City Recognizes Bob Post & Wolfgang Flor in Jawbone Park on Friday
June 26, 2020
BUCKHANNON, WV: On Friday, City of Buckhannon representatives and community members gathered at Jawbone Park to recognize two individuals: Bob Post, as a BEST Bench honoree for volunteerism and service, and the late Wolfgang Flor, renowned local artist and wood sculptor.
WHEREAS, the Council of the City of Buckhannon resolved during its regular meeting of October 18, 2018, to honor residents of our Buckhannon-Upshur community who perform extraordinary service while embracing the kind & giving spirit of volunteerism; and,
WHEREAS, Buckhannon has long championed community service & has recognized persons who have given selflessly for the benefit of our City’s Fire & Police Departments, & our Stockert Youth & Community Center, but had not until 2018 formally recognized others who generally perform many other acts of service & kindness; and,
WHEREAS, with the establishment of our Volunteer Center, the City deemed it to be appropriate to recognize our community’s most giving volunteers with our 17 previous honorees of the Buckhannon Exemplary Service Testimonial (BEST) Award being Amanda Hayes, Zach Mutchler, Robin Keough, Shirley Tinney, Bill Nicholson, Dr. Joe Reed, Dr. Paul Richter, April Keating, Brad & Kim Lincicome, Dr. Kathy Gregg, Stan Rexroad, Rich Clemens, Elks Lodge #1736, Miles Paugh, Create Buckhannon, Allen Nash, & Band of Brothers.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, DAVID W. McCAULEY, as MAYOR OF THE CITY OF BUCKHANNON, pursuant to the power & authority duly vested in me, do hereby proclaim as our City’s 18th recipient of our BEST Award for June 2020 to be ROBERT R. “BOB” POST. MR. POST, a U.S. Army veteran, is a proud member of the Frank B. Bartlett American Legion Post #7 having served as Post Commander, First Vice Commander, Americanism Chair, & member of our Combined Honor Guard. In 2008, BOB POST spearheaded the effort sponsored by our American Legion Post to realize the instruction of Patriotism & Americanism throughout all West Virginia, public schools, bringing awareness to all K-12 students of American wartime involvement & the service of our military personnel. BOB POST lobbied the State Board of Ed & Superintendent to realize this wonderful program that was launched statewide in 2013. BOB POST stated, “Veterans & wars have been overlooked in our educational system & it’s important that this history not be overlooked. The goal of doing this was to teach the love of country to our youth.” Simply stated, BOB POST has helped us all in our B-U community & State of WV to be better & happier in many ways, elevating our quality of life. I direct that a permanent placard be placed upon our BEST bench in Jawbone Park to forever honor & recognize BOB POST & all past & future honorees of our City’s BEST award.
I further urge all residents to join our City’s most honored guest, BOB POST, his wife, Peggy, his sons, Randy, Rick, & Bob, his grandchildren, friends, admirers including me, along with all members of our City government family during our public ceremony to be conducted at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, June 26, 2020 as we honor our City’s 18th recipient of our BEST award. We all wish BOB POST the very best as he continues to work hard for our veterans & B-U community. May every resident be mindful of the importance of community service & giving of one’s self & be inspired to give selflessly for the benefit of others as we pay tribute to the many substantial contributions of our exceptional volunteers including the newest recipient of our City’s BEST Award, MR. BOB POST.
Given under my hand & official seal of The City of Buckhannon this 26th day of June, 2020.
David W. McCauley, Mayor
CITY OF BUCKHANNON – MAYOR McCAULEY’S REMARKS AT
WOLFGANG FLOR DEDICATION IN JAWBONE PARK – June 26, 2020
Welcome to Buckhannon’s “Next Big Thing”- the dedication of & our City’s tribute to the late, great Wolfgang Flor, one of the most acclaimed wood sculptors ever. During the past four plus years, I’ve been most honored to help promote the arts by celebrating the very best from our community’s past artists in hope of inspiring the artists of today & tomorrow. Our arts come to us in many forms, whether they be the performing arts through music, film, theatrical, & dance, or the visual arts through paint, drawing, sculpture, photography, filmmaking, & design, or the literary arts through prose, poetry, short story, & novels.
Our community has been telling its story by recognizing Ted Cassidy (actor, Lurch), Jean Lee Latham (author, Carry On Mr. Bowditch), Gray Barker (writer, the greatest UFOligist), Pare Lorentz (filmmaker, FDR’s documentarian), Ross Straight (sculptor Buckongahelas), Charley Harper (modernist/naturalist artist), Jimmy Pankow (musician, Chicago trombonist/Ballet for a Girl in Buc[k]hannon), & now today- Wolfgang Flor.
When you think about the design of Jawbone Park, the vision for our Colonial Theatre, the Trader’s Alley corridor & Arts’ District, & the creation of ART26201- the common denominator is our fantastic architect, Bryson VanNostrand. It’s largely Bryson’s vision & imagination that have gotten us to where we are with all of these amazing projects. We all owe him a debt of gratitude. Thank you Bryson for being our spark! Would you please bring us greetings from our arts community? [Bryson VanNostrand]
In the months ahead, more public art here will be unveiled- installation of the Men in Black car in further tribute to Gray Barker, the completion of the next phase of your Colonial Theatre where Buckhannon Community Theatre’s “Clue” is scheduled to be performed by Buckhannon Community Theatre in October, the Jimmy Pankow Trombone Cove here in Jawbone Park, & formal tributes to the late Jim Knorr & Garland West- both of whom dedicated their lives to various art forms.
