Letter: Bristol rolled out the red carpet


I just wanted to thank your great town for its exceptional hospitality for myself and my brothers. We had a very memorable trip this past weekend.

I was a little nervous about going, but this road trip of ours exceeded my expectations. It was the highlight of my summer!!  We were trying to find our great grandfather's grave. (Manuel Mello 1869 - 1927). It was a very difficult  task because, to our surprise, it was unmarked. Without the help of your town, it would have been impossible.

I would like to thank everyone for their kindness. Everyone was so friendly and helpful. From the two ladies who tried to help us at the cemetery, to the reception desk at the Quality Inn Somerset, the guy in the liquor store across the street who always had a quick joke for us, the waitresses at the restaurant, Jillian's, where we had our traditional Portuguese dish — steak with an egg on top.

I'd like to thank George Lima from the funeral home, who was busy with his own father, but went out of his way to give us a helping hand. I would also like to thank David Barbosa from the cemetery, who had all the information we needed. He had all the books, maps and many stories to share with us. He certainly went above and beyond with his kindness, friendliness and hospitality.

Another highlight of mine was to meet Town Clerk Louis P. Cirillo. It was truly an honor to finally meet him in person.

None of this could be possible without the help of my own cousin, George Cooper. He introduced me to Lorraine Pacheco, whose husband was the son of my grandfather's sister. She welcomed us into her home, shared stories and even gave me a photo. I am so grateful to George Cooper and his family. He spent so much time with us and showing us around. He was exceptionally kind to us, generous with his time and very hospitable. I can't thank him enough for making this past weekend one that I will never forget.

It was 45 years since my last visit to Bristol. I hope to return much sooner. You have a beautiful town, one that made us feel so welcome! Thank you, thank you!

I started to work on my family tree about two years ago when my father passed away. I have about 300 names on my family tree. I am still looking for a picture of my great grandfather. I'm sure my dad would be proud of all the work that I have done. I wish I could have shared it with him.

George De Melo

Burlington, Ontario Canada


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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.