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  • Stephen D'Agostino

RHS Presents “Indian Wars of New England” Tomorrow Night

I was on the phone with my neighbor the other day, and I told her that one of the things I love about this time of the year is that birdsong is my alarm clock. The birds get going about five, and I am out of bed minutes later. That same morning, hours before she and I spoke, I saw two bats wheeling through the air above the yard and out into the field. It's not often that I see bats, probably my favorite animal, so it was definitely an excellent way to start the day.

Today, August 1, the sun rises at 5:40am—I am surprised that it is so late—and sets at 8:13pm. Sadly, as August progresses and sunrise nudges towards six, the birdsong will commence later and I will need to go back to my alarm clock.

By the end of this month, the sun rises at 6:15am and sets at 7:28pm. I know it happens every year, but it always makes me sad how quickly the hours of summer sunlight just drift away.

Instead of being all “winter is coming,” I’m going to focus on the great month of August, and some of the local activities it has to offer. First, the inaugural Puddledock Park Party of the 2019 season happens tonight at (ready for this?) Puddledock Park. For people who don’t know or who didn’t attend the Puddledock Park Parties last year, our town park is located right next to the Reading Public Library.

At the time of this writing, the weather looks great for the party, and perfect for the theme, which is Ice Cream Social. The delicious frozen treat, as well as the sundae toppings, will be provided by Villager’s Restaurant at Downer’s Corners. The fun starts at 6pm. Bring a chair, some drinks, and some food if ice cream isn’t your thing, and hang out with your family and friends. Or make new friends!

Next week’s theme is Lawn Games. That means bocce, lawn bowling, corn hole, badminton, and more.

These two parties are just the beginning. Be sure to check for upcoming Puddledock Park Party themes. You can also find out about them here. You know I’ll be devoting a fair amount of ink to them over the next two months.

Also, don’t forget that on August 2, at the Reading Historical Society Museum, Michael Tougias will present his talk “Indian Wars of New England.” Tougias will discuss the conflicts between Native Americans and colonists from the landing at Plymouth in 1620 through the French and Indian War, which ended in 1763. The talk begins at 7pm. For those who may not be familiar, the Reading Historical Society Museum is located at 670 Route 106. Coming from the north, it is just past the library, and is on the opposite side of Route 106. Coming from the south, you will likely pass the Indian Stones, which commemorate an event that will certainly be featured in the talk.

Also happening in August is the now internationally recognized Overland gravel bike race. It happens on Sunday, August 25, kicking off at 9am from Bailey’s Mills Road. Be aware that this road will be closed from 6am to 5pm for the race. The ride is a benefit for the Reading-West Windsor Food Shelf.

The race is looking for volunteers to help with registration and parking. If you are interested in helping, please contact Peter Vollers at

Some weeks back, I wrote about Reading’s own Comic Book Club. It’s a group of local kids who are writing and drawing their own stories with superheroes and villains they created. The club was started by Addi Blanchard and Kelton Maxham.

The club’s next meeting happens on August 24 at 10am at the Reading Public Library. This month, a teacher from the Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction will be giving a lesson to the attendees. For a group created by and run by kids, that’s pretty impressive! The club is open to all kids. If you would like more information about the Comic Book Club, contact Darci Blanchard at

Happy birthday to Kitai Jenne (August 4), Karen Provost (August 5), and John Malcolm (August 5).

That’s the news from Reading! See you next week!

This column originally appeared in The Vermont Standard on August 1, 2019.

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