• Stephen D'Agostino

The Next RHS Lecture Focuses on the Indian Wars

Summer! I can finally say it after weeks and weeks of complaining about woeful winter and stinky spring. The windows are open, the flowers are blooming, my tomato plants have awoken from their stupor. Too bad it took so long. Yes, I just rained on my own parade.


I have always marveled at how quickly things grow in Vermont once they start. This year, it seems even more miraculous. It wouldn’t be a total waste of my time to pull up a chair in front of my dozens of Shasta daisies and watch them unfurl their petals, would it? It would be exciting to witness my brussel sprouts inch closer to the sun, right?


The Reading Recreation Commission is fully prepared to take advantage of this season—in more sensible ways—as it enters the busiest stretch of its annual calendar.


Tomorrow night at 6:30, the summer tradition of Game Night (can I call it that in its second year?) continues at Bartley Field. We'll be playing games like wiffle ball, soccer, and kickball on the field. We'll be pitching horseshoes, trying our best to hula hoop, and enjoying a night outdoors. And after we've enjoyed some time in the grass, we'll participate in the pot luck barbecue, so bring some food for your family and some to share with your friends in neighbors.


I’m excited about attending. I have either been otherwise booked or away for the last two Game Nights, so I need to make up for lost time! I hope to see you at Bartley Field tomorrow night.


Then on Thursday, August 1, two weeks from today, the Recreation Commission begins the third season of Puddledock Park Parties. At three years, I can definitely call this a tradition. The lineup for this year is the best yet. They start with an ice cream social, with the sundae fixings provided by Villager’s. Thank you!

Later in the calendar, we’ll have live music, featuring Rose Hip Jam. We’ll also have an 80s dance party, art in the park, open mic night, and more. We’ll end the season in late September with Reading’s very first outdoor movie night. I don’t want to rush the season—I know it will do that on its own—but I am really looking forward to that!


Keep your eyes open for posters around town with the full list of Puddledock Park Party themes. Also, check out the Reading Recreation Commission’s Facebook page (facebook.com/ReadingParks) for events and updates.


There’s more on tap for summer in Reading. August 2 is First Friday. That means the Hall Art Foundation will be open for free self-guided tours. That same night, the Reading Historical Society is holding the second of its Speaker Series events. This one is called “Indian Wars of New England.” The speaker is Michael Tougias. As you may remember, he gave last year's talk, "400 Miles Down the Connecticut River."


This talk, of course, has particular relevance to Reading. I spoke with Michael, and he said he would definitely be talking about the events commemorated by the Indian Stones. The talk happens at the Reading Historical Society Museum at 7pm on August 2.


They say that good writing should elicit an emotional response in the reader. Can the same be said for the writer? I can answer yes, while fully admitting that I am a writing nerd, a summer nerd, and an idealist nerd.


Harkening back to my opening paragraph and my many columns mourning the lack of spring, I am thrilled by the prospects for the remainder of summer. I am fully confident that it is going to pull through and be a fantastic rest of July, August, and even September! Welcome, summer! We’re glad you’re here!


One reminder for you. The library’s Summer Reading Program runs this Saturday, July 20, and next Saturday, July 27, at 10:30am. This year’s theme is “A Universe of Stories,” so you and your kids will be delighted by stories about earth, space, and sky. There will also be crafts, snacks, and giveaways.


And finally, a big thank you to Gerry and Erika Marletta for opening up their yard and Rob Macri for delighting dozens of folks on a picture-perfect summer evening with a fantastic fireworks display. Working alone, Rob dazzled the crowd for 20 minutes. When it was all over, and the smoke was clearing, I realized that this event is one of the things that makes small-town living so great. Bill and I were thrilled to be part of it.


After a few weeks without birthday and anniversary wishes (my calendar didn't travel with me), they're back. Or should I say, it's back? Happy birthday to Max Malcolm (July 22).


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


This column originally appeared in The Vermont Standard on July 18, 2019.

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