Super Senior: Bill James

Published: Apr. 11, 2019 at 1:33 PM EDT
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Bill James is a long time customer at Cubbers Restaurant in Bristol. It's a place to catch up on the latest gossip with a cup of coffee and devour a cup of corn chowder.

Reporter Joe Caroll: You still have a good appetite?

Bill James: Oh yes. Oh boy, I pack a pretty good dinner at noon.

James is a founding member of the Old Fart's Club, a bunch of men who get together and chew the fat. At 107, he's by far the oldest of the group. He credits his longevity to clean living.

"I never bought a pack of cigarettes in my life. I had one guy, he said, 'You're too tight to buy cigarettes.' I laughed at him. He smoked and he's dead," James said.

To put his age into perspective, when James was born, Fenway Park was being built. A new car company called Chevrolet was about to hit the streets and World War I was still three years away.

Reporter Joe Caroll: Well, you've seen a lot of history.

Bill James: Oh yes, yeah.

Last Sunday James celebrated a little of his own history, being honored at the Bristol Masonic Temple. It was a peek into a usually closed fraternity.

James sat next to Roger Layn of Monkton. The chatter is about how I pick the Super Seniors. "He has more woman than men. They're not old, they're only in their 70s and 80s," James said.

Layn is a fellow Super Senior. "Fella says, you get to my age, they remember things that never happen," he said.

With James' family close by, Master of the Lodge Cecil Foster awarded him with a service pin. "Hereby presents to you, Brother A. William James, a lapel button in honor of 75 years of full service to our beloved fraternity," he said.

Jams is a familiar face in Bristol, but he's also well know in Vermont for a series of TV commercials for a local car dealership that hit cult-like status.

James plays a tough hombre with a wicked laugh. Not a bad gig for a man who at the time was 102.

Reporter Joe Caroll: Now, you're going to be 108 on July 5th.

Bill James: I hope. I hope. It looks pretty favorable right now, doesn't it?

A man for the ages who lives on.