103-year-old given 103rd Street sign for birthday

Feb. 23, 2014 at 10:11 AM

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 23 (UPI) -- Los Angeles officials said they presented an elderly man with a street sign that read "103rd Street" in honor of his 103rd birthday.

Los Angeles Councilman Tom LaBonge has a history of giving Leon Saliba a variety of unique gifts to celebrate every birthday since his 100th, the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday.

When Saliba turned 100, the city planted a purple-leaf plum tree in front of his home, at 101, he was photographed standing near the 101 Freeway sign. At 102, he was photographed outside city Fire Station 102.

For 103, the plan was to photograph Saliba at the intersection of 103rd Street and Success Avenue.

"After all, reaching age 103 involves having success," LaBonge said.

But Saliba couldn't make the 50-mile round trip due to unseasonably warm weather.

So LaBonge took the custom-made 103rd Street sign, complete with Saliba's name inscribed on it, to the man's house.

"This is wonderful. But I can't take a sign I shouldn't have," Saliba said. "But I think it's just great. It's big and it has giant capital letters."

Saliba was born in Salt Lake City, but his family moved to Los Angeles when he was in junior high school.

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