Super Senior: Bernie Lussier

Published: Oct. 20, 2022 at 5:27 PM EDT
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CRAFTSBURY, Vt. (WCAX) - In the village of Craftsbury, Bernie Lussier has experienced some good times. His band -- aptly named Craftsbury Vibrations -- had been part of the music scene here for decades.

“I had some extremely good people, too, very talented people,” Lussier says, strumming on his sunburst Fender Strat. He plays a mixture of rock, bluegrass, and country. From Hank Williams to Johnny Cash.

Lussier lived a life like a country lyric, smoking four packs a day along with some hard drinking. “I had no trouble giving up drinking really. I did on my 25th wedding anniversary. That’s when I quit,” he said.

He did it for Linda, his wife of 62 years. The couple met when his best friend spotted the dark-haired beauty in town. “He comes out, ‘Boy, there’s a beautiful girl in that restaurant in Craftsbury, could you ask her for a double date for me and you?’ And I went in -- ‘You want to double date with my party? She says, ‘Nope. If he can’t ask me, I don’t want to.’ And I said, ‘What about me? And she said, ‘OK.’ That was it!”

A partner in marriage and music. “We had a lot in common. We had music, you know,” Lussier said. They bought a dance hall at Coles Pond in nearby Walden that seated 600. “And people miss that today -- they don’t have that. It’s sad, ‘cause they were the best times.”

Reporter Joe Carroll: Could you imagine life without music?

Bernie Lussier: Oh no. I wouldn’t want it. No, no, no. That’s been our whole life, right from the beginning.

Those decades-old memories of Coles Pond, porch playing performances, and impromptu jam sessions at the Lussier’s home are now on DVDs. “She was queen of the prom. No wonder why? The looks... She was a good-looking woman,” Lussier said.

What may look like just home videos is Lussier’s treasure.

Reporter Joe Carroll: You repeatably said, ‘I’m so happy you’re here.’ Meaning me? Why so?

Bernie Lussier: Because this wouldn’t get known. Nobody would know about it. We’d die with it, nobody would know nothing.

Linda is no longer singing and her memory is fading. For years she’s suffered from Alzheimer’s. “It’s hard, very hard. I know what’s going to happen. We were never apart, never apart,” Lussier said. “That’s why I still keep playing music. I know she wants me to, you know, keep going.”