HATCH 31 BARTENDER Matt Igler and Irene Lawrence developed a special bond. Lawrence was a devoted fan of the Bristol bar’s Friday night bluegrass band and the Tuesday night blues jam, and Igler would walk her home at the end of the night. On the night before she died, he arranged for her to hear the Friday night band one last time.
Photo courtesy of Michelle Kilbreth
BRISTOL — Irene Lawrence acquired a few nicknames during her 33 years in Bristol.
To the town residents she greeted from her porch — or from out front of the Corner Store or Main Street Diner — she was known as the “Bench Hugger.”
So strong were the 87-year-old’s spirit and will to live that her doctor called her the “bounce-back kid.”
Her grandchildren called her “Nana.”
But for a few sweet minutes toward the end of every Friday night at Hatch 31 on Main Street she was just “Irene.”
“Good night, Irene,” Hatch’s Friday bluegrass band sang to her just before she went home for the evening. “...