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The Chicago Folk Gangs outnumbered People Gangs by large numbers.

The Gaylords have one of the fullest fighting schedules of any city gang; their gang engagement book must be crammed with upcoming Imperial Gangster, Spanish Cobra, Latin Panthers, and Latin King bouts.


UIC Gang Study

Gang Research


Chicago City Divided Two


(Text only history)

The United Nations declared 1985 "International Youth Year" and on Chicago's streets thousands of youths are struggling to survive as gang warfare grinds on. Under Mayor Harold Washington Chicago's political-monster-machine seems busied with their own racial warfare, the noted council-wars.

On the Northside streets the reputed Gaylords Nation is the premier white street gang engaged and they are suscribed to the People unification, which is steadfastly fighting with the rivaling Death Star of the Folk unity. Out of about ten claim-locations for the Gaylords three of them are defensive pockets that are entrapped by Latino gangs that have tidal waved around them, just north of the Humboldt Park area. From a bird's eye view these three Gaylords' hoods are restrictive streets that each could be seen as their own crossword-puzzle-configurations, where you can spell out GAYLORDS here or there, up or down, for a line or two in different directions; cross over these lines, your in the danger zone and the Grim Reaper awaits the outcome. Inside their ranks the Gaylords do have brave-hearts with "Made in America" stamped in their minds as they trudged along daily in the awesome mayhem. Also in their ranks you can find the poor, homeless, malnourished and the innocent-natured who have been forced into the dilemma by the Latino gangs who have tornadoed into their little echo system.

In 1985, at Lawndale-N-Altgeld, Gaylords is a religion where youths sacrificed daily and nightly, hoping God sees the plight and graces them somehow amidst the tribulation. At night, standing at the volcanic brim of Ridgeway-N-Fullerton, youíre diligently posted where others have bled and died in your history's past. Peering straight out across the busy traffic, a defense barrier in itself, your gazing into the temple of doom. The rivaling Imperial Gangsters are clustered about five blocks away at Palmer-N-Drake. Adding insult to injury, in-between the Imperial Gangsters and your post, the Spanish Cobras and Maniac Latin Disciples have just ill-injected themselves at separate spots, roughly three blocks away from your own habitat. To the right, two camps of Imperial Gangsters, along with two Orchestra Albany heaps, are alive with their activity. Unfortunately for the Gaylords these eye-sores are all joyfully allied together under the merged Folks. Jenals, the bass-beating dance club, and Kelvyn Park High School are to the west, both completely Folk-fiesta-fests when the lights are flicked on for business. Just about a year and a half ago an entourage of numerous Folks poured out of Jenals and as customary went for another wreck-tacular, to see if they could violently break-dance-down the Gaylords. On that particular night of gun thunder a death-engraved bullet hit Chief, an American Indian Gaylord, in the back of his head as he was retreating, thereby crossing out another comrade. Navigate southward from this Gaylord hood, about 4 city streets, and you'll actually find another white gang in place. The Simon City Royals are crookedly in place and they float untouched from all these particular gangs around the Gaylords as they too ride under the merged Folks; witch crafty pitch forks conjointly repped to all their defiled hood walls. These Simon City Royals have just killed one of your own, a 14-year-old Gaylord, last November, as he and three other fresh-starters tried to paint-personalize Royal hood.

Lawndale and Altgeld mural from the 1980s

Lawndale and Altgeld Mural

Yes, that was the general perception at Lawndale-N-Altgeld, where they defended their engulfed pocket as others tried to extinguish their pride-pulse. Travelers from other sections often appeared to aide and assist them: Kilbourn Park, Sayre Park, Moffat-N-Campbell and Palmer Street. Additionally, there were empathetic observers and regular residents that showed support in one simple fashion or another, after all this is cultural takeover, the rape-away-remodeling of an entire neighborhood. And in this mess it was not always raining Latino gangs with pistolas, with the frequent panic-attacks of being netted up by big-game-hunting cops; the Gaylords do have memorable moments with coolants to ease scrambled minds. Just like other Converse-to-concrete Gaylords before them, they are IV'd to beer and some become weed inhalers, while side-armed by some temptress. But then, even these moments were stolen away by some armed, malfunctioning transgressors who needed to be properly adjusted.

