Surrounded by the ocean; dotted with yacht clubs; a stones throw from Boston; airplanes noisily flying low overhead - Winthrop is a part of me and I am a part of it. For those like me who grew up there, the place will never leave me no matter how far I might stray.

Founded in 1636 by Puritans, Winthrop is the oldest, smallest and most densely populated municipality in Massachusetts, although it still insists on calling itself a town. At its founding, it consisted mostly of small farms but eventually became a summer resort and residence for Boston businessmen. During my time growing up there in the 60s and 70s, it consisted mostly of young families of Irish and Italian decent. The close-knit community is known for being hardworking, no-nonsense and down-to-earth, perhaps centered by the natural beauty of the ocean that encompasses it.

I visit less frequently these days after the recent sale of my parent's home. My brother still lives there and will likely never leave, like many from there. Newcomers consist of new immigrants from afar as well as those who had the good sense to discover it after being pushed out of more popular Boston suburbs.

Luckily, when I get the urge, I can easily take a short drive through the Callahan Tunnel or over the Tobin Bridge and be back there for a walk around Deer Island or to catch up and reminisce about the old times with good friends. Winthrop will always be there to help me remember who I am and where I come from.