Bristol Bits: Remembrance of a school election past

Published on Tuesday, 18 April 2017 21:05
Written by Bob Montgomery

Staff Writer

I recently mentioned Paul Casey, the late vice-principal at Bristol Eastern, and how he had to deal with a lot of shenanigans by some of the school’s students. Jim Kane, a faithful reader, shared a story from the good old days in an email to me. It goes, in part, as follows:

“It was 1964, and our class elections were coming up. I remember there were three assemblies, and you put on a skit in favor of your favorite candidate. Mike Morin was our candidate of choice. We put on a skit with Dan Heffernan and Clem Roy being featured in the production. Now to pull this off, we needed something to make a real loud noise. The idea was that the two guys would be arguing down the auditorium aisle, as to who was a better candidate.

Clem Roy was walking down the aisle and came up on the stage to the microphone. As he started to give reasons why someone should vote for Mike, Dan Heffernan jumped out of his seat and approached the stage yelling another candidate’s name. At that point, Clem Roy pulled a gun from his pants, aimed it at Dan Heffernan and pulled the trigger twice, causing Dan to fall down and pretend to be shot, ending his candidate’s potential approval.

Now the rest of the story - the gun was a starter’s pistol, loaded with blanks, belonging to Bob Dailey, the track coach. Mr. Dailey ‘loaned’ us the gun but didn’t want anyone to know where it came from. Well when Clem pulled the gun and fired, we all started laughing, because we knew what was happening. But it really wasn’t that funny. When Clem fired he put the gun right next to the microphone on stage and and the result was that it sounded like a cannon going off in the auditorium. The effect was that the gun caused the whole auditorium P.A. (system) to be blown out. Then it hit the fan.

Mr. Perry and Mr. Casey came rushing into the auditorium, and proceeded to find out what happened. As I remember, there were eight of us in the office trying to explain what had just happened. Mr. Casey was given the task of sorting it all out. After finding out it was part of a skit, Mr. Casey then wanted to know where the gun came from. Trying to be amusing, I told Mr. Casey not to worry because Clem’s shots had missed their intended target. Not a good move on my part.

No one would own up to the gun’s ownership, so we got after school detention until someone owned up. It never happened, and it turned out we only had one day of detention. We later found out that the gun was put in a desk drawer in Mr. Perry’s office and never seen again, or so we thought. In the spring Bob Dailey used the gun to start track races. I asked him if that was the infamous weapon, he only smiled and said it was a new pistol.

Only 40 years later did Bob Dailey, at a Bristol Friends Party, tell me that he had the gun returned by way of one of the office secretaries who would remain nameless.”

Saturday Cruise Nights

Word has been passed this way that Reggie L’Heureux and the Bristol Auto Club’s Saturday Cruise Night will no longer be held on the former Bristol Centre Mall property. They will be held just around the corner of what was referred to me as, “The North Side Square Burger King Plaza.”

Shout out to the Murphs  

I hadn’t seen retired Bristol Fire Department Captain Fran Murphy for some time, but ran into him at True Value Hardware in Bristol on Monday. Fran was with his wife, Mary Ann. Fran is one of Bristol’s most enthusiastic St. Patrick’s Day celebrators.

Robert Mitchell - Vietnam casualty

Robert Mitchell, the son of Mr. Ovila and Georgette Mitchell of East Road in Terryville, received word that their son, Robert, was killed during military service in Vietnam with the U.S. Marine Corps. He was a member of the 9th Division, Second Marine Battalion, and had been in Vietnam for approximately four and a half months.

He was born in Central Falls, R.I., on May 24, 1968, and came to Terryville two years ago. He was a member of St. Ann’s Church in Bristol and employed by Eagle Lock Corp. before entering the service.

Jim D’Amato and the Yankees streak

I hear that Jim D’Amato was at Yankee Stadium recently to see his St. Louis Cardinals play the

Bronx Bombers. I also was told the Cards lost the game. Could Jim’s appearance there have anything to do with the Yanks’ winning street?

Art Wallace

Has anyone played golf with Art Wallace this spring? If so, has he improved any? Does anyone have a story to share about his game? (Note: I’m told that his golf balls are whiter than any others on the course. After teeing them off into the water, which happens often I’m told, he wipes them off with a bleach-soaked cloth. The reason for the bleach is so that.he can find them easier.)

Write to Bob Montgomery, ℅ The Bristol Press, 188 Main St., Bristol, CT 06010. Call 860-584-0501, ext. 1808, or email:

Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol, General News on Tuesday, 18 April 2017 21:05. Updated: Tuesday, 18 April 2017 21:07.