LITTLETON

The community came together on Saturday to celebrate Robert Silver’s 94th birthday with a drive-by honoring his life.

The occasion was met with a clear blue sky and warm weather over the Town Center, where a tent was propped up in the commercial parking lot. Under the tent was a table of gift bags filled with sandwiches, chips, drinks and other items for guests driving by in the event.

Deborah James, Silver’s daughter, organized the celebration. Her father is a prominent figure within the community of Littleton for his decades-long service working on vehicles for people while first working at Newsome Motor Company and then his own business called Robert’s Body Shop, she said.

His wife, Gussie Silver, said it was not until Robert retired that he began working at her shop, Gussie Silver’s Flower Shop, and then their catering business, A Catered Affair, for 20 years.

With a Halifax County Sheriff’s Office Deputy, Littleton Police and the Warren County Rescue Squad participating, James said there were more than 20 vehicles of family and friends lined up to help celebrate.

“I am really proud that they honored him and allowed us to have this,” she said. “I really am, and I want to thank them so much.”

Gussie said it means a lot to Robert since he looks forward to having his birthday party every year and seeing his nieces and nephews.

“I really appreciate all of them coming out,” she said. “He fixed a lot of bent-up cars for different people in the area over the 70 years, really. So, he’s been busy, and he knows about everybody, and everybody knows him in the area. It was just nice to know that the town accepted us to have the drive-by birthday party.”

When asked how she thinks her father feels about the drive-by celebration, James said he is overjoyed, but he will probably forget the event.

“He has dementia a little bit,” she said.

However, she said Robert is still witty as ever.

“You walk over there and he might kind of tell you any kind of joke,” James said. “If you ask him how he’s doing, you wait to see what he tells you.”

Walking over to the driver’s side of the vehicle where Robert, the man born in 1927, sat to enjoy the event with Gussie sitting in the passenger seat, he was asked how he was doing.

“I’m doing fine as frog’s hair,” Robert replied.

“That means he’s fine because a frog got hair,” Gussie added, while leaning over to speak. “Frogs don’t have hair.”

When asked if he missed working with automobiles, Robert said, “I miss it, but it’s a pleasant miss.”

Overall, Robert said he enjoyed the drive-by event.

“I love birthday parties,” he said. “If I lived to get 150 I don’t know if I would need a birthday party.”