BRISTOL BITS: Bristol native cruises back into town

Published on Thursday, 19 October 2017 20:34
Written by Bob Montgomery

My former wife, Dale Giramondi, informed me recently that her cousin, Penny (Giramondi) Pichette, was going to be in town this week and with this, I told her to tell Penny to stop by here at The Bristol Press. Penny did on Wednesday and I enjoyed speaking with her for about an hour and a half, which included a visit to see Allen Stone at his business, Performance Edge, on Broad Street. Both are vintage car buffs.

Penny, who grew up in Forestville on Lyons Road, went on to marry Rich Pichette, who worked at New Departure. Penny and Rich moved to California some 40 years ago and the rest is history. Rich started what is West Coast Kustoms, which hosts an annual three-day “Cruisin Nationals,” a.k.a, “Santa Maria City Cruise” in Santa Maria City. Rich died in 2010, but Penny carried on with the torch and is the event’s director, where many local vintage customized automobile owners and fans in Bristol and elsewhere in the country flock to the event. Allen has brought cars there before and will again next year, but more to come on this. I hope to do an interview with Allen next week.

Anyway, it was a good visit with Penny. We talked about family and that included her late father, Adolph “Geno” Giramondi, a well-known chef in the area who died in 2008. I believe Geno retired from Bristol Hospital, but prior to that, he was the chef at the former Hamps Restaurant. He also had his own restaurant some years back named Penny’s, and that was in honor of his first child. Some of the older folks may remember the spot on Broad Street, where Marilyn’s Pub is now.

I enjoyed the chat with Penny and told her that we should have lunch when she makes her annual weekly visit here in 2018.


I saw this license plate parked at the Bristol Public Library on Thursday. It sits on a Chevy Malibu LS.

Rewind - 1992 (25 years ago)

During the next 18 months, Carol and Janie Mason of Bristol will be living their 10-year dream: sleeping in a cramped bunk room, bouncing off narrow passageways and inhaling large chunks of salt air. When you commit to living a dream - in their case sailing to Australia in a 37-foot masted cutter -- you learn to take the good with the bad. For the two 40-year-olds and their three and a half year old son, Carlos, it all starts today.

“We thought it would be kind of special to leave on Columbus Day,” said Janie, aboard their 15-year-old sailboat Whizard anchored in the middle of the Mystic River.

Rewind 1967 (50 years ago)

The new Grandway department store, the second tenant at the Centre Mall, opened this week. As estimated over 350 people poured into the building after the formal ribbon-cutting ceremony in which Mayor Henry Wojtusik and the new Miss Bristol, Mary Lanora Gibson, took part. A bevy of officials from the city and the Grandway company were there for the long awaited opening of the store.

Andrew J. Semansco of Omaha, Neb. will assist Carleton Bircher with the operation of the Forestville branch of the Bristol Boys Club. He will replace Stanley J. Bear now with the Dayton, Ohio Boys Clubs.

Write to Bob Montgomery, ℅ The Bristol Press, 188 Main St., Bristol, CT 06010. Call 860-973-1801 or email

Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol, Forestville, General News on Thursday, 19 October 2017 20:34. Updated: Thursday, 19 October 2017 20:37.