Pharos-Tribune

Opinion

March 19, 2014

KITCHELL: Flory gave us our own version of Club Med

(Continued)

Many Logansport residents knew him or had gone to school with him, and appreciated the fact that he never forgot his hometown. Flory returned for concerts at McHale and at Riverside Park before the Med Flory Jazz and Blues Fest was established in his honor. Unfortunately, health problems prevented him from making appearances in recent years, but to the end, he was proud to have grown up on Horny Creek along Meadlawn Avenue on the north side of the city near the former McKinley Elementary School.

Last year, my wife and I established a website to commemorate his career as a musician and actor. There are links, thanks to Logansport photographer Rich Voorhees, to his career.

But the real tribute to Med that he would appreciate is the knowledge that young people in the community where he grew up can always appreciate music and be able to perform it and enjoy it so that others can as well.

A real tribute to him is to not only establish a scholarship in his honor or to continue the festival named for him, but to foster the kind of music arts education inside and outside the classroom that gives young people the access to music they need to become the next Med Flory.

It’s been said many times that great musicians and actors are born with talent, but Med was always the first person to acknowledge people who nurtured his when he was growing up in this city. Logansport may not have been a factory for professional musicians, but it traditionally has been a place that embraces music and the performing arts, from Frank McHale donating over $2 million for a high school auditorium to the Performing Arts Council that provided programs for adults and students that raised the bar for our community.

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