We Live Here
Words by | Ricki Pryor history
Like all art , murals have the
power to convey a meaningful message .
They are also very telling of the city they inhabit .
As times change , paint fades , and buildings are torn down .
But , the history is still there — waiting to resurface .
More often than not , murals tell the unique history and culture of an area and serves as a visual reminder of what residents feel is important at specific moments in time .
In 2020 , a time of great social unrest and in the midst of a global pandemic , Madison County chose to bring a part of its history to the forefront with three new murals depicting notable residents who have , and continue to leave , their impression on residents .
Frank Douglas Walker
Richmond ’ s newest mural was completed in the fall of 2020 , and graces the side of the Madison County Public Library .
The mural depicts a black-andwhite artistic portrait of Frank Douglas Walker , a Tuskegee Airmen fighter pilot in World War II , with red-tipped rudders of airplanes flying behind him .
The mural was finished , aptly , just in time for Veteran ’ s Day .
Walker , who passed away in 2013 at age 93 , grew up in Richmond and was a graduate of Richmond High School .
After his graduation in 1938 , Walker attended the West Virginia Institution for Technology for two years until the war began .
As a part of his service during WWII as a Tuskegee airmen , Walker flew many missions in Europe until he was sent back home after suffering burns to his body when a P-47 he piloted caught fire .
Upon his return to the commonwealth and the city of Richmond , he continued to serve his community by becoming Richmond ’ s first African American mail carrier — a job he held for 32 years .
In addition , Walker conducted masonry on the side , was an avid chess player , fly fisherman and mathematician .
The mural , which was painted by Graham Allen , of SquarePegs Studio and Design , is the most recent honor of Walker ’ s legacy .
In 2006 , former Kentucky Gov . Ernie
16 Madison Magazine January-February 2021