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Blalock declared community’s ‘cornerstone’ for 100 years

Jonesboro City Councilman Clarence Mann presents a dozen red roses to resident Louise Blalock in honor of her 100th birthday Monday as Mayor Joy Day looks on.

Jonesboro City Councilman Clarence Mann presents a dozen red roses to resident Louise Blalock in honor of her 100th birthday Monday as Mayor Joy Day looks on.

— Louise Blalock turned around and her jaw dropped when she saw what Jonesboro City Councilman Clarence Mann was carrying in his hands Monday.

She couldn’t believe what she was seeing as Mann drew near. Something big, bountiful, beautiful, red and green and loosely wrapped in plastic was headed her way as if she was Miss America.

It was a dozen red roses, presented to Blalock in honor of her 100th birthday.

“Oh heavens, thank you,” said Blalock in a frail but genteel southern voice as she laid her eyes upon the flowers.

Mann then congratulated her on reaching the century mark and for being a pillar in the city.

“Mrs. Blalock, you are a treasure to Jonesboro and people look up to you,” said Mann.

Before Mann presented the flowers to Blalock on behalf of the city, Mayor Joy Day presented her with a plaque that declared the long-time resident to be Jonesboro’s “Citizen of the Century.”

Day told attendees at the city council meeting that Blalock predated both world wars, and was old enough to remember when Jonesboro’s Main Street was lined with homes, rather than businesses. Her home on Main Street is a “monument” to the city’s history, Day said.

“Louise Blalock has been the cornerstone for the 20th and 21st centuries in the city of Jonesboro,” she said.