Spotlight on Carrie Ketchum

Carrie Ketchum in Rome

Each month we spotlight a volunteer, staff member, docent, donor, or sponsor of the Virginia Robinson Gardens (VRG) — those that have made an impact on the organization. We want to let you know about these wonderful people and corporations that give so much to The Virginia Robinson Gardens and to the community, and what they do that is so impactful.

This month, we spotlight Carrie Ketchum, a wonderful Patron member of The Friends of Robinson Gardens. A very talented filmmaker, Carrie won 13 Clio awards for her advertising work!

1. How did you first learn about VRG, and what inspired you to become a Friend? 

My very closest, dearest “sister” friend is Nancy Thompson Call who was the great-niece of Virginia Robinson. She and I used to go up in our youth and play tennis on her court and say hello to her. I thought Aunt Gigi was a lovely lady. That is how I first met her, and one thing led to another. Nancy and I got older, and we didn’t forget about Virginia Robinson Gardens. Later, Nancy became involved with the Gardens also.

I had a long career as a film producer, and when I finished that, I became more interested in Robinson Gardens because I absolutely love gardens. I have a home right around the corner. I also have lovely gardens, nothing like those at Robinson Gardens, but I am in them all the time. I met Jeanne Anderson and Marcella Ruble. Marcella was doing a lot of research at the Huntington Library on the Robinsons and that fascinated me. Superintendent Emeritus Timothy Lindsay was fascinating also and is so impressive with all his knowledge. I became a Patron because I wanted to contribute more.

2. Can you share a favorite VRG memory with us?

My favorite memory is playing tennis with Nancy on Mrs. Robinson’s court. That was a cherished and treasured time. Looking back, I see how special that was. In Mrs. Robinson’s era, “Luxury” was “The Thing.” One day, when Nancy and I were on her courts, she sent her butler down with a silver tray of Champagne. Oh my! We would have been happy with just water.

The Fellows Thank You Dinners in August are always quite charming. I also enjoyed the Education lecture when the curators of the Alexander McQueen exhibit at LACMA came to speak. Another favorite memory was the 2011 Centennial Patron Gala when swimmers were diving in the pool. I was with Nancy, and I was intrigued by the synchronized swimmers. It was like watching an old Esther Williams movie. It was wonderful!

  1. Clare Wagner
    | Reply

    Carrie, we think you’re the best. Loved the article. Hope to see you at the Fellows Dinner. Clare and Ron

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