BRISTOL BITS: Bristol Historical Society planning annual dinner

Published on Thursday, 13 April 2017 20:39
Written by Bob Montgomery

Bernie O’Keefe met with the Bristol Historical Society Dinner Program Committee Wednesday morning at the organization’s headquarters on the corner of Summer and Center streets. Their mission that day was working on getting businesses to support the program booklet that will be distributed at the dinner at Nuchie’s on May 18.

The dinner, the top event of the year for the organization in my opinion, includes announcing its volunteer of the year, as well as scholarship recipient. Here’s a brief bio on committee members: Noreen Zurell, a high school classmate of mine who is a not too recent retiree as program director at Nutmeg TV; Bernie, a Bristol Sports Hall of Fame director and BHS treasurer; Tom LaPorte, multiple organization man; Paula O’Keefe, website master for the society and all-around fine volunteer (she gets her good looks from her mother, Jean Sue); and Mary Houle, longtime volunteer and committee chairwoman for the BHS. Andrea Kapchensky, vice-president of the BHS, also attended the meeting.

Rewind 1997 (20 years ago) - Robert Maynard

“Former probate judge Robert Maynard, a WWII veteran, retired attorney and past honorary Consul for the government of France in Connecticut, was made a knight of the French National Order of Merit at a ceremony held at his Brightwood Road home this week.

After being knighted Maynard recalled how he had been wounded on Omaha beach during the famous battle and watching his blood flow into French soil. He said, quite literally, ‘A part of me will be a part of France forever.’”

BHS yearbook comments

Here is what was said about some of the kids we know from their Bristol High yearbooks:

Bob Itzo (’57) - “And when it comes to choosing, he shall be my friend.” Natty Dresser...math whiz...quick with answers...energetic; Bruce Lindquist (’59) - “A light heart lives long.” In love with fun...high spirited...good pal...bubbling over in personality; Mike Barzee (’57) - “If silence were golden, this boy would be broke.” Good with a torch... a sociable guy...always something to say; Carl Cohen (’59) - “A light heart lives long.” In love with fun...high spirited...good pal...bubbling over in personality; “A light heart that lives long.” In love with fun...high spirited...good pal...bubbling over in personality; Tom Greenleaf (’59) - “I keep the girls laughing, but as for teachers.” Never a dull moment...neat appearance...shy with the girls?

Joan Pelkey

Shout out to Joan. What have you been up to these days?


This license plate was in Wednesday’s column and I received a call from Deborah Bailey, a Bristol resident who teaches in Middletown. She describes her plate in three segments:

One, her students call her Miss B.; her car, a Cooper, looks like a bumble bee; and the third is existential in being in the present.

Edward George Zeranski - WWII hero

Born in Bristol on June 15, 1924, he was the son of Helen and Victor Zeranski of 298 West Washington St. in Forestville. He graduated from Mary A. Callen in 1938 before spending three years at Bristol High. He was a member of St. Stanislaus Church and was employed by Sessions Clock.

He entered the Army in February 1943 and was a rifleman in the infantry. He became a private first class and served in the famed Merrill’s Marauders in the Burma area. During an invasion of an airfield he was wounded in action and died from his wounds, and that was on June 13, 1944, two days shy of his 20th birthday.

Bob Adamczyk - BHS volunteer

I stopped by the Bristol Historical Society yesterday morning and volunteering for Cortlandt Hull was Bob Adamczyk. I’m not sure how long Bob has been active with the organization, but he’s done a little of this and a little of that in recent years in doing a whole lot.

I enjoy the booklet he put together on the origins of Bristol’s streets. I believe he spent a year or more on the project, even going out-of-state with research on it. Give him a task and you get a professional result.

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

Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol, Forestville, General News on Thursday, 13 April 2017 20:39. Updated: Thursday, 13 April 2017 20:41.