Before I call upon Marie Flor to unveil Wolfy’s biographical sign which we’ll read in a minute, we all should be mindful that these things don’t just happen by themselves. They take time & money. I’d like to contribute $100 to ART26201 for our “Next Big Thing” that we know will be just around the corner. Bryson? Now for our unveiling, Marie would you please join me? [unveiling of bio placard by Marie Flor, & presentation of mini-bio placards to Marie, daughters, Gene Frye]
***WOLFGANG HUBERT FLOR***
“Wolfgang Flor was one of the most prolific & celebrated wood sculptors in West Virginia history. Born on January 29, 1928 in Naumburg, Selesia, Germany, to Arthur & Elisabeth Hurney Flor, he immigrated to the U.S. in 1951 & his soon-to-be bride, Marie Luise Busz Flor, joined him in 1957. Wolfgang & Marie wed in 1958 & were married for more than 59 years. After residing in Cleveland, Ohio for a few years, the couple chose Upshur County as their permanent home, buying a farm near Rock Cave in 1961, & moving here in 1963 to fulfill their dream of building their own home & living a life of self-sufficiency while being close with nature & devoting their lives to the arts. Mr. Flor’s artistic talents were entirely self-taught. His many masterpieces were hand-carved from local chestnut, walnut, & cherry- & wax for a finish.
“In 1968, West Virginia Wesleyan College commissioned Wolfgang to carve the College seal that is exhibited in Wesleyan’s Benedum Center. Mr. Flor further was engaged to sculpt Jesus Christ’s 12 apostles, perhaps his most acclaimed work, that have long been featured & displayed along the back wall of Wesley Chapel since their 1969 dedication. These 12 magnificent & highly unique works of art were positioned in a manner whereby the Apostles seemingly look out upon the Chapel’s congregation.
“Many more commissions followed including “The Return of the Prodigal Son,” a life-size, walnut sculpture displayed along the staircase at Glenville State College’s library. Glenville State further features his cherry, portrait bust of a little boy dubbed “What’s Next?” displayed in the children’s room at the College’s library. Wolfgang’s “Integration,” a large chestnut panel, has long been displayed at the Towers residence hall on the Evansdale campus of West Virginia University in Morgantown.
“The State of West Virginia acquired six Flor masterpieces as part of the West Virginia State Museum’s permanent collection housed at the Culture Center in Charleston. Those State holdings include “The Mother” & “Care”- life-size works sculpted from walnut. Two large chestnut panels entitled “Let My People Live” are displayed in Charleston’s Temple Israel. “Unity in Marriage” is displayed at the University of Michigan-Flint. Additionally, Wolfgang Flor’s works are featured in private collections throughout the United States & overseas in England, Germany, & Belize.
“Shortly before his death, West Virginia Wesleyan College further acquired “Family Tree” sculpted from a 150 year-old chestnut log that is displayed in the Chapel Sanctuary. Additionally, the College has displayed on loan at the Chapel- two Flor masterpieces entitled “Poverty & Miser” installed there shortly following Mr. Flor’s death.
“Wolfgang Flor once stated, “My work comes from within the log. You could roll one of my pieces down a hill & it would not be seriously damaged.” He wanted his art to be experienced by his audience, stating- “Wood sculpture is made for the hands. When someone touches my work, I consider it a compliment. What the music is to the ear, the piece of sculpture is to the eye. It must be so you WANT to put your hands on it.” Wolfgang Flor’s philosophy of life is demonstrated in his art. “Life is made up of good times- depicted in soft forms, & troubled times- evidenced by hard lines. To find the right balance in it is what life is about.”
“Wolfgang Flor died on December 2, 2017 in Buckhannon survived by his wife of 59 years, Marie, who still carves spoons today; daughters, Veronica Grant & Ulrika Browning; & grandchildren Jacob, Isabella, & Demar Grant & Rachel Browning. Our Buckhannon-Upshur community shall always remember Wolfgang Flor while appreciating his artistic genius.
DEDICATED IN JAWBONE PARK BY THE CITY OF BUCKHANNON ON JUNE 26, 2020”
Before we hear from Wolfy’s bride, Marie, I’d like to recognize & call upon my collaborator for today’s tribute, our friend & artist in his own right- Gene Frye. Gene?-
I also note that Wolfgang’s first intern about 1971 I understand- is here, Richard Sink, a renowned artist who knows a thing or two about all things wood. Richard might we call upon you to share some words about Mr. Flor?
Marie- we’d love to hear your thoughts- ladies & gentlemen- Mrs. Marie Flor.
In closing, please folks- remember to support your public arts with your enthusiasm & your dollars. The arts truly make all the difference in our high quality of life here. Thanks to you all for being here yet again, & remember also, this place & the arts are here for us all to enjoy & be inspired by- thanks again, you rock Buckhannon! Stay tuned in the coming weeks for our NEXT BIG THING!
Mayor David McCauley