White Poverty in Uptown

Time travelin' back to the summer of 1985, Lawndale-N-Altgeld's dire situation is just over 5 miles southwest from Uptown. Inside poverty-bloated Uptown families desperately seek White Flight tickets just like a lot of Chicago's 77 areas. With places christened Dead manís Alley by area residents it is apparent that Uptown is grim. Loosely inserted between the graffiti-smacked brick walls of two cemeteries, St. Bonafice and Graceland, the Gaylords at Sunnyside-N-Magnolia are very in tuned to the reality of fatal-follies. Inter-sewn into the decrepit apartment buildings and manors, Gaylords are wayward watchmen in the wretched world around them. Field-grazing westward, just outside Gaylords' boundaries are the Brazers who flavorly cast their Mexican "Bz" and anti-Gaylords' taggings about Chase Park. There is other risky business about the pavement of Uptown as Gaylords move about, Black gangs are roughly shufflin' such as the Harrison Gents and Black Gangster Disciples, more Folk merchants with six-point-star insigna. People gangs are in the area to offset those Black gangs, like the Black P. Stones and Latin Kings. Latin Kings have over three cornered-castles. However, even though they and the Gaylords are both in the rotary of the People alliance these two groups often culture flex against each other in this congested arcade of disturbed performers.

There is some glimmer about the suffrage of Sunnyside, Gaylords' creativity is paint-caked to the contrasting, often boarded up, structures around the Gaylords to inspire and define their existence. However, all the other aspirations of achieving something better in life seem to have been defecated on by the very destitution that condemns them all here. These Gaylords already have their true calling in life anyway, cross-crusading-pros and hood musketeers. And, with vigilance comes celebration, Gaylords chill on Magnolia Street as beer-holders. Sometimes passing police cars do not even bother to disrupt them in their down time. Like other Gaylords' sectors there is no hardcore drug-merchandising. Not that certain individuals are petty marijuana purchasers or passers, they are. But when it comes to Heroin, Cocaine, Crack, Gaylords have no curb side operations. Many guys view drug sales as taboo, that major police heat will gravitate towards, or curse their neighborhood in some respect. Ultimately, all through Gaylords history up to this point it is about hood protecting and not drug profiteering. That is for the Latino and Black gangs to sud-soak in.

Uptown Gaylords: Sunnyside and Magnolia section photo

Uptown Gaylords: Sunnyside and Magnolia

A mile westward From Uptown, grey-attired Gaylords are wolf-packed in the Seeley-n-Ainslie exhibit, with their attention drawn to Damen Avenue as they are perched in Winnemac Park, with its wooden benches that bear primitive Gaylord graphics, roughly engraved and Sharpie-markered. One thing for the werewolves to howl at the moon about is the territorial Bz that are splashed to area walls by the Brazers, who have three hostile haciendas right to the east: Lawrence-N-Paulina, Ashland-N-Ainslie, Chase Park. The Gaylords are also on high alert due to the Maniac Latin Disciples at John Coonley School. To most Gaylord sections the Popes appear to be an extinct sect, but there are small congregations of them at places like Mather Park. Another contender for Seeley-N-Ainslie is the Simon City Royals, who might by chance happen by from the school yard of Bell school. Incidently, even though other Gaylords' realms are People-receptive to the occasional Latin King explorer, there are frostbitten feelings for the Latin Kings at Seeley-N-Ainslie because of Honkey being killed by them in the late 1970s.

Cleveland School Gaylords

Another grey area is Cleveland School where pride-programmed Gaylords have actually been installed since the 1970s, area headliners for a number of years. Lately, besides being vigilante in their own hood they have been in the constant company of Kilbourn Park.

