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  • Stephen D'Agostino

Green Up Day Kicks Off At Reading Town Hall on Saturday

Calling Marlin Perkins! Come quick! It seems that Jenne Road has turned into Wild Kingdom. On our way to Game Night last Friday, we spotted a moose beyond a copse of trees just down the hill from our house. I’ve only seen two in my life, both in Reading. Compared to the antlered guy who crossed Route 106 in front of us in 2015, this moose was big. I had my camera, which was good, but I didn’t have my telephoto lens, so photographic evidence is on par with the famous Bigfoot video.

Later that night, about 9:30, I wondered if the bear that had turned over our barrel of sunflower seeds and bent our feeder pole the night before had come back. I turned on the light, and sure enough, there it was lying on the ground making a meal out of the mess of seeds we couldn’t scoop back into the barrel. We took a photo with a phone, and the fake shutter click was enough to scare it off. Not the lights coming on. The shutter click.

Unless I come up with a miracle solution, I’m going to miss the Rose-breasted Grosbeaks and Evening Grosbeaks, which, in the past four Mays, have chosen this week to make their returns.

In between the moose and the bear sightings, we attended the second Game Night at the Reading Public Library. Thanks for all who came out. While Pete Seman and Rob Macri were teaching Gerry Marletta and Tony Pikramenos how to play cribbage, I was the Pit master, winning two games in a row before being banned from the table. It was nice to meet Barbara Shoemaker, Boolie Sluka’s mother, who was taking care of the Sluka siblings over the weekend.

Barbara also brought the kids to the May Day Flower event at the library the following day, Saturday. It was another well-attended event. Hats off to Tony and Vanessa Maxham for putting it together.

Tony read two stories to the kids, both about rural life through the year. Both books recalled days of yore, including the tradition of putting candles on the Christmas Tree, which garnered comments from the young audience wondering how the tree didn’t burn down.

One story mentioned Washington Pie when talking about February. Tony didn't know what it was, but I told him that my grandmother used to make cherry pie on February 22, which was also my parents’ anniversary. Perhaps that is what Washington Pie is. Tony said, “you can always Google it, but what fun is that?” He’s right. So instead, I’m going to “Review-gle it.” In other words, I’m going to ask you. Has anyone else heard of Washington Pie? If so, please share what you know!

Thanks to Jane Philpin for Review-gling my bit on Paul Robbins from last week. She gave me a lot of information on the man that I was unaware of. I don’t recall what source I used when I first wrote about Paul Robbins last year. Whatever it was, it noted that he lived in Weathersfield. Jane attests that he lived in Reading, as in right next door to her. She included some great anecdotes and told me to check in with many locals about their recollections of the man. I am excited to learn more. It sounds like good fodder for my Reading Historical Society Informer column.

Speaking of Paul Robbins, completed applications for the service award and $500 scholarship named in his honor are due at Town Hall on May 10. You can pick your application up at Town Hall, at Woodstock Union High School guidance office, or at

Don’t forget that this Saturday is Green Up Day! If your neck of the woods is in good shape, you can sign up to green up a particular area. Marie Anderson, who has been the coordinator of Reading’s efforts for a dozen or so years, will be at Town Hall at 8am to assign areas that need attention and to give out free coffee!

Just a note on Marie’s interest in this event. She has been involved in one way or another with this state initiative since the very first Green Up Day. Her fifth-grade class worked as a team to not only on a clean-up project but also on a beautification project. Their efforts won them an award in a statewide competition. Since then, she’s been hooked.

Where ever you decide to green up, bags are available at Reading Town Hall, Watroba’s, and the Reading Greenhouse. These bags will be accepted for free at the Transfer station.

When you’re done, be sure to stop by Town Hall at noon for a potluck lunch. You can trade stories of your day’s successes and spend some time with your neighbors. For more details, check out this month’s Informer.

Here’s another early May event that involves food: the Spring Senior Luncheon. It happens on May 10 at Noon at Town Hall. If you want to attend, RSVP to Calista and Tom Brennan by May 4. You can reach them at 484-0276. Cost is $5 per meal.

Final notes. Thanks to the PTO for a delicious Soup Supper. It was the perfect remedy for a cold and rainy Sunday evening. Also, don’t forget the RES Concert. It happens on May 3 at 6pm at the school.

Happy birthday to Nicholas Allen (May 5), Natasha Springer (May 5), Hope Hunt (May 8), and Brody Allen (May 9).

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