Super Senior: Charlie Becker - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Super Senior: Charlie Becker

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This week's Super Senior still works tirelessly for his community, but he doesn't mind having a little fun too.

Reporter Joe Carroll: You're going to ride a bicycle?

Charlie Becker: Yeah, I'm going to try!

It's said in the news business, you lead with your best video.

Carroll: What are you doing?

Charlie: I'm going to show you how you should ride a bicycle!

Riding a bike facing backward is a self-taught trick that wowed the other kids when he was growing up in Shaftsbury.

"I've been doing that since I was 10-years-old," said Becker.

Now 90, Charlie's life is pretty straightforward.

He grew up on a farm at a time when you had to make your own entertainment. After serving in World War II, Charlie came home and married Marion, ran his own business and was a fire prevention instructor for 35 years. What really sparked his interest was the town's volunteer fire department. He's been there for a grand total of 66 years.

"They had a waiting list then; now it's difficult to keep a full roster of firefighters," said Charlie.

But Charlie isn't just a honorary firefighter who sits in the station. He's on the move.

Carroll: You go out on calls?

Charlie: Yes, I answer all calls when I'm in town.

They answer about 100 a year.

"The boys are pretty proud of this truck," said Charlie.

And so is Charlie, so much so that he took Carroll for a ride in truck 65.

Charlie: We used to crawl up these hills.

Carroll: A little bit more power, huh?

Charlie: Oh yeah!

The modern International pumper tanker is light years ahead of the first truck he drove.

"When I joined the fire department we had a 1931 Chevrolet open truck and the pump didn't work," said Charlie.

Nowadays, Charlie doesn't go into burning buildings, but he drives and pumps the truck.

Carroll: But this is a big truck, you feel confident... you feel confident.

Charlie: Sure. I've been in trucks off and on all my life.

He's held just about all the positions there are on the squad.

"I was chief for 16 years, I guess, and then I worked my way down to where I am now," said Charlie.

He jokes, but Charlie takes his job seriously. In fact, he was the Vermont Fire Chief of the Year in 1989. He was so dedicated to the squad; they renamed the building, The Charles and Marion Becker Fire Station, a year before Marion died. She also was a big part of the fire department.

Carroll: You also think you might be the oldest one in the world.

Charlie: Could be, it started off as a joke, but it might be true.

The burning question is when will he hang up his hat? That depends on his health and by the look of it, he'll be blazing down the road for a while.

When Charlie isn't responding to a fire call, he's at his other job driving for a local funeral home.

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