In Newport, Micheline Auger is treated like a celebrity.
She's loved not for who she is, but what she does.
"I do this all day," said Micheline
Micheline shines the city.
"It needs it, it has to be done," said Micheline.
She picks up litter, prunes the plants and she even shovels the sidewalks. All for free.
"All the way down to the state building and back up the other side," said Newport Police Chief Seth DiSanto.
That's pretty much all the downtown. Chief DiSanto has been in awe of Micheline for years.
"Every day, it doesn't matter the weather, sunshine, sleet, hail, snow. She's out here doing her thing," said DiSanto.
So why does a woman who's almost 70 with physical issues do hard labor?
Micheline: I really enjoy doing it, especially shoveling; I do it 'till nine o'clock.
Reporter Joe Carroll: You enjoy shoveling?
Micheline: Yeah, till nine o'clock at night.
Micheline has always been a hard worker. She was born in Quebec, but raised in the Northeast Kingdom. She was the youngest of nine kids living on a farm. She was a Junior Prom Queen, who was also a tomboy. In her own words, she's a handful with an adventurous streak.
And she wanted a motorcycle because another woman at Lyndon State College had one.
On July 1, 1966, Micheline was driving her motorcycle up a road in Westmore, when her life changed in an instant.
Micheline: I did a somersault with the bike.
Carroll: You did a somersault?
Micheline: Yup, and then I came back on two wheels, fell to the right, on my tummy face down.
She hit a boulder in the road that had just fallen off towering Mount Pisgah. Micheline had just turned 21 with not a care in the world. It was a beautiful summer day and she was on her way to help hay on the family farm. Instead she was teetering on death. Micheline spent eight weeks in a coma and months in the hospital with multiple broken bones and brain damage. She credits her dad for getting her mobile.
"He would exercise with me night and morning, I couldn't lift my leg up, couldn't lift my arm up. I was a vegetable," said Micheline.
As she got better, she took odd jobs, from housekeeping to lawn work. Seeing her thumb out for a ride was common around Newport. Micheline never married, she sometimes wonders how her life would have been different if not for that fateful day almost 50 years ago.
But Micheline lives in the present.
Carroll: How many times are you out doing your job?
Micheline: Oh every day, every day. Oh course.
Now her energy is spent helping her community and loved by all.
While at Lyndon State College, Micheline was studying to be a teacher. It's fair to say, by her example, she has taught many.
PO Box 4508