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The Boston Globe


In praise of porches, where summer really rocks

As the lazy days of summer approach, it is time to recognize the sport of rocking. The none-too-vigorous activity takes place on the front porch of country inns across New England from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Said rocking is carried out in straight-back wooden rockers, deep-seated wicker rockers, and perhaps the occasional swinging glider in a slow and easy motion, with time out for the occasional pause to sip lemonade.

For many of us summer in New England simply wouldn’t be the same if we couldn’t enjoy it from the front porch. Just watch guests hover at the edges of the grand porch along the front of the Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge waiting for a rocker to become vacant. It’s simply the best seat to watch the human parade as visitors — from Manhattan gentry to Tanglewood lawn rats — stroll down Main Street past the venerable inn. Window boxes and hanging plants provide cover for the watchers to engage in discreet commentary on the spectacle.

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