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  • Stephen D'Agostino

Reading’s Last Outdoor Summer Game Night Is on Friday

Updated: Aug 19, 2018

This sign on Jenne Road tells motorists they're out of the work zone that is (was) Route 106. The paving of the state highway is nearly complete.

As promised, here’s an update on the Route 106 paving project. It seems like there is no need for an update. The whole project appears to be about done, with just a few bridges that need work.

That was fast! It was like the Asphalt Fairy visited overnight and got the job done. Of course, that’s not true. Thanks to the crew who made such fast work of the paving and gave Reading wonderfully smooth roads. I’ve lived here for three-and-a-half years, and this high-quality road surface in town is a first for me.

With that update done, let’s move on to new business. A big Reading Recreation Commission thank you to Jaime Wyman and Villagers Restaurant for donating ice cream and all the toppings for last week's Make-A-Sundae Puddledock Park Party. The ice cream, chocolate sauce, whipped cream, cherries (of course), and jimmies (not sprinkles, Jean Goldsborough) were delicious and a sweet treat on a warm afternoon.

It seems that a tradition of sorts has developed at the Puddledock Park Parties. People who attend love to play bocce. I've never played before (go ahead, shake your head in disbelief that a person with the last name D'Agostino has never thrown a bocce ball), and have yet to play at the parties because the teams fill up quickly. Thank you Heather Evans for donating the set.

The bocce set will be on hand for tonight’s party, but it may be a distraction from the main event. This week's theme is open mic. The Recreation Commission is using that term loosely; there won't be an actual mic. The idea, however, is the same. The commission invites people who play an instrument, sing, compose poetry, have a real-life story or jokes they want to share—basically people who crave the limelight (again, no actual limelight, but you know what I mean)—to come by and show off their stuff!

As a reminder, the Puddledock Park Party happens every Thursday from 5pm to dusk (which means they get shorter every week). I and others will repeat this often enough that you’ll know without being told that Puddledock Park is the space beside the library.

By the way, the Recreation Commission reminds you that if you want to swap produce from your garden, please bring it!

If you can’t make it to the Puddledock Park Party, or even if you can, you have a few other chances to shine on the following night, for it will be the third Friday of the month. That means Game Night! The outdoor version of this event, now in its fourth month, has become more than just pitching horseshoes or kicking kickballs. It’s also a barbecue potluck. So bring food for yourselves and your family and some to share. The Reading Recreation Commission will fire up the coals for you to grill hot dogs, hamburgers, sausages, etc. The fun starts Friday, August 17, at 6:30pm, at Bartley Field.

As an added incentive for you attend, remember that this is the last Outdoor Game Night of the year. It’s your last chance to experience a gorgeous summer evening (as of this writing, it’s looking okay) playing games with your friends and neighbors. In September, Game Night moves back to the library for card games, board games, and more.

There’s still plenty of August left between now and September, and I want to highlight a big event occurring on August 26. On that day, the Vermont Overland Bike Race will be happening on the roads in our town. As with all the Vermont Overland events that have taken place this year, this one benefits a local charity or non-profit. The beneficiary for this race is the Reading-West Woodstock Food Shelf.

Now, if you’re like me, and you’d rather be icing a cookie than racing a bike, then you can still help out in this cause.

Being a writer, specifically a copywriter, a catchy headline always makes me smile. The headline of a Front Porch Forum post on August 9 that read “Cookies Needed! Lots of Cookies!” certainly did the trick. Of course, being someone who loves to bake, especially cookies, helped pique my curiosity as well.

Since it’s a great cause and I want to help in any way I can, I’m going to repeat the author’s message here. The Reading-West Windsor Food Shelf is looking for folks to bake cookies that volunteers can hand out to hundreds of riders as they pass in front of the beneficiary of the August 26th race. They ask that you bring your baked delights to the Food Shelf on that date, a Sunday, between 9am and 9:30am.

Also, please be aware that Baileys Mill Road will be closed on Sunday, August 26, from 6am to 5pm, for this race.

Speaking of the food shelf, now is the perfect time for me to publicly acknowledge Diane Bennett and her annual effort in preparing backpacks full of school supplies for children whose families are clients of the Reading-West Windsor Food Shelf. Diane told me she has made up 30 such backpacks this year filled with pens, pencils, folders, and other age-appropriate school supplies for kids heading back to class in the fall.

Diane has a tip if you want to help out with next year’s backpacks. Once school starts, visit your favorite school supply store and buy items on sale to fill next year’s packs. Diane is happy to hold them. You can bring your donations to the Food Shelf on Mondays from 2pm to 4pm and Thursdays from 4pm to 6pm.

Happy birthday to Laura Griggs (August 18) and happy anniversary to Calista and Tom Brennan (August 18).

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

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