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  • Writer's pictureStephen D'Agostino

Welcome to Reading, and the World, Cooper Thomas Sessa

Indiana Jones didn’t let snakes stop him, even though he hates snakes. When he was trapped in the Well of Souls, did he give up? Nope. How about when he was shot in the arm? Uh-uh. Facing a giant of sorts? He kept going.

So, did the Reading Recreation Commission call off its big (well, not really) adventure when thunderstorms and a good soaking rain came through town last Friday afternoon? No way! We showed

Raiders of the Lost Ark. Neither summer storm nor mosquitos, which seemed rather vicious on the night of the movie, were getting in the way of the Rec showing a great movie.

It may have rained hours before the start of the movie, but the Reading Recreation Commission was able to show a great movie on what turned out to be a beautiful summer evening.

Given the increasingly early sunsets, the commission was able to start the movie close to 7:30, as promised. In the end, there was a great turnout. Most of the folks who showed up were not in attendance for Hook, which the Rec showed on August 1. Thanks to all who showed up to these movies!

I don’t want to start any rumors, but the Rec may do another movie this year. Stay tuned here and to Facebook ( and Front Porch Forum for more information.

Of course, the Rec has other events happening. Like an outdoor concert happening tonight, Thursday! Writing this several days out, I see that the weather for that evening looks promising.

The music is courtesy of Bluegrasoles a two-thirds local trio consisting of Reading residents Susan Damone Balch and John Balch, and Springfield resident Rich Knight.

I've wanted to hear Bluegrasoles play their music, inspired by Americana, rock, folk, and blues, since I met Susan last August. The band was supposed to play the third Winter Concert Series show in March, but we know what happened then. So finally, after a year, I’m going to hear them.

As usual, the Recreation Commission asks that you wear a mask and practice good social distancing. Bring a chair or something to sit on. Bring snacks and drinks. Also, in case the bugs that were a nuisance last Friday are still around, bring bug spray.

I have been writing about Puddledock Park Parties a lot for the last few weeks. I know. Over the weekend, I talked with a woman who lives in Woodstock about what the Recreation Commission does in Reading. She said she was aware of the activities the Rec puts on. I told her that we are so happy to be able to have events again after a months-long hiatus. She mentioned the Ducky Derby, and I told her that the planning for this long-time, much-loved event has begun.

I scanned my files to determine if this is its fourteenth running or its fifteenth, running, but I am still unsure. What I can tell you is that it will be its second year in a row it’s being run in September. Specifically, September 27 at 1pm. Last year, if you recall, the Derby was held in conjunction with the Fall Fair. Given the pandemic, the Rec won’t be having the fair, but the ducks will swim.

The Rec continues to collect prizes, but here are a few that will be available to lucky winners: A $50 gift card to King Arthur Baking Company, a $50 gift card to Gardener’s Supply, books from Yankee Bookshop, a frame donated by Danforth Pewter, a round of golf for four from Woodstock Inn, and more. You can check out the prize list at the Reading Recreation Commission’s Facebook page.

Tickets are available at Watroba's General Store, the Reading Greenhouse, and Rec Commission members Gerry Marletta, Lisa Kaija, Kelsey Coyle, and me. If you would like to purchase tickets, send an email to the Rec at

And finally, congratulations to Anna Sessa and Matt Levasseur on the birth of their son Cooper Thomas Sessa who became Reading's youngest resident on August 8. According to Anna, Copper is as sweet as his Dad and feisty like Mom.

When most of us look back at the bizarre year that 2020 was, we will remember the good, the bad, the strange. Anna and Matt, though, will have some lovely memories--the day their child was born, bringing Cooper home, and introducing him to family and friends. Perhaps even memories of sleepless nights, which I imagine they are experiencing, may seem sweet. In other words, they will experience the life of new parents. A pandemic is not going to take that joy away from them.

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

This column originally appeared in The Vermont Standard on August 27, 2020.

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