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Super Senior: Don Ruggles - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Super Senior: Don Ruggles

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BERLIN, Vt. -

This is a story about time and how we use it.

"I don't waste a minute," Don Ruggles said.

Don, 81, has been clocking in at the ReSource store in Barre for the last couple of years. It's a place where people donate their goods. Don cleans and prices them for sale.

Reporter Joe Carroll: You enjoy working.

Don Ruggles: Ahh! I'm a workaholic.

Don grew up poor. When his father died, the 7-year-old had to grow up fast, taking any job he could to help support the family.

"It's a rough life," Don said. "But I survived."

Right out of high school, he went to work full time, eventually owning a hardware store that is now closed. But Don hasn't slowed down.

Joe Carroll: You don't waste any time.

Don Ruggles: Oh, nah. No, I'm always doing something.

He works at the store 20 hours a week. If he's not there, most likely you will catch him volunteering at a nursing home, putting in over 100 hours a month. But the man who helps others needed help himself a few years ago.

"I hit my head on the frozen ground," he said. "Two weeks later we found out it did damage."

He was in the hospital for two months.

Joe Carroll: Have you changed since the accident?

Don Ruggles: Oh, yeah. I realize God had a blessing and it weren't my time, you know... I don't swear no more, I don't get upset, I take a lot of change and accept change.

"He's our oldest volunteer we have and he's beloved by everyone here," said Connor LaClair, the coordinator at ReSource. "He sets an example; he does good work and I think that's the most important thing."

His day is done at the store, now it's time for his passion. For the kid who couldn't afford a single clock growing up, he now has over 1,600 timepieces.

Joe Carroll: You're running out of room.

Don Ruggles: I ran out of room a long time ago... I used every inch I could find.

From seasonal clocks to retro, Don has them all.

"I just wanted to try another hobby and somehow I said, 'Hey, how about clocks?'" he explained.

There was a time when Don and his wife, Lois, filled the house with teddy bears. They were together for 42 years.

Joe Carroll: She had Alzheimer's?

Don Ruggles: Yes, yup. It came on fast!

He started collecting the clocks after Lois died. He admits his hobby is a bit over the top.

Joe Carroll: Oh, there's more?

Don Ruggles: Oh, hundreds.

A clock shows us a moment in time and how we live it.

Don savors every second he's alive.

"Oh, all the time, that's what I do," he said.

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