Prof Named 'Everyday Hero' by Kentucky Author
Already known as Mayor of Wilmore and the founder and director of Asbury’s popular Equine Program, Harold Rainwater ’69 has recently acquired an additional title — he is an “Everyday Hero” in Kentucky author Steve Flairty’s latest book.
Flairty’s book, “Kentucky’s Everyday Heroes #3,” highlights “Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things,” a category he says fit Rainwater perfectly.
“Harold is one of those people who would rather be good than great,” Flairty said. “For years, people had told me that I needed to interview Harold for my “Everyday Heroes,” and I kept putting them off, thinking he was just a mayor of a town. But the more I heard about him and his acts of kindness around town, his sense of working with people rather than being their boss — it was just amazing.”
Flairty is impressed with Rainwater’s ability to make good policy choices for Wilmore, but most of all, he admires his down-to-earth approachability, kindness and humility.
“He’s helped bring about some structural improvements in the town, and he’s just kind of opened up the government to everybody, the common people, just by his sense of dignity, his sense of listening and acknowledging everybody around him,” Flairty said. “I hear those kinds of words said about him all the time.”
Another prominent feature of Rainwater’s service to the community is his leadership of Asbury’s Equine Program.
“He felt a compelling need to start this program,” Flairty said. “He also teaches his students to use this in ministry, which is probably the biggest reason he got into it.”
Whatever his accomplishments have been, Rainwater says the true hero in this story is his father.
“I’m not a hero; I’m just an everyday guy,” Rainwater said. “My dad was the hero. He was part of the Greatest Generation, raised four sons, and put us all through school. He had an eighth-grade education, he fought in World War II, and he was my role model and my great hero. I had the greatest dad that any son could ever have had, and my goal was simply to dedicate my life to be as good as he was. All I’ve done is be a mayor for a long time, and taught for a long time, and tried to be a good guy, but I’m not a hero. I’m just a guy.”
Flairty isn’t the only person who would disagree. The crowd of friends and admirers who showed up to support Rainwater at an “Everyday Heroes” book signing would insist that he, like his father, is a true hero.
“When we had our book event back in June, I invited some of the heroes there, including Harold, and he had a whole group of people that admired him who showed up on that day and supported him,” Flairty said. “I’m proud to have included him in my book, but just as proud to consider him a friend.”