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Super Senior: Cleve Minor - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Super Senior: Cleve Minor

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ST. JOHNSBURY CENTER, Vt. -

Farmers aren't the only one's complaining about the wet spring of 2013.

"We've had so much rain, I've haven't had a chance to get to the outside at all," Cleveland Minor said.

House painters have been hard hit. So a shot of blue sky and yellow sun is a perfect match for Cleveland.

"I'll get my stuff!" he said.

On this day, he was wiping off the mildew, prepping to paint a house in St. Johnsbury Center.

Reporter Joe Carroll: Cleve, you're not afraid of heights?

Cleveland Minor: No, not at all. Don't bother me at all.

His grandmother named him Cleveland... he doesn't know why. Everyone calls him Cleve.

"The guy runs!" said Priscilla Flanders of St. Johnsbury. "He does run."

The 87-year-old gets around like a teenager. All over the Northeast Kingdom, residents think he's amazing. One told him that recently after church.

"'Jeezum Crow, you run up the hill like nothing!' I said, 'That ain't nothing. It don't bother me!'" Cleve said.

To say it nicely, Cleve's ladders are vintage. He's been using the same pair of ladders since he took over the business from a friend in the early 1950s.

Joe Carroll: That ladder is from 1951?

Cleve Minor: Oh, before that!

The son of a painter, Cleve grew up just up the road in Lyndon Corner. He learned the value of a dollar from his dad.

Joe Carroll: You know how to save don't you?

Cleve Minor: Your damn right! Yes sir, cause I learned from him.

His office on wheels is his 20-year-old Buick station wagon filled with all the tools of the trade.

"As I tell people, when I go to a job, I try to figure on everything I got to have," he said, opening the back of the car.

Cleve's clients say he has the best work ethic of anybody they've seen. Most have known him for decades, including Priscilla Flanders.

"He's super, he knows more about paint than anybody around here," she said.

Joe Carroll: Some people say an 87-year-old shouldn't be climbing 50 feet up.

Cleve Minor: Well, I hear that all the time. The VA is always telling me.

The World War II vet doesn't think he should hang up the ladder. His only major fall was when he was 50, breaking multiple bones in his body. He never thought of quitting.

Joe Carroll: Do you work because you want to or you have to?

Cleve Minor: 'Cause I want to, mostly.

There was always a voice in the back of Cleve's head. It was from his dad; save as much as you can. He's invested much of his money and now he says he's "comfortable."

Joe Carroll: Do you think people nowadays spend too much money?

Cleve Minor: They do, they do.

Far from a brush off, he truly does like people. And how would he describe himself?

"As a guy who's friendly and conservative and just like to work," Cleve said.

That's what he will be doing all summer, never climbing some corporate ladder, just his own.

Cleve and his wife, Bernice, have been married for 50 years. They have three children. None of them are house painters.

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