J.C. Green – a guy with an artificial knee who gave more than five years to his country in World War II just because it was the right thing to do – woke up early Friday morning to hop onto his golf cart.
He wanted to head to the back part of his rural property to check on his tomatoes and straight-neck yellow squash and beans.
“I was fixin’ to get on it, but it wasn’t there to get on,” said Green, 92. “Somebody stole it.”
Crime in York County has stooped so low now that thieves came right up the driveway and loaded the golf cart onto some kind of truck or trailer. The golf cart had no key in it, so it likely had to be hauled, tugged, pulled or just plain lifted.
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“It had a thick yellow chain that was wrapped around it and around the pole on the carport,” Green said. “I checked it twice last night. That chain was cut; they took the chain. Took the lock, too.”
The brazen theft happened right next to the maroon 1988 Buick LeSabre with the front bench seat that allows Green to put his still-strong right arm around his wife, Carrie.
That Buick still has the USC Gamecocks plate under the front grill that would be there if it hadn’t been knocked off.
Green has lived in the house he built with his own two hands on Sturgis Road east of Rock Hill, between the Rock Hill Galleria and the Catawba Indian Reservation, for most of the 64 years he has been married to Carrie Boulware Green.
“This kind of thing just never seemed to happen years ago,” Carrie Green said. “Now it happens right under your carport with us in the house.”
Lesslie Fire Chief Larry McConnell, Green’s son-in-law, has volunteered as a firefighter for more than four decades. He called the theft “a disgrace.”
“Take a golf cart from a 92-year-old man, the next thing you know people are stealing candy from little kids,” McConnell said.
York County Sheriff’s deputies took a police report Friday morning, but so far the cart has not been found. The villains remain on the loose in a cart that moves at about 20 mph.
The crime so shocked the Green family that one daughter upended a folding table and hand-wrote a sign that now is taped to the tabletop, sitting on the grass in front of the house.
“Stolen Golf Cart,” the sign screams in foot-high letters for all the world to see.
It also goes on to say how J.C. is 92 and a World War II veteran, and that he needs the cart to get to the garden and mailbox.
J.C. Green is not just some veteran, either.
He enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1940, and because of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the war so far away, he didn’t get home until late 1945. So many men he knew died in that war, and they will be honored Monday on Memorial Day.
Green then worked for decades in the Bleachery and built houses, too. He never took anything from anybody.
And now in 2013, somebody has stolen his golf cart. He was asked what he would say to whoever took it.
“You don’t want to hear those kind of words,” Green said. “And I don’t want to say them. Whoever did this, they have problems bigger than what words can do to help.”