USA’s oldest veteran (107) credits his longevity to a stress-free lifestyle, and the pleasure of cigars and whiskey.
At the age of 107 USA’s oldest known veteran Richard Overton planned to spend Memorial Day on the porch of his East Austin, TX home with a cigar nestled in his right hand, perhaps with a cup of whiskey-stiffened coffee nearby. He was born on May 11, 1906, in Texas’ Bastrop County.
Overton credits his longevity to aspirin, which he takes daily, and the relatively stress-free life he’s enjoyed since getting out of the service in October 1945. He then worked at local furniture stores before taking a position with the Texas Treasury Department in Austin. He married twice but never fathered any children and still attends church every Sunday.
“I got good health and I don’t take any medicine,” he said. “I also stay busy around the yards, I trim trees, help with the horses. The driveways get dirty, so I clean them. I do something to keep myself moving. I don’t watch television.”
Overton also passes his time with up to 12 cigars a day and a little whiskey in his morning coffee. The hooch helps keep Overton spry, he said. Simple luxuries for a man who’s lived through a lot.
“I may drink a little in the evening too with some soda water, but that’s it,” he said. “Whiskey’s a good medicine. It keeps your muscles tender.”
Overton’s secrets may be unorthodox to some, but it’s hard to argue with someone approaching supercentenarian status—an individual aged 110 or older. There are believed to be just 57 people worldwide that meet that classification, including 114-year-old Jeralean Talley, of Inkster, Mich., who is the oldest person in the United States according to the Gerontology Research Group. (Talley, who was born in 1899, reportedly celebrated her birthday on Thursday and passes her time listening to baseball on the radio and watching television.)