The Lupino Gang

The Lupino Gang

“It was a Glorious Time.”
The Lupino Gang
Freddie Mancini

I grew up on Carpenter Street, just 2 blocks east of Sheridan Park. As a pre-teenager during the 1960s (age 8-9), I belonged to the notorious “lupino gang.”  For the uninformed, a lupino is a bean that has been marinated in water and salt. During the early history of Taylor Street, the lupino man would blow his horn to announce his coming as he pushed his cart down the streets of Little Italy. 

The other members of the lupino gang were:

Jerry “cats” Meatta, Billy “Rats” Taran, John “Hector” Icobazzi, James “Ricky” Romano, and Mario “Skippy” DePaolo.

This was our “MOS” and how the Lupino Gang got its name. We would knock on the door of a neighbor’s house and leave a lupino as our calling card.

Nothing was more exciting than picking our next victim; deciding on who would scout out the house in advance to be sure no one was around to finger us; which member of our gang would ring the doorbell; and who would drop the lupino bean on the doorstep just before we ran off.

Some of the neighbors, going along with our pre-pubescent prank, would, upon opening the door and spotting the lupino bean on their doorstep, yell out, “The lupino gang strikes again!”

It was a glorious time growing up on Taylor Street.

 P.S. The nicknames are another story. But I’ll leave that for another Taylor Street alumnus to tell it.