John A. Small is an award-winning newspaper journalist, columnist and broadcaster whose work has been honored by the Oklahoma Press Association, the Society of Professional Journalists, the Associated Press, the National Newspaper Association and the Oklahoma Education Association. He and his wife Melissa were married in 1986; they have two sons, Joshua Orrin (born 1991) and William Ian (born 1996).
BIOGRAPHY: Mr. Small obtained his nickname, "Bard of the Lesser Boulevards," from a journalism colleague - the late Phil Byrum - in recognition of his popular newspaper column. John was born in Oklahoma City in 1963; lived in the Bradley-Bourbonnais area of Illinois for most of the next 28 years (with brief sojourns in Texas and Athens, Greece, thrown in to break up the monotony); then returned to his home state in 1991, where he currently resides in the Tishomingo/Ravia area. He graduated from Bradley-Bourbonnais Community High School in 1981, and received his bachelor's degree in journalism from Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais in 1991. The years between high school and college were a period frought with numerous exploits and misadventures, some of which have become the stuff of local legend; nobody was hurt along the way, however, which should count for something.
His artistic endeavors such as those displayed here represent just one of his many hobbies, which also include (in no particular order) traveling, bowling, comic books (particularly those published prior to 1980), collecting bottle caps and playing with Legos with his sons.
In addition to his professional career as a journalist he wrote and published a collection of Western short stories entitled "Days Gone By: Legends And Tales Of Sipokni West"; and was a contributor to the 2005 Locus Award-nominated science fiction anthology "Myths For The Modern Age: Philip Jose Farmer's Wold Newton Universe." (Both books are available at Amazon.com.) He has also written a stage play and a cookbook; served as project editor for a book about the JFK assassination; and has written numerous poems and short stories, mostly for his own amusement though he hopes to see more of his creative writing efforts published eventually. He has also won writing awards from the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the National Library of Poetry.
He has served as president of his local Chamber of Commerce in Tishomingo; was a charter member and past president of the local literacy council in that community; served as that community’s first-ever Americans with Disabilities Act coordinator; and served two terms as chairman of the Johnston County (OK) Democratic Party.