How many people do you know who have turned 100 years old? If you are like me, not many! In fact, it is RARE!
On Saturday, February 29th, 2020 a grand Celebration was held to honor the 100th birthday of Former Mayor and long-time resident of Mauldin, L.S. Green!! And, by the way; this was the actual date of his birthday; a “leap-year” baby of 1920!
The family had planned the special occasion for many, many months! The Guest list was quite diverse from Family to Friends and Neighbors for many years; Church friends; long-time Mauldin Residents; former employees who became “family” through the years; City officials and County and State Representatives!
The celebration consisted of a special friend as Master of the Ceremony; Michael Cogdill who is TV Anchor for WYFF, TV4. Michael and Mr. Green have shared many times during these many years since Michael came to TV4 in covering Mr. Green during his time as Mayor and during our Veterans Day Recognition Ceremonies for special presentations honoring Mr. Green.
The Green “children”, Betty Mitchell (John); Sam Green and Sara Green coordinated details and surprises for a special program to bring back to light the memories that covered 100 years of the life of this special icon of Mauldin, L.S. Green! Long time family friend and event coordinator, Janice Holcombe pulled together all the lists and plans put a program time together to honor these years with Mr. Green.
A video presentation was enjoyed by the Guests and was compiled by Tom Adams (TADA Media Services). This presentation incorporated a personal message from every Grandchild who was able to record their surprise message. Ironically, each Grandchild (all Grandson’s) had similar messages even though none of them were in the same location for the recording. Bottom line? Messages of appreciation for their “Papa” with his qualities of HONESTY, DEDICATION, HARD WORKING, Man of God; Devotion to his Country and “teaching his Family without a lot of words” ….by EXAMPLE! We even had a video message from a Great-Grandson who is presently stationed in Japan!
Video messages were also shared from each of his 3 children; several friends, and an unexpected surprise from another TV Friend, Tom Crabtree retired from TV7.
Special Proclamations were read and presented to Mr. Green from the City of Mauldin, by Mayor Terry Merritt; the County of Greenville by Councilman, Dan Tripp; and from the State by Representatives Garry Smith and Ross Turner. Also attending was Senator David Thomas. We were also reminded that during the 3 terms of being Mayor of Mauldin (1992-2003), Mr. Green was responsible for the coordination through his son, Sam and Council representative, John Mazzaro and others to arrange the “Friendship Baseball Games” from Russia to come to Mauldin to play and for our teams to go to Siberia, Russia! Our present City Hall Building was built and occupied, and the last improvements were made to East Butler Road.
A “surprise” dramatic interpretation was shared by family friend, Keith Giddens who depicted the Military journey of Mr. Green in the Army from a young age in November, 1941 and the battles he experienced in Normandy and Battle of the Bulge fighting under General George Patton; the countries he traveled as he served and the tremendous awards he was presented! He received 5 Bronze Stars and a Silver Star. The Bronze Star is a US military decoration awarded by bravery and he received FIVE of these! A Bronze Star also denotes participation in multiple conflicts. The Silver Star is the third-highest military decoration for valor. He received the French Legion of Honor and the Army Good Conduct Medal. At his discharge, his rank was Corporal Tech T-5. Mr. Giddens entered the Reception through the lines of guests fully dressed in the Army Uniform and boots as Mr. Green would have been dressed and sharing a dialogue in first person as Mr. Green’s journey would have been in the conflicts and thoughts during those years. He was honorable discharged on September 24, 1945.
Of course, not a dry eye in the room following this presentation! Mr. Green remarked candidly, Mr. Giddens had talked like he was some kind of “hero” ….and we ALL confirmed…. YES, Mr. Green you ARE a HERO!!
The best part of the celebration was saved till the very last! What was this? Why, BIRTHDAY CAKE, of course! The cake was done as a model of Mr. Green’s L.S. Green Plumbing Truck by Gretchen’s Bakery in Mauldin! And delicious, it WAS!
Picture times were enjoyed with the “flat Mr. Green” in a cardboard likeness of Mr. Green in his every-day overalls where folks could have fun being photographed by our community photographer and long-time family friend, Gwinn Davis.
Mr. Green’s comments for this day were few (as always); but always important to hear. He feels great! Still driving; cutting grass with his riding mower and stopping by Mauldin City Hall to encourage everyone as he has always done! You will see him at all our Mauldin City Events.
A Great Man; a GREAT Legacy; our HERO; Mr. L.S. Green!
Happy 100th Birthday!