BRISTOL BITS: Bristol rivals are now lifelong friends

Published on Sunday, 14 April 2019 20:55
Written by Bob Montgomery

Jim Kane and George Benoit recently took a cruise with their wives. It’s a perfect example of lifetime friendships between two high school sports rivals. George and Jim were high school seniors in 1964 and both played basketball for their schools, rivals Bristol Central and Bristol Eastern, respectively; Chris D’Amato was a standout baseball at Bristol Eastern and now his son, Matt, is playing for the school. I’m sure Chris is thinking, “Where did the time go?”:

I inadvertently mentioned Hank Lodge’s son as being Chris and as the president of the Forestville Little League. It’s Hank’s son, Scott, who is the president; Has anyone seen the recent photo on Facebook of Ritch Marino, former mayor Fifth Street here, dressed as Elvis in Florida?: I saw the popular Ronnie Davis the other day, and I assume he’s awaiting the tennis season to start up; A shout out to Joan Pelkey. Why? Because she’s a great lady.

Rewind 1999 (20 years ago)

Firefighters from headquarters on North Main Street have been working outdoors and sprucing the area up, much to the delight of Captain Fran Murphy, who, before being transferred to Forestville a year or two ago, saw that this type of work was properly done at the downtown location when he was there. “Murph,” as he referred to, recently called Captain Dana Jandreau at headquarters to say that the boys downtown were, “Doing a good job.”

Those involved in sprucing up and planting in the area were Bill Sutter, Tom Benvenuto, Paul “I never saw a basketball shot I didn’t like and took them all” Maghini, Mark Redman, Paul Moderacki and Bob Wentland.

Hen Coop Alley

According to “Streetscape,” a booklet on the origin of the names of Bristol’s streets/roadways written by Bob Adamczyk, Lincoln Avenue in Forestville, established in 1833, was once known as Hen Coop Alley. It was later named after our 16th president as were Lincoln Place and Lincoln Street.

Edward Vaughan

I mentioned Ed’s name here recently and after doing so, he emailed me to say I spelled his last name incorrectly. It should be as shown here.

And being “Eddie the Encyclopedia,” he shared some trivia with me and it has a Bristol connection. Ed writes:

“Before and during World War One, there was a big left hand pitcher by the name of James ‘Hippo’ Vaughn who is best remembered for the game he lost. On May 2, 1917 he was pitching in Crosley Field against the Cincinnati Reds. He pitched three hitless innings. His opponent Fred Toney pitched 10 hitless innings. With one out Red Sox shortstop Larry Kopf hit a single, breaking up a double no-hitter. Hal Chase then reached on a two-base error. The Carlisle Indian James Thorpe beat out a bunt for the one run of the game.”

Interesting to note if readers didn’t pick this up, some consider Jim Thorpe as the best all-around athlete ever and Larry Kopf was a native of Bristol, one of five from here having played big league baseball.

Special Olympics photo - 1985

Wednesday’s photo with this column was that of Bristol Special Olympics Committee members of 1985 and with it I asked if readers were able to recognize any of them by name. Vern Koch called and gave me some names.

Top rows, from left, are Ruth Jannings, third from left, Vern, fourth from right; Ella Maratzki, to the right of Vern; Carol Carpenter and then Ellen Zoppo on the far right.

Middle row - Lois Koch is on the very right with Nancy Denehy next to her. Bottom - Gerry Carpenter is on the very right with Ed Ludzow next to him. Tim Gamache and Tom Boisvert also helped with the names.

Dave Lemoine

Dave reached the 50 gallon plateau giving blood this past Thursday. More to come on Dave.

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

Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol on Sunday, 14 April 2019 20:55. Updated: Sunday, 14 April 2019 20:58.