Mayor Jimmy Lunsford

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 6, 2002

celebrates birthday today


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What happened at Troy City Hall Wednesday wasn’t the typical celebrity roast. It was more of a photo feast.

Mayor Jimmy Lunsford saw his life flash before his eyes, much to the delight of the employees at city hall.

A video of the mayor’s 59 years was the fun part of the party although "funny" might be a better word, but the mayor laughed as much as anyone else – almost.

"My favorite saying is that a change in the second digit of an age is not too traumatic, it’s the change in the first digit,"

Lunsford said.

Having been traumatized 5 times, Lunsford said the year he turned 30 was the most difficult to handle.

"I guess I realized I was a young man growing old," he said, laughing.

On that memorable day, Lunsford was at the Alabama Development Office building in Montgomery.

"I stepped in the elevator and stuck on the wall was a picture of me with ‘Happy 30th Birthday’ on it," he said. "Every time I got in an elevator in the state office complex, there was another one of those pictures. Someone had done it as a prank – not a compliment – because it was not a very flattering picture."

Lunsford approached his 40th birthday having been told that life begins at 40.

"Roy Sanders told me that lasts about three days," Lunsford said.

When he turned 50, Lunsford said his thoughts turned to his dad at that age.

"I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but, when my dad was 50, I thought he was an old man," he said, laughing. "I didn’t have that same perception of myself when I turned 50."

Now, that he’s pushing another first digit, the mayor said he is very comfortable with his age.

"I’m really looking forward to being 60," Lunsford said. "I’ve accepted it."

And, that he’s a proud grandpapa has a lot to do with that.

"Being a granddaddy is very special," Lunsford said. "What makes it even more special is that Jackson is named after my daddy Jackson Grady Lunsford. Now, I know that, one day, there will be another Grady Lunsford on the family farm at Needmore."

Mayor Jimmy Lunsford will actually flip over that second age digit today and he’s not one bit worried that he might look a day older than he did yesterday. He’s happy doing what he does and he’s happy being who he is and he’s happy to have family and friends around him. He’s also happy that the employees at city hall thought enough of him to roast him with pork and feast him with photos.

It’s funny how much that means to man no matter what his age.