SEVERAL COUPLES took to the floor to dance to music provided by singer Tommy Rull at “The Gulch” reunion held at the Crystal Community Club on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Gail Lowe Photo)


WAKEFIELD—The Crystal Community Club was the setting for a reunion of residents who grew up proudly in the East Side neighborhood called “The Gulch,” which encompasses several blocks off Water Street.

The event was held Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and drew about 75 people, some from as far away as New Hampshire.

Singer Tommy Rull was on hand to sing many of the old standards immortalized by Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong and Engelbert Humperdinck. A scholarship raffle was also held at the event.

House Calls owner Anne Giambarresi catered an Italian meal, including rolls and butter; salad; ravioli; meatballs; sausage, peppers and onions; eggplant parmesan and Italian cookies for dessert.

Joe Puleo said he grew up on Valley Street and fondly recalls playing at Nasella Playground and climbing the rocks opposite 34 Valley St. where Connie Fitzgerald grew up. Puleo graduated from Wakefield Memorial High School in 1958 while his wife Ann graduated in 1959. 

Many also remembered Sunday dinners at the homes of their grandparents, bowling at Wakefield Bowlarome and shopping at the local bakery. 

Residents of “The Gulch” had not reunited since 2015, so those who attended said it was good to see old friends and neighbors from many years ago.

Committee members who planned the event included Mario (Karen) Cresta, Carol Companeschi, Joan Mansfield, Priscilla  Devine, Jean Joyce, Rhonda Fazop Holt and Charlie Encarnacao.

Mario Cresta recalled playing sports and enjoying the company of his friends at a time of life that was much different from what it is today.

While the majority of those attending no longer live in “The Gulch,” most still live in Wakefield.