The Bristol Press – BRISTOL BITS: Linda DiMatteo, Jerry Rafaniello win a dance competition

In my last column, I mentioned how Linda DiMatteo and Jerry Rafaniello won a dance competition as partners, and I thought it was in high school. No, as Jerry sends me an email:

“Let me help you with the facts of the dance. It wasn’t that long ago and it happened during one of the last Bristol Stomps at the Polish Club. I danced with Linda and laughed a lot. But … I won the dance competition with my wife, Carroll. We had been dancing together for over 50 tears by that point and we still had a few moves that impressed the judges.

“Linda presented the trophy and took this picture of me. It was a fun night with a lot of great friends.

Richard Jackson’s creative words of dismay

In Monday’s column, Stephen Lincoln shared a few words Mr. Jackson would use when his students in his class got a little out of hand.

Tom Murphy, a resident of Plainville, a West Woods School graduate in 1959 and a high school classmate and past friend, had Mr. Jackson as a baseball teacher and coach in 1957 and 1958 in high school. Tom mentioned that Mr. Jackson used a few adjectives when addressing an out of control class:

“I am shocked, distressed, mortified, overwhelmed and somewhat dismayed! ”

Johnie Floyd Memorial Cross Country Course

Another excellent teacher and trainer who is remembered is Mr. Floyd, a track and field and cross country trainer in Bristol Eastern in the 1960s. According to City Councilor Peter Kelley (of whom son, Connor, is one) of the city’s best long-distance runners), the Page Park cross-country course, the Bristol Eastern course, will be dedicated to this Bristol icon.

It will be named the Johnie Floyd Memorial Cross Country Course and will be inaugurated at 3 p.m., during the last regular season meeting between Bristol Central and Bristol Eastern this fall, always an exciting event. Tamara Stafford-Kirk will host the afternoon and it is hoped that many of Floyd’s former proteges will attend. (The date of the meeting will follow.)

Well done to Ray Gagnon

Every year around this time, I think of Ray Gagnan, a retired photographer who has often been seen in town through the Chamber of Commerce and MumFest. A photo of him is with Bristol celebrity Gary Burhoff, aka “Radar O’Reilly” of * M * A * SH *, famous for TV and film. I believe the photo of Ray and Radar was taken the year Gary was the parade marshal.


Tomorrow’s birthdays will be celebrated by Noreen Zurell, Pat Nelligan and former Bristol resident Janice Hall Mercieri. Former resident Paul Reimer celebrates Monday.

Philip and Rocco Antonio Testa – Victims of World War II

It was on this day in Salerno, Italy that Philip Testa, originally from Bristol, was killed in World War II. This took place after surviving the campaigns of Africa and Sicily. Rifleman of M Company, 30th Infantry, he was the son of Domenico and Vincenza Testa of 211 South St. in Bristol.

Born here on October 29, 1919, he was employed by New Departure when he did his military service. This after graduating from South Side School and being a member of St. Anthony’s Church.

A second son, Rocco, was killed in his very first war action on the Anzio Beachhead less than a year later, on June 1, 1944. He had been an artilleryman in an anti-tank company of the 303rd Infantry.

Also a graduate of the South Side School and a member of St. Anthony’s Church, he had been employed by the Horton Manufacturing Company before enlisting on February 19, 1943.

Contact Bob Montgomery at [email protected] or by calling 860-583-5132.

Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol on Friday, September 24, 2021 3:06 PM. Update: Friday, September 24, 2021 3:09 p.m.