “mate.”

Mr. Big was an early 1990s rock band from San Francisco which had the No. 1 hit “To Be With You” and Mr. Mister, the pop-rock band out of Los Angeles in the mid 1980s, had two chart-topping hits, “Broken Wings” and “Kyrie.”

Mr. Bojangles was a song first introduced in 1968 by Jerry Jeff Walker. In 1972, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band covered the song and turned it into a top 10 hit.

Congratulations to this past week’s music trivia winner, Ron Trainor, who won a $20 gift certificate to Tiny’s Family Restaurant, courtesy of owners Teresa and Chris Sellis.

A little about Ron: He was born in Globe and raised in Phoenix, where he became the third generation owner of a machine shop, which he still owns.

In the late 1980s, at Nifty Fifties dance club in Phoenix, Ron met Wendy. After enjoying dancing together there for several weeks, the two enjoyed their first date at the Point Resort restaurant. They continued dating and have now been married for 20 years. From the start, Ron and Wendy spent all of their summers in Star Valley, before deciding eight years ago to have their permanent residence in Payson.

Ron’s interests include traveling and entering his 1960 Impala in classic car shows across the western United States. He is a member of the Rim Country Classic Car Club. He also enjoys listening to ’50s and ’60s rock ’n’ roll and classic country music and lists his three favorite artists are Roy Orbison, Elvis Presley and the Beatles.

Two last things. If you would like to donate an item that I can use as a prize (no matter how big or small) for this weekly music trivia contest, please call me. I would really appreciate it and I know our readers would, too.

Also, I’ve posted some pictures of John Ketchem’s retirement party on my Web site. The food was great, the weather was perfect and it really was a fun time.

Best wishes, Principal Ketchem!

DJ Craig

Phone: 468-1482

Web site:


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