Arts Editor’s Note: “Facing Our Local Heroes,” on display throughout June at The Hardware Store Restaurant Gallery and pamingalls.com, is an exhibit by local oil painter Pam Ingalls, with portraits of more than 70 islanders. All the subjects of the paintings were nominated by islanders after Ingalls put out a call on social media in January, asking for suggestions. Maggie Smith nominated Larry Flynn, whose portrait is shown here. Here, in Smith’s own words, are the qualities of Flynn that she considers heroic.
Many of us first met Larry while riding the Metro bus. You may have learned about what type of person he was the first time he held the bus for you as you ran belatedly down your driveway.
He has recently retired but was our cherished island driver for decades. Always offering up a “good morning” when it was far too early for cheer, a bit of wisdom, a hilarious quip, and when applicable, a look of firm but friendly discernment.
He isn’t just our Patron Saint of Public Transportation, but also an active humanitarian, AIDS advocate, lover of gospel, community, and old films. Larry is responsible for a good many things on the island, some of which we may never even know about.
His ultimate superpower is the intention that he brings to each of his interactions; reminding us that we are here and we matter. Something so simple and beautiful but often neglected in the busyness of our day-to-day. Hands down a hometown hero, may we all strive to be more like Larry Flynn.
— Maggie Smith