On what would have been the 48th reunion of the Friends of the North End (FONE), the group celebrated virtually due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Opening prayer was led by Gus Pesaturo:
My message remains the same, God commands we pray for one another. As I walk through the North End and reminisce, I remember our fathers, grandfathers, and all of us growing up in this wonderful place. I see all our faces and I pray that in these turbulent times we keep our faith in Jesus, our courage to overcome; and I bless each and every one of us and our families in the mighty name of Jesus our Lord, Amen.
Opening comments were given by Victor Passacantilli:
Welcome to the Friends of the North End 48th Annual Reunion by email. It took a pandemic to break a 47-year streak of reunions that brought together boyhood friends from all corners of the North End and seven states. Although COVID-19 has interrupted our annual tradition, it cannot erase the fond memories of growing up in a most cherished and unique neighborhood. We are not physically assembled today, but our North End roots bind us together in spirit. Sam, Sonny, and I extend best wishes to you and your families with the hope that you all remain safe and well until our 49th reunion in September 2021. Long live our North End!
Reflections by Sammy Viscione:
Our 48th reunion sadly became a non-event. However, thinking about it provoked the memories of the past 47. They were splendid times for sure. I can recall visions of the guys arriving with pride knowing they were born and bred in such a unique neighborhood. The guys, by definition, are friends, many close, life long friends who participated in sharing the rich culture of our Italian Heritage. Over the years, the reunion popularity grew and of course attrition made its mark. This year will be devoid of the sumptuous meal, laughter, teasing and chancing on the 50/50 pool, more significantly, lest we forget the departed and for the record, the 48th reunion will occur as a celebration to the past with hope into the future. Special memories always linger and with the grace of God may there be many more.