LINCOLN, AL (WBRC) - A simple act of random kindness by three friends from Lincoln has the entire country talking.
Tae Knight, Jamario Howard, and JaMychol Baker went out to eat at an Oxford restaurant called Brad’s.
It would have been an otherwise normal evening for the three--Jamario recalls Tae and JaMychol were arguing in fact--when they noticed an elderly woman dining alone.
Howard says he approached the woman and asked if he could join her.
“She kind of looked at me like, why are you right here? And so I introduced myself, she introduced herself,” Howard recalled. “And we just kind of sat there, talking, really not about much, about every little thing. And then she started talking about her husband.”
It turns out the woman, Eleanor Baker, was a widow, in fact the very next day would have been her and her late husband's 60th wedding anniversary.
Jamario Howard says she accepted his invitation to join him and his two friends for dinner. He tells us they spoke all evening, told jokes to each other. He says he could tell as the evening progressed, she grew more confident with the three and warmed up to them.
He says he posted the photo on Facebook to inspire more people to do random acts of kindness.
“I personally thought, like, you know, it’s all right to be kind to people, 'cause this woman, she told me that the next day would’ve been their 60th anniversary. So I figured, you know, maybe it was a good thing, that we, maybe she needed somebody right now,” Howard said.
The men say the woman seemed especially happy to talk to them.
"She seemed ecstatic," said JaMychol Baker.
"She loved it, I think she was more excited than we were," said Howard.
The photo went viral--more than 182,000 likes, 17,000 comments and 49,000 shares as of Wednesday afternoon.
“I didn’t post it to go viral, I posted it to let people know it’s OK to be kind to other people,” said Howard.
"It's overwhelming, but it's pretty amazing to me," said JaMychol Baker.
Howard says they've all stayed in touch and the three men plan to have dinner with her again.
Howard says Baker has an active lifestyle, and is not a “lonely old woman,” as they themselves thought when they first saw her.