Here are a couple stories of Boston from my friend Charlie Sandler, who was born in 1932 and grew up in the Depression-era Four Corners section of Dorchester. He and his buddies learned how to be frugal and get by and make a bit of money on the side.
When they had enough money, ten cents, they could purchase a pack of 100 cigarette papers. Using a rolling machine, they'd produce "new" cigarettes and sell them on the street for one penny each.
As Charlie summarized these and other activities, he admitted, "I was not a good boy." Something changed though, and he later devoted decades of his life to teaching vocational education. Maybe he figured if he had had a mentor like himself, he wouldn't have been quite so mischievous. Although I doubt it.