Super Senior: Alice Baker

Published: Nov. 26, 2020 at 2:19 PM EST
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Alice Baker celebrated a big birthday this week. So how did she celebrate? By working. Her motto: “If I got a job, I’m going to do it!” She’s a strong woman with a warm heart. Our Joe Carroll went “on the road” with this Super Senior.

After a year like this, you can be forgiven if you’re lacking some “thanks” for Thanksgiving on Alice’s bus route. The virus has cut down on passengers and conversation.

But still, on this Green Mountain Transit bus, there is a generous helping of gratitude.

“I’m grateful for the people who have been around me to make it a little better every day,” rider Lindsay St. Pierre said.

“I’m thankful for my family being in the state, ‘cause I know a lot of people that don’t have it,” rider Mekayla May said.

Alice is also grateful for good health and a job that has kept her rolling along for more than 20 years. Even on some bumpy roads in Burlington.

Reporter Joe Carroll: Do you enjoy doing this?

Alice Baker: Oh, of course!

Alice is on the morning shift, clocking in shortly after 5 a.m. She’s used to the early hours. She grew up on a farm in Middlebury.

Joe Carroll: You grew up not afraid of big machinery, right?

Alice Baker: No, at 12 years old, dad bought the hay bailer and he showed me how to operate it and it was my job until I got out of high school.

But Thanksgiving isn’t the only day that Alice is celebrating this week. She has a special birthday coming up, too. Alice is turning 80.

“I’m surprised to be truthful,” May said. “She’s one of the nicest bus drivers, definitely.”

Alice Baker: They all think that I’m around 65. So, I’m a little older.

Joe Carroll: You’re going to be outed.

Alice Baker: (Laughs).

Of course, Alice is well aware of what people might think of an 80-year-old bus driver.

“As long as I pass the DOT physical and do my job,” she said.

She feels confident on the road.

“I hope she has a good birthday!” May said.

“Yeah, just the energy she had when I walked on the bus was special. You could tell she loves her job,” St. Pierre said. “It’s awesome.”

Giving thanks for a bus ride and a driver with a generous helping of kindness. Just what we need on this most unusual Thanksgiving.

“What am I thankful for? I got a job, I like it, I like the people, it’s almost like my family,” Alice said.

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