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  • Stephen D'Agostino

June’s Outdoor Game Night is Tomorrow

Tomorrow's the big day. The beginning of summer. How do you feel about that? Me, I'm blasé. Why? Because here it is June 20, and I'm still waiting for spring. Granted, we've had some beautiful days, but they have graced us after days and days of lousy and wet weather, only to depart to give us…days and days of lousy and wet weather. Instead of my usual at-home routine of closing open windows if it’s too chilly, I find that I’m opening closed windows if it finally feels warm enough.

My tomatoes are anemic. Our fields are too sodden to mow. My solar panels are mere roof ornaments. Hopefully, the change of season will change all of that.

Last Saturday, Bill and I took a day trip to Maine. We went to Kennebunk and Kennebunkport, and the weather was glorious. A few clouds, brilliant sunshine, and warm. On our way through Ogunquit on Route 1, we had to stop at several crosswalks to allow folks carrying beach chairs, blankets and towels to cross. It was that kind of day.

By the time we hit Route 89, we could see the clouds in the west. On Route 4, we were sprinkled on. Welcome home!

After a slow start (or no start) to the season, here we are on the cusp of summer. Hopefully, the weather tomorrow night will be fine for the second Outdoor Game Night of the season. As usual, it happens at Bartley Field. The fun starts at 6:30pm. The Reading Recreation Commission will have soccer balls, wiffle balls and bats, horseshoes, and other games. If you have a summer outdoor game, bring it and share.

Speaking of sharing, remember that Game Night is also a potluck barbecue. So, bring some food to throw on the grill. Also, bring some food to share with your fellow summer solstice celebrants.

I want to pass on some more news from the Reading Recreation Commission, but I’m going to do a little weaving to get there. The Puddledock Park Parties will return for their third season (well, second season with this name, but third season in which there will be events going on in the park during August and September).

Have you driven by the park lately? Have you noticed anything different? If you haven't driven by or you haven't noticed, I'll spoil it here. The flagpole is gone. That is one of the early steps in Green Spaces Committee’s efforts to beautify the park. When I first saw noticed it was missing, I was amazed at home much it opened up the park. The flagpole was maybe five or six inches in circumference, but you couldn't see top to bottom while standing in the park. It managed to cut the view of the green space in half when you approached the park from any angle. Now, it is gone, and the park seems bigger, more open, and more inviting.

The stones that were once part of the old house that existed on the lot are still there, and they’ve been spruced up with flowers. Some were planted in pots, as one might expect, and some were given a more whimsical treatment. Go see what I mean!

The Reading Green Spaces Committee has it in its long term plans to return a flagpole, but one that is not so tall and is placed more strategically, so that it enhances the beauty of the park, not disrupts it.

Okay, back to the Puddledock Park Parties. The 2019 schedule has been set. The parties will begin on August 1 and run for nine Thursdays to the end of September. The fun kicks off with an ice cream social, which was a big hit last year. Then over the course of these Thursdays, there will be two concerts, one by Still Hill, and one by Rose Hip Jam, which plays all around the Upper Valley. Other events include Lawn Games, Art in the Park, and Swap Night. The fun culminates on September 26, with the showing of a movie in the park.

It’s up to you to decide which movie to show on the “big screen.”. The Rec Commission is conducting a survey featuring four movies being considered. The movie that gets the most votes will be shown at the last Puddledock Park Party. The URL for the survey is long and cumbersome, so it’s probably best for you to go the Rec Commission’s Facebook page ( and scroll down to find the post announcing the survey and clicking the link from there. And while you’re at the Facebook page, like the page and share the post!

Finally, the Rec Commission is proud to announce that there will be a Ducky Derby this year. It will happen on September 28. The commission is still working out the details, but keep your eyes open for announcements and places to buy your tickets. You can also check the Facebook page to see what prizes are up for grabs. Since you've already liked the Rec Commission's Facebook page (right?), you'll see posts announcing prizes we have collected as soon as they’re announced.

Happy birthday to Bill Springer (June 22), Owen Hickey (June 23), Jim Mulder (June 24), Diane Bennet (June 24) and Kevin Nunan (June 26). Happy anniversary to Samantha and Paul Donald (June 21), Gary and Mary Vittum (June 21), and Rob and Shiri Macri (June 24).

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

This column originally appeared in The Vermont Standard on June 20, 2019.

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