BRISTOL BITS: Retired police, firefighters meet to swap stories

Published on Thursday, 18 May 2017 21:07
Written by Bob Montgomery

The Retired Bristol Police and Firefighters Association met Wednesday evening at the American Legion Headquarters for a pasta dinner put on by the Korean War Veterans Association. And with this, I had the absolute supreme best of luck being able to sit at a table with Bob Barnett, who kept everyone laughing.

There were many familiar faces, but I won’t list any for fear of leaving someone out. It’s a great group of people who had put their lives on the line during their careers. The stories told from memories are quite interesting with the fact that these retirees saw things the everyday Joe doesn’t see, the not so pretty and sometimes silly things they had to deal with.

My hats off to Bob Coffey, who presides over the group, as well as those who are members. Good time, good food and good people!

Shout out

To Rick Leach. Rick’s name will always be imbedded in my mind, because when he went into the U.S. Marine Corps after high school here with Roger Belanger and Paul Simonik, the latter being my former and late brother-in-law. Maybe it’s the Corps and the respect we have for one another or that fact that we are connected in this other way. I think these connections help make life so good.

A thank you, too, to Rick, for all the volunteerism he does for Bristol and “The Village.” Good man with a wonderful wife, Gail.

Vanity license plates

It seemed that they were everywhere for a period of 20 minutes on Wednesday, so I finally wrote three of them down, LAWZ, THE.DUPS and BOBS.96 The first must be connected to laws and the second could represent the Duprey or Duperry families? BOBS.96 sat on a sunshine, bright yellow Corvette I assume was a 1996 model.

Shout out

To Jim Cenci, the former postal clerk in Forestville. He told me recently that he didn’t feel that working at the Forestville branch was a job. He enjoyed the people and praised the current fellow there, Tom, who is also people-orientated. Those were two good moves by the Bristol Post Office having those two man the counter.

Lynne E. Devnew

I recently mentioned Doug Devnew in my column, the new chairman of the Bristol Hospital Board. His sister, Lynne, was a classmate of mine at both Stafford and Bristol Eastern High schools. I have been exchanging emails with her the past couple of days and she, too, has made her mark in the world. She is listed at the University of Phoenix as Dr. Lynne E. Devnew, Senior Research Fellow, Women and Leadership Research Group Center for Leadership Studies and Educational Research.

Lynne, I’ve enjoyed the emails - Bob.

Vinny Pitaro

I received a nice email from Vinny Pitaro. I won’t go into the subject of it, but want to thank Vinny, a veteran, for his military service. I see he and his wife, Lovey, walking up Main Street from time-to-time and they are model Bristol citizens. They are a nice couple, those you’d want as neighbors.

Did you know(?) - Tony Rafaniello

Tony Rafaniello was a well-respected man. In fact, he has been included in “The Builders of Bristol” series that sometimes appear in my “Primetime” column on Mondays, which is comprised of biographies of those contributions and efforts that made Bristol the city it was during their active days. The series started out of the Bristol Historical Society around 1976 and was written by family members and local history-minded folks. In 1999, he was inducted into the Bristol Sports Hall of Fame. This, too, was for his work as the caretaker of Muzzy Field between 1920-1959, a ballpark which became the best in New England.

The “Did you know” is the fact that he brought his workers to Fenway Park to see firsthand and learn how that grounds crew maintained the field for the Boston Red Sox. As the late Dave LePore would have said, “That’s pretty cool stuff!”

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

Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol, Forestville, General News on Thursday, 18 May 2017 21:07. Updated: Thursday, 18 May 2017 21:10.