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Super Senior: Norm Vanasse - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Super Senior: Norm Vanasse

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LUDLOW, Vt. -

With the ski season over at Okemo, the town of Ludlow is starting to slow down but Norm Vanasse isn't.

"Yeah, I'm always doing something," Norm said.

The Massachusetts native has called Ludlow home for years, volunteering in the area.

"You've been tutoring for 15 years, plus years here?" asked Patrick Cody, Norm's friend.

"At least," Norm said.

For Norm, kids are king. He gives his time mentoring students in Ludlow. A bit more on that later. First, a sit-down with Norm.

Reporter Joe Carroll: You dress up for me? You got a haircut I hear.

Norm Vanasse: Yup, haircut, they shaved me, everything.

After retiring from teaching, Norm moved up to Vermont from Massachusetts to be close to his daughter. He says she's the only good thing to come out of his short marriage.

"The biggest mistake I made in my life was choosing the wrong woman to marry," Norm said.

Joe Carroll: How come you didn't get married again?

Norm Vanasse: Well, I had two serious girlfriends and it might have happened, but they both died from cancer.

Unlucky in love, perhaps, but loved by many.

Norm Vanasse: You know, at my age, I'm 85, I don't want to get involved.

Joe Carroll: You flirt with the girls?

Norm Vanasse: Flirt! That's my biggest hobby!!

His other hobby is learning, reading for five hours a day. Education is something he's stressed to Trey Bortein.

"Oh, here he is, he is here," Norm said.

"How are you, buddy?" Norm asked Trey as he arrived.

"Good," Trey answered.

Trey, 13, has learned much from a man he considers like a grandfather.

Joe Carroll: What has he done for you?

Trey Bortein: He's helped my education big time like, if it wasn't for him, I would have been flunking school.

Norm has mentored dozens of students through the years, meeting most of them at a side table in a pizza restaurant in town.

"I do math test every Friday and I have a test coming up tomorrow," Trey said.

Joe Carroll: Why did you want to help kids?

Norm Vanasse: Well, because they're the future.

"I think I wouldn't be in the place I would be today without Norm," Trey said.

"Wow," Norm said with surprise.

Norm mentored Trey for four years but it ended in middle school. Today is a time to catch up. Everyone has that special person they remember from school who encouraged them to go further. For Trey, it was Norm. So much so, Trey nominated Norm to be a Super Senior. And he was very persistent about getting me down there. Trey called me and sent many emails. Each time, he added more about why Norm should be a Super Senior.

Norm had no idea.

Joe Carroll: Does this give you satisfaction?

Norm Vanasse: Oh, yeah. That's why I do it. Yup. Sleep good at night.

Separated by 70 years of age-- bonded by a passion for learning.

Norm Vanasse: All right, buddy.

Trey Bortein: Good seeing you.

Norm Vanasse: We'll see you again.

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