ALBANY -- There is just something about icing on the cake that really adds a sweet touch.
The icing on the cake for 34-year veteran public servant Larry Shaw came at a Friday luncheon at the Knights of Columbus hall on Gillionville Road, where more than 130 friends, family and high-ranking law enforcement officials wished him well in his retirement.
Shaw stepped down from a career that peaked with his job as chief probation officer in the Dougherty County-Albany circuit.
"After 34 years, I'm ready for retirement. I hope to end this chapter of my life, and I hope I did a good job for this community," Shaw said. "I never expected anything like this with this number of people. My family came in from Texas, Jacksonville, Fla., and Cincinnati. You have made my day."
Law enforcement officials on hand to honor Shaw included colleagues from probation, Albany Police Department Chief John Proctor, Dougherty County Superior Court Chief Judge Willie Lockette, Albany-Dougherty Drug Unit Maj. Bill Berry and others from multiple agencies, including federal.
A bundle of smiling pride, Shaw's wife Lolita said she just might have some procedures for Shaw to take on around the house.
"Well, now that he has time and he'll be around the house," Lolita Shaw said, "he can paint the bathroom, clean the garage and refinish the furniture."
Lockette remembered when the two men began public service around the same time. He joked that he wanted to retire, but his financial adviser said no.
A challenge was also issued by Lockette.
"After you take time for yourself, take the talents, knowledge and experience God gave you to continue to make the community better," the Superior Court chief judge said. "Good, black male role models are a precious few in the community."
Listening to the jokes and the serious comments from the people at the luncheon, it was easy to walk away from the affair thinking that Shaw wasn't the type of man to take it easy with retirement.
There is a chance that he will find a way through his church,
community organizations and his friends to, as Lockette said, "show our youth that there is more to life than saggy pants, a gold tooth, tattoos and drugs."
During the ceremonies Shaw was given pictures of his colleagues, plaques from his staff and superiors grateful for his hard work, and a "Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition" from U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop, D-Albany.