BRISTOL BITS: A general, a president and a cardinal walk into a streetscape

Published on Thursday, 13 September 2018 21:21

I stopped by the Bristol Historical Society on Thursday and while there chatted briefly with Bob Adamczyk, one of the organization’s faithful volunteers. Bob was in the library there where he spends a lot of time organizing it with Ellie Wilson.

One of the brief topics we talked about was the booklet he researched and wrote about the origin of the street names in Bristol titled, “Streetscape.” In doing so, he said that three of his favorite named roadways were Haig, Hoover and Mercier avenues, which are located directly off Route 6. All three are named after individuals famous in U.S. history, not Bristol.

Haig is named after Sir Douglas Haig, a World War I British general; Hoover is named after Herbert  Hoover, U.S. president and World War I humanitarian; and Mercier is named after Cardinal Mercier of Belgium, a World War I hero. These streets (avenues) were named in 1930.

Burr Carlson

After writing about the recent death of Burr Carlson in Monday’s column, Tim Gamache, a mid-1960s graduate of Bristol Eastern, sent me an email about the former phys. ed. teacher and boys basketball coach at the school:

“Coach Carlson was a life-long memory for me. He was my gym teacher for my freshman year of high school. My being only 4-feet-11 or 5 feet and he was 6-foot-6, he was the tallest man I had ever met. My lasting memory of him was a demonstration he put on in class one day. To show us how if you do something the same way each time, you get the same result.

“He had us blindfold him at one of the foul lines, and shot a free throw. After we told him he made one, he proceeded to make 14 straight! STILL one of the most impressive feats I’ve ever witnessed. He would also play volleyball against the entire class and we never ONCE beat him! The most important life lesson he taught me was not to allow my lack of height to deter me in any way, to always keep ‘plugging away.’”

Bristol Press rewind 1998 (20 years ago)

“A local sculptor, with  a national reputation, has been tapped as a site coordinator of an innovative 16-week program in arts administration and career development sponsored by the Connecticut Commission on the Arts and the Institute for Community Research - a Hartford-based not-for-profit organization conducting applied research and community enhancement programs.

Robert Charles Hudson is still looking for a few good artists to participate in the Inner City Cultural Development Program. His job is to recruit emerging local artists and community-based arts organizations to take part in the program, which trains artists to write grants and market themselves in a savvy, professional manner.”

(Note: Robert’s sister, Barbara A. Hudson, is a former curator of African-American art at the Wadsworth Atheneum and executive director of the Amistad Foundation. She later became a principal in Barbara A. Hudson Associates, fine art consultants and curators in Hartford.)

1967-68 Bristol Central yearbooks

Here’s what was said about some of the kids we know or knew in the Bristol Central senior yearbooks of 1967 and 1968:

Mary Stokosa (’67) - A quiet girl with a winning way. Dependable...quiet... a real smile; Joe Barney (’68) - His wit, kindness, and good humor makes him a great friend; (68) - Jon Boi -

I find life to be a bundle of fun; (’68) Mike Giovinazzo - I agree with no man’s opinion, I have one of my own;  (’68) Everett Lyons - Bring on the multitudes to share in my world of wisdom; (’68) - Patrick Parente - If you don’t understand, ask questions; (’68) - Raymond Strelau - A scholar and a gentleman.

Did you know?

Al Mancini, a longtime football coach in this area, went out for the freshman basketball team while at Bristol Central during the 1960s. Because of his lack of height, he eventually went out for wrestling instead, a good move because he was the first grappler from the city to win an individual state high school title.


I’ve been naming those from Bristol I believe should be listed under “Notables” when you go to read about this city under Wikipedia. Three individuals I’ve mentioned to date are: Michael Corbat, CEO of Citigroup; Robert Fiondella, former CEO of Phoenix; and Barbara Franklin, the 29th U.S. Secretary of State.

Another name to add is Wallace “Wally” Barnes, Barbara’s husband and one-time head of the Barnes Group, a Fortune 500 company. Among other things, he’s the patriarch of the (Ebenezer) Barnes family here, Bristol’s first settler.

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

Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol on Thursday, 13 September 2018 21:21. Updated: Thursday, 13 September 2018 21:23.