By Charlotte Smith
Garrtis “Pistol” McLean was honored on Monday evening at the Bladen County Board of Commissioners meeting for his dedication to his community. Chairman of the board, Mr. Charles Ray Peterson read the proclamation aloud while Mr. McLean along with Mr. McLean’s family and other commissioners gathered around in support.
Mr. McLean is the son of Cicero and Lettie McLean, and is a member of the New Beginnings Holiness Church in Clarkton. As a child Mr. McLean earned the nickname “Pistol”.
“That’s all I have known him as,” Mr. Peterson commented about Mr. McLean’s nickname.
Mr. McLean attended East Arcadia Elementary School and graduated with a 97.3 grade point average from East Bladen High School, according to the proclamtion.
“Mr. McLean served his community and county coaching softball for over twenty years. During this time, Mr. McLean was inducted into the Peters Creek Softball hall of fame,” Mr. Peterson stated.
Mr. McLean was employed with Oakland Plantation Turf Farm for twenty-five years, serving thirteen of those years as Farm Manager, and after more than twenty-five years in the sod farm industry, Mr. McLean was inspired to start his own business, Mr. Peterson announced.
“In 2000, Mr. McLean was presented an opportunity and accepted the challenge. Cape Fear Turf Farm was founded, with assets of twenty-five acres of sod and two employees, including himself,” explained Peterson.
Mr. McLean has grown this business into an 800-acre sod farm, employing twelve full-time employees, and is now one of the largest producers of warm season grasses in the southeastern region of North Carolina. He is the first known African American sod producer in Bladen & Columbus Counties, and Mr. McLean’s mission at Cape Fear Turf Farm is to first and foremost acknowledge Jesus Christ our Savior who is the foundation of his company, to provide a superior quality product with superb customer service and create a family-friendly atmosphere where customers and employees can both benefit.
Mr. McLean is a devoted father, active member of New Beginnings Holiness Church, serving as a Sunday school teacher, and a student of God’s Word, and author of The Canaan Promise: Fighting for the Promise, all according to the proclamation.
“Now therefore be it proclaimed that on behalf of the Bladen County Board of Commissioners, special recognition and appreciation is hereby given to Garrtis “Pistol” McLean for his accomplishments, love of community, and county and for working many years for the betterment of his community. Adopted this 20th day of May, 2019,” Mr. Peterson stated.
The crowd at the meeting applauded the honor while Mr. McLean expressed his gratitude for the recognition.