Happy Independence Day!
When I was a kid growing up in suburban Boston, I loved reading about colonial history and the American revolution. I read every book in the kids' section of my library and had my mother borrow books from the adult section for me. Two particular days always fascinated me: April 19, the start of the revolution, and Independence Day. I imagined what each of those days was like for the non-soldier and the non-politician, the person seeing the troops going into battle or hearing the reading of the Declaration of Independence.
Oddly, as an adult, I didn’t follow this fascination through. I haven’t gone to many Independence Day parades, and I’ve seen only a handful of fireworks displays. Moving to Vermont hasn’t changed that. Independence Days in the Green Mountain State so far: three. Fireworks and parades: zero.
You're reading this on the Fourth or later. I'm writing this on June 29 for submission today, three days earlier than the usual deadline. Will I see fireworks this year? I don’t know. Fortune telling is a skill I still do not possess.
Also, given the early submission deadline, I can’t tell you how Old Home Day went. I understand the need for handing in my article on Friday, and I think it was smart for the paper to come out on Wednesday, July 4, instead of its usual Thursday. It gives the folks at the Standard and the folks who print and distribute it the chance to enjoy the day off. I'm sure there will be much to say about Reading's big day, but by the time the next issue comes out (July 12), Old Home Day will be old news.
However, I am going to put in two notes about last Sunday’s events. First, if you read my column regularly, you know predicting the weather, a high-tech and scientific form of fortune telling, is also something I’m not good at. Last year, I proclaimed the sun always shines on Old Home Day. As I write this, the forecast proclaims that will be the case this year. I’m going to assume that blanket statement still holds true.
Second, I wish to thank all of the people and local businesses who donated prizes for the Ducky Derby. The full list is on the Rec Commission’s Facebook page (facebook.com/readingparks). Their generosity makes the Ducky Derby possible.
Looking past Old Home Day and Independence Day to the hottest month of the year, here are a few community events of note.
Reading Public Library’s summer reading program kicks off tomorrow, July 5. If you’ve taken the week off and don’t know what to do with the kiddos, here is something local, educational, and fun. This overall theme of the program is “Libraries Rock,” and this week’s theme is, in fact, rocks. The event starts at 3:30pm. There will be stories, crafts, and snacks.
Friday, July 6, is First Friday. That means free self-guided tours at the Hall Art Foundation. It’s also your chance to get La Pizza Lupo pizza in town!
The Reading Public Library will be hosting an open house on July 6 from 5pm to 7pm. Bill Bakker and I will be tag-teaming this event. I’ll be there for the first hour and Bill for the second hour. There will be sweets and lemonade, so save room after you have your pizza or have dessert first. Also, while you’re there, be sure to see the Minnie Fay exhibit and check out some seeds from the seed catalog.
At 6pm, I’ll be heading off to Bartley Field for the first practice of Reading’s Horseshoe Team. Do you wonder who is on the team? So do I! In fact, it hasn’t been officially formed yet. Richard Windish is interested in joining, and I know there were a few other horseshoe pitchers at June’s Game Night who seemed to enjoy their time at the pit. If you want to join the team, please let me know (email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call or text me at 917-859-0238). No RSVP is necessary; you can just show up on Friday, July 6.
The team is forming to face off against Weathersfield on July 20 at Bartley Field. That evening, by the way, is also July’s Game Night. More on this as it approaches.
Happy birthday America (today!) and Jennifer Bailey (July 7).
That’s the news from Reading! See you next week!