WHO: Richard Overton, the oldest man in America.
WHAT: A photo of Overton recreating the smile shown on a mural in which he’s featured in East Austin.
WHY IT’S SO GREAT: Six months after Richard Overton was born, President Teddy Roosevelt traveled to Panama to inspect the progress of the Panama Canal. Overton, who signed up to fight in World War II when he was 34, is the oldest man in America, and the third-oldest man in the world. In May, he’ll celebrate his 112th birthday the same way he celebrates most things in life—with whiskey and cigars, which he’s declared are the secret to his longevity.
Austin, where Overton has lived since 1945, likes to celebrate its oldest resident. Last year, the city named a stretch of Hamilton Avenue, where Overton moved shortly after the end of the war, after him. And the East Austin community has done even more to honor Overton. At the intersection of 12th and Chicon—which has a recent history of controversial street art—Overton’s face now graces a mural celebrating the neighborhood’s roots as one of the hubs of African-American life in Austin.
This week, Martin Wilford, a friend of Overton’s for more than 40 years, drove the veteran past the mural, where he posed with a smile to recreate the image from within Wilford’s car. The shot is a charming look at a man who still enjoys his life well over a century into it.
Those who want to help Overton continue doing so can donate to a GoFundMe started by his family to help pay for 24-hour care, which keeps him in good shape—along with those cigars and whiskey, naturally.