Retired Brownsville teacher celebrates 100th birthday

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Vicente Guzman, a retired Brownsville school teacher, celebrated his 100th birthday on Friday. 

Born in Martindale, Texas, on Jan. 22, 1921, Guzman and his family--which included 13 brothers and sisters-- moved to San Marcos, where he graduated from Texas State University with a degree in teaching and a master's in administration. 

"BISD, Brownsville Independent School District, offered him his first job," said his daughter Carla Permenter. "So he came down, he said, 'I'm going to come, stay a year, and come back. Go back home.' He's here. He's been here since 1949."

Guzman is the only surviving member of his family. His wife, Delia, passed away 20 years ago. 

But the International Order of Alhambra, a Catholic charity club dedicated to assisting and teaching people both young and old with special needs, wanted to reach out.

"One of the ex-administrators, school administrators asked him to join and I think it was a way for him to ask my dad to join something because, of course, my dad was very sad," Permenter said. "It was very difficult for him. He lost his mate."

Guzman's 100th birthday makes him the oldest active member of the International Order of Alhambra. 

Aside from his brothers and sisters in Christ who paid him a visit, Texas Senator Eddie Lucio also stopped by the celebration, presenting him with a Texas flag honoring his age, and announcing he wanted to pass a resolution in Austin to make Guzman's name and history part of Texas' historical archives. 

Asked what the secret is to reaching the century mark, Guzman said coffee.

"Keep on living," Guzman said. "Keep on living. Somebody asked me, 'Que comes? Que comes?' You know, they're joking, dije 'I don't eat, I drink coffee."


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