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  • Stephen D'Agostino

Reading Fall Fair Slated For September 28

It’s not often that I travel past my favorite building in Reading, the Old Stone Church. However, a couple of weeks ago, Bill and I were returning from Plymouth, and when I saw the church, I nearly slammed on the brakes. At first, my eyes deceived me. I knew work was to be done on the spire this year, but when I saw it gleaming in the sun, my eyes saw the warm orangey glow as copper, even though my brain said the spire, unlike the roof, was not metal. When I got closer, the smoothness I had perceived resolved into the individual shapes of the shingles. The color, too, went from uniform to a mix of tans and browns. As a side note, two days later, I got my glasses back from the shop with a new prescription.

In stark contrast to the warmth of the spire shingles and the rust-tattooed former roof, the new metal roof over the rest of the building is a solid sea of grey. To me, the color denotes strength and security. Though I know nothing of roofing, it seems to me that this roof is going to protect the building for many years to come.

When it rains, it pours, as they say. And when it pours on a roof that needs repair, it is inevitable that more repair work will be needed. As the construction company began to assess the work that was planned, they discovered that the main support beam was rotted and that the connecting post-and-beam construction at the rear gable end had to be repaired as well.

You may remember that Hazel King had created a Go Fund Me campaign to raise money for the roof work. The board of trustees for the Old Stone Church also held fund drives in 2014 and 2016. These recent repairs—some planned for, some not—required all of the money raised, plus the church’s reserve funds.

Hazel told me that a recent inheritance from a former pastor at the church will provide the operating fund for the near future. Sometimes when it rains, it rains pennies from heaven.

Hazel notes that “all of the folks who contributed to this work can feel good that they have prolonged the life of this old historic building for at least another fifty years and probably longer than that.” To those who donated, I also say thank you.

Hazel finished her email to me with this quote, which struck a note to someone who loves history and appreciates the need for community involvement, especially in a small town. “History repeats itself: What has been accomplished in 2019 as in 1844 would not have been possible without community support.”

Keep that idea of community support in mind, and read on.

The Reading Recreation Commission is pleased to announce that it will be hosting an event called the Reading Fall Fair on September 28 from 10am to 2pm on the school grounds. What’ll happen at this event you ask? Well, there will be food, carnival games, a petting zoo, a “touch a truck” event, a make-a-scarecrow contest, and the 2019 Ducky Derby! There will be more events, too, so stay tuned here and on Front Porch Forum, watch for flyers around town, and be sure to follow the Recreation Commission on Facebook (

Now, back to community support. This is going to be a big event! Big! Huge! The Recreation Commission is five devoted people, but even if this is all we did, it would be a lot of work. We need your assistance! Someone to help with the event on September 28 or can help with the planning and preparation Or both. If you're interested and want to learn how you can help, contact me at

And yes, I did mention Ducky Derby. The Recreation Commission has been collecting great prizes. New this year is a one-night stay at the Woodstock Inn. There is also a $50 gift card from King Arthur Flour, a $50 gift card form the Woodstock Farmers’ Market, Pentangle movie passes, books from Yankee Bookshop, a cheese stone from Farmhouse Pottery, and so much more. Again, check the Reading Recreation Commission’s Facebook page to see the list of prizes. If you would like to buy tickets, you can get them at Town Hall, Watrobas, the Reading Greenhouse, or you can contact members of the Reading Recreation Commission: Lisa Kaija (, Gerry Marletta (, Lisa Morrison (, Kelsey Coyle (, and me (see above).

Sticking with the Recreation Commission, thanks to everyone who came to see Rose Hip Jam last week. It’s always so nice to gather at our park for an evening of music, food, and community. This week’s theme is “Swap Night.” Think of it as a pop-up yard sale. Bring things you want to get rid of and trade them for things you can’t live without. Don’t forget to bring a chair, bug spray, and snacks and drinks for when you need to take a break from the bartering. Next week, there is no theme. Instead, it’s just an opportunity to get together to toast out August and prepare for month number nine. The Recreation Commission is preparing! With four more Puddledock Parties and the Reading Fall Fair, we’ll be busy. I ask again: won’t you help make it a September to remember in our small town?

Happy birthday to Brandi Vittum (August 25) and Evangeline Jenne (August 26). Happy anniversary to Curt and Kate Allen (August 26).

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

This column originally appeared in The Vermont Standard on August 22, 2019.

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