Super Senior Larry Brassard

Updated: Jun. 10, 2021 at 6:17 PM EDT
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BROOKFIELD, Vt. (WCAX) - They say music soothes the soul. This week’s Super Senior’s playing of the mandolin brings joy and also helps with heartache.

Larry Brassard, like his towering maple tree, has his roots firmly planted in Brookfield. He was born in the same house he lives in now. Fast forward 85 years and the former dairy farmer has plenty of stories to tell. But through the highs and lows, there has been a constant -- his love of music.

Brassard, along with Gail Osha and Roger Ennis, forms the group, The Bear Mountain Jammers. The band plays a mixture of bluegrass and old country and they are back in the groove after a pandemic pause.

Osha has been playing with Brassard for over three decades. “He took me right under his wing and then I guess I blossomed from there,” she said. “I feel like I’m part of the family.”

And it’s a large family at that. “There’s when we had all of them right there -- I, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. Yup,” said Brassard, looking at a family photo with his kids. His other true love was Joyce. “Without family, you got nobody, You know?”

Joyce even learned the organ to be in the band. “You could never forget her smile,” Brassard said. But the smile hid struggles. “She came down with the cancer at age 37. She was carrying our 9th child.”

It was Stage 4 and Brassard says the doctors told her to enjoy life the best she could. She did -- for another 29 years. “She didn’t have a mean bone in her body,” he said. And when Joyce’s time was near, she was thinking of Larry. “She wrote down six different girls on a piece of paper, probably would make me a good mate, because she didn’t want me to be alone.”

He did court a woman Joyce had suggested. “We ended up getting married. After nine years, I couldn’t take it, because she couldn’t accept my family,” Brassard said, “So, I divorced.”

Reporter Joe Carroll: You kind of a sensitive guy?

Larry Brassard: Me? I’m very sensitive. I cry. They say it’s better if you do.

Music mends his melancholy. So, Brassard plays on, never forgetting the woman he lost, but also embracing life.

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