Locals keep both a tradition and memory alive this 4th of July

Published: Jul. 2, 2020 at 8:07 PM CDT
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One by one, Clark Walters and his wife Kay placed hundreds of flags around their Panama City Beach neighborhood every 4th of July.

“My wife actually started it. It started probably with about 20 flags and every year it kept growing and growing and people started looking forward to it,” said Walters. It’s a tradition they’ve celebrated for years. “We get our golf carts out and one goes down, pokes the holes, sticks the flags in, but we did 500 flags yesterday.”

“You see him out walking his dog, his sweet little white fluffy dog every day. He’s always out on his golf cart talking to neighbors and smiling and waving at people. The whole neighborhood knows who he is,” said Walters’ neighbor, Rachal Smoker.

But this year’s tradition was different- Walters’ wife Kay passed away in February.

“We loved our neighbor kay. She was one of the most kind-hearted human beings I’ve ever met,” said Smoker.

Still, Walters kept the tradition going and he didn’t have to do it alone. “Some of the neighbors came to me and said ‘you know we need to continue this’. So we got organized again,” he said.

Smoker said, “to be able to continue this tradition this year in memory of her makes it a little more special for sure.”

Now the flags are more than just decoration- they’re a way of keeping Kay’s memory alive, “and hopefully next year we’ll be up to 750 flags, who knows? It started at 30 and we’re now up to 500 so it’s amazing,” said Walters.

Copyright 2020 WJHG. All rights reserved.

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