Country Santa receives state’s highest honor

By Rocky Nimmons

PICKENS — A large crowd gathered on Tuesday morning in front of the Pickens office of Buddy Cox to honor the man known throughout the Upstate as “Country Santa.”

Unbeknownst to Cox, the group was there to thank the humble Pumpkintown resident for the many years of work he has done in bringing smiles to children in the area during Christmastime and to see him receive South Carolina’s highest civilian honor, the Order of the Palmetto.

State House Rep. Davey Hiott and Sen. Rex Rice presented Cox with the distinguished award. Hiott told the crowd that local resident Ronnie Lackey had approached him last January asking

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