That’s how long Earl Simpson has dressed head to toe in Irish green to walk Fort Mill’s Main Street on St. Patrick’s Day.
“He’s the lone leprechaun of Fort Mill, said his wife, Peggy Simpson.
For nearly 40 years, Earl Simpson walked both sides of Main Street, stopping briefly to dole out candy and gold pieces.
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“It’s fool’s gold,” Peggy Simpson quipped. “He paints rocks gold.”
The U.S. Navy sailor and World War II veteran did not paint rocks this year. And Tuesday will be the last time Simpson suits up for the much celebrated Irish holiday.
“Mother Nature and Father Time took its toil,” Earl Simpson, 84, of Fort Mill, said.
When merchants and passersby on Main Street see the town's leprechaun make his rounds this St. Patrick's Day, remember to thank him for all his years of dedicated service.
For more, see the March 18 print edition of the Fort Mill Times.