Commentary: 'My Home Town' – Bristol (1948-1970)

By Donna DeLeo Bruno
Posted 7/3/24

Stroll down Hope Street, What do you see?

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Commentary: 'My Home Town' – Bristol (1948-1970)


Stroll down Hope Street What do you see?
Linden Place and Rogers Free
Caron’s Jewelers and Duffy’s

Even Pozzi’s Pharmacy
Further down Capone’s Optometry
Doc Ramos’ Dentistry
And Wall’s Insurance Agency

Suzman’s, A&P – in a line
Sunset Bakery, Five-and-Dime
All available in these stores
Why the need to ask for more?

Next block north, dress shops two
For women, girls, and wee ones too
Then Jo’s Gift Shop with many things
For bridal shower gifts to bring

On lower Bradford was “The Phoenix”
Russel Bosworth at the helm
And a record shop with 45s
Where a few dimes got you Patsy Cline.

Elvis Presley, what a guy!
Paul Anka, The Temptations
Johnny Mathis and Pat Boone
All the very best to croon.

South of State the Belvedere
Hotel for those from far away
Opposite YMCA
Where teens went to play
Sports and games and other things
Whatever fun the day might bring

Then cross Court Street to see Burnside
With famous whiskers – sideburns wide
A general in the Civil War
Cast in bronze for evermore

Forgot to mention Alger’s News
For magazines, papers, and some chews
Buffington’s Drug was right next door
Bandages, aspirin for the sore

The tall round clock at Hope and State
So Bristolians were never late
Water, water – everywhere
The Prudence boat along the pier

The Common was the place to play
Basketball, baseball, any day
Band concerts, carnivals in the summer
July 4th Parade with the “The Hummers”

Concerts, bonfires – all for free
“Come one! Come all” to hear and see
Lazy days at Colt State Park
Swimming, fishing until dark

Walley, Union Street,“Green Grass” beaches
Bristol Highlands and the Ferry
For a swim or picnic lunch
With our cousins by the bunch

Oh! Those times of yesteryear
Nearly make me shed a tear
Joyful, happy, carefree days
Spent in wholesome, healthy, ways

Pastime Theater on weekend nights
For a quarter – quite a deal!
Sam Mascena’s was just right
Later if you want a meal

Colt Memorial’s high school proms
Girls in gowns like Cinderellas
Promenaded on the arms
Of some very handsome fellas

Sunday morning – church at nine
All dressed up and in our prime
Monday morning back at school
Reynolds, Guiteras – follow the rules

Now I live some other place
But in my memory resides a space
For all the treasured spots I savored
From a childhood Bristol flavored

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Jim McGaw

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.