On 100th birthday, still beautiful both inside and out
by Marguerite Cline
November 30, 2012 12:19 AM | 2302 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A few years ago, Cathy Lacy invited me to go with her to visit her mother-in-law, Louise Pruitt Lacy. Cathy described Mrs. Lacy as a “treasure that needs to be shared.” I quickly agreed with her.

Mrs. Lacy is still a “treasure that needs to be shared” as she celebrates her 100th birthday. Her birthday party will be at Cameron Hall in Canton on Saturday, Dec. 8 at 2 p.m. You and I are invited.

Now living at Cameron Hall, she says, next to home, that is the best place to be.

Mrs. Lacy and her husband, Preston, were both educators. She retired after teaching 40 years.

One of her students was Margaret Haley Misseri. At that time they were at the old Union Hill School. Mrs. Lacy was Margaret’s teacher in the first, second and third grades. Union Hill was a small school and the three grades were combined.

As Margaret remembers, at the end of first grade and then at the end of second grade, she just moved over one row. She remembers Mrs. Lacy as kind and caring.

Mrs. Lacy says she never dreamed that she would live to be 100. She seems surprised with all the attention she is getting.

As we have heard, “Old age has its privileges.” I must admit my reservations about putting Mrs. Lacy in the “old age” group. I have more wrinkles than she has.

She has learned about a special privilege she will enjoy after her birthday. That will be on Dec. 7. On Wednesdays, Joyce Poole and Ruth Payne give residents of Cameron Hall manicures. In the future there will be no waiting for Mrs. Lacy. She will immediately go to the front of the line.

Though she is well along in years, she fully enjoys life. For Halloween, her niece, Linda Lacy Leslie, went by to help Mrs. Lacy with her costume.

With Linda’s assistance, Mrs. Lacy became “Hee Haw’s” Nurse Goodbody. Dressed in a white smock with a stethoscope, first aid kit and wearing a pinkish/reddish wig, she was a sight to behold.

One day Cathy said to her mother-in-law, “I want to grow old like you. What is your secret?” Mrs. Lacy told her to always live “looking up.”

It has not always been easy for her to “look up.” Preston and Louise Lacy’s first home burned. She survived cancer. And when Mr. Lacy became bedridden, she was always by his side caring untiringly for him. But she kept living “looking up.”

She has always been a hard worker both during her career and during her retirement. With a big garden she picked, cooked, canned and froze fruits and vegetables. Active in her church, she visited the sick, usually taking them one of her legendary cakes.

A part of her secret for growing old may be that she never holds a grudge or gets angry. Cathy said the person she remembers Mrs. Lacy almost getting mad with was then-Gov. Zell Miller. That was about his bringing the lottery to Georgia.

She and Preston Lacy’s marriage lasted until his death.

Thinking back to when they first met, she said it was not love at first sight. They first met when they were registering for summer school at Young Harris.

Florabelle Hamilton Wallace was Mrs. Lacy’s first cousin and best friend. Neither of them had a car. Florabelle told Mrs. Lacy to start “looking” at Preston Lacy so he would take them places.

When you visit Mrs. Lacy, you can be sure she will have candy in her apartment. It is for the grandchildren, great-grandchildren and anyone else who comes to visit.

She laughs about the time someone came into her apartment and saw her with candy spread all over her bed. She was separating the soft candy from the hard candy so none of the children will get choked on a piece of hard candy.

Mrs. Lacy likes candy, too. In fact, every morning, before going to breakfast, she eats a piece of soft peppermint. She says it clears her head. She often takes a piece to her tablemates for them to have with their breakfast.

Sometimes I think we overuse the phrase “beautiful inside and out” to describe people. But with Louise Lacy those are the perfect words to describe her.

So, remember, her 100th birthday party will be Dec. 8 at 2 p.m. at Cameron Hall. Everyone is invited to celebrate the long life of this wonderful and most deserving lady.

Now if you are like me, you need to put this on your calendar right now. Not only do we have wrinkles, we are sometimes forgetful.


Marguerite Cline is the former mayor of Waleska.
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