BRISTOL BITS: Statue of children reading at library repaired after damage

Published on Thursday, 28 December 2017 21:34
Written by Bob Montgomery

A couple of years ago, Floyd Wyche, supervisor of the circulation department at the Bristol Public Library, had an item at home that he wanted to have repaired. He heard about Richard Maurice, who does repair jobs, restoration, furniture stripping other things in his PM Craft & Treasures Shop in Bristol, and gave him a call. Richard was able to fix it and all was well.

A month or two ago, one of the many statues at the Bristol Public Library, a popular one of a young boy and girl sitting on a bench reading a book together, was knocked over and broken into pieces. This was a statue that young kids loved and sometimes had their parents take a picture of them kneeling beside it. With this, Floyd went into action and called Richard to see if he could fix it despite the challenge. Richard said he would give it a try.

“It was something that was worth trying to fix, because of where it was,” Richard told me. “Floyd told me that the kids liked it. I didn’t know if I could fix it, because it was plastic. It was in pieces and a mess.”

Richard was able to fix the statue and return it to Floyd at the library. It was then put up on higher ground in the reading room on the first floor to maintain its safety. Richard did this for free, because he realized how much it meant to the kids.

Origin of the statues

The origin of the statues is another whole story. I forgot how far back, but they mysteriously were being placed inside the library every once in a while. No one claimed sneaking them in the building and it became a hot topic for the library staff, including myself, at the time.

Then one day when I came in early before opening hours, I saw former mayor Bill Stortz in the parking lot. Why was he there so early? Then, after he drove off in his car I spotted a new statue outside in a safe spot to be seen by one of us staff members. Gotcha! It was then that we realize this kind-hearted statue-giver was Bill Stortz, an avid reader and patron of the library. So, when you look around the library during your next stop, many of the statues you see there came by way of this man.


I saw this license plate while driving on Memorial Boulevard Thursday morning. It was on a blue van and I believed it refers to “command sergeant major wife.” Anyone?

Bristol Press rewind 2002 (15 years ago)

To Gail and former library director Francine Petosa, where did the years go? The following is part of a 2002 page one story in The Bristol Press:

In less than a week, the Bristol community can again search the stacks of the Bristol Public Library in search of the perfect book. The library officially reopens Wednesday, and there will be more space to roam. After four months of closure for a new wing to be added, the library will open to the public that day, according to the library’s administrative assistant, Gail Straun.


I received an email from 42-year Plainville resident Tom Garcia on the license plate XKEJAG:

“Pete Cwiek sends his regards. He actually spotted your 12/20/17 column on my license plate (XKEJAG) while we were having coffee together that day. I am a 31-plus year retiree from the Plainville Police Department. I retired in 2003. Early in my career (about 1973 I think) the CT DMV notified all CT police departments (by teletype - before computers) that they were about to offer six-segment registration plates. This included vanity plates. Many police officers immediately submitted requests for the six-segment plates.

“I had a 1969 Jaguar at the time and got the XKEJAG plate. I also got GARCIA for my wife’s car. My parents, in-laws, and other relatives ordered vanity plates at the time. My XKEJAG plate has been on at least 11 cars since and it is on a Mercedes now. It’s interesting to note that CT DMV only started offering seven-segment vanity plates about a year ago. I got a set for my 1990 VW Vanagon Camper (GOWESTY).

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 on Thursday, 28 December 2017 21:34. Updated: Thursday, 28 December 2017 21:36.