Randolph Center Lady Says Trades Can be Alternative to Debt-Laden College Education; Sees Dickey Drysdale as Leader


Aimil Parmelee, 35, has lived in Vermont 30 years with a hiatus in the middle. She lives in Randolph Center.
Vermont Gossip: “Do you think the community of Randolph Center is strong?”
Ms. Parmelee: “I do. We know our neighbors really well. My parents and siblings are all within about three miles. Most of my in-laws are over in Middlebury, about an hour away. We live in a town of about five thousand people and there’s a lot going on in town and everyone is really pretty friendly and watches out for each other. There’s a lot of community events that we are able to partake in, which is really nice. We have a two and a half year old, so the library has a lot of stuff going on, and then there’s events in town usually about once a month, more often around Fourth of July and holidays.”
Vermont Gossip: “What’s newsworthy and relevant in your life right now?”
Ms. Parmelee: “Jeez I don’t know. I’m pretty busy at work and with my two and a half year old. We have a family wedding coming up this summer, and my sister in-law is due with her first baby in two weeks.”
Vermont Gossip: “What do you do for work?”
Ms. Parmelee: “I’m an occupational therapist at an outpatient center.”
Vermont Gossip: “Do you like living in Vermont?”
Ms. Parmelee: “I love it. I’ve lived in a couple of other states in New England. I went to college undergraduate in Boston and we lived in Maine for seven years, and I’ve been to over half the states in the US. And Vermont…there’s just something about it that you bring with you everywhere, and we were happy to come back.”
Vermont Gossip: “Is there anything that isn’t being covered by the local media that you would like to see covered?”
Ms. Parmelee: “No, I guess not. I listen to DEV and read Seven Days and Vermont Digger and our local newspaper and I think pretty much everything in my community that I’m aware of is being covered. I think Vermont media has some good respect for boundaries also, like you know, they’ll cover news but they don’t, like when we lived in Maine they sometimes would really harp on things or really spend a lot of time focusing on stuff that maybe was hard for families to listen to every night. And I feel like Vermont presents the news and they kind of move on to the next thing. I appreciate that. We also spend a lot of time covering the good things that are happening in our state. That doesn’t happen everywhere. So that’s nice too.”
Vermont Gossip: “Do you believe there are tensions between old Vermonters and new Vermonters?”
Ms. Parmelee: “I don’t know about Burlington cuz we are only up here about once a month, but in Central Vermont I think that…maybe tension’s not the right word. There’s good commentary back and forth about what it means to be a young or new Vermonter and what it means to be an old Vermonter. And I think there’s benefits of both, and I think that there’s maybe downside that comes with both. So I guess within my own community I definitely see that there’s a difference, and I think there’s an acknowledgement and there’s sort of an embracing also, which I think is nice. But then again I don’t know about up here [in Burlington].”
Vermont Gossip: “Who do you see as leaders in Vermont?”
Ms. Parmelee: “Boy that is a tough question. I really like Phil Scott and Peter Shumlin. I know they sit really on different ends of the political spectrum, but I think that they both have done a lot for Vermont in different ways. But I think there both well spoken and so respectful of each other that it’s really nice to see that. And then the mayor of Barre, gosh and I can’t pull his name up, been very impressed with him and how he’s handled things. And then if we’re looking outside of the political spectrum, people like Jane Lindholm come to mind, and Ken Squire, Dickey Drysdale who’s retired now, he ran our local paper for decades. But those are the people who come to mind.”
Vermont Gossip: “Do you believe that elementary school students should learn how to grow food in a hands-on environment?”
Ms. Parmelee: “Absolutely. Again, I don’t know about in Burlington, but in Randolph where I live there is a strong growing community. I think most people I know who have kids also have vegetable gardens at home. I know for a long time, I don’t know if it’s still the case, Brookfield elementary school bought their meats and produce locally. Most of the restaurants in town, their food is locally sourced.”
Vermont Gossip: “Do you believe that high school students who have an interest in it should learn how to make furniture from sustainably harvested Vermont wood?”
Ms. Parmelee: “I do. Yeah. And again, in our community there are programs that do that. There’s the White River Craft Center. Our vocational program does some of those things. So yeah. I do.”
Vermont Gossip: “Do you think the message is out there or do you think it should be more out there that the trades could be just as valid as going to college and getting a degree?”
Ms. Parmelee: “I absolutely think about that and agree with that. My father was a tradesman, my brother is a tradesman. You know, my grandfather was a plumber, my other grandfather was an electrician. I have an uncle who is an electrician. I believe that strongly. College is so expensive. The debt that comes with it does not always, you can’t always pay that off with a salary that you’re making with a four year education or even a master’s degree. I think the trade’s is a fantastic way to make a living. It gives you something meaningful to do. Often you can have your own business and work in town and have flexible hours. I mean there are definitely downsides to it. It’s a very physical job. Even if you own your own business as much as like to think you set your own hours sometimes your hours really set themselves based on the time of year or what you have going on for work. But I think that there really should be a stronger focus on that as a valuable career option. It’s just a very worthy profession.”
Vermont Gossip: “Would you support a website that aims to pair apprentices with master tradesmen?”
Ms. Parmelee: “Absolutely.”
Vermont Gossip: “Do you believe that Hollywood corrupts the minds of our youth with all the sex and violence and parties that are found in movies?”
Ms. Parmelee: “I would say yes in theory but you’re talking to someone who doesn’t watch television, so I can’t really comment on that.”
Vermont Gossip; “How do you feel about refugees in the state?”
Ms. Parmelee: “Boy that’s an interesting question. I think it’s great. I have seen…when we first moved back to Vermont we lived in Waterbury and there’s a strong Bosnian population there. And it was really wonderful to see their culture in Vermont. I think that the refugees that I’ve known have been really hard working and dedicated and have brought some of their culture with them, which I think is really a good thing for any place. The food and the celebrations that come from a place outside of here.”
Vermont Gossip: “Would you support legislation that would make it illegal to charge women more than men for the same services?”
Ms. Parmelee: “Yes.”
Vermont Gossip: “Would you support legislation that would provide Vermont service veterans who have PTSD with service dogs and a lifetime of free dog food?”
Ms. Parmelee: “I would.”
Just then Ms. Parmelee’s wife, Avery came up and we realized that we had a Vermont connection. This reporter went to high school with Avery.

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