TENNERTON – It’s not every birthday you’re able to enjoy a police escort down Main Street and up Route 20 to your favorite restaurant in Buckhannon – Sam’s Pizza – where you find a pizza with the pepperoni spelling out your age.
But then again, Tuesday wasn’t just another birthday for Hazel Davidson, who turned 101 years old Sunday, Aug. 11.
Davidson enjoyed a pink-themed party fit for a centenarian Tuesday at noon at Sam’s Pizza, complete with a cake baked by Fish Hawk Acres and a half-dozen chocolate-dipped strawberries and pretzels made by Strawberry Essences Florist and Fruit Creations.
Becki Ferguson, co-owner and stylist at Just Cuttin’ Up Salon in Buckhannon, was the mastermind behind Davidson’s special party; she teamed up with Sam’s Pizza and the other businesses to organize a party like no other for Davidson, who was born in 1918.
Ferguson is well-acquainted with Davidson.
“She’s a customer of ours,” she said. “We do her perm every three months, and the last time she was in, I said, ‘Miss Hazel, I will take you anywhere you want to go for your birthday lunch. I’ll drive you anywhere you want to go, and she said, ‘Honey, I’d just like a good salad.’ Sam’s Pizza is my favorite, and I said, ‘I will take you to Sam’s Pizza for your birthday.”
“She said, ‘Well, my family does stuff for my birthday,’” Ferguson recalled, “and I said, ‘Honey, you’re going to be 101. We’re going to party all week.”
Ferguson arranged for Cpl. Marshall O’Connor with the Buckhannon Police Department to escort Davidson from her residence at Buckhannon Manor to Sam’s.
By the time Sam’s Pizza assistant manager Bob Rowan had sliced up Davidson’s special pizza and Davidson had been served fresh coffee in her birthday wine glass – as requested – Buckhannon mayor David McCauley popped in with another surprise.
He presented Davidson with the city’s Centenarian Award, declared Tuesday, Aug. 13 Hazel Davidson Day throughout Buckhannon and handed her a key to the city.
“I’ve never had such a birthday in my life,” Davidson told the mayor. “If I was a fainting person, I would pass out.”
Ferguson said she wanted to host a party for Davidson because she’s a gracious, genuine person – not to mention a skilled storyteller.
“She’s a special, special lady,” Ferguson said. “I love when she comes to see me. She is gracious. I don’t think people realize what our older generation – the greatest generation – has to offer. She’s very cognizant of her surroundings, and she can tell you stories.
“Of course, a perm takes three hours, so we get to spend a lot of time together,” Ferguson laughed. “She remembers everything from when she was a child, and she says she’s had a good life. She has so much to offer, and I don’t think people realize these are the people we need to be listening to.”
Rowan, the manager of Sam’s, said the local business was thrilled Davidson chose Sam’s for her birthday lunch.
“We were quite honored and blessed to have her pick our establishment for her 101st birthday,” he said.
According to the Centenarian Award proclamation, Davidson was born Aug. 11, 1918 and had been married to the late Clay Davidson with whom she had six children, 12 grandchildren and “too many great-grandchildren to count.”