London Marathon Finish Includes Local Resident?

April 26, 2017

Last Sunday’s London Marathon included one Bristol resident, Bryan Smythe Smiley.

Smiley was ebullient, but tired.  When we interviewed him at the finish line, we were struck by his pronounced British accent.

“I get that all the time,” he said.  “People think I am from Bristol, England.  Don’t let the O.B.E. after my name fool you.  That stands for ‘Order of Bristol Envelopes.’  It is something only a person from our Connecticut chapter would get.  My whole family lives in Bristol in Connecticut, U.S. of A., by George.  My grandfather was even 11th Earl of Bristol.”

Back in Connecticut, a local historian Jack Maize was beside himself.  “What Smiley claims is not true.  The voter rolls even show he resides in Bristol, England.  And Bristol never had earls.  I should know.  My great aunt was High Executioner for this town back in the war.”

We caught up with another local historian, Greg Putank, hanging outside Greer’s Chicken with a sign saying, “Will Provide Historical Context For Food.”   Putank vehemently decried these distortions of the truth.  “Both men are lying.  In fact, the second man is not even a historian.  I usually see him dumpster diving outside Price Chopper.  Believe me, no historian would go near their dumpsters.  We are loyal to Stop & Shop!”

“It is an ideal place to get a diachronic perspective for reconstructing aspects of individual and group identity shaped by current political exigencies through contextual analysis of the disposed comestible and toiletry repertoire.  I also like the bagels they toss.”

Price Chopper had no comment, but did brag that one London Marathon finisher was Georgina MacStewart, an employee with their new London store.  Or New London store?


Forestville on Alert and Frederick Douglass Confirmed Dead

February 4, 2017


Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us dragons exist, but because they tell us dragons can be beaten.
– G.K. Chesterton

Following the Bowling Green Massacre the Forestville threat level was elevated Saturday. Due to the raising of the threat level and with the apparent death of noted abolitionist Frederick Douglass (more below) during the Bowling Green Massacre, Harriet Beecher Stowe and Harriet Tubman were placed in protective custody, President Trump announced late Saturday.

According to village officials, Forestville’s alert was raised but neighboring Southington wasn’t because Forestville saw an influx of refugees come from Plainville.

Frederick Douglass


Abolitionist, statesman and one time slave Frederick Douglass is confirmed among the dead during the Bowling Green Massacre in 2011.

Mr. Douglas was recently in the news when President Trump referred to him in the present-tense at a Black History Month event when he said “Frederick Douglass ‘has done an amazing job.’” We now know that statement to be false because he died in the 2011 Bowling Green Massacre. Below is a consolidated time line of his extraordinary life. He was only 193 years old.

Frederick Douglass Timeline

1818 Born a slave as Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey

1826 Taught to read and write

1838 Changes his name to Frederick Douglass and escapes to freedom in the North

1848 Attends first Women’s Right Convention at Seneca Falls, New York

1853 Visits Harriet Beecher Stowe

1855 Publishes his second autobiography, My Bondage and My Freedom

1865 Receives President Lincoln’s walking stick from Mrs. Lincoln following the president’s assassination

1872 Moves to Washington, D.C.

1881 Predicts President Garfield will be a two term president

1903 Attends First Baseball World Series

1914 Attends state funeral for Franz Ferdinand

1932 Endorses FDR for president

1938 Has meeting with Chamberlain and Hitler and says “there will be no war in Europe”


1943 Begins dating American actress and pin-up girl Betty Grable

1952 Makes TV debut on What’s My Line?

1953 Accused of being a communist by Senator Joseph McCarthy

1963 Rides in the follow up car at JFK assassination

1965 Cannot participate in the Selma to Montgomery March with MLK due to gout

1968 Romantically linked to actresses Cicely Tyson and Diahann Carroll


1977 Makes guest TV appearances on The Walton’s, Little House on the Prairie, All in the Family, The Muppet Show, Good Times, 60 Minutes and The Love Boat

1979 Appears at No Nukes Rally

1984 Appears at MTV Awards with Diana Ross

1989 Caught up in The Keating Five Scandal

1994 Nominated for Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album

2000 Retires

2006 Receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Bush

2011 Dies during Bowling Green Massacre

2017 Death announced to the public

Left Handed Vice Presidents at the Historical Society

August 13, 2016

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The Forestville Historical Society is hosting a program called Being Left Handed and Vice President this Tuesday August 16th from 7PM to 9PM.

According to the program’s organizer Aldridge Rumrick, there have been five known left handed vice presidents in American history: Henry Wallace, Harry Truman, Gerald Ford, Nelson Rockefeller, and George H.W. Bush.

The evening will start with the documentary film, Left Handed and a Heartbeat Away, narrated by Jim Lehrer. The film takes a critical look at the pressures of being left handed and being vice president simultaneously and asks the questions, how does being left handed affect the vice presidency and how does the vice presidency affect being left handed?

Following the film a panel discussion moderated by Parnell Williams will take place and include notable left handed Forestville residents.

The panel will discuss the following:

* The impact of monetary policy and the economy on left handed vice presidents

* Costs and benefits of a left handed vice president

* How does international law affect a left handed vice president differently than a right handed vice president?

A Q&A segment will follow the panel discussion.

All left handed people are encouraged to attend.

Right handed people are certainly welcome but are not encouraged to attend. Seating is limited.

National Adverb Expo Coming to Forestville

August 2, 2016

Adverb 004

Adverb enthusiasts will be positively delighted to know that the National Adverb Expo is coming to Forestville the last week of September. Forestville has been chosen to host the National Adverb Expo over Plainville and Southington.

