BUCKHANNON – The Buckhannon community honored two residents in Jawbone Park last week.
The first honoree was Bob Post, who became the city’s 18th recipient of the BEST Award – or Buckhannon Exemplary Service Testimonial – honoree for June 2020 on Friday, June 26.
Mayor David McCauley said Post is a member of the Frank B. Bartlett American Legion Post 7 and had served as first vice commander, Americanism chair and member of the Combined Honor Guard.
“In 2008, Bob Post spearheaded the effort sponsored by our American Legion Post to realize the instruction of patriotism and Americanism throughout all West Virginia public schools, bringing awareness to all K-12 students of American wartime involvement and the service of our military personnel,” McCauley said. “Bob Post lobbied the State Board of Ed and Superintendent to realize this wonderful program that was launched statewide in 2013.”
Post said getting patriotism and Americanism in West Virginia schools is his proudest moment.
“I can’t tell you the exact words that are used for it, but it’s a great thing, and I have contacted the commander [of the American Legion] of the State of Oklahoma, so they will have these classes too – that I was very proud of,” Post said.
Post also discussed the various American flags that have been placed in Heavner Cemetery and the veterans’ banners hanging in Jawbone Park.
“We have flags all over Heavner cemetery. It’s a beautiful sight and it’s something to be honored, it’s something for us to be proud of, and we have to continue to take care of these flags. Then, right over here, you can see all the veterans that are on these flags, here at Jawbone,” Post said. “That’s a proud thing to be able to see those veterans up here, so I’m very humbled by what that has been done here.”
McCauley said Post’s name will be placed on the BEST bench in Jawbone Park to always recognize his achievements.
“Simply stated, Bob Post has helped us all in our B-U community and State of West Virginia to be better and happier in many ways, elevating our quality of life,” McCauley said. “I direct that a permanent placard be placed upon our BEST bench in Jawbone Park to forever honor and recognize Bob Post and all past and future honorees of our City’s BEST award.”
On the same day, the Buckhannon community unveiled a placard made to honor Wolfgang Flor in Jawbone Park.
“Wolfgang Flor was one of the most prolific and celebrated wood sculptors in West Virginia history,” McCauley said. “Born on January 29, 1928 in Naumburg and Silesia, Germany, to Arthur and Elisabeth Hurney Flor, he immigrated to the U.S. in 1951, and his soon-to-be bride, Marie Luise Busz Flor, joined him in 1957.”
“Wolfgang and Marie wed in 1958 amd were married for more than 59 years,” McCauley added. “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, and moving here in 1963 to fulfill their dream of building their own home and living a life of self-sufficiency while being close with nature and devoting their lives to the arts.”
McCauley said Flor was entirely self-taught and most of his work was hand-carved from local chestnut, walnut and cherry – and he finished his pieces with wax.
“In 1968, West Virginia Wesleyan College commissioned Wolfgang to carve the College seal that is exhibited in Wesleyan’s Benedum Center,” McCauley said. “Mr. Flor further was engaged to sculpt Jesus Christ’s 12 apostles, perhaps his most acclaimed work, that have long been featured and displayed along the back wall of Wesley Chapel since their 1969 dedication. These 12 magnificent and highly unique works of art were positioned in a manner whereby the Apostles seemingly look out upon the Chapel’s congregation.”
Bryson VanNostrand said Flor had a big impact on him.
“It’s hard to measure a person’s contribution in this world,” VanNostrand said. “I’d like to think we can do more to celebrate Wolfgang than what we are doing today but thank you Mayor for making it happen.”
Flor’s wife, Marie Flor, who attended Friday’s gathering, thanked everyone for honoring her husband.
“Thank you very much for doing this; I do believe he deserved it,” Flor said. “He came to West Virginia to fulfill his life’s dream to make a living with art and live with nature and live simply and I think he did succeed.”
McCauley said Buckhannon will always remember Flor and his artwork.
“Wolfgang Flor died on Dec. 2, 2017 in Buckhannon survived by his wife of 59 years, Marie, who still carves spoons today; daughters, Veronica Grant and Ulrika Browning; and grandchildren Jacob, Isabella, and Demar Grant and Rachel Browning,” McCauley said. “Our Buckhannon-Upshur community shall always remember Wolfgang Flor while appreciating his artistic genius.”