Super Senior: Jim Moffatt
CRAFTSBURY, Vt. (WCAX) - Winter’s grip has not let up in Craftsbury, and 84-year-old Jim Moffatt is about to commute to work, logging the forest on his 700-acres of land.
On a typical day, he climbs into his trusty John Deere skidder and moves felled trees to be cut into sections. It’s a family logging operation along with his son, Steve.
Reporter Joe Carroll: Still out here at 84...
Steve Moffatt: Still out here at 84.
Reporter Joe Carroll: What do you think of that?
Steve Moffatt: Hopefully, it’s good genetics.
Moffatt’s roots are firmly planted in Craftsbury. He was born in the same house he lives in now. On his kitchen table are photo albums filled with memories. “Just a wonderful woman and a great, great partner,” he said, pointing to a photo with his wife Joan by his side. Fond memories, even when Moffat’s dairy operation went bust. “It was our first year of marriage. She must’ve wondered what she was getting herself into... You know, that’s the way it was. It was depressing.”
It took the couple seven years to pay off the farm debts. Times were tough and turning to forestry seemed like a natural fit.
Reporter Joe Carroll: Was there any thought of selling some of the land?
Jim Moffat: Moffatts don’t sell land, they buy land.
He lost Joan to cancer when she was just 68. It was a stinging blow, but he kept on working, even on Sundays. On Moffatt’s land, there are also 100,000 Christmas trees. But the seeds of success take years to grow. The young trees will take about a decade before they go to market. It’s not a business of instant gratification.
He later met Carol Maroni and they have been together for 13 years. “He’s a great partner, very considerate,” Maroni said. “I don’t know, he’s the love of my life, actually... I think of Joan a lot. I think that it was unfair that she had to die. You know, they worked so hard together as a young couple.”
Back in the woods, getting into the skidder isn’t as easy as it once was. “I’m going to keep doing what I can as long as I can, you know,” Moffatt said.
Carol admires Moffatt’s work ethic and perseverance through trying times. “He tells me -- when I’m puzzling with things -- just to ‘follow your heart,’” Maroni said.
“I’m very happy to have had the opportunity to make my living this way and live here,” Moffatt said.
Wisdom in the woods.
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