DiPerna and Tripi recalled growing up in a place where everyone knew each other; a “typical blue-collar neighborhood,” DiPerna said.
“Your parents were too busy making a living. Everybody had to help out and everybody knew who you were,” said DiPerna, whose father was a meat cutter in the North End.
That also meant getting caught if you were doing something you weren’t supposed to, Tripi said.
“Every kid had several parents,” he said. “If you were smoking behind the drug store, you’d get reported by someone.”
Theresa Finnegan — formerly Pappalardo — is 71 and grew up on Fremont Street. She now lives in Medford. “We used to have to say a Hail Mary every time a firetruck went by,” she said.
She said there was a little sadness in opening the box she and her classmates helped put together as children.
“I hate to let things go. Sometimes I like to live in the past,” she said. “But . . . time marches on.”
Jarret Bencks can be reached at Bencks.Globe@gmail.com.