Sunday, December 30, 2012

He's Poor, Sick and a Veteran.

Why can't you just leave him the Hell alone?

CLOVER, S.C. There are at least nine wise men – three sets of three – in the yard. There is a baby Jesus in a manger, five “Santy Clauses,” Christmas trees, reindeer and lot of lights on trees and bushes.

“I figured it was Christmas, I would make it all even nicer out here and make it ‘purty’ so the kids around here could come and look at it,” said Johnny Ramsey.

“I don’t know how many years I got left,” the 79-year-old said. “I just want to make it, what’s the word, festive, out here. I don’t know why Clover would bother an old man like me over this.”

Ramsey collected this stuff, and more, to pay the bills and buy medicine for his wife.

And because he wouldn’t clean it up, Ramsey went to jail because the town of Clover considered his junk a public nuisance.

It was that junk – and Ramsey’s stubborn fight to keep what he collected and sold – that eventually landed him in jail for 72 hours in early October after being found guilty of contempt of court.

Ramsey easily had been found guilty. He was the worst defendant in courtroom history – he admitted everything. Ramsey said he had junk, and could care less if it was against any town rules because it was how he, plainly, survived.

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