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Super Senior: May Isaac

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It's a typical day at the Manchester Health Service Thrift Shop and the volunteers are getting ready for another day. Precisely at 11 a.m. the door opens to a waiting crowd.

"This is the best store in town!" May Isaac said.

May Isaac is there to greet the customers. She knows most by name.

"Oh, here comes the two Sheilas!" May said. "They feel at home when they come in here."

And this shop is her second home; she's been volunteering her time four days a week for the last 20 years.

"She has a very large following," said Barbara Keough of Manchester Health Services.

Reporter Joe Carroll: How old are you?

May Isaac: You know how old I am, that's why you're here. I'm 95.

She hasn't always been so forthright about her age. She said when people found out she was in her 90s, they would grab her a chair, and think she was feeble.

Then she came to a realization: "And then I said the hell with this."

She became proud of her nine decades on this Earth and besides, she's active and healthy.

"Don't take (my picture) from the side Joe, I look 95," May said.

To say May speaks her mind would be an understatement. She tells it her way, with a sense of humor.

"We only have good customers," she said. "Well, we do get a few of the other kind."

She is the voice of the store, letting everyone know what deals can be found.

"Where else would you get a suit for $10, a shirt for $3 and a tie for $1?" she asked.

All these dollars add up; it's become one of the most popular stores in Manchester. Money raised at the thrift shop goes to the Manchester Community Health Services. It's where 8 percent of their budget comes from.

It's outpatient care for all. They're also a Visiting Nurses Association for Southern Vermont.

"We enjoy each other's company," May said.

Back in the store, customers rifle through the deals.

May has a concise explanation why she still comes to the thrift shop.

"If I didn't do this, Joe, I think I would wither away," she said.

She's far from drying up. The woman born in Scotland and raised in New Jersey married a Navy man. She ran a cosmetics department at a large department store back in the Garden State. Her husband, Howard, died in his 60s. Later, she followed her only child to Vermont, where she's lived ever since.

May Isaac: I don't feel my age.

Joe Carroll: Well, you don't look it.

Isaac: Thank you, Joe.

Carroll: I'm serious, that's not just a line either.

Isaac: Bless you, what are you doing later?

For anyone traveling on old Route 7, May's a woman with a smile, sales pitch and a shirt to sell.

"She's an inspiration," one of the volunteers said. "Look at her!"

"I told her to say that!" May said.

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