Saturday, April 18, 2009

The war sweater shown on your site labeled "unknown" (royal blue with yellow chops and trim/belt,PR flag patch) is a Lawndale Boys sweater. L-Boys hung around Funston school back around 1984-85. From what I can remember,they were probably not really 'bangers. More like a club. As you know, that school was around Central Park & Armitage.

I'm sure some of those guys brothers were IG's. I had some friends from Armitage & K-Town back in the day that kept me up on happenings in the streets around those parts. That was around the same time as the short-lived Maniac Destroyers.
I was never affiliated with any gang,although I did have some friends that were retired "flakes" (ex-MLD's ). They saw the light and got the hell out,although they still kept up with what was happening in the street. That was kind of a weird neighborhood back in the early to mid-80's because it was in transition. There were Freaks and Gaylords and Cobras and Disciples living on the same blocks. Most of those guys went to Nixon school and Kelvyn Park H.S. so when they ran into each other it wasn't really a big deal because they knew each other from childhood. The folks in that neighborhood were mostly KK and guys like Chip hung out over by
Grand & Harlem. I do remember checking out some freshly painted walls over at Belden & Knox. You guys had that camp decked out big and bold. Me and a friend used to call ourselves the Muralmasters,because whenever a club had a really nice painting up,
we would take pictures of them. We never desecrated any walls and we had scrapbooks of all the pictures. We also took pictures of the New York style hip hop graffiti that was all the rage at the time. We actually risked life and limb taking some of those shots.

Sometimes my buddy actually had permission from some of those clubs to take pictures of their murals. To be safe we would always go super early on Saturday and Sunday mornings when nobody was around. I'm sorry to say that I no longer have any of
those pictures due to moving around so much over the years. I took the picture of the mural in the alley at L-A (the one that's in Rocker's book). That was an awesome little painting and I got up at the crack of dawn to take that picture. Hey,that was smart. I didn't want my ride to get bricked in that alley.LOL. Around that same time,give or take a year,there were alot of really cold walls up. The Kings had one on the roof at Division and Spaulding that was about the best. The Latin Brothers had a nice one on the roof at North Ave. & Latrobe. A knight's helmet with an old english LB. That was just before they moved all the way up Cicero Ave. The Latin Lovers had one over by Lyndale & Campbell with 3 hearts and the names of their deceased homeboys inside.

The Uptown Rebels had one on the roof at Wilson & Magnolia that was smoking. We even took pictures of walls down in Pilsen. The Gangsters had a huge gangster crown up at Drake & Armitage around '84. It had to be about 6 feet high and 12 feet wide.
Alot of guys back then (even non-gangbangers) collected gang cards too. You could go to Chicago Knitting Mills up on Montrose and have a sweater custom made. Plain war sweaters costed about 80 bucks. They had Latin King and Royal sweaters already
made,in the box. Probably because those were the 2 biggest clubs up there. That entire scene changed when drug dealing became an enterprise and the styles became more bling bling. Remember when the baggy work pants were more popular than jeans? You used to get those at the military surplus stores. They only came in a few colors. Gray (GL's/LE's),Green(SC's/ID's/CN's), Tan,Brown (Jivers/OA's),Dark Blue(SCR's/CW's/NK's),and Black(everybody else). Navy Pea Coats were popular. Leather jackets with the sweat hoods underneath. Casual straw shoes.Kung fu slippers. Army boots. Of course,Converse All-Stars. The canvas ones.
The official poor kids gymshoe. With no arch support whatsoever. Later on with the breaking craze,Puma suedes with the fat laces. They didn't wear bandanas like Tupac. They wore them pirate-style and aunt-jemima style if you were really ghetto. Then the stupid baseball caps came out. Tip to the left or right or whatever. Now they wear those big denim burlap sacks falling off their asses. They shoot their gats sideways because they saw somebody in a rap video do it like that. Then they wonder why innocent people get killed. I thought our generation was messed up. We look like elder statesmen compared to these kids now. Anyways, no use living in the past. Things were not all perfect back when Ronnie Reagan was prez,either.

