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. “...
LEO RONDEAU WILL play with Lowell Thompson and “Big Night” Friends at Hatch 31 in Bristol on Tuesday, Aug. 27, at 7 p.m.
BRISTOL — Leo Rondeau deals in stories — candid, honest and plainspoken. And like all great story tellers, he examines life in all its twinges, sorrows, victories and joys. Here him tell his tales at Hatch 31 in Bristol on Tuesday, Aug. 27, at 7 p.m., where he’ll play with with Lowell Thompson and “Big Night” Friends. Or if you want to see him play out of town, check out the Lampshop in Burlington, on Aug. 26, 9:30 p.m., and Philo Ridge Farm in Charlotte, on Aug. 24, at 6 p.m.
As a child of the rural American west and owning lineage within the Chippewa Indian tribe, Rondeau’s narrative finds...
PULLER JAKE MCDONOUGH of the Hatch 31 team leaps through the paper-towel finish line.
Independent photo/Steve James
BRISTOL — Dreams of athletic glory come in all shapes and sizes, and cruel whims of fate can intervene.
Before this past Thursday such had been the tale of the Hatch 31 team, which for years has fought hard for one dream, to become the Great Bristol Outhouse Race champion — only to see the title slip through its fingers in fashion.
The race in question is held on Bristol’s Main Street on the morning of every Independence Day as a way to raise funds for the Bristol Fourth of July Committee and, according to organizers, to determine the World Champion in the sport of maneuvering facsimiles of...