On his 96th birthday, a spry Dr. Mac Lacy Jr. stood on the front lawn of his Wilkerson Avenue Home in South Boston Monday, waving at his friends driving by, shouting “Happy birthday, doc!”

The retired dentist’s friend Rick Harrell, a passenger in the first vehicle in the parade hopped out, headed up the front steps to Lacy’s front yard, and handed a birthday gift and hat to his friend.

Other friends jumped out of their cars to hand Lacy birthday cards, and one even did a birthday dance.

About 15 cars, some adorned with streamers, flags and birthday signs made their way by Lacy’s house. His girlfriend Sandra Wallace had told him on Saturday to be out on his front lawn at 4 on the afternoon of his birthday for the parade, but he expected maybe two or three cars to go by the house, not 15.

“It was a big surprise, a wonderful day. Very thoughtful,” Lacy said. “I’d forgotten I had so many friends.”

As Lacy greeted his friends driving by his house, he was his usual self, cracking jokes. He told one friend passing by that he was 69, not 96, flipping the numbers around and shaving some years off his age. All jokes aside, the retired dentist said he was thankful to be able to celebrate his 96th birthday.

“I’m glad I made it to 96. I’m lucky to be here,” Lacy said.

And he was ever the ladies’ man, complimenting his lady friends on how pretty they looked as they wished him a happy birthday.

One of his friends told him, “You’re the nicest thing I’ve seen all day.”

Lacy quipped, “You haven’t seen too much then!”

“He’s a lot of fun; he has a great sense of humor,” said Lacy’s longtime friend Carol Foster, who organized the birthday parade for Lacy with the help of Lorene Gilliam.

The parade was in lieu of a birthday party in observance of social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the past, Foster said Lacy’s friend Linda Lumsden, who drove the last car in Monday’s birthday parade, would throw parties for Lacy on special occasions.

“It (the parade) is a nice way to show attention to people having a birthday when you can’t have a party for them,” Foster said. “He loved it. He said, ‘I think that’s the nicest thing that has ever happened to me.’”

Foster shared that her friendship with Lacy spans five decades. Lacy’s father Dr. Mac Lacy Sr. was her dentist at one time, and Lacy Jr. later became her dentist. The two friends also attend the same church, First Presbyterian. Lacy has a great personality and uncanny ability to make people laugh, Foster said, and she was happy to put a smile on her friend’s face on his birthday.

Miranda Baines is a staff writer for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact her at mbaines@gazettevirginian.com.

Miranda Baines is a staff writer for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact her at mbaines@gazettevirginian.com.