A Local Kid (Does Only O.K.) is a witty and affectionate account of one boy's growing up in Rogers, Arkansas in the late forties and the fifties in the days before malls, credit cards, and big-box stores when people shopped and found entertainment in what is now the "historic" town center. A 1960 graduate of Rogers High School, Bassham recalls his checkered employment history as a soda jerk, dishwasher, fry cook, carpenter, and sports reporter (at age 17) for the old Rogers Daily News.
Begun as a family history for his two daughters, this "remembrance" of his home town in the years after World War II grew into something more: a collection of lessons learned at the Presbyterian church; of triumphs and (mostly) disappointments on the gridiron and the basketball court; his brief career as a clarinetist under the spell of local musical prodigy Maxie Gundlach; Ben's love of the cars that graced dealers' showrooms; his devotion to fifties' television shows, and the many hours spent watching movies at the old Victory Theater.
A cast of colorful local personalities comes alive in his portraits of town "characters," its leading citizens (including "Cactus" Clark, Joe Bill Hackler, Rev. Robert Moser, Heston Juhre, and others), and the author's eccentric relatives. Junk food consumed, clubs joined and abandoned, favorite "parking" spots, old days at the Monte Ne "Pyramids," and fun times on the White River in pre-Beaver Dam days are also lovingly recalled in this enjoyably off-beat autobiography.