Bristol Bits: Meet Rick Fitzsimons, a man with a clan and a paintbrush

Published on Sunday, 4 March 2018 20:17

Staff Writer

First of all, I had a nice visit with Rick Fitzsimons and his wife, Bonnie, Saturday afternoon. I had interviewed Rick some years ago with regards to his paintings and being a girls softball pitcher instructor. Rick has stepped away from softball, but remains busy with his paints and brushes.

One of the things he has enjoyed is having family members pose for him, and he’s done this several times. He’s shown here with live family members posing with some of the pictures he’s drawn of them. Rick is on top in the photo here with his boss, his wife, to his left; granddaughter McKenzie Fitzsimons; daughter Sandi Greger and granddaughter Jordan Fitzsimons to his right. The two lads posing below them are grandsons Gavin Greger and Connor Fitzsimons, CCSU graduate who is currently with a Los Angeles minor league baseball club. Rick and Bonnie’s German shepherd, Rojo, is between the two boys. The remaining faces are framed pictures of family members.

Rick started his interest in drawing when he used to sit on his father’s lap. Joseph Fitzsimons would squiggle a line on a piece of paper and have his son fill it in to create a picture. Rick has since done this with his grandchildren.

You may have seen some of Rick’s work and one is the bright picture of the former Gridley House on Main Street that is hanging over the mantel on the first floor of the library between the circulation and children’s departments. There’s also one at City Hall which captures the Veterans Walkway off of Memorial Boulevard. The late Billy Graham’s home has or had a picture done by Rick and Brad Davis of Connecticut radio and TV fame has two.

Sometimes the artist has been commissioned to do a portrait or scene, and he’s done one-man showings of his work. Doing landscapes is one of his favorites.

Rewind 2008 (10 years ago)

The board of directors of the Bristol Center for Arts & Culture’s 2008 ACE awards will be presented to longtime music educator and director Ken Ferris and the Clinton S. Roberts Foundation. The awards were created to honor those individuals and organizations who have contributed to the art, culture, or entertainment within the Greater Bristol community.

Charles Ross Manarel

I received an email from Jerry Milne up in Plymouth, and in it he wanted to know if folks could help a young man from Texas who has an assignment to share documents, photos or any material to commemorate Charles Ross Manarel from Terryville. He’s a student at Westlake High School in Austin and his class is reading the book titled “The Things They Carried.” The students were given the name of one of those lost during the Vietnam War and Avery Brotzman has the Terryville hero to put something together on.

Here is Avery’s email: and I’m going to see what I can provide him with, too. If you have something, you can get it to me at The Bristol Press and I will forward it to him. Or, email him if you’d like.

(Big time kudos to Avery’s teacher who has her students doing this.)

Jim Foote

Jim Foote gave me a valentine box of Russell Stover chocolates at our TEAM Bristol meeting the other day. Seems when I called him about the meeting, he was calling a woman at the same time. We were connected and she wasn’t, so he started talking to me in thinking it was her. With this, I pitched my voice a little higher as if I were.

I guess you have to be careful around that guy. He’s a jokester and, no, I didn’t kiss him after he gave me the Valentine candy. This did, however, bring big smiles from the other TEAM members who witnessed this act of affection and they were Joe Englert, Tom LaPorte and Harley Graime. I can only imagine if our female TEAM Bristol member, Linda DiMatteo, were there. She would have had some “cute” remarks to say about all of this!

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

Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol on Sunday, 4 March 2018 20:17. Updated: Sunday, 4 March 2018 20:19.