Arrow (the Irish kid that hung out w/Ricans)

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

South Side Old School Times
I don't know, maybe it's just me, but I really see no commonalities between anything I was involved with as a kid, and the clubs of today. The whole demographic changed; when we scorned people of a darker persuasion back then in the 80s, now it seems to be a staple of club life. When we would end up at parties, and there would be guys from other clubs showing up who were affiliated with the 5, everyone seemed to get along, though there was always that thought in the back of your head something might happen.

I remember cruising around the south side, everywhere from Marquette Park, through Stickney and Garfield Ridge; through Berwyn, Cicero and Summit, sometimes looking for trouble, other times just cruising on a Saturday night looking for chicks. Mixes from 102.7BMX would be blasting from the car, especially when the Hot Mix 5 came on.

I remember going to the teenage dance clubs on Wednesday and Sunday nights; Prime and Tender on 63rd and Harlem, Kicks on 66 on 66th Street, and the Fire Alarm on Ogden in Cicero. Their were club members everywhere, both allies and flakes. It was exciting times.

I remember when pagers were first becoming popular, and if you had one, you were the shit.

I remember stealing hood ornaments, Alpine car radios, and Cobra fuzz busters, and selling them to a gentlemen in Lyons for some much needed cash.

I remember not wearing blue jeans for years: black baggies, black Converse All Stars with the tongue flipped over and T-Ps scrawled across it, spider or ladder-laced, a white hoodie, and slicked back hair . That was the uniform of the times.

I remember selling the carp we caught in the Des Plaines River in Lyons by the water tower to the Blacks for a buck a piece.

I remember a time when you fought with fists, or whatever else you could get your hands on instead of guns. Yes, in the 80s guns were starting to become more the rule that the exception, but it took a little while longer before the negro influence took hold of white youth.

I remember seeing Colors when it came out at the Hillside Theater. Cops were both inside at outside the movies. Club members would just start yelling out their names during the film, kind of like that scene in "Cooley High".

I remember when NWA's "Straight Outta Compton" was released. That shit hit like a storm. Everyone was blasting "F_ck tha Police" on their ghetto blasters. It was something never heard before, and though I wasn't big on rap music, it was kinda cool. Nowadays, kids just take it for granted, gangsta rap, trying to emulate and propagate it.

I miss those times

Just feeling nostalgic today. :)

Monday, April 06, 2009

Gang Jargon: Boppin Gangs

when I was coming up in the 50's & 60's boppin was dancing! (or giving your little brother, a Bop on the shoulder, A slug) but not a fight... A gang fight was "RUMBLE" ! Cool Site.... Thanks for the Memories! Eric.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Sometimes it pays to be a Gaylord
So I'm driving Mrs. D's car in town and doing errands this week. I decide to take her car into a local oil change shop, since I'm driving right by it. Last time I'm in there, I did not like the feeling I got from their service, but thought I'd give it another chance. I was sitting in the waiting room when the new manager walks in to introduce himself. He's an Mexican guy, late 30s, early 40s. He wanted to let me know that they were under all new management and that any past experience I had would be addressed with a more positive outcome this visit. He was very professional and I appreciated his approach. Funny thing was, when I first got there, I noticed a pretty rugged looking crew of 4 hispanics and a couple of white guys.

I needed quite a bit of maintainance done, so I knew this would not be a real cheap day. Even though there were plenty of discounts with the new management. As we were figuring out the bill in his office, 2 other guys walk in and are waiting for the manager to finish with me. I look at them an notice some major ink work on both of them and one in particular. I ask him, "Hey, does that say RIP Bam Bam on your neck". He looks at me very suspicously and says "yeah, he was a friend of mine." I also notice a crown on the other side and said, "Is that a LK crown?" All three guys stop dead and stare at me, obviously wondering why a suburban white guy would ask that. He said yeah, it was. I smiled and said I'm an old Gaylord. They about fell over. Very funny. The one LK says, hey, the manager is an MLD! The manager smiles and says, "RETIRED MLD". We got to talking and one of the LKs knew Willard in the joint. Anyway, they discounted my bill by almost 50% and on top of it, I was running late for another appointment and the MLD tossed me his car keys and told me to use his car as much as I needed it.

Typically, I keep a low profile when it comes to my past. Especially in my little world of Suburban Americana. So it's pretty ironic when something like this happens and it actually pays off!