Super Senior: Cele Capen - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Super Senior: Cele Capen

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At the Hannaford in Rutland a barrage of beeps come from the registers. It's not surprising considering it's one of the largest supermarkets in the state.

Down the lines you have to look closely to find Cele Capen. She's a 4'8" fireball; a tiny woman with a big presence in the store.

"She says I want to work every weekend for retail. I say you're hired," said Linda Wolk of Hannaford.

The staff calls her the grandmother of the market.

Reporter Joe Carroll: Do you think most people know you're 89?

Cele Capen: No! Don't tell 'em!

She's been here for 14 years.

Joe Carroll: Why do you like coming here?

Cele Capen: 'Cause I like to be with people, I love all my customers.

She believes in the old-fashioned notion of treating the customer with respect.

"And I don't care how bad some of them are, there's some good in there somewhere!" she said.

Always with this parting line: "Have a good day!"

Cele might not know all the names, but she knows the faces. It's a line they don't mind waiting in.

"She's pretty reserved most of the day, but she gets going sometimes. She gives it back when we need to have it," co-worker JoAnn Marshall said.

Cele grew up in Pittsford and married the farm boy next door. Charleton and Cele bought a farm in Proctor and milked 120 head. They raised three children and were married 56 years.

Cele Capen: He told me if I get, if anything happens to me, you get rid of my girls. I don't want them to go downhill.

Joe Carroll: Girls meaning the cows?

Capen: Yes!

Charleton died over a decade ago. Now the barn is empty, but the 300 acres is Cele's nest egg. She says when she can't work anymore she might sell some of her land.

"They asked me what I thought of you and I said she's phenomenal, she's wonderful," Linda Wolk told Cele.

"You lied a little bit!" Cele joked.

Far from a lie... the woman who's pushing 90 is an inspiration to everyone who has the pleasure of being in her line.

"I just can't sit and do nothing!" she said.

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