Article by Francine Gannon, Photos by Michele Morgan.
What were you doing on Saturday night, September 24th ? If you are a woman who happened to grow up in Boston’s North End, then you were gathering together at Filippo’s Ristorante to celebrate the Sixth “Girl Friends of the North End” reunion. This annual event is looked forward to with much anticipation by both former and present North End women who share a special bond, one of friendship and heartfelt memories.
The festivities for the evening were introduced by Francine Capodilupo Gannon who welcomed all 120 women who attended, and then announced that Janice Silano Scaparotti was the winner of a bottle of wine for being the first woman to respond to the invitation for the second year in a row!
The annual trivia question was won by Marilyn Sarno who received a North End historical book donated each year by Ralph DelGuardio. Not only did Marilyn know the name of the gas station formerly located on North Washington Street (Jenny’s), she also knew the name of the owner (Chippy’s).
As a special guest for the evening the Reunion Committee, Francine Capodilupo Gannon, Carol Langone Catanzaro, Diane Passero Pesaturo, Christina Penta, hired an artist, Mark Penta, the son of Rosemarie Renzullo Penta, to draw caricatures of the women. This came as a complete surprise to Rosemarie who had no idea that her son would be there. Francine and Mark had kept this a well-hidden secret! Mark Penta is a popular artist throughout New England and beyond, has worked at many private parties, corporate events and weddings, and has had several books of his artwork published. The guests greatly enjoyed this unexpected treat and had much fun getting their caricatures drawn and sharing them with their friends.
Also following this yearly tradition, the women said the Pledge of Allegiance followed by Grace before the meal deliciously prepared by Filippo who graciously provided his famous Frattaroli Family Wine. The women ate antipasto, two kinds of pasta, chicken, sausage and rabbi, followed by a delicious cake for dessert, which was generously provided by Mike’s Pastry. Our thanks also to Romano Florist for the beautiful center pieces placed on each table. After the meal it was time to dance, and music was played by our own congenial North End DJ, Sal Bartolo. The ladies started out with the Electric Slide, then danced to many “Oldies” such as the Twist, Stroll, Slop, and, of course, the Jitterbug, a longtime favorite.
It’s no secret that North End women are terrific dancers!!!
Overall, it was a special night filled with many stories and much laughter for these women of all ages who share memories of childhood, school days, and beyond. It doesn’t matter how much time has passed between meetings. The women of the North End have a camaraderie and connection that always remain. They left Filippo’s already looking forward to the seventh “Girl Friends of the North End Reunion”. Enjoy these photos taken by the wonderful Michele Morgan.
Photos by Michele Morgan.