South Carolina WWII vet rides lawn mower to cafe to celebrate 94th birthday

South Carolina News

NEW ELLENTON, S.C. (WAGT) – A World War II veteran from New Ellenton, South Carolina celebrated his 94th birthday Tuesday.

The celebration was held at Flowers Cafe, a place James Cunningham, aka Mr. C, drives to every day on his lawnmower.

“People even say that’s Mr. C’s table. Is it time for him?” Paulette Flowers, the café owner, said. “They won’t sit there if they know it’s time for him. He comes every day at 12:30 p.m.”

To show Mr. C just how much he means to the café, they threw him a 94th birthday party. However, Mr. C thinks he’s actually 95. That’s because many years ago, he lied about his age to defend our country and serve with his brother.

“They both wanted to serve that bad,” Flowers said. “They wanted to serve their country that bad. The minute their mother told them about Pearl Harbor they’re like, ‘we’re gone’.”

Not only did Mr. C serve in World War II, but he was also one of the first people to work at Savannah River Site during the Cold War.

“If we don’t pay attention to our heroes and to our past, shame on us,” South Carolina Rep. Bill Taylor, who came to the party, said.

If you ask Mr. C how he’s lived so long, he’ll give you a funny answer.

“I don’t know,” Cunningham said. “Just meanness, I guess.”

But Flowers isn’t buying that.

“He will always tell you meanness,” Flowers said. “But I think it is people. I think he feeds off people.”

In the last 6 years, Mr. C has only missed three days at the café. Flowers says he’s the heart of it.

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