Super Senior: Dorothy Stevens - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Super Senior: Dorothy Stevens

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WELLS RIVER, Vt. -

"Wells River is the meeting place of two states, Vermont and New Hampshire," Dorothy Stevens said.

If you travel from the village to the surrounding hillsides of this Connecticut River community, you will come to a farmhouse built in 1850.

Reporter Joe Carroll: Where did you grow up?

Dorothy Stevens: Here in this house.

So much of Dorothy's life has evolved here.

"We were married in this room actually!" she said.

It was 1940, David and Dorothy met as students at the University of Vermont and after she taught school for a few years, he popped the question. A week later they were married.

Now, the 95 year old struggles to get around, but her mind is as sharp as a tack.

Joe Carroll: Do people come to you as kind of the orator of Wells River?

Dorothy Stevens: Oh yes, all of knowledge, oh yes.

She's a history buff with so many stories to tell.

"You had to be at least 200 pounds or more to belong," she said, speaking of the Fat Man's Club; a group of beefy business leaders who got together to chew the fat. In the early 1920s they invited a very big man-- President William Howard Taft after he had left office. Taft hovered around 300 pounds. They sent one of the few cars in town to the train station to pick up the president, but it broke down.

"So they sent for another car, a Ford or something, and it was smaller and President Taft couldn't get into it!" Stevens said.

A horse and buggy saved the day.

"History is very interesting!" she said.

Dorothy knows so much about the town that she's writing a book called "The Cow Pasture Golf Course and Other Stories from Vermont's East Coast." The title comes from a Depression-era golf course that was partially on their farm; hit a cow and get a penalty stroke.

Joe Carroll: You're a good-natured person?

Dorothy Stevens: No, I'm a cross old lady!

Laughter comes naturally to her along with a strong will, something she got from her mother. Dorothy writes with her left hand, something strongly discouraged when she was a child. Some even considered it a sign of the devil.

"My mother was a teacher and she knew that when you change left-handed people, sometimes they had voice problems, speech problems," she said.

After a brief time teaching in the Burlington area, Dorothy and the family came back to her roots. Dorothy's parents were sick and needed help on the farm. David had never worked the land.

"There wouldn't be too many people that would do it!" Dorothy said. "My husband was a pretty special person, that's why I married him!"

David and the kids milked cows until 1989. He passed away three years ago, after being married for 68 years.

The woman with the rich knowledge of the town has words of wisdom to us all: if you don't know history you don't know who you are. She said, "That's the way you get through life, isn't it?"

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