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On a hot mid-June morning, 73-year-old William Gause relaxes on a picnic table in the shade of an old oak tree while nine middle-school-aged girls tear up his front lawn with garden trowels and cultivators.
A green cap casts a shadow over Gause’s face as he watches the girls at work. He spends most of his days like this, sitting under the oak tree and listening to church music. Gobs of Spanish moss hang from the tree’s limbs, giving it a weeping quality.
“I hung that moss,” he says, his voice soft and proud.
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