Artie Aiken is going out for a joy ride on his lawnmower. It's also kind of a victory lap because Artie is having a special day.
"One-hundred-and-three and still counting, still going," friend Greg Holton said.
Nothing runs like a Deere or Artie, because Artie is celebrating his 103rd birthday.
Artie Aiken: I was a lot happier last night.
Reporter Joe Carroll: You were?
Artie Aiken: Yeah.
Joe Carroll: Because you went for a ride?
Artie Aiken: No, all the ladies were kissing me!
The good folks of Westminster threw their oldest resident a mini-parade.
"They never saw an old man before," Artie said.
Artie lives on his own. His friend Greg Holton checks on him every day.
Joe Carroll: Do you think he's excited about today?
Greg Holton: Oh, I think he's very excited, very excited.
Artie's hips are failing, but not his mind.
Joe Carroll: Artie, where did you grow up?
Artie Aiken: I've done a lot of growing the last 75-80 years right here.
The Vermonter was born in the woods of Townsend. His earliest memory is when he was 3 with his grandfather.
"One morning, he says to me, 'You got to earn your living.' I said to gramp, 'What are you going to do?' 'You got to come down and start milking,'" Artie recalled. "I've worked all my life, not doing easy work. I picked all the hard jobs."
Jobs, like farming, construction, even working on the railroad.
Artie married Mary; with no kids, they spent much of their time together.
Artie Aiken: She and I used to go hunting together.
Joe Carroll: She would hunt, too?
Alzheimer's disease took her away; they were married for 64 years.
To put Artie's age in perspective, when he was born, women weren't allowed to vote and World War I was still one year away.
"I was old enough to watch the boys go," Artie said.
Young Vermonters off to fight in a distant war in Europe.
Now almost a century later, Artie is holding court with his friends and neighbors.
Artie Aiken: We don't fight!
Joe Carroll: No reason to, right?
Artie Aiken: No, no reason to. We help one another out.
Joe Carroll: You're kind of a big deal in town.
Artie Aiken: That's what they tell me.
He's the talk of the town and he wants to be remembered for one thing.
"As a fellow who could do anything," Aiken said.
Including keeping a tidy yard.
"I feel like I've done something when I'm done mowing my lawn," Artie said.
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