Super Seniors: Don and Earl Taylor - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Super Seniors: Don and Earl Taylor

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Don and Earl Taylor Don and Earl Taylor
HIGHGATE, Vt. -

Two old men working hard, that's all -- that's how this week's Super Seniors think of themselves. But there's more to the Taylor Brothers.

On any given day you will see these two working at the Franklin County Airport.

They're twin brothers Don and Earl Taylor... Earl is 10 minutes older. 

But while Earl might be the oldest, Don is the most talkative.

Today they are putting the finishing touches on a new flag pole in front of a hangar.

Don: "we'll let these come down with at 2 by 4."

Earl. "Okay. Yup."

The 85-year-olds love planes but for a time they made waves. It was World War II and the brothers quit school at 17 and joined the Navy. Those two years at war were the only time apart.

Joe Carroll: "So you guys get along?"

Don: "Oh yeah, we fight once in a while, just like everyone else."

They worked together at the same manufacturing plant, built homes side by side, even ran a business together. The Taylor brothers are close, living just a few doors down from each other. Aviation has always fascinated them.

"It has, I built model airplanes as a kid," Don says.

Don now flies kids, that's his joy...he's a licensed pilot participating in a program called Young Eagles.

"I just liked kids, but I never had any of my own," Don says.

Earl just happy to have a student license.

"I built them myself; I built the whole hangar," Don says.

Don owns one hangar and two planes. He always has a project going, tinkering on planes to building model airplanes.

"But I'm always busy up here," he says.

Something the brothers take pride in -- they're always on the move.

"We don't run the streets or go to the bar, stuff like that, we just work," Don says.

In many ways their lives have come full circle. Both their wives died at 79, and now they're spending time together like they were kids.

"We're caretakers here, we take care of the place, we up here every day, cause we only live a couple miles from here," Earl says.

Even though they were successful businessmen, something bothered the two, not graduating from high school.

"We graduated at 80 years old!" Don says.

That's right, five years ago at nearby Missisquoi High School they walked to the stage.

Joe Carroll: "What was that like for you two? Were you nervous?"

Don: "Probably like the rest of them, yeah."

Veteran groups lobbied and won the right for Vets to get a diploma if they served in World War II. So in full uniform and a standing ovation they got something they waited over 60 years to get -- a high school degree.

Even after they left the navy, they kept a nautical side to their life, spending 37 years in the SeaBees reserves, a naval construction battalion.

"We think we did pretty good for not going to high school when we were kids went into the service, not having education, everybody says we've done pretty good," Don says.

Two old men working hard.

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