Huey Cooper and His Lucky Rabbit's Foot
Lake City, South Carolina
Huey Cooper was a fixture in downtown Lake City for as long as anyone could remember, according to a 1964 article in the Florence Morning News. He lived rent-free in a small building behind the Dairy Queen that was built and paid for by the police department. He was always cheerful, and spent most days on a low, cement wall at the corner of Acline and Main Streets, where passers-by could rub his lucky rabbit's foot for a nickel. Huey would use his income to buy cigars and bottled Coke at the nearby train depot.
Huey claimed to have been born in 1873, which would have made him 105 when he died in 1978.
As the years passed following his death, Huey Cooper slowly faded from memory. Then Kent Daniels of the local Lynches Lake Historical Society talked with Darla Moore Rainwater, the richest woman in Lake City, about how Huey should have a statue to preserve his legacy.
"Let's do it," said Darla.
Alex Palkovich was commissioned (he had previously sculpted Swamp Fox, another South Carolina icon) and a bronze, larger-than-life Huey Cooper was unveiled on September 10, 2014, sitting at his former spot. Huey forever holds out his rabbit's foot, and there's a slot in his right pocket for luck-seekers to deposit their nickels.
In 2016 the Historical Society created a "Hunt For Huey," with 11 pasteboard figures of Cooper placed at his favorite places around town. Those who successfully followed Huey to all 11 spots would be awarded a certificate at the historical society office.