BRISTOL BITS: Recalling the Nortons of Lake Compounce fame

Published on Friday, 30 April 2021 23:23
Written by Bob Montgomery

I had space for one segment to finish this column, and decided what better way to do it but showcase the face of one of Bristol’s best, Morrie Laviero.

Ruth Norton

Ruth, who will celebrate her 96th birthday on May 12, is a part of Lake Compounce history. She and her husband, Bill, following their marriage, lived in a small cabin of sorts on the far side of the lake. From what I recall, Bill also worked at the lake at that time.

Bill, of course, was part of the Norton family that owned and operated Lake Compounce, and I bet Ruth has some interesting tales of those days. As I recall, Ruth, in not so many years ago, was part of the “Life Stories” club at the Bristol Senior Center, where folks would meet and work on writing and sharing their life stories.

Ruth and Bill Norton were part of a few couples who were friends and got together for friendship and fun. That’s when I first met her as a teenager when my parents, Ruth and “Bud,” would get together with them. I learned about Bill and Ruth’s first years at “The Lake” back then, but these memories have faded a bit.


First of all, Dick and Carol Fitz celebrate their 70th anniversary today. Carol is now 94 years old and Dick recently turned 96.

“She needs a medal,” Dick, a Navy veteran, told me by telephone. “She’s put up with me for a long time.”

I have visited the couple on several occasions and they really are a fun loving couple. They are now in the process of opening their cottage at Cedar Lake for another warm weather season.

Rich Marino, former co-owner of Wolcott Tire, now retired in Florida, celebrates a birthday this coming Tuesday.

WWII book to be written

Nick Pitt, a resident of England and one-time sportswriter for The Sunday Times who turned book author about a decade ago, is taking on the challenge of writing about Bristol’s Edward Wozenski, and other war heroes. He’s made contact with Carol Denehy here, who is keeping in touch with Wozenski’s niece, Mary Houle of the Bristol Historical Society.

As many know, we will be dedicating a plaque on Memorial Boulevard in honor of Wozenski, who went on to become brigadier general in leading the Connecticut  National Guard. So, every so often I hope to bring attention to this extraordinary man who died here in 1987. 

Here’s one of those tidbits. Wozenski’s first officer at one time during the war was Lt. Edmund Duckworth, who died the first day of the Normandy Invasion on June 6, 1944. Only five days prior, Wozenski stood up for Duckworth at his wedding. Wozenski was also with Duckworth when he died.

Matthew Sportelli

With Matthew’s 90th birthday being yesterday, I clicked onto his Facebook page that was shown on my computer. There seemed to be a lot of fun and laughter going on at his residence, but one item really topped things off.

There’s one segment showing Matt going down into the squatting position and afterwards lifting himself back up without the use of his arms or any other assistance. I could do the first part of that exercise, but would need help getting back up – and he was my teacher in grammar school.


My friend from Plymouth, Karen Pescarmona, a board member at the Bristol Historical Society, sent an email informing me that Buster’s on Route 6 is now open for the season.

Contact Bob Montgomery at or by calling 860-583-5132.

Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol, Column on Friday, 30 April 2021 23:23. Updated: Friday, 30 April 2021 23:25.