Melanie Mendoza

Melanie Mendoza

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

One of my favorite spots in Royalton is this little unnamed beach if you walk up North Windsor like 15-20 minutes, there's a grass field, one picnic table, and you walk down to the rocks and you get in the river and it's just this part of the river that's really calm and silty and deep and I feel like you could just get a good, good, good refreshing swim there.  It's one of the first parts of the river that I saw when I moved here that I felt really taken aback by. 

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

Well, I think it's definitely different than any other place I've lived for an extended period of time.  I think it has more in common with places I've been in other countries than I've been in the United States.  I grew up near a city on the west coast of California.  I make my home for the most part now in Boston, and the other place I've lived is New York, so between all those places it's really, really different here.  It has a lot in common with smaller towns that I've been in East Africa and South East Asia.  I've been to smaller towns in both of those regions and it has more in common with that, in terms of size and not having a lot of cars around and just being really close to a water source, the mountains, the natural eco system not as developed.  And even some of the smells I smell are closer to those places I've been. I feel like in cities, you're around clanking metal and concrete, and your senses are taken over by those things.  And here it's unique in that it's not the case.

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

In the physical environment I feel a little low, like the altitude feels like I'm in a valley and sometimes I get the sense like I need to get out to breathe a little more.  Also the smallness which can be really nice, refreshing thing can be suffocating too.  There's not a lot of people and it's also not that diverse.  I don't know about religiously, but ethnically, and's different, but in itself it's not diverse, in comparison to other places I've been, so I think that part is hard too.

What Royalton resident made a positive difference in your life?

What do you want people to know about your town?

I've had a lot of family and friends ask me that.  It's really small and really beautiful; the people are friendly for the most part, and it's a blessing to be so close to the river and the mountains.