Muralified Kilbourn Park is where you'll find shadow creatures, Gaylords holding solid ground. Latino gangs are complete court jesters if they even think of opening operations around here. Presently however, these Gaylords are submerged in a feudal firestorm with the Simon City Royals. Frequent are the Iron-Maiden-minded and Ozzy-spirited, Gaylords' sponsored road trips where they dispense color-blast-contents from paint nozzles and gun barrels on Royal intersections: California-N-Fletcher, Albany-N-School. The main thorns are the Simon City Royals from that creepshow of Kosciusko Park. At one point some of those Royals actually centipede-seeped in and took up cryptly residence inside Gaylords' territory and in the process of ejecting them there were gunfights. In 1986, on a celebratory night of down time for the Gaylords as they flocked amidst a supportive resident's front porch, Simon City Royals become blasters from across the street, grazing a female who is pregnant within the festive crowd. In retaliation for this disrespect and others, a Gaylord shows up with a view to a kill at Kosciusko Park and a Royal main header, Casper, is killed.

kilbourn Park Old Irving Park Mural from 1980s

Kilbourn Park Mural

In 1987, the year Mayor Harold Washington passes over from a heart attack, it is also a blood sport year on the streets with Gaylords casualties. A Cleveland School Gaylord, Klish, is shot and killed by a Simon City Royal, as Klish tries to physically assist another Gaylord who was bullet-blasted himself in the expiring hours of a late night. At Lawndale-N-Altgeld they are grieving over Lil Rocker, who was murdered by a bonkers-for-bullets Orchestra Albany member, Perfecto Aquino. Then at Sunnyside-N-Magnolia, they are mourning over Cricket. Additionally, at the end of 1987, the resistors at Lawndale-N-Altgeld, Moffat-N-Campbell and Palmer Street are battle weary and their hoods ailing as the storage-bins for illegal immigrants, Latino gangs, over-flood city sidewalks.

Deep in white wonderland the C-Notes that orbit around the CTA terminal of Jefferson Park are in a anti-Gaylords frenzy even though no Gaylords posted near by. Brashly launching off dollar-sign-adorned business cards which display insults such as inverted Gaylords crosses engulfed in flames, the C-Notes are in an artsy propaganda war with those bastard Gaylords. No lethal occurrences, just the occasional brag fest as the C-Notes catch Gaylords in their green web, here and there, and dish out physical aches and pains. But then again, Gaylords, such as those at Dunham Park, which is over a mile away, have roughly Spiderman-slinged quite a few C-Notes and banged them up. Incidenty, there was an installment of C-Notes adjacent to the Sayre Park Gaylords but were catapulted right out of there by the Gaylords.

As 1990 comes about, the Dunham Park Gaylords have closed shop just as their side asset of Narraganset-N-Montrose has. After all it is a white wonderland with no Latino gang intrusions, so there really is no urgency to be field deployed; time to seek out the other progressive possibilities in life. Another noteworthy section that has disbanded is Leavitt-N-Leavitt, who has some bout-standing moments, does some glorious paint-postering of Gaylord images, but fades off regardless. The Latino gangs, fueled by their immigration, are the culprits. Other pre-claimed sections are Diversey-N-Rockwell and Cleveland School. In regards to Cleveland, along with Klish's death, there just is not much sustainability at their home base, mostly due to there not being any next generation waiting to grow up and fill their Converse. In 1984, Long-N-Oakdale had a handful of reppers for the Gaylord cause, but they vacated their premises also. A few of them are filling the ranks of recently birthed Central-N-Berteau.

Logan Square Gangs

By 1990 those are not the only corners emptied of Gaylords. Lawndale-N-Altgeld, Moffat-N-Campbell and Palmer Street are all closing their tattered curtains. At Lawndale-N-Altgeld, the curtains close with the horrifying ending scene of a Latino gang shooting a Gaylord, paralyzing him for life. And that act is followed up with another Latino gang shooting at some night-celebrating Gaylords, and a teenage girl being shot in the neck. Years later, she dies from complications.

In the mid-70s, being about a mile apart from each other, Lawndale-Palmer-Moffat combined could be viewed as safe-bases on a wavy beach front with the Puerto Rican and Mexican gangs' armada just freshly docked. The panic of White Flight had already initiated as soon as telescoped-eyes saw the armada crashing waves from a distance. And as 1990 ushers itself in, over 50,000 whites and other Americanized have departed the entire region. In the finality of it all, the findings show that all those once comfortably established residents and unyielding Gaylords were all ethically-swept away.

5 of 11 History Pages