BRISTOL BITS: Vinny Punzo, phys. ed teacher and D-Day veteran

Published on Sunday, 8 July 2018 21:29


Those of us who attended Bristol Eastern High School between the 1960s and 1980s weren’t aware of the heroism of our phys. ed. teacher and boys basketball coach Vinny Punzo. It wasn’t until about a decade ago that I found out that he served bravely during WWII. Thus, a brief synopsis of what he experienced.

Mr. Punzo served in the U.S. Army and took part in D-Day, the invasion of Normandy, and saw action in the battle of St. Lo, France. He was among those who then advanced to Alsace-Lorraine, France, where he served alone for several weeks behind enemy lines.

I believe the least we can do is think of Mr. Punzo from time-to-time, and appreciate more about the man he was. He died in February of 2009 in Woodland Hills, Calif., after living a full life and that included the leisure of travel.

Beleden coachman’s lodge

Peter Mack stopped by to talk about possibly seeing photos of the inside of the coachmen’s house, which was part of the William Sessions Estate on Bellevue Avenue. He’s been working inside there for a while now, but needs to see pictures of what it once looked like years ago. Can anyone help out with this?

He’s also wondering if there are members of the Dosithe Pensonneault family left, because he lived in the house for decades. Peter can be reached at 860-261-7876.

Mayoral street names

I came across Al Cianchetti one day and he mentioned the idea of naming the new street(s) where the hospital is having a facility built on the old Centre Mall site after a mayor or two. I’ve had this idea passed this way before, and that includes using the last names of mayors for other new streets that will be constructed in the future. Here are ideas from one individual who passed them my way: Wojtusik Way, Werner Walk, Leone Lane, Stortz Street, Papazian Place, Nicastro Drive, Ward Drive, Couture Court, Cockayne Road and thoughts for a roadway named after Frank Longo and our current mayor, Ellen Zoppo-Sassu.

Interesting to note, but no cigar: There is a Ward Street not named after Art Ward; There is a Warner Street, not Werner; and Couture Drive, not Couture Road. Each of these last three are named after non-mayors.

Russ Luce

Does anyone know what became of Russ Luce, an early 1960s graduate of Bristol Eastern? Russ was the glue that held the Bristol band “The Galdians” together, so I’m told. I had breakfast with two former band members, Larry Palin and Ron Piasecki, last week, and they were curious as to what Russ was up to these days.

Gaylord Street photos

Over the top Ohio State sports fan Jim D’Amato is looking for pictures of Gaylord Street past, where the Kennedy Apartments now stand. He mentions families that lived there, including his grandparents, and those such as the Micucci’s and Murrone’s. He also mentions Faddaley’s Store which sat below his grandparents’ apartment. If you have any that copies can be made from let me know or contact Jim who is on Facebook.

I recall that some years ago I wrote about the boys who grew up there during the 1930s and had their own neighborhood sports teams, football, baseball and basketball. Pat D’Amato and Tom Murrone were among the kids who played on these teams.

Contact Bob Montgomery at or by calling 860-973-1808.

Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol on Sunday, 8 July 2018 21:29. Updated: Sunday, 8 July 2018 21:31.