I met a couple of real nice gents at the Bristol Zoning Commission meeting Wednesday. These two guys, Richard Chapman and Pete Roseen, showed up out of concern for the project on the corner of Middle Street and Mountain Road.
They were quite dedicated, as they waited nearly four hours to have a chance to speak about the proposal.
Quite a few newcomers were on the zoning board that night, and things weren't exactly speedy. Former Chairman Frank Johnson and former Vice Chairman John Lodovico, who had both been on the board since Moby Dick was a sardine, recently stepped down as their terms ended. They're still active in a lot of community stuff, most visibly the Bristol Downtown Development Corp.
But let's get back to my new zoning pals. These are guys after my own heart. They patiently sat through long presentations on a couple of other projects, including testimony by the ever-riveting traffic engineers.
Mr. Roseen, who said the meeting was going on WAY past his bedtime, told me it was "like watching grass grow."
Mr. Chapman, whose daughter, Patty Chapman, recently retired from the city treasurer's office, is a former state police officer who has seen his share of ugly.
"Autopsies are more fun," he said, than zoning meetings.
I couldn't resist asking them if this experience didn't make them appreciate newspaper reporters just a little bit more.
It did, they said.
After that, I shared my candy with them, making it a better evening all around.