John W. Dennehy Blog

Saturday, January 27, 2018

A Tribute to Jack Ketchum

I was saddened by news this week of the passing of Jack Ketchum. He influenced my work and was approachable and easy to connect with on many levels.

We shared a table at a Mystery Dinner and took a haunted tour of the Stanley Hotel. He told me that Doctor Sleep was a good book, and mentioned that the trout was edible at dinner. When I mentioned Robert Bloch, he looked over at me with a twinkle in his eyes. Bob Bloch was a mentor figure to him, like he was to many of us. I bought him a glass of whiskey and he raised a toast to Bloch and said, "Thank you friend." I told him that we were having cocktails in the room Stephen King had stayed in at the hotel. I asked him if he was coming, and he shrugged, noncommittal. I left him in the lobby saying that I hope to see you there. He shrugged again.

Halfway into the cocktail reception in King's old room, Dallas walked in. He was a big hit and had a good time. When he left, he pulled me aside and said, "Thanks for encouraging me to come. It was a great time and I really appreciate this kind of fellowship... it means a lot to me." He spoke with a quiver of emotion. And I realized that the people that he touched, big and small, also touched him. My hope is that many of you raise a glass of whiskey in his name with a twinkle of respect in your eyes.

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