BRISTOL BITS: 'The Nashville King' originally from Bristol

Published on Thursday, 20 April 2017 22:24
Written by Bob Montgomery

Staff Writer

Tom Mazzarella and his wife (Teresa?), recently visited a good friend from Bristol and that’s John Beardsley who has been in Nashville as an Elvis impersonator called, “The Nashville King.” This was for John’s 1,000th “A Tribute to the King” show. Tom writes:

“He moved down to Nashville with his wife, Darlene, 17 years ago. The performances are great and the singing is the true performance. John Beardsley gives a very entertaining and informative tribute for the three decades that Elvis lived - ’50s/’60s/’70s. The show lasts for two hours.

“He changes costumes according to the era. There is information and audience participation. If anyone is in Nashville they have to go see his show, it is amazing! In Nashville he is known as “The Nashville King.”

George Dietrich on Mrs. Moeller

I received an email from George Dietrich, a former Bristol resident now living in Longview, Texas and in it he talks about the late Josephine Moeller, who taught school in Bristol, including at Bristol Eastern 50 or so years ago. I have also mentioned that her son, Carl, a state trooper here, was killed many years ago on I-84 while helping a motorist when he was returning home and off-duty. George writes, in part:

“‘Yes Virginia,’ I do remember Mrs. Moeller as Miss Johnson, as she was called, when she taught seventh grade at Greene-Hills in Forestville. When my eighth grade teacher, Mr. Durwood Graffe, was drafted, Miss Johnson took over. As I recall, she also substituted as acting principal after Harry Williamson sat on an unruly child.

“During this time Miss Johnson married Mr. Moeller. I graduated in June of 1944 and my class picture shows Mrs. Moeller standing at a carefully angled position so as not to ‘show.’ Carl was born in August 1944, and all were amazed since no one suspected she was expecting.”

Betty Rasmus on Mrs. Moeller

Betty Leide Rasmus left me a handwritten-note:

“I had Mrs. Moeller in grade seven at Stafford School - Edgewood School and Jerome Avenue was now only grades one through six. A boy talked out in class and because of this, all students were to stay one hour after school. Several of my classmates and I had to miss our bus ride home. Not wanting to walk to Stevens Street alone, I walked Columbus Avenue, Jerome Avenue, up Stevens Street. I had blisters and bloody feet when I arrived home.

“Needless to say, I had to miss school the next day because I could not put shoes on. My mother, Julia Leide, contacted the principal and the bus students were not to ever stay after school again. Mrs. Moeller was very strict as were so many teachers in those days.”


Alice Leger, a volunteer at the Bristol Public Library, told me she saw the license plate LIBRARY, or something similar to it, here recently.

Hometown column - 1997 (20 years ago)

The late Dave Lepore wrote a column called “Hometown” for The Bristol Press before leaving the newspaper. After this, I asked the editor, Bill Sarno, if I could take a try at a similar column and he agreed. Bill came up with the name of “Bristol Bits.”

Anyway, here’s a segment from one of Dave’s columns from 20 years ago:

“A call came in from Gary Burghoff the Bristol native who is best known as M*A*S*H’s Radar O’Reilly. Burghoff was calling from Hawaii where he was set for a cruise to Vancouver. Apparently he needed a copy of his birth certificate to be allowed on Canadian soil. We got in touch with Dolores Nocera, from the City Clerk’s office, who was kind enough to let us pass along her telephone number to Burghoff.”

Epaphroditus Peck

Sherwood “Woody” Anderson, a friend and retired Bristol attorney, read my Monday “Primetime” column on Epaphroditus Peck and emailed me to say that Peck was his great-uncle and was known in the family as Uncle Paphro (pronounced “pay-fro”). He added that Peck was a dignified and usually dressed formally, and taught Domestic Relations, not Domestic Violence, at Yale Law School, as I had incorrectly mentioned. He wrote a well-regarded law book, “The Law of Persons, or Domestic Relations” around 1920, which was still being quoted by Connecticut courts in the 1960s and 1970s.

Write to Bob Montgomery, ℅ The Bristol Press, 188 Main St., Bristol, CT 06010. Call 860-973-1808, or email:

Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol, General News on Thursday, 20 April 2017 22:24. Updated: Thursday, 20 April 2017 22:27.