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Super Senior: Roland Pigeon - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Super Senior: Roland Pigeon

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WESTFORD, Vt. -

You can't help notice a collection of vintage buses and tractors while driving through Westford. It's a portrait of Roland Pigeon's life, a self-made man businessman.

Roland is on a mission fixing a 93-year-old engine, the same age as him.

"The engine will probably be in better shape when I get done with it," said Roland.

Roland is a man who adapts, something that became a necessity at an early age when his family came to the states from Quebec.

"French was my first language, my first day of school I didn't know what they were saying to me. Not a word," said Roland.

But his days in the classroom were short lived.

"I didn't finish grade school, I got out of school in the 7th grade," said Roland.

His parents needed him to work on their small farm. Roland says he became a man that day, working for a living.

"I couldn't get a good job with a 7th grade education, so I made my own jobs," said Roland.

With hard work, he eventually bought multiple farms in the Westford area.

But Roland was also known for being the king of transportation, starting a bus service.

"The first yellow busses weren't that good," said Roland.

In fact some of the busses weren't busses at all. Roland had to be creative getting kids to school when the roads were too muddy.

"It happened all the time," said Roland.

Pigeon Bus Service transported kids in the area, including his hometown of Westford.

"I had a contract with the town for 50 years in a row," said Roland.

And the farmer never had all his eggs in one basket. He says, diversification was the key to making money. After a few decades of transporting kids, he expanded to chartered bus service.

"It was busses leaving and busses coming," said Roland.

But eventually age put the brakes on Roland's career; his last drive was about a decade ago.

"I never got to be a millionaire at it," said Roland.

His mind never rests, but these busses have. It's a graveyard of memories and some are for sale.

"It would make an excellent hippie bus,' said Roland.

His day job was transportation, but his night job got the feet going.

"In my business I met a lot of girls," said Roland.

He played the banjo and fiddle sometimes twice a week. He even had his own band, Roland and the Happy Ramblers.

"He came down and asked me to dance," said Nettie Pigeon, Roland's wife.

Roland met Nettie at a dance.

"Yes, I think he made an impression on me," said Nettie.

The square dance was in Eden and it was paradise, they married shortly afterwards.

Nettie started playing too, strumming the base and keeping the band in time. The couple has been together for 65 years.

Roland likes to play "Up Jumps the Devil", a barn burner that got the folks on the floor.

Reporter Joe Carroll: You think you are pretty good?

Roland: I think I can get away with it!

He's a self-taught musician and in a way that describes Roland's life, a man with a drive to succeed.

Roland's family and friends have a big get together at the garage on July 4 and Roland will be playing the fiddle.

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