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Perry man raised, still works at Fairgrounds | News

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Perry man raised, still works at Fairgrounds
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Ever heard of StarbuckĀ and Diamond Farm? No? How about the Georgia National Fairgrounds?

The two are one in the same, as the Georgia National Fairgrounds are located on land that was once a farm.

Carlton Green grew up on the property, and for 76 years running, makes a living off the same land.

If the pecan trees on the property could talk, they would call Carlton Green an old, old friend.

Looking at them, Green said, "That daggum tree is loaded. Wow, wow, wow!"

He's been snacking on pecans, since he got his first tooth around 1939.

Green grew up sharecropping on the land. He said, "My Daddy and my mama had 15 youngins."

They worked in and around the landowner's home. They raised crops including corn, cotton and peanuts. Livestock, too.

Green said, "My mama had 63 hens, and everyone of 'em had a name."

Years passed. Highways divided the property. Green grew up, worked elsewhere, but always kept odd-jobs around the old home-place.

Green said, "I never did think the Beckhams would ever sell Starbuck and Diamond."

In the early 80s, the landowners did. The buyer was the State of Georgia.

Green's family home became the fairgrounds. He said, "I didn't think I would like it when it started."

When the carnival workers and crowds moved in, he found his niche.

The fair needed someone who knew the land, the people and had no objections to hard work.

Green said, "We been taking care of it ever since."

He's the ground maintenance man, supervising a seasonal crew of a 106.

When the midway closes each night, his people roll out to collect trash. Green said, "Oh my God. I would hate to try to estimate the tons."

The work seems a far cry from farming. Green said, "This land provided food for many, many families."

Three-quarters of century later, the land is still providing for Green's.

At 76, Green has no plans to retire. He says rounds on the fairgrounds property keep him active, walking about 9 miles a day.


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