is your favorite location, place, building, or spot in Royalton? Why?
It's my backyard. Because it's mine and because I've had a lot of really good times with my daughter out there. We have a very small pen for our indoor cats so we take our cats out there and they chew on grass. It has a lot of good memories. A lot of good times just hanging out, no pressure. It's just kind of our place.
What do you think makes Royalton unique or different from other places you have lived or visited?
A lot of things. One of them is that it's a college town but it's a grad school college town which means you have a large influx of new and different and interesting people from different and interesting places. But you don't have as many issues with a party scene or those kind of social difficulties that sometimes come with an undergrad school where everybody is 18 and out on their own for the first time. We do get students who are out of their house or community for the first time but it's not the same as a fairly young and less mature student body.
What is the most challenging aspect of life in a small Vermont town like Royalton?
I'd say there's two challenges. One is that in this particular town because of the graduate school there's a lot of change that's continual. That can result in a certain amount of tension. I live between two apartment buildings so you do get to know your neighbors a little bit but then they're gone. The other issue is the flip side of that which is there can be a lot of stagnation. There's a lot of people who like the town the way it is and don't want any change even when it's change that might be necessary or valuable.
What Royalton resident made a positive difference in your life?
Just one, I can't do that! Most of my family is here so my parents, my grandparents, my aunts and uncles are here. I have lots and lots of cousins. I have a second cousin whom you've already photographed. Family is a huge influence here. There are some teachers who are hugely influential. I'm going to pick one who is related by marriage and that's my excuse for picking her. Charlotte Ballou taught for over 30 years in this community and had both myself and my daughter as students. That's a big step. She taught me in 5th grade and my daughter in 5th grade which is kind of when a lot of hormonal and emotional challenges start cropping up and I was always pretty impressed in retrospect as I got to be an adult at how well she handled all that stuff. Aside from her fairly rigorous academic standards.
What do you want people to know about your town?
We are a lot more interesting than we might appear at first glance. Once you scratch the surface we have a really interesting variety of experiences and backgrounds in individuals here from the people who have never left town to the people who just...