2017-07-17 / Letters

Mr. Compton was the force behind bringing the Peach Festival to Gaffney

Sincerely, Donna Lee Houle

Dear Cody:

I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank Mr. Jim Compton for his contribution to Gaffney’s South Carolina Peach Festival.

According to the “Our History” posted online by the South Carolina Peach Festival board, Mr. Compton was the force behind Gaffney HAVING a peach festival. In that comprehensive online posting, it is stated that Mr. Compton, the Chamber of Commerce president at that time (early 1977) was having a conversation with Mr. Jack Blanton about “what the Chamber could do to help cast the city in a more positive light.”

Mr. Blanton mentioned that “he had heard the Greer Jaycees had dropped their charter for the South Carolina Peach Festival,” and then Mr. Compton and Mr. Blanton discussed the feasibility of applying for the charter, because of the healthy peach-growing industry vibrant in our area. Mr. Compton “immediately called the Secretary of State’s office in Columbia and spoke with a young lady in the office who granted charters. She confirmed the Peach Festival charter was available.” Mr. Blanton “wasted no time” in requesting that the application papers be sent to him.

Then-Chamber of Commerce Board member Mr. Raymond Parker had joined Mr. Compton and Mr. Blanton while they’d been discussing applying for the charter, and supported their decision. The application arrived in two days, and Mr. Compton completed and returned the papers immediately.

Mr. Compton told the Chamber of Commerce Board at its next meeting that, if they felt he “should not pursue the application,” he would return it to Columbia, but he was supported in his action to apply for the vacant charter by 100 percent of the Chamber’s board, and received many congratulatory phone calls. He certainly deserved that support!

His quick decision subsequently gave us the South Carolina Peach Festival and all the wonderful activities that occur during the July celebration of it.

Thank you, Mr. Compton.

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