The expo features America’s leading authority on adverbs, Charles Phillip Quickly. He will deliver the keynote lecture entitled, “Living in Hell: A World Without Adverbs.” Mr. Quickly will also discuss the state of the adverb industry and showcase new adverbs he’s been working on, such as “whilethoughstill”, meaning “nevertheless although at the same time” and “cameloexplosively”, a word he hasn’t made up a definition for yet.

Local grammarian Anna McCauley-Ridgeway will chair a panel on “How Adverbs Helped Rescuers During the Catastrophic Flood of ’55”. “One adverb in particular can be singled out as especially heroic,” she says. “When rescuers heard the flood was ‘really’ bad, they knew to come right away.”

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Ms. McCauley-Ridgway points out how adverbs were used in many historic documents and speeches, such as the Declaration of Independence, the Gettysburg Address and Kim Kardashian’s 2016 interview for GQ Magazine — the part where she talks about her love for George W. Bush.

As a guardian of language, Ms. McCauley-Ridgeway worries that grammar is under attack and one day adverbs may no longer exist. So, she encourages attendees to bring their treasured correspondence so that adverbs in their letters and e-mails can be identified and preserved for future generations.

The expo is currently slated to be held at the amazingly big banquet hall strategically, luckily and gratuitously located downtown by the lovely sign for Nuchie’s, near the place with really, really, really good pizza.

Forestville Man “Bring Back the Sedition Acts!”

July 22, 2016

Alien and Sedition Acts

The Aliens and Sedition Acts recently celebrated its 218th anniversary.

Passed in July of 1798 by Congress and signed by President Adams, the legislation made it harder for an immigrant to become a resident, and unlawful for anyone to write anything critical against the federal government.

Forestville eccentric Martin Van Doreen recently held a party in his home paying tribute to the legislation. He kicked off the celebration by banning attendees from saying anything critical about him, and prohibiting anyone from attending that he believed “looked funny, foreign or suspicious including myself.”

Celebrants raised a glass of Côte du Rhône and sang “Happy Birthday” to the Alien and Sedition Acts, and were then served Duck à l’Orange ubiquitously for dinner.

Van Doreen said he thought the Alien and Sedition Acts was a swell idea because “you just can’t have critics running around writing or promoting critical things about the government.”

As a result he wants a Sedition Act ordinance passed specifically that prohibits Bristol/Forestville citizens from writing, printing, or uttering bad words publically or privately in their homes, businesses or social gatherings, which are critical and scurrilous of City Hall.

“A Sedition ordinance at the municipal level would not only silence critics, naysayers and those that don’t know any better but provide me, and maybe others I don’t know, with intense physical and emotional paroxysmal excitement,” Van Doreen stated with great aplomb during the celebration. “And what is wrong with that?”

Funding Changes To Impact Tourism in Bristol and the State

July 20, 2016


Governor Malloy recently announced budget-cutting goals that affect all state agencies. Among those facing cutbacks is the Connecticut Office of Tourism (COT). Parcheesi grandmaster and COT director Randy Fiveash has identified several places to meet the lower budget targets.

One is to replace the welcome center in Danbury with a push-button kiosk featuring the voice of Siri.

Advertising for the state will focus on less expensive media such as radio and the use of town criers. To save costs on ink and printing, the long slogan, “Connecticut – Still Revolutionary” will be replaced by a cat emoji. “Everyone likes cats,” explains Fiveash.

cat 01

Grants to tourist destinations like Mystic are also threatened. In response, Mystic Aquarium’s president plans changes like shorter hours of operation, replacing staff with trained seals, as well as combining the alligator and shark tanks and hoping for the best.

Since the large old ships at Mystic Seaport require expensive maintenance, their director is shelving them in favor of smaller, replica boats in an upcoming exhibit entitled, “Dingeys of the American Revolution”.

Fiveash’s plan includes reducing the number of towns they promote in official visitors’ guides to save on printing costs and focus their efforts on Connecticut’s “jewels.” “We must accept that many cities in the state are plain boring, or reflect badly on the state — like Bridgeport.”

Bristol Bureau of Tourism (BBT) spokesman Laura Mums is anxious to make Bristol one of those jewels. “Bristol has amazing museums and a nature center. One thing we wanted to add was the world’s largest rubber band. Unfortunately, the State hasn’t funded this project due to the budget problem and concerns we’d use it to fire spit balls at New Britain.”

City Leaders Consider Naming Recent Tax Increase After City Founder

June 7, 2016

Tax increase 01

City officials recently raised the mill rate by 4.1 percent and unanimously agreed to name it the 2016/2017 Ebenezer Barnes Tax Hike.

“Mr. Barnes was the first settler in Bristol,” city council spokesperson Edward “Eddie” Edwards stated before gathered media. “Interestingly, the head of the budget committee said his forefather was a buddy of Barnes and was at his side before he died. Barnes told him that he regretted not living long enough to see the day when Bristol would pass a 4.1 percent increase in the mill rate. This is our opportunity to honor his memory and keep his spirit alive.”

Expectations are that there will be a significant state deficit next year which will result in the need for substantial tax increases locally once again. The city anticipates that the revelation that Mr. Barnes aspired for citizens to be taxed more will ease any upset over the hike.

Residents could see other increases in fees and services. The water bill will be raised with the upcoming Nehemiah Manross fee hike, named after another city founder who supposedly loved water. This will be followed by the Yacky the Cockatoo Dump Fee Increase. “Yacky is a very popular star on YouTube and so cute,” Edwards said. “So we expect this fee change to be extremely popular especially amongst kids.”