Kingsport native turns 100 the same year as her hometown

KINGSPORT, TN (WJHL)- Thursday Kingsport is celebrating its 100th birthday. At 3:30 p.m. the Model City will kick off its centennial celebration at the Kingsport Farmer’s Market with a birthday party.

One of the Kingsport natives who will be at the party Thursday is Ms. Lou Hawk. She is having a 100th birthday of her own this year. Hawk said she is grateful she gets to see her town turn 100 and for all the memories she has built in those years.

“I liked to go shopping at the J. Fred Johnson store,” Hawk said. “The first time I went to Sunday school I rode on a horse named Roxy.”

And a few years later she said she remembers when Tri-Cities Airport was the talk of the town.

“I actually saw it you know being built. Which oh we thought that was a really famous thing getting an airport in Kingsport, oh that was big news,” Hawk said.

With all she has seen in this city, she says her favorite thing about it, “Such wonderful people,” Hawk said.

At 99, “Papa Lou,” as her 57 grand kids lovingly call her, says she is often asked, “How did you live this long?  How did you look so young?  I said ‘I used Ponds Cold Cream,’” Hawk said laughing.

As much as the cold cream has kept her beautiful, she says the real key to her long life, “I always have to give the Lord the credit you know thank you I just appreciate you letting me live this long,” Hawk said. “I always try to look at the good side of life at times it was really upsetting different things we all have things like that, but I’ve just been grateful to the Lord for the many opportunities he’s given me.”

Her three kids say they are so thankful for the years they’ve been given with their precious mom.

“Mom’s faith is just beyond measure she’s had so many difficult times in her life and she’s shown by her example how to overcome those difficulties,” Lou’s son Charles Hawk said. “Even though she’s legally blind now she has a book, that I don’t know over 50 pages, of all the these people she keeps praying for so so many people say ‘please don’t take me out of that book.'”

And it might not surprise you what she said when I asked her what piece of advice she would give to those in their early years, “Please go to church,” Hawk said.

Lou said between her faith, her family, and her nearly 100 years, she has a lot to be thankful for, including getting to turn 100 with her hometown.

“I’m grateful for Kingsport and all of the many things they have done for people,” Hawk said.

She worked most of her life and said she was one of the first census takers in Kingsport. She said she is amazed with how Kingsport has grown in her lifetime.

And to celebrate all things Kingsport, the centennial celebration kicks off at the Kingsport Farmer’s Market at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 2nd.

At the even there will be a walk through the past 100 years of Kingsport, a few ways to leave your mark on the town’s history, and a giant birthday cake.

Copyright 2017 WJHL. All Rights Reserved.

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