Gaylord's leadership structure: unlike other street nations or gangs, the Gaylord's have never had any major president or leader that was in control of the entire collective group. The Gaylord's have one or two leaders (President and Warlord) from each settlement. In other words, every set has leadership that can be contacted by other leadership from other sets. The Presidents of the various sections would meet and make gang policy, and the Warlords and the Vice Presidents would run the street action.
Now the age group wasn't cast in stone. It also depended on what group you joined up with and who initiated you. The initiation was you had to fight two G/L's for two minutes. Not every memeber was intitiated. If you were a good fighter and proved yourself in the past then there was no point. Sometimes members from an older age group would wail on younger guys to start a new section or age group.
Each age group did have their own leadership. Each section had their own rank structure. After a while we dropped that except for the last section of Midgets. They were much younger then us and they attracted too much attention with the cops. We made them hang at the school yard while we stayed at the park.
Depending on how bad you were you could move up. There were junior gaylords just as bad as the seniors. After you turn 17 you were usally considered a senior. Most seniors were between 17 and 25 years old.
They are all the same ruthless and Godless cretins. Usually they are undereducated with no practical goals for the future. No respect for human life, or for the property of anyone else other than his or her own. Unable to stand their ground so they mass in numbers using violence to gain an edge or to simply prove a meaningless point. Does that sound familiar to you? It should, as that is the most common stereotype in the opinion of the general taxpaying public. For good reason it should be as the overall image of a gang member is based on fact and is the only aspect portrayed in the media. However, there is more than meets the eye.
For instance, if I were to tell you they discussed sex, drugs and liquor, fighting, killing and robbery, you?d naturally agree. You would also be quite correct. On the other hand, if I were to claim they also discussed philosophy, ancient Greek and Roman mythology, English literature, along with current politics in relation to history along with the latest NASDAQ averages, I would need to wait until you stopped laughing. Then I could honestly say you are dead wrong. Surprised?
It comes as no great surprise to someone who actually grew up on the streets. Not all gang members are alike. The personalities of individual gang members can often vary in numbers equivalent to the number of members seen at any given time. The same way the number of employees in the corporate offices of any Fortune 500 company can differ by personality at any given time. The reasons one might join a gang are sometimes as complex as a course in quantum physics. They can usually be lumped into one of several categories though:
Those categories can all be broken down into several subcategories with an almost infinite number of reasons and stories behind each one. For the sake of this topic, let?s separate the last two major categories from the first two and discuss those members as one.
This particular group comprises a staggeringly high percentage of the makeup of many street gangs. These are the individuals who come from lower to middle income families, but also include those from upper income families as well. They almost always have a sound base in primary education and a strict religious/semi-religious upbringing. They enter the fold already knowing there is more to life beyond their current environment, although some have yet to realize what that might be. A majority will stay in school long enough to gain a high school diploma, while others will continue on to college or the military. Belonging to a gang is normally hours of hanging out in boredom that is suddenly interrupted by moments of sheer excitement. I?m sure most combat veterans can somewhat relate to that even though it?s on a lesser scale. While on the streets they dress the part, are very often belligerent in speech, and do not always hesitate to engage in violence whenever the situation presents itself. Much of that can often be attributed to merely projecting the image.
During the idle hours, friends will often congregate into smaller groups to talk away the time. The topics usually pertain to what is new and currently happening in their lives. Enter the types of discussions mentioned in the second paragraph of this article. They read the newspapers and participate in class during the day. They socialize with those outside the gang and reflect on the differing opinions and perspectives offered by their friends and instructors. They talk of the future and what they plan to do with their lives should they ever leave the streets. They are not idiots and they do learn from one another. So, what happens to them later?
Some of these people will eventually succumb fully to the temptations the streets have to offer a young mind seeking adventure. They will either die prematurely, spend the rest of their lives incarcerated, or go on to merely exist making little or no contributions to society aside from being an example of what not to become. A few will straighten out somewhat later in life, but will continue living on the edge. They enjoy the wild side. Others will unfortunately never be able to realize their dreams and ambitions due to death or crippling by way of gang violence.
For the majority of the group however, they will eventually graduate from the streets and go on to be productive members of society. They become tradesmen or career professionals, raise families and pay their taxes. They might even be your own child?s teacher or guidance counselor. He may have been that pleasant contractor who did such a nice job on your remodeling, or the nice guy who bagged your groceries yesterday at the supermarket. Just who was that loan officer that approved the mortgage on your home, or the CPA that did your income tax returns?
Those who lived and survived the streets usually do not discuss their former activities with their business partners or clients etc. The stigmatism that goes with being known as a former gang member is not easily lived down in society. If discovered, there is the distinct possibility of being branded with mistrust in spite of their more recent past. That doesn?t mean they all regret their pasts. Not by a long shot. They can fully appreciate the lessons they learned from those times. Former gang members tend to stay more involved with their children?s lives. They know what to teach in regard to personal safety and moral issues. They are more aware of the warning signs that something may be going wrong, such as hanging with the wrong crowd or possible drug experimenting. Remember that the next time you say to an acquaintance, ?That XYZ gang is nothing but trouble and they?re nothing but a bunch of losers!? It?s possible your friend knows a lot more about that bunch than you do. There is no amount of book learning that can teach what?s going on in their minds. Only someone who has experienced it can begin to fully understand it.
Gang members are often looked down upon by non-gang-members. Sometimes that may be appropriate. But, in some ways, gang members and non-gang-members are very similar.
Both groups are made up of individuals who have different interests and abilities. In both groups, there are individuals who have learned lessons from past experiences. They may or may not be proud of some of those past experiences.
It has been said that experience is a mean teacher. First comes the test and only after that comes the lesson. In fact, the test may be so severe that few survive in order to learn the lesson from the experience. The hard-won knowledge possessed by a few survivors can be very valuable.
In both groups, the survivors can often teach others how to avoid having to learn from experience, as they did. And the worse the survivors' experiences have been, the more valuable the survivors' lessons can be.
MEN OF MIGHT TAKE DELIGHT IN GUN & SWORD THAT THEY MIGHT FIGHT! I AM A ROCK I AM A STONE I AM A GAYLORD TO THE BONE I SAID IT I MEANT IT I AM HEAR TO REPRESENT IT! WE SHOW NO PITY IN GAYLORD CITY!