Stuck in Vermont: Slate Roofer Robert Volk Jr. Continues Working With a Prosthetic Leg | Stuck in Vermont | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Stuck in Vermont: Slate Roofer Robert Volk Jr. Continues Working With a Prosthetic Leg

Episode 673


Published September 22, 2022 at 7:30 a.m.
Updated September 28, 2022 at 10:08 a.m.

Robert Volk Jr. has been working on slate roofs since the early 1980s. Known to his friends and family as Bobby, he moved to Vermont in 1986 and worked on ridgelines across the northern part of the state. In his spare time, Bob designed and built a massive log cabin at 191 Rabbit Run in Waltham, which included a tree house, a suspension bridge and two rooms filled with arcade games. His unique home went viral online when Zillow Gone Wild shared it in 2021.

Bob’s life changed in 2009, when his knee got infected after a knee-replacement procedure. Over the next decade, he had five more knee surgeries and continued working despite the pain and ongoing infection. In 2019, he was faced with a decision: Remove the leg or risk death. After a near-death incident, Bob had his leg amputated above the knee in August 2019. He continues to work on slate roofs while wearing a prosthetic leg and now lives in Waterville.

Eva first met Bob in 2007 when he came to fix some broken slates on her home in Burlington. He is a unique character and extremely knowledgeable about slate. Eva asked Bob in 2016 if she could feature him in a video, but it took a few more years to make it happen. Bob returned to Eva’s home in September, and she took out her iPhone to record his work on her roof.

Despite the health challenges that Bob has faced for 13 years, he remains positive and upbeat. At age 59, he doesn't sweat the small stuff and is glad to be catching up with his customers who have become friends over the years.

Filming dates: 9/18/22-9/19/22

Music: Chris Haugen, “Fractal of Light”

This episode of Stuck in Vermont was supported by New England Federal Credit Union.