Oldest American Mayor Turning 100

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Monday, May 8, 2000


Oldest American Mayor Turning 100

OAKDALE, Pa. (AP) -- June Austin didn't just grow up in Oakdale -- he grew up with it.

Austin, generally considered the oldest active mayor in the United States, will turn 100 on July 16, making him just seven years younger than Oakdale, the suburban Pittsburgh borough he governs.

"I never drank a drop of whiskey, wine or beer in my life," he said. According to borough secretary Gloria Williamson, he also never smoked and had only one girlfriend -- whom he married.

Austin still drives, mows his lawn and walks about three miles twice a week when the weather lets him.

He has made some concessions to age. For instance, he wears a hearing aid in each ear. And the avid hunter decided it was time to get glasses when he had to shoot twice to put down a deer.

Austin had been retired for almost 30 years when state Rep. Ron "Huck" Gamble asked him in 1994 -- at age 94 -- to fill a term as mayor of the borough, which has slightly fewer than 1,000 people. Austin enjoyed the job so much, he ran again in 1995 and won. He is now in his third term.

His secret is simple.

"Everybody's courteous to each other," he said. "I like to keep it that way."

-- Maya (Maya@eck.ist), May 08, 2000


Old folks are so cool, if it's not sad to see them in pain.

Those who are blessed with health and sound mind are storehouses of knowledge. I love hearing the old folks talk about WWII; living during the Depression; the Fifties; stuff like that. Bringing up stuff from when we were 6 years old (JFK death) and hearing their take on it 37 years later. It can be a revelation. Looking at the same events from widely varying perspectives. 4 of 'em, actually. 2 then, 2 now.

Back then character mattered. It still matters now, of course; but back then people paid more attention to that fact, methinks.

-- Chicken Little (panic@forthebirds.net), May 09, 2000.

Your words have a lot of wisdom Chicken Little. I agree with you.

-- Maya (Maya@eck.ist), May 09, 2000.

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