BRISTOL BITS: First librarian was different than originally thought

Published on Sunday, 15 September 2019 16:00
Written by Bob Montgomery

Every once in awhile, I like to surprise someone with their photo here accompanied by a few kind words. Today it’s Ruth DelMonte, a nice lady and a volunteer who I first met when we were both in grammar school. As Ruth Constantine initially, she was a neighbor of a friend, George Tolve back when.

Anyway, surprise there Ruthie. Have a great day!

Thomas H. Patterson

I’m not sure how many know this, but Bristol’s first librarian was Thomas H. Patterson (1859-1942), known as the longtime teacher and principal at the former Thomas H. Patterson School.

Many think it was Charles L. Wooding (1869-1955), because he held the position for 52 years, between 1892 and 1944. Patterson came to Bristol in 1890 and served a year as Bristol’s librarian before Wooding took over.

Rick Reimer

Rick, a 1965 Bristol Eastern graduate, came to town on Friday and we had brunch together that day. A resident of Utah, Rick noted at one point that because of the “Friends” gatherings that Jim Kane and Bob Lindsay held here annually in recent years, he was able to make and keep contact with friends here from the old days. Like myself and others, he is a fan of Jim’s, who recently passed away.

During our brunch, Rick, who is retired now, keeps in shape by walking. He’s in remarkable shape, being athletic-minded his entire life. Beside exchanging updates on one another, some of the folks we recalled were Terry Burke, Bob Kelly, his cousins, Paul and Bobby Reimer, Burr Carlson, and Tom Shopay, among others.

Rick, who is known by the first name of Frederick in Utah, is an interesting fellow to visit with. He’s also one of those individuals who appreciates having grown up here with the teachers he’s had and the number of activities made available to him growing up. Rick is Bristol all the way.

Shout out to Whitey Dudzinski

I drive by Whitey’s house a couple of times a week, because I live on the same street and when I do, I recall his basketball exploits for Bristol High back in the mid-1950s. He once held the single-game scoring mark for state tournament play and was an All-State selection his senior year.

He raised a family with his devoted wife, Mary, and did his share of volunteer work at the Boys Club and Little League. Thus, hello, Whitey, hope you are having a great day.

“The Gerry Blanchette”

Retired educator/administrator Gerry Blanchette stops by the Bristol Press office to pick-up a copy of the day’s issue and he’s become someone we all enjoy here. You may recall how I’ve named the idea of picking up trash along the streets of Bristol as doing “The Blanchette” in honor of the man having done this for years on Memorial Boulevard. He no longer does this, but others have picked up the ball since.

I’ve noted that Jay Beaucar has been seen with a trash bag on Memorial Boulevard, picking up discarded trash and mentioned that I’ve seen Betty Tracy doing the same. Then there’s Lisa and Walter Kalbach who sometimes work “The Boulevard” after working all day. I’ve seen Vinny and Lovey Pitaro walking downtown and bending over on occasion to pick up a piece of trash. Now, these are people who loved the city and show it with their concern for a greener, cleaner one. I recall former mayor Gerry Couture for his penchant for a clean and green city.

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

Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol on Sunday, 15 September 2019 16:00. Updated: Sunday, 15 September 2019 16:03.