CommunityHeroes Among Us


Versailles man shares his love for Kentucky... by sharing the heroic stories of others

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Posted at 6:36 PM, Mar 14, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-14 18:37:16-04

(LEX 18) — How do you know someone is a hero when you don't know who they are? Most of the time, it takes someone else to tell you about their story, right?

Steve Flairty, of Versailles, has been doing that same thing for nearly two decades. Doing a heroic effort of telling the stories of those around us who improve our lives every day.

His love for Kentucky began as a boy growing up in Campbell County.

“My Dad used to take my brother and I and mother on one-day trips around Kentucky”, Flairty told me while sitting in an easy chair at a Lexington bookstore, where many of his books are on the shelves. “He’d make it a very special thing. There were weekends when he would say ‘where would you like to visit in Kentucky today?’ We’d look on a map and point to that and so forth.”

That led to an appreciation – and an admiration – not just for the Commonwealth, but its people and their heritage and traditions.

Flairty got his degrees in education at Eastern Kentucky University and began teaching in Woodford County when he got the desire to expand his classroom. He wrote a column on former KET host Tim Farmer and the masses wanted more.

“In 2005, I wrote ‘Tim Farmer: Kentucky Woodsman Restored’. That book was very popular; I wish it was because of my good looks and my writing ability, but it had more to do with Tim Farmer and his good looks and his story”, says Flairty.

The popularity led to Steve creating the “Kentucky’s Everyday Heroes” series in 2008. It’s now up to five volumes and a children’s edition that focuses on everyday people who make their communities better.

“These are the best, most noble people of Kentucky. Many of them are not known outside of their communities, although some have spilled over”, Flairty says. “And they represent the very best of Kentucky’s people. I could probably sell more books if I did a “Kentucky’s Everyday Zeroes” because we have bad people here too, but the soul of our people here in Kentucky I think are as good as any in this country.”

A hero chronicling the exploits of heroes, though Steve doesn’t see it that way.

“I listen to these stories, Larry, of these choices people have made, outright sacrifice and I think ‘golly, would I be able to do that myself?’ and so often I think ‘I don’t know if I could be that kind of person they are’ and I need to shine a light on these people.

“I look at my writing as somewhat of a mission in life and a way to uplift people and that’s the way I live life. It makes me feel so good when their story gets out there and their story can inspire others.”

Steve also gives speeches all over and writes the “Kentucky By Heart” column for the Northern Kentucky Tribune. Though now retired after 28 years of teaching, he continues to expand his classroom and make sure to give credit to those who deserve it most.

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