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Centennial Celebration

READ MORE: Centennial Celebration
Clarence Jones remembers when Orton Plantation Gardens was just Orton Plantation. “People farmed rice, cucumber, cantaloupe and all that sort of stuff,” said Jones. Jones has been a caretaker at Orton for more than seventy years. He celebrated his 100th birthday on those same grounds on Saturday. “I feel fine,” Jones said when asked about reaching triple digits. Jones never finished elementary school, but is regionally renowned for his expertise on plants and gardening. “He's so good at camelias, he could tell you the variety of the camelias just by feeling the leaves,” said Laurence Sprunt, Orton Plantation owner. “Well anytime you can make a living doing something, that's it,” Jones said. That's Clarence Jones for you--a modest family man. But don't let that fool you. He's best known for his sense of humor and, of course, his wealth of stories. “If you just sit down and let him talk, he'll entertain the dickens out of you,” Sprunt said. Triple digits or not, Jones still has his spirit. He entertained family and friends all Saturday afternoon. “Clarence, happy birthday,” Sprunt said. “Maybe you’ll have many more and you're an inspiration to all of us to get to be 100 if they can live like you.”

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100 years seems like an incredible achievement sir. I have been to the Orton Plantation and it is beautiful. You should feel very proud. I live directly across the river and I wish you could come look at the native plants in my yard!