I’ve heard that former North End residents are sending in their opinion as to what it was like growing up there years ago as opposed to some of the awful things that are currently occurring. (Letters From Longtime North End Residents Lament Noise and Quality of Life Problems, 12/16/2012)
I was born in 1949 and moved from the North End in 1989.
I do remember more of a police presence when I was a child, as police would walk their “beat” back then.
The very best thing about growing up there were some friends I made that are still my friends.
However, I have some very bad and sad memories. The following is a portion of what I choose to share:
Not much for kids to do; we had playgrounds and two clubs. I used to go to the North End Union after school.
When I was 11 yrs old, while standing on my doorstep, a teenage boy walking by looked at me and made a very obscene gesture.
Prejudice against black people was rampant. I witnessed a car driven by a black person with black passengers overturned on Salem Street by a group of North End young men.
Drug addicts (late teen boys) would ask me and my girlfriend (we were about 15 or 16)to obtain paregoric for them at drugstores.
Myself and a couple of friends were shot at on Atlantic Ave by someone in a passing car; no one got hurt.
I saw a young man dying on Salem St; he had been stabbed; he was not from the North End. He did not make it. I saw his blood on the street the next day.
Much older men (some knew my Dad) tried to seduce me when I was 15 yrs old.
Basically, I never cared much for the North End and I certainly had no attachment to it back then nor at present. I truly wish my parents had moved away in the 50s. However, I am thankful for my cherished friends.
Linda Orsini (Maiden name: Termine)
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