Super Senior: Harry DeLong

Published: Jan. 6, 2022 at 6:28 PM EST
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CLARENDON, Vt. (WCAX) - Sometimes you need to go through a little trash to find a treasure.

Harry DeLong works at the Clarendon Transfer Station. He has no official title but serves as the meet and greet guy. “Just a worker, that’s all,” DeLong said.

Here, everyone is a neighbor. In many ways, the transfer station -- don’t call it the dump -- has become the social center of town. “Saturday’s it’s crowded,” DeLong said. “They get lined up all the way to the gate.”

DeLong’s job is to punch the cards of residents who bring in their trash. “Recycling we don’t touch, it’s free,” he said.

“This guy makes me smile, every time, every week,” said one resident.

Last Sunday, he celebrated a birthday -- 95. He’s lucky to be alive after suffering a massive heart attack 20 years ago. “I had five tubes going down my throat,” DeLong said.

Reporter Joe Carroll: That changed your voice.

Harry DeLong: That changed my voice.

DeLong grew up on a dairy farm in Shoreham. During World War Two he was shipped off to fight, but on his way, the Americans dropped the atomic bomb on Japan, ending the war in the Pacific. He came home and became a truck driver. He’s been married to Priscilla for 74 years.

Harry DeLong: But I can’t sit still.

Reporter Joe Carroll: You can’t?

Harry Delong: No... I got to keep moving.

Between customers, the Super Senior moves inside to warm up. He shares responsibilities with his partner of 20 years, Tom Weeks.

“It’s the transfer station of ideas and minds and whatever you want to transfer,” Weeks said. Lofty words with a little trash talk.

Tom Weeks: We don’t fight? Not yet. Have we?

Harry DeLong: No, because I can’t run that fast.

And once a week it’s become a de facto town meeting. “On Saturdays, there are four or five guys sitting around drinking coffee,” Weeks said.

But the official business is still collecting trash and recyclables.

Reporter Joe Carroll: You see yourself doing this for a while?

Harry DeLong: Yeah! Hundred.

Well on his way... and that’s no rubbish.

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