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Pine Level honors McLean with sidewalk dedication

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PINE LEVEL — Mayor Jeff Holt used the Pine Level seniors group’s monthly meeting Aug. 14 to honor longtime town resident Nestor McLean.

Holt thanked McLean for his service to the town and announced a Pine Level sidewalk would bear the 91-year-old’s name. The mayor said he wanted McLean to receive his due — he’d been named grand marshal of last year’s Pine Level Christmas parade, but inclement weather canceled the ceremonial procession.

Holt said organizers chose McLean as grand marshal due to his U.S. Army service, his participation as a longtime Pine Level Planning Board member and charter senior citizens’ committee member and his service as an elder at Giles Chapel Free Will Baptist Church.

Pine Level received a long-awaited sidewalk in 2014, and Holt said McLean’s persistence played no small part in the effort.

“The town had been talking about doing it for a long time, but we did not have the money to fund it ourselves,” said Holt. “We had some drainage issues along the route and we asked the state if they could give us some help, which they did. Mr. Nestor would always mention at town board meetings, ‘Don’t forget about my sidewalk.’ We were happy to get the sidewalk and it was a win-win situation for everybody.”

For many years, McLean has had a habit of walking everywhere he went around Pine Level. He made a daily trip to the post office a mile from his home to pick up his mail.

While the branch was closed in 2017, mail was delivered to Pine Level post office box customers, including McLean, at a temporary branch in Selma. McLean said he loved walking so much that he continued walking to the Pine Level post office each day even though there was no mail to retrieve.

“I decided to keep walking for the exercise and to stay healthy,” said McLean. “I have been blessed and think walking is what has kept me here.”