Resident reaches major milestone

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 29, 2005

Douglas Grant

The year was 1905. Charlie Weaver was born in Toledo, Ohio; the Intercollegiate Athletic Association of U.S., which became the NCAA five years later, was founded; the first movie theater opened in Pittsburgh; and a first-class stamp cost $0.02.

And on Dec. 28 of that year, Thelma Baird was born.

On Wednesday, seated among several family members, including an 82-year-old baby sister, and friends, Baird celebrated her 100th birthday at the Hillcrest Retirement Center.

Baird, wearing a purple cape and tiara, sat at the head table, which was adorned with a purple, green and white cake, a purple table cloth and purple utensils.

And while purple may not have been this centenarian’s

favorite color, it is the color of royalty, and fit for a queen, which Baird was dubbed that day.

Baird didn’t have any one secret for her longevity, aside, perhaps, from admitting she takes a little nip of bourbon every now and then.

As for the honor that day, Baird said she was very pleasantly surprised.

“I didn’t think they’d do anything like this,” she said, looking around the room at the decorations and the number of party goers. “They have been so good to me. I love ‘em all.”

Baird, who was born in Floyd County and says she has lived just about “everywhere,” has been at the center for a year.

As for reaching 100, Baird said she didn’t realize it was “such a big deal.”

While hitting the “Big 100” is quite a milestone, Baird can’t lay claim to being the oldest resident at the center. That belongs to a woman who will turn 104 on Feb. 1, 2006.

As to living a long and healthy life, Baird offers these words of advice.

“Just live day-to-day and do the best you can. Help other people when you can and go to church.”