Columbus Day (Inside an Italian American Childhood From Revere)

Updated on October 17, 2017

The story begins in Revere, Massachusetts, in the part near Rt. 1, which is a city just to the north of Boston.

My family first moved to the city in the year 1963. the family previously lived in Dorchester and East Boston respectively. Two formerly predominantly Italian American sections of Boston.

In the early 60s corruption ran rampant across several sections of the hub city. Families were leaving Boston in droves to move to newly built suburbs outside of the city, such as Malden, Saugus, and Revere.

In 1963 Revere was a middle-class suburb of Boston. It was largely farming to the west of a then-thriving amusement area right on the beach on the citie's east side.

The corruption from Boston followed many different families to Revere and its neighbors. The same corruption would go on to kill the beach. The area was largely the slums by the sea by the 1960s and 70s. By the 80s the beach had largely been cleared and replaced by high rises. Near the beach, a race track named Wonderland was still going strong.

By the 80s the beach had largely been cleared and replaced by high rises. Near the beach, a race track named Wonderland was still going strong.

However, by 92 the real estate market had collapsed across the country, many of the high rises across Revere and Lynn had gone section 8, and Wonderland was coming down from its height due to the then newly constructed Indian casinos in Connecticut.

By the late 90s, Revere was a dying city. Corruption was ever consuming its infrastructure. The city was largely blighted, reminiscent of the citie's checkered past.

Somehow the city had gone full circle and had become the early 60s Boston of the late 90s. Families were migrating north, just as their parents had come to Revere from the hub in the 60s.

Before my dads family lived in Dorchester they lived down the North End, or Little Italy. A section of town where the local crime family was just on the rise by 1959. In the late 50s gangsters were seen shooting dice in front of their hangout on Hanover St, the heart of the area.

In the late 90s during an election year in the city, the local authorities made a raid in a local mob den. When opening the freezer a police officer saw a gun in the icebox. When the bartender was asked why the object was there the response was, "I'm glad you found it, I could have put it in somebody's drink."

The similarity was striking between Revere right bore the dawning of the new Millenium and Boston close to a good 40 years before. Revere was dying because its own corruption and middle and working class families were leaving in masses. The fact of the cities soon to be death was quite established to most.


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