On Saturday, the 16th, the Friends of the North End celebrated its 45th annual reunion. 166 boyhood friends from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, Maryland and California assembled at the Sons of Italy Hall in Winchester to relive growing up in their cherished neighborhood.
As has been their custom since the inception of the reunion, several of our dear friends from the West End were in attendance. They are a great group of life long friends who have lots in common with North Enders. We dined on a fine dinner catered by Spinelli’s of East Boston featuring tripe, an entree savored by and looked forward to by the diners each year.
This year’s winners of Coppola’s Challenge were Richie Sinopoli and Avey Bartalini who correctly answered the North End Trivia question: What were the names of the 2 storefront businesses on Unity Street when most of us were growing up in the North End? They correctly answered “Joe Black’s” and “Josie the Baker”, formally called Old North Bakery. Richie and Avey were presented the Woz Award which consisted of Tee shirts and Tony De Marco’s book, “Nardo” donated by Ralph Del Gaudio and Ralph Masciulli’s books “Street Corner Boys” and “Full Circle.” Victor Passacantilli read a brief history of the organization. Sam Viscione honored our eldest guest, 96 year old Joe Bucci. Ron Fuccillo read his poem “Then and Now” and Gus Pesaturo delivered an invocation before blessing our meal.
Sal Di Masi was in attendance and spoke briefly of his admiration of our North End and his friends. Carl Sutera, the recipient of the Friends of the North End’s first scholarship award in 1978, was on hand to address the group. His words were heartfelt and appreciative. He is currently serving as CFO of the prestigious law firm of Burns and Levinson in Boston.
Special thanks go out to Sam Viscione, Arthur Lauretano, Vito Aluia and Ron Fuccillo for all of their much appreciated help in making our 45th reunion such a grand success.
Photos by Arthur Lauretano.