Super Senior: Harold Luce - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Super Senior: Harold Luce

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CHELSEA, Vt. -

It may seem that little has changed in the town of Chelsea over the last 200 years. But in reality, the modern world is here with all its trappings. Harold Luce remembers a different world; a simpler time.

"We see an automobile we run to the window or out to the dooryard to see the automobile go by," he recalled.

In an era of no television or internet, you had to make your own fun. The folks of Chelsea would move the tables in kitchens and get their musical instruments out. Old-fashioned entertainment called kitchen junkets.

"That's how I learned to play-- over those houses where they had those dances," Harold said.

He got his first taste of music at age 4.

Reporter Joe Carroll: Were you a shy kid?

Harold Luce: Always, never got over it.

And when he met Edith, shyness overwhelmed him.

"I was playing the fiddle and she come to dance," he said. "I was 16 and she was 16."

But he didn't dance and hardly even talked to her. Four years passed before he got the courage to send her a note asking if she would go to the New Year's dance.

"She sent it back saying she would be glad to. So we went to the New Year's dance. We got married February 8th that same year," Harold said.

They went on to raise six kids. Edith passed away over a decade ago. Their oldest daughter, Donna Weston, thinks she knows why there's never a day her dad doesn't play a tune.

"I said I think his fiddle is his life's companion," she said. "There used to be a song years ago, 'Be My Life's Companion and You'll Never Grow Old.'"

What never grows old is Harold's love of the Tunbridge World's Fair. He's been performing here for almost 80 years. He loves to get toes tapping; folks moved by his music. That's his greatest joy: people having fun.

"I try to make it so those feet want to dance instead of just sitting there. How much longer is he going to play," Harold said.

Always the performer, he used to do somersaults while playing the fiddle, never missing a note.

"At 62 I did that," he said. "I still think I can, but I think I'd break my neck and I don't know how much rubber is in it."

And at 93 Harold isn't, well, as fit as a fiddle. Because of poor vision he can't read music anymore and one night he took a bad fall.

"My shoulder blade and collarbone came apart," he said. "I have a bone that sticks up pretty near an inch high."

Yankee ingenuity kicked in.

"So we took a cushion to take care of it," he said.

Joe Carroll: I hear you're pretty good.

Harold Luce: You did?

Joe Carroll: Yeah.

Harold Luce: I don't know who's lying to you!

But for folks across the country who know his folk fiddle music that's far from a fib.

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