Richard Overton, 111 years old, on his front porch in Austin.
He’s sitting in a lawn chair on the front porch of the Austin home he built nearly 70 years ago, working on his fifth Tampa Sweet cigar on a 91-degree sunny day. The smooth tunes of the Isley Brothers flow from a portable speaker. Birds are chirping in the late afternoon breeze.
“I’m feeling pretty good today,” Overton says, emphasizing the word pretty, because any day spent on this porch smoking cigars is a pretty good day for the 111-year-old.
They also keep track of his visitors, because people stop by all the time at the house on Richard Overton Avenue. That’s right. On his 111th birthday on May 11, the town renamed his street. Some 200 people came out for the party on his front lawn, lining up to take a photo with Overton like kids waiting to meet Santa Claus.
Many brought gifts, like fancy cigars and bottles of whiskey. That’s his drink of choice — a whiskey and Coke — and when his caretakers are pouring, it’s always more Coke than whiskey. His cousins estimate he received more than 40 bottles that day, now dispersed throughout his home in kitchen cabinets, a bedroom closet and dresser drawers.