Super Senior: Jim Hasson

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CAVENDISH, Vt. (WCAX) From a 42-year career as a Navy Seabee, to raising a family, to volunteering at Plymouth Notch State Park, Super Senior Jim Hasson's life has been one adventure after another.

Jim Hasson lives for the past. For him, it never gets old.

"The village is basically the same as when he was here," Hasson said, speaking of Plymouth Notch, President Calvin Coolidge's childhood home. "He was my kind of folks."

In the spring, this village frozen in time, will be open again to the public. Hasson plans to be back as a tour guide. He's been doing it for years. "I like being here," he said.

"He has the energy of people half his age," said William Jenney, Hasson's boss.

Hasson is just short of 92. Calvin Coolidge was born here on the 4th of July, Hasson's life started in New Jersey, but Cavendish has been home for most of his life. "Yeah, I come up here when I was 20, after I got out of WW2," he said.

The house had no electricity or plumbing. A bare-boned bachelor pad. Twenty-six hundred bucks got the house and 65 acres. If I wanted to take a bath in the brook, well you just went out and took a bath in the brook, there was nobody around," Hasson said.

But soon there was. He met Ann on a blind date. "I met this pretty Irish girl from Jersey City and that ended my roving days," he said. They married and he convinced her to go up to Vermont.

On the dinner table are photo albums of his life -- both love and loss. "A lot of pictures and memories," he said, turning the pages. "It's been a real nostalgic trip all morning."

Hasson has had two loves in his life. Ann, of course, and a long affair with the Navy.

Reporter Joe Carroll: Your a Seabee in World War 2. Did they call you a kid?
Jim Hasson: That would be one of the nicer names.

Seabees stands for Construction Battalion. He was just 17 when he joined the Navy. He helped build roads and runways in the Pacific during the war. "I think I probably represented the kid they left home. You know -- the son," he said.

When the war ended Hasson stayed in the Seabee Reserves. "Little did I know what's coming," he said. Twenty-five years after World War 2, Jim got called up. This time he had a wife and four children.

Reporter Joe Carroll: Compare the two if you can?
Jim Hasson: Well, Vietnam was a lot more war.

The kid in the Pacific was now 42. "You say a lot of Hail Mary's I tell yah," he said. Hasson thought it was his duty to go to Vietnam, but the burden of raising kids went to Ann. "I'm sure I could have spared them that, but military wife's are a special breed when you think about it."

Once again he came home from conflict, but stayed a Seabee. "I retired on my 60th birthday, with 42 years, two months and five days," he said. Perhaps the longest serving Seabee ever.

Ann's time came to an end much later -- they were married for 60 years. "We should have never had a cross word really when I look back it it -- she was a gift," Hasson said.

His life has been an adventure that's one for the history books. "Life has been good to me, yeah," he said.