Stephen and his wife Susan Felt sit on their front porch of their home in Nashville, Tenn. and recount how they have been married for 71 years on Thursday, March 28, 2024.
Stephen and his wife Susan Felt sit on their front porch of their home in Nashville, Tenn. and recount how they have been married for 71 years on Thursday, March 28, 2024.

Nestled off a gravel road on a slice of property that used to be a soybean field lies Gum Tree Farm, the property of Stephen (79) and Susan Felt (81). It now brims with a healthy tree line, Japanese maples, burls, cedars, oak trees, and more, spread across the five-acre property.

Stephen, a former infectious disease physician, skipped his senior year of high school on the advice of his older brother, following him to Mississippi State. He eventually graduated from Vanderbilt University in 1969. Inspired by a professor at Mississippi State, Stephen decided to study infectious disease, a career path he followed for the next 40 years, ultimately retiring in 2020.

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How does it feel to be 72?

Why did you retire or why are you still working?

Why did you retire?

Why are you still working?

I chose to retire due to the COVID-19 pandemic," said Stephen. "As soon as the epidemic began, my travel medicine clinic went out of business overnight, which made the decision for me to retire. It was a serendipitous thing. I then got to do what I wanted to do, which was to spend more time working in my yard.

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Life expectancy 2023

years

About the photographer

Liam Kennedy

🌐
Nashville

Liam Kennedy is a photojournalist and documentary photographer based in Nashville, TN. He discovered his passion for photojournalism after documenting the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines and Hurricanes Maria (Puerto Rico) and Irma (Virgin Islands). Kennedy has contributed to publications such as The New York Times, Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal.

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