Super Senior: Doug Martin

Published: Nov. 10, 2022 at 6:22 PM EST
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SOUTH ROYALTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Doug Martin is all about precision. He’s been a machinist for 52 years at GW Plastics in Bethel, now part of the international company, Nolato.

“Nolato is the sixth owner of GW. I’ve worked for all six owners,” Martin said Laughs))

Now 80, Martin is still full-time, arriving at 4 a.m. and working until 2. “We get along good. It’s a good group of guys to work with,” he said.

The young Vermonter headed to Connecticut and enrolled in an apprenticeship program at airplane engine maker Pratt and Whitney. For Martin, the area was too big. Eventually, he came home to someone special in the Green Mountains.

Reporter Joe Carroll: Probably not too often your wife comes and watches you though?

Doug Martin: No it isn’t. I enjoy it.

Barb came to watch and chat.

Reporter Joe Carroll: Have you ever come and watched him do this before?

Barb Martin: No, not really, no... This is his love away from me.

Her love for Martin started in a flash at her family camp in Barnard. Martin was riding by on a back of a pickup truck. “I turned to my dad and said, ‘There goes your future son-in-law.’ And I didn’t even know him,” Barb said. “When we left that weekend to go home, I said to my dad, ‘You got to stop and find out what his name is.’ I didn’t even know his name.”

“This one is my favorite wedding picture,” Martin said. He says the church had a no shorts policy with a sign “Strictly Forbidden” for everyone to see. “The photographer had a sense of humor.”

He placed the couple in front sign and snapped 55 years ago.

“I had a problem when I was younger of clamming up and he’d say, ‘Talk to me, talk to me.’ So, I’ve learned over the years, you’ve got to communicate,” Barb said.

“I was blessed, I was really blessed to get her,” Martin said.

Reporter Joe Carroll: When are you going to retire?

Doug Martin: I don’t know, I don’t know. Like I said, I really enjoy the work.

“You know, I used to hound him to retire, but I don’t that anymore,” Barb said.

“Working affords me the two luxuries I’ve become accustomed to -- eating and living indoors. See Barb, I made him laugh,” Martin said.

A toolmaker carrying on, whose love of his job is without compromise.