Visitors gather together to honor the life of a local hero

Local News

FORT SCOTT, Kan. — Visitors from across the country meet in Fort Scott to honor the life of a local hero.

Fort Scott Community College held the 16th annual Gordon Parks Celebration.

More than 100 guests enjoyed a night of jazz, showings of Parks’ monumental film, and a photo contest.

Every year, people who dedicate themselves to hard work and resemble characteristics of Parks are awarded the “Gordon Parks Choice of Weapons Award” with Parks being the first honoree in 2004.

Saturday’s event also marked the 50th anniversary of Park’s film, The Learning Tree.

So many cast, extras, film crew, and family members reminisced about memories of Parks’ and his role in their lives.

Kirk Sharp, Gordon Parks Museum Executive Director, says, “It makes me feel honored and humbled that so many people are getting so much support for the community. The state, the nation, or around the world, and it is a great feeling that everybody’s getting together and seeing people reunite that haven’t seen each other for a while.”

Karole Graham, Big Mabel in The Learning Tree, adds, “I was very uptight about that, and I explained that to Gordon. So I said to Gordon, there’s too many people around, and so Gordon said clear the set, we’ve got a skeleton crew, and we’ll work from there.”

Cast members Karole Graham, Stephen Perry, and S. Pearl Sharp received the “Gordon Parks Choice of Weapons Award”.

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