Dick Ellis

Dick Ellis

...high school bands in South Royalton, Rochester, Randolph, and Bethel so my pupils would have a place to play. Of course I had to have a place for them to buy instruments. There was no where in Vermont that you could rent or buy instruments so I started doing that out of my house. As I was teaching I would collect the rent and the lesson money and give them the instrument and the lesson. Now we rent over 4,000 instruments every September. We have 20 people working there.

What is your favorite location, place, building, or spot in Royalton? Why?

I guess my house.

What do you think makes Royalton unique or different from other places you have lived or visited?

I guess that it's always been a musical town, but it is now a very musical town. We have a new project that I started a couple years ago, private lessons at the high school. They even let kids out of class to take them. You should hear our high school band compared to what it used to be. We usually used to send one or two kids to the All State Festival. Last year I think we sent 12 or 13, next year it's going to be even more.

What is the most challenging aspect of life in a small Vermont town like Royalton?

I guess probably to me, the people that are in poverty and have a very difficult time getting out. Basically you cant have a job and live in a small town unless you have a car and that's quite a big expense, especially with the insurance. I've started an organization to help people like that. Unfortunately nearly all of the men involved have lost their license for alcohol. They just can't go anywhere to get a job. I think that's maybe our biggest challenge.

What is wish for your life? What is a wish for your town?

I don't really know I just wish it would keep on like it is. I'm pretty happy with it.