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  • Stephen D'Agostino

Reading’s Kids Display A Virtue of Small-Town Living

I have heard a lot of people in town say that there is a bond between Reading’s older children and younger children. I found that claim extraordinary. When I was in kindergarten, my older brother was in fifth grade.

My parents instructed him to walk me to school, a chore that lasted all of seven blocks and maybe 12 minutes. Begrudgingly, he did so, and when we got there, he disappeared. Better for him that he, a nine-year-old, not be seen with his four-year-old brother (being December babies, we both started school early). I thought it was a rite of passage for older children to ignore the younger ones, including siblings.

At Game Night, on Friday, June 15, kickball teams formed along gender lines. The oldest player on the boys’ team was Robby Macri, age 14. One of the youngest players was Calvin Seman, age seven. Calvin was determined to be the pitcher (is that the right word for the person who rolls the ball to the kicker?), yet he needed some coaching on how to perform that important job. Though Robby wanted to pitch, Calvin wouldn’t give up the position. Instead, Robby stood close to coach him; held conferences on the mound, complete with whispered advice, just like you’d see in at a major league baseball game; and helped him pitch better.

That is just one example of many from Game Night in which older kids in town, who have known the younger ones since the day they were born, interacted in a way that, I would say, goes beyond the bonds you would expect. Instead of being cool teens who don’t associate with the kids, they all acted like one big happy family. That, perhaps, is the most endearing thing I have encountered in our small town. It’s also a lesson we, as residents, should all take to heart. Some people in town seem to be related to dozens of other people. Other people in town, like Bill and me, are related to no one. Yet, we are all part of the Reading family, and we all have much to offer the place we call home.

Do you have horseshoe pitching skills to offer your town? Reading has taken up the gauntlet thrown down by Weathersfield and accepted their challenge to a horseshoe tourney, which is happening on June 20. At Game Night, members of the Recreation Commission reminded folks of the upcoming challenge, and a few guys took to the pit to practice. I know very little about horseshoes, but I do know that the object is to land your pitched shoe near the pole. I assumed a good shot would result in the shoe hitting the pole, the metal-on-metal contact producing a ring. Though I wasn’t paying a ton of attention, I heard no ringing. Richard Windish and Rob Macri assured me they were doing better than it sounded. Their claim made them likely candidates to be part of Reading’s team.

Reading agreed with Weathersfield that we would field as many teams as we could. In the coming weeks, there will be more information about the tourney on the Rec Commission’s Facebook page ( If you’re interested in joining the team, contact a Rec Commissioner. I’m taking a break this week from saying who they are. Visiting Facebook may be easier, anyway.

In other news, making its debut in my column is the notification of a meeting to discuss if Reading should consider public water and/or sewer in Felchville. The Selectboard, the Reading Village Center Committee, and the Planning Commission are considering applying for a Planning Advance grant from the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to conduct a feasibility study these projects.

Some of the challenges the Village faces are shared wells and lots that are too small for compliant septic systems. These issues make homes less attractive to buyers. It also makes opening a business in Felchville difficult.

At the meeting, which happens on June 28 at 6:30pm at Reading Town Hall, representatives from the Vermont DEC will be on hand to discuss these issues an answer any questions you may have.

Old Home Day is just 10 days away! The theme this year is Fun in the Sun. I'm curious to see how floats in the parade will interpret that. The festivities start at 11, with the chicken barbecue following immediately after. The Ox Pull happens at 1pm, and at 2pm, the Ducky Derby. You can buy your ducks at Reading Greenhouse, Town Hall, and Watroba’s or from a Rec Commissioner.

You probably know that there is a Felchville-wide yard sale on Old Home Day. These purveyors of gently used goods will be joined by the Reading Elementary School’s tag sale and bake sale. It runs from 8am to 3pm at the school.

Finally, since it is June, congratulations must go out to Reading’s graduates. With the help of Jess Seman and Lisa Kaija, I’ve been gathering the names of the children and young adults who are moving on to the next phase of their lives.

Graduated from Reading Elementary School are Brendan Barbour, Vera Windish, Jeremy Cross, Josie Cross, and Kain White.

Congratulations to Melissa Baumann, Kennedy Moore, Maria Shontz, and Leah Titus, who graduated from Woodstock Union High School.

Finally, congratulations to Reading’s graduated college students. Luke Dupuis (Columbia College, Chicago) and Oliver Kaija (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute). If I missed anyone, please let me know!

Happy birthday to Bill Springer (June 22), Owen Hickey (June 23), Diane Bennet (June 24), and Kevin Nunan (June 26). Happy anniversary to Samantha and Paul Donal (June 21), Gary and Mary Vittum (June 21), Rob and Shiri Macri (June 24), and Pat and Dennis Barbour (June 25).

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

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