• Stephen D'Agostino

Reverse Parade Scheduled for June 27


The older I get, the more I find this happening to me. In truth, it probably has always happened to me, but I seem to notice it more now.

Around the third or fourth day of the month, I say to myself, “the month is early. You have plenty of time to do x.”

Depending on the month, x changes. In May, doing x meant “getting the seedlings hardened off before transplanting them to the garden.” It also meant “getting the house ready for the warmer weather.” It was other things too, I am sure.

In June, x changed to things like “planting the last of the vegetables into the ground,” “filling in the blank spots in my flower garden,” “making updates to my website,” and “weeding the flower beds.”

In September, the x-factor might be "buying pumpkins and mums.” In December, “sending Christmas cards." In February, "going snowshoeing."

The beginning of the month becomes the middle of the month, and the sense of urgency grows to get things done. At the end of the month, I often look back with a sense of both accomplishment and regret. Some unfinished tasks will be pushed off to the beginning of the next month. Others, I will finally admit, won’t get done.

Though I go through this every month, it always hits me hardest in June. Maybe it is the extra sunlight, how precious this time of the year is, or that the warmth is still novel. I try to squeeze every minute out of June. Sometimes overcommitting or expecting too much of myself and the month robs June of its glory.

And June is glorious. I hope you’ve enjoyed the first half and have great plans for the second half.


One event I am looking forward to is the Reverse Parade, which is scheduled to happen from 10am to noon on June 27. The idea of the parade is to capture the spirit of an Independence Day parade as well as do something as a community in these times when we still need to be careful about gathering. As a side note, the increased number of cases in Vermont has reminded me, and I hope you, too, that we need to continue to be cautious about the coronavirus.

Back to the Reverse Parade, the idea is that instead of the parade coming to town, you go to the parade. For this to be a fun, successful town event, it needs two kinds of participants.

It needs floats, like any other parade. But instead of these floats making their way down Route 106, they only need to make their way to the end of your driveway. Your float can be a car, a bike, a trike, a wagon, a tractor, a wheelbarrow. Since it doesn’t need to roll, it can be something without wheels: a plant stand, a board on two sawhorses, a toboggan that you’ve pulled out of storage. Be creative! Once you have your float at the end of your driveway, you can deck it out like a parade float would be decked out.

Like Old Home Day had themes, the Reverse Parade has a theme, and that is patriotism. I’ve already loaded up on red, white, and blue accessories for my car.

Like floats in parades have music, consider adding music to your float. You could play it out of the speakers in your car. You could play it on a kazoo or some other musical instrument.

Like people on some floats in parades throw candy or other things to spectators on the street, consider handing out things to people who drive by.

If you are interested in entering a float in the Reverse Parade, please let the Reading Recreation Commission know by sending an email to ReadingVTRecreation@gmail.com. Before June 27, the Reading Recreation Commission will distribute a parade route.

Circling way back to how I started talking about the Reverse Parade, for the event to be successful, it also needs spectators. So please mark your calendar for June 27, and from 10am to noon, tour the town and greet the folks who have floats in the driveway by beeping your horn, playing music, waving, and maybe throwing candy to them!

And what to do between now and the Reverse Parade? Well, among other things, you could read a book. With things inching back to normal, here’s an update from the library.

Tony would like the library’s patrons to know that the interlibrary loan services are now up and running. You can search the library’s online catalog for books from other Vermont libraries, and our library can have those titles sent here for porch side pickup.

Borrowers will need their library card number to place holds on the books. If you don't know your library card number, you can call or email the library and Tony can walk you through the process or do it for you. The contact information is on the website, readinglibrary.org.

Please note that books from other libraries are generally not available for interlibrary loan until six months past the date that the library holding the book received it.

That reminds me, earlier this month, I committed to finishing the novel Revolutionaries, about a charismatic dreamer of the 1960s who lost his way in the 1970s. It's been a while since I've read a book this good. Now, mid-month, I am no closer to finishing it. Well, there's always next month…

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


This column originally appeared in The Vermont Standard on June 18, 2020.

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