Super Senior: Walt Celley

Published: Dec. 23, 2021 at 2:54 PM EST
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CABOT, Vt. (WCAX) - Winter has arrived in the hills of Cabot and 82-year-old Walt Celley is bracing for a long one.

“I’m not too crazy about cold,” he said.

But what warms his heart is inside his barn.

Walt is a collector of antique engines. All of them are over a century old.

“Oh, I’m a collector, yeah,” he said. “I had hundreds, but I sold a lot of them. I had so many I couldn’t enjoy them.”

The engines were “portable,” some weighing close to 3 tons.

“We had one when I was a kid,” he said. “Six or seven years old.”

Machinery for use out in the field.

“This one was probably made for sawing wood with a circular saw,” he said. “One of a kind, the only one there is.”

Reporter Joe Carroll: It’s not the only thing you collect. There’s something hitting my head here.

Walt Celley: Oh yeah, well...

Joe Carroll: It’s quite the collection you have.

Walt Celley: I’ve been at that a while, too.

Walt is bullish on moose antlers, collecting and selling hundreds over decades.

“You got to know where they are and where they shed,” he explained.

The males shed every year. As they get older, the racks get bigger.

Walt Celley: And usually coyotes will nibble on the end just enough to spoil the looks of the thing.

Joe Carroll: Why do they chew on it, is it food?

Walt Celley: Yeah. Yeah.

Walt marvels at the massive mammals.

Walt Celley: They’re very intelligent. No doubt about that.

Joe Carroll: Really? I always thought they were dumb.

Walt Celley: Well, that’s what everyone thinks but they aren’t. They catch on quick.

Walt’s moose adventures are shared with his wife, Cyrena.

Joe Carroll: How long have you two been married?

Cyrena Celley: Do you remember?

Walt Celley: Oh, 59 years.

Cyrena Celley: He remembers.

For years they would travel in a camper van, enjoying the thrill of the hunt, not with a rifle but with a camera.

“I just love to have them coming in, mowa, mowa,” Cyrena said, demonstrating the noise. “From a big distance, you can hear them.”

Their passion is obvious but it also can be heard. Walt’s homemade bull horns carry a long way. During rutting season, they bring in the bulls looking for “romance.”

Cyrena Celley: They’re just concentrating on thinking you’re a cow, apparently.

Joe Carroll: That doesn’t sound too bright. They think you’re a cow.

Cyrena Celley: Well, no, they got other things on their mind. That’s what’s on their mind.

A call of the wild for a couple who racked up years of enjoyment in the Green Mountains.

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