A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Kentucky by Heart: Return to Harrodsburg brings back childhood memories of visit to Ft. Harrod

By Steve Flairty KyForward Columnist Last week, I spoke at the Mercer County Public Library in Harrodsburg about my Kentucky’s Everyday Heroes book series. In my talks, I always like to add some “local color” to the opening remarks for my audience. It didn’t take much thought to come up with some personal observations drawn from my past to use for the Harrodsburg audience. Mercer County Library...

Kentucky by Heart: Highs and lows for 2019 — and learning from things to make a better 2020

By Steve Flairty Special to KyForward The year 2019 just ended for me with a procession of highs and lows. Guess that’s quite normal; but, being the analytical guy I am often spurs me to sort out the learnable things and make them work for a better future. First, here’s a recap. Aunt MaeIt was exciting to release my seventh book, the fifth volume of Kentucky’s Everyday Heroes; along with it,...

Kentucky by Heart: In a divisive world, optimism for Kentucky’s future remains, because of its people

By Steve Flairty KyForward columnist I recently was interviewed for a podcast by Bill Goodman, CEO of the Kentucky Humanities Council, about my book series, Kentucky’s Everyday Heroes. I considered it an honor to be asked to share, both as an opportunity to contribute to KHC, an organization that seeks to highlight the best in our citizens’ values, and also for the interest Bill demonstrated in...

Kentucky by Heart: An introduction to the recently-released fifth volume of Kentucky’s Everyday Heroes

By Steve Flairty KyForward columnist A frequent question I get regarding the Kentucky’s Everyday Heroes series is quite simple: “Steve, where do you get all those stories?” My prompt answer in recent years has gone something like this: “Well, I’ve been at this a while now. People know I do the project, so the stories pretty much come to me…” And though the process may be a bit more...

Kentucky by Heart: Burlington residents Jackie Kaye has spent 50 years supporting American sailors

Steve Flairty KyForward Columnist Within the last few weeks, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting with two different people in Boone County to discuss their amazing acts of kindness carried out over many years. Each will be included in my fifth volume of the Kentucky’s Everyday Heroes series. I wrote about Sister Juana Mendez in a recent column, a member of the Diocese of Covington a long-time and...

Kentucky by Heart: Remembering 13 of Kentucky’s Everyday Heroes we’ve lost since the project began

Over one hundred written profiles have appeared in the four volumes of the Kentucky’s Everyday Heroes series, a project I began working on in 2006 and consequently published the first book in 2008. I’m currently about half way toward the completion of the fifth volume and hope to release it in the spring of 2019. Not to sound trite, but it’s been a labor of love, and along with it, I feel a special...

Kentucky by Heart: Do you know an Everyday Hero?; share your Thanksgiving memories; and more…

I just returned from a trip to Hazard, in Perry County, where I interviewed District Court Judge Leigh Anne Stephens, whom I believe is a considerably inspirational person. Here’s the reason. Bemoaning the sadness of so many troubled young brought before her in court, she led in establishing a one-week summer camp to help boys receive strong, positive mentoring and wholesome activities to redirect...

Everyday Heroes: ‘No excuses’ mindset leads from housing projects to college presidency

This story is reprinted from Steve Flairty’s 2010 book, “Kentucky’s Everyday Heroes #2.” Dr. Wright continues to serve as president of Prairie View A&M University.   By Steve Flairty KyForward columnist   When George Wright was growing up in Lexington’s Charlotte Court housing project over 50 years ago, he did everything he could to mask what he considered...

Steve Flairty’s Everyday Heroes: Nina Lee stitches threads of love in the fabric of lives

Nina Lee has a sweet sense of the power that clothing sewed personally for loved ones can bring.   She remembers talking with her children who sat beside her as she craftily hand made their garments on “Old Girl,” a mid-1930s Kenmore second-hand machine her husband bought for her early in their marriage.   “My favorite thing to tell them was how ‘each stitch carries my love for you...