Super Senior: Christine Hebert - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Super Senior: Christine Hebert

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What's a church service without music? And at St. Mark Church in Burlington, Christine Hebert is the organist, the head of the holy harmonies.

"There's nothing like music. I have a problem; all I have to sit down and play," she said.

She's been playing the piano for almost 80 years. It's a family tradition going back generations. On this day, her husband, Ken, and daughter, Karen, joined her.

When Mass has ended, the Heberts go in peace. But when they met there was a touch of violence. A 14-year-old Christine demanded that Ken push her on the swing.

Christine Hebert: He didn't want to do it. When the swing came back, he hit me with a board!

Reporter Joe Carroll: Hard?

Christine Hebert: Well, enough for me to be mad at him. Whap!

She became love struck; they've been married for 64 years.

Joe Carroll: True love?

Ken Hebert: Very... she keeps telling me that.

Christine has another job. She and her brother, Charlie, run Auer Family Boathouse in Burlington.

"I don't know what it is about here. It's just so peaceful," she said.

It's just off the bike path where the Winooski River and Lake Champlain meet, a business started by their parents in 1928.

"I like being here, I really do," Christine said. "I'm always anxious in the spring when it opens and feel bad in the fall when it closes."

If Christine looks familiar, there's a reason for that. I did a profile on the business three years ago. She is one of the reasons I started Super Seniors.

"You finally caught me, you son of a gun!" she said.

I came in happier times and trying times. The spring rains of 2011 almost sunk the business.

"That was the first time it ever got into the boathouse, you know," Christine said.

The boathouse didn't open that year. Family heirlooms were destroyed. The most precious-- her mom's piano.

Joe Carroll: To see that go, was that like seeing your mother go?

Christine Hebert: Yeah, that was the last tie... that was the last tie. Yup.

But the 86-year-old is resilient. She replaced her mom's piano with another. It's not the same, but the music plays on.

There's nothing fancy about the boathouse. It is genuine and open, just like Christine.

Christine and Charlie say they couldn't have opened up again without the Burlington community coming forward to help clean up after the floods.

Related Stories:

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Iconic Burlington business devastated by flooding

Sunday Sound: Auer Family Boathouse

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