The one-legged tap dancer who reached the heights of international fame despite his handicap is back in town.
A modernistic statue of him was unveiled this afternoon at the corner of Spring Street and East Washington Avenue near the former site of The Liberty Theater, where Bates was discovered by a New York producer in 1926, launching his start on the vaudeville circuit.
“The legend lives on,” Bates’ cousin, Camille Bates, told GreenvilleOnline.com after the unveiling. “We’re just so happy that he’s been recognized.”
The statue is the city’s 62nd piece of public art, according to Ed Zeigler, chairman of the city’s Arts in Public Places Commission.
Another Bates relative, Veldon Bates, said he thought the statue, by sculptor Joseph B. Thompson, captured the essence of Bates’ perseverance in turning his handicap into a blessing.
Sculptor, Joseph B Thompson, right, unveiled his statue of Clayton ‘Peg Leg’ Bates today at the corner of Washington St. and Spring St.
– Ken Osburn, Staff
RMF is proud to have plated this work of art honoring such an amazing and talented local legend!