Small towns hold a uniqueness that’s only seen by those who take the time to slow down, look around and listen. There are stories to be told, and in Greer this is certainly no exception.
At the paper, each of us has our regular small-town-characters with whom we socialize, write stories about or, in some cases, fondly remember. Our regulars are likely familiar faces to anyone who frequents downtown Greer.
A while ago, while doing a story on a local business, the owner shared his story regarding a picture discretely hanging on his wall of a man known as “Socks.” Socks, who passed away years ago, was a Greer native and, every day, he went around completing odd jobs for anyone he could to earn a little bit of money. Like clockwork every Friday, he would go into the owner’s clothing store and buy a pair of socks that he would use to store his hard-earned change in — hence his nickname.
Recently, a Greer man by the name of Dewey stopped by the paper to show us a wooden replica he handcrafted of a local church that was torn down years ago. It was among many he’s constructed and shared with us. The detail, pride and effort he puts into his creations is apparent to anyone who sees them — from framed windows to cedar shingles and lighting concealed beneath the removal roof. His replicas aren’t for profit but rather for hobby. Through his hobby though, in his own way, he preserves parts of Greer that many of us never knew.
And of course, there’s Stomping Grounds’ very own Cliff — a veteran who is known by all and even has his very own picture of a picture with South Carolina Senator Tim Scott. He’s a Greer celebrity in his own right.
These recognizable, unique and extraordinary characters are the embodiment of why Greer — and small towns like it — is so exceptional. In the same way historic buildings reflect the past, these rare, but familiar types of individuals preserve what Greer was, reminding us how far it has come and during a time when progression is imminent.
Progress is beautiful and inevitable, but as our branches stretch farther, we cannot forget the roots that ground us and rightfully remind us of our humble beginnings.