As someone born and raised in the South End/Lower Roxbury neighborhood that encompassed St. Philip’s Parish down on Harrison Avenue, I love those old photos of long-ago South End back when it was grittier and less gentrified. A recent photo of one block of Washington Street between West Concord and Rutland streets brought back great memories of long ago. I remember the Concord Drug Store quite well. Back in the day, the neighborhood had all kinds of local drug stores before those chains started gobbling up everything small.
However, the mere mention of the Buy Rite Grocery brought back many funny memories. My parents and many other parents in the neighborhood often shopped there in between those big shopping days usually Fridays (pay day for many) at the First National near the corner of West Springfield and Washington streets.
I always called Buy Rite the dented can supermarket because mostly everything they sold came in dented cans. The cereals all had expiration days about to hit. My parents never bought milk there for obvious reasons, and I loved their stale potato chip bags at the checkout counter. IA also loved their tiny shopping carts that fit this tiny grocery’s aisles.
I also want to thank the South End Historical Society for having preserved so many great old images of yesteryear. It is hard to know where we are going without knowing where we have been.
Sal Giarratani pens a weekly column in the Charlestown Patriot-Bridge, a sister newspaper of The Boston Sun. To reach Sal you can email him a [email protected].