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  • Stephen D'Agostino

The Peeperazzi Have Arrived in Reading

Over the past month or so, I have written a lot about the Reading Fall Fair. Since my columns were, for the most part, singularly focused, they flowed nicely. I have a lot of topics to cover, so this week’s column won’t be so neat.

First, as promised to the PTO and the Volunteer Fire Department, here are more details about their events happening this weekend.

Start your Sunday morning at the aptly named Leaf Peeper Breakfast. It runs from 8am to 10am at the Reading Elementary School. The PTO, sponsors of this event, will be serving pancakes with maple syrup, eggs, bacon, fruit, pastries, and more. The price is $8 for adults, $5 for children, and $20 for families. All proceeds benefit the PTO.

Following breakfast, hop on over to Fire Prevention Fair. This event runs from 11am to 2pm at the Fire Station. You and your family can have fun while learning. Start by working together to make a Family Fire Safety Plan. Then the kids can try on firefighter gear, tour the firehouse, jump around in a bounce house, get their faces painted, and get their photo taken with a fire truck. In the meantime, you can learn fire safety tips, and get free smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. The good folks at the fire department will also be serving a free lunch. Just a reminder: it’s first come, first served.

With my promise kept, I am reporting, right on time, my first tourist tales of 2019. As the color has arrived in the trees, so have the peeperazzi. This year, the number of foliage fans on my road seems way up. The pullout at the overlook to the Jenne Farm is full of cars all day long, and there are plenty of photographers roaming around on foot.

Driving by my neighbor’s property, I watched a woman setting up her tripod just feet from a steer on the other side of the electric fence. She must not have seen the several no trespassing signs posted around the property. If my window had been up, I would have thought, “wow, the cow is posing for her.” The window was down, and I heard the steer making more noise than I’ve ever heard from my neighbor’s cattle. His calls sounded aggressive. If she got the shot, with Spring Brook Farm in the distance on a crystal clear type of day that only autumn can deliver, it was probably a good one. She could have, however, got so much more than she bargained for.

Then, a day later, I watched as a car pulled into another neighbor’s very long driveway. The driver stopped just off the road then proceeded, parking on the grass. Two humans and one dog got out. The people took their shots, and the dog, thankfully, didn’t take anything (if you know what I mean). It’s going to be an entertaining and infuriating October here on the hill.

Ready for another jump? I want to comment on the Old Home Day meeting that happened on Wednesday, October 2. It was attended by 16 folks, young and old, long-time residents and relative newcomers, who all participated in a lively conversation about our sorely missed annual event.

Everyone in attendance agreed that putting on the Old Home Day we know is a lot of work for one organization to handle. They also felt that the parade is essential. People suggested the parade could consist of tractors, kids on bikes, and a pet contingent. The idea of including the Shriners and floats was also mentioned. Though it sounds like the parade we are used to, it also sounds simpler, a bit more free form, but still a great representation of who we are as a community.

The other idea that had wide acceptance was holding Old Home Day in the fall. People are more likely to be around (that is, not on vacation) at that time. Other interesting thoughts were having food trucks instead of a chicken barbecue and combining Old Home Day with Spring Brook Farm’s Open House to make a weekend out of it. Side note: thanks to Spring Brook Farm. This year’s Open House was spectacular as always.

Clearly, the meeting was a successful brainstorming exercise. Thanks to all who attended. If you have a suggestion or two, you can share your thoughts by emailing them to

Finally, I want to share one more story. A few days before the Reading Fall Fair, I collected Ducky Derby stubs from the various places that had been selling them. The Reading Greenhouse gave me their sold-out book and a $5 bill wrapped in a piece of paper with the name Bob French and his phone number written on it. He had left it, hoping a ticket might come available. I grabbed one from another book and entered Bob and his duck in the derby.

Bob won the big prize, the 1-night stay at the Woodstock Inn. Is there a lesson in this? I think so. Always be hopeful. You can't win unless you try. One good deed deserves another. It’s all dumb luck. Whatever we can draw from this, congratulations to Bob and kudos for being hopeful!

Happy birthday to Ellette Gould (October 12) and Ginny Barr (October 15).

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

This column originally appeared in The Vermont Standard on October 10, 2019.

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