Surfing around the web today, I crashed into this card display. http://wearesupervision.blogspot.com/2009/03/chicago-lesser-known-arts-history.html While gazing over it I thought to myself, "Damn, that fuckin' card again." Now, I don't know why but this whimsical card keeps getting lassoed in with rough-looking gang cards. Every time I see it, it sends an embarrassing zap through out my system. At the same time though, it is weird to see that the card has stood the test of time, whereas most of the individuals who are card-listed most likely have no memory of the thing.
The Stooge Bros was the concoction of my friend Robert and I. Actually, dopey Robert was always comically labeling our little hood fellowship in some fashion. Far from a rough-headed street gang, we were just young neighborhood guys, within the docile realm of Jefferson Park. Incidentally, the sneering-smile C-Notes were just starting to spring to life in the area at the time period, and I think our meager clique was hit with a bad case of the identity crises. We tossed around a few goofy ideals amongst ourselves of what to conform to, like "The Junior Klan of Lawrence and Lavergne." The nervy Junior Klan prospect had entered our foggy heads when we had to discard the Gaylord pipedream. Inwardly we were enticed by the reputed "Gaylords"; just seeing the name banner-scrawled across CTA bus seats, had Rob and I starry eyed. Admitingly, us pipsqueaks were inexperienced in the unfine art of gang warfare. The C-notes had leading all-stars within their crew. Plain and simple, we would have got shredded up by a stack of the green paper-labeled gang. Crazy Luke, alone, was a legendary C-Note around those parts. Maybe if some GL classic models would have resided in the area, things would have developed different. So, the dream child of the Lawrence and Lamon Gaylords never came about. Either did the Junior Klan idea; I thought it would just draw a lot of political attention to our misdemeanor hood.
The Stooge Bros. was a scatter-brain alternative to the more militant ideas. Truth was, we were just not that serious minded about things, misfit stooges if anything. Additionally, at the time we more concerned with trying to fondle up on the virginal group of girls that we had leached ourselves too. Hence the girlish names, and two mushy overtures, on this card. Additionally, A-B-C is as simple as 1-2-3; ABCS is the first initial of some of the girls' actual names. The girls’ porno-sounding nicknames were forced-pressed upon them. Never-the-less though, once they received the Stooge Bros cards, the girls were all giggles and smiles about the project being completed. Skipping off later, they probably thought us guys really were a bunch of stooges for making the cards.
The Stooge Bros card itself was made by me. Printed up at the compact print shop off of Milwaukee and Montrose, I believe the 500 embossed trinkets were my first trial run at making business cards. I don’t officially count it as my first gang-associated card, as the whole process felt more like the making up of a cheezy Hallmark card. The beer and leprechaun symbols were not thoroughly thought out either, but selected in minutes from a stock-image book. Beer was super-fucking-cool and some of us were Irish proud. Shit, one of the girls, Ann, was an Irish line dancer.
After the Stooge Bros card were printed up, and after tagging up the kiddie playlot and the rest of our hood with Stooge-a-rama, the glimmer of the Stooge Bros lasted for maybe a couple months, then it just fizzled out. My friend, dopey Rob, and I then brainstormed the "Knights." Infantile as it sounds, we thought we could create some new household-name gang. We even pulled off our first major heist; a copyright infringement, by using the Jousters’ helmet as our logo. After going on a wall-tagging crusade with the Knights fascination, for weeks, I, for one,was starting to crave some real action. Eventually, I got bit by the Gaylord bug and I splintered off from our hood of misfit stooges. Within months, I would be using the compact print shop to produce future GL masterpieces. But that is another short story which will come....