Hometown honors famous natives with statues
CAMDEN, SC (WIS) - "We appreciate everyone who helped make this possible in Camden, South Carolina's oldest inland city," said Columbia attorney John Rainey. "The heart of Dixie. A place of reconciliation."
Rainey wanted to do more than just honor two of Camden's most accomplished native sons: Bernard Baruch and Larry Doby. Rainey financed the statues on display outside of the Camden Museum and Archives.
Baruch was a legendary financier and philanthropist who amassed a fortune by age 30 and went on to advise six U.S. presidents.
"He earned the moniker 'The Park Bench Statesman,' Due to his habit of talking to average Americans across parks in New York and Washington D.C.," said philanthropist Darla Moore. "Never losing his appreciation for the most humble of Americans while serving the most powerful."
Larry Doby was a baseball player, a great one, who was the first African American player to enter the American League and only the second to become a major league manager. He's in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
"I was always asked, 'Can you put yourself in his situation?' No, I can't," said former ballplayer Jim Rice. "I wouldn't want to. I probably would have failed. Because you have to be a very strong-minded person to go through some of the things he went through and of course Jackie Robinson went through."
Both men's stories make up the monument called Reconciliation: A Jew and an African-American celebrated together forever.
"We honor these two men," said Rainey. "Bernard Baruch and Larry Doby, who came before us and showed us the path to reconciliation through their lives. We hope that we and those who come after us will have the courage to follow it."