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Happy birthday, Lloyd Scales

Lloyd Scales set the tone early during his 85th birthday celebration Sunday afternoon at Quinn Chapel A.

Monday, September 06, 1999

Lloyd Scales set the tone early during his 85th birthday celebration Sunday afternoon at Quinn Chapel A.M.E. Church. Dressed in a white suit, before a packed house, Scales let it be known the day’s praise belonged to someone else.

"Give the honor to the man upstairs," he said, just minutes into the proceedings. "I’m glad everyone could be here one more time. The people here today are here to sing to the Lord."

Scales led off a long list of soloists by singing "Did You Think To Pray?" He then gave way to Herald Smith who spoke of his long time friendship with Scales.

"Lloyd and I have been close ever since 1945," Smith said before reciting "Invictus" as per Scales request. "Lloyd, it has been a thrill to be around you, but that doesn’t mean we’re ready to let him go."

As at Scales’ 80th birthday celebration, Paul Houston served as emcee and, after a brief introduction, gave way to Mayor Bob Cleary.

Cleary presented Scales with a plaque from the mayor’s office.

"I haven’t been around long enough to say I’ve known Lloyd as long as some of you here today, but I’ve known him for 30 years and he has always been a great asset to the community," Cleary said. "I’m very honored to be here today."

Scales was a member of the Ironton High School Class of 1932 and is retired from Chessie System Railroad, now CSX.

A member of Quinn Chapel A.M.E. since childhood, Scales now serves as steward in the church.

And, among many other accomplishments in the last 85 years, he was honored as the "Citizen of the Year" by the Lawrence County Department of Welfare in 1975.

The cross section of performers and those in attendance Sunday served as testimony to Scales’s place in the community.

Deotis Conwell manned the piano as the first guest soloist. His commanding performance of "Thanks to Calvary, I Don’t go There Anymore" was followed by the 21-member Central Christian Choir who sang "The Lighthouse."

Jane Whitt, Gerald Steward, Virginia Sewell, Isabel Edwards and Melanie Edwards followed with performances ranging from poems to dance.

Scales again took over and led the congregation in songs he performed at his last birthday party in 1994. He led off with "His Eye Is On The Sparrow" and finished with "Lead Me, Guide Me."

Testimony continued as Scales heard kind words and songs from James Gordon, Edward Holmes, the Rev. Isaiah Haile, Susan King, George Hendricks, Jack Cordoza and Darrell Rollins.

"He is always kind, he is always charitable and he is always sweet," Rollins said. "He gets bigger and bigger on the horizon as people to look up to."

Following benediction and individual greetings to each and every person there, Scales was able to sum up the meaning of the day.

"I will never need a eulogy after today," he said. "It was beautiful. And if God blessed anyone here today, then it was all worth it."