Reminds me of my childhood in the 70's too. My mother did most of her shopping for clothing and housewares at Robell's because she could put them in lay-away, which was the only way she could afford to buy things, and she sent me there regularly to make the downpayments.
She also did a lot of her food shopping at the Haymarket and the North End, and I had to go with her to help bring all the stuff back. We took a bus to the Dudley Square T station then the OL to Haymarket. Carrying heavy bags and waiting an eternity for the train to arrive was a dismal experience, especially in winter, but I loved riding the elevated Orange Line and ogling the Dudley Square T station, which I thought was awesome beyond words. I imagine it was one of the main reasons I developed an interest in architecture.