Back In The Day - Tales from the Hood

2/09/2002

time to join pt.1

"It was the year of 1968 and it was now my time to get involved, to join a cause...right or wrong it was something i was ready to do and felt i needed something to believe in and follow to the end, whatever that might be" - rudy

I was first introduced to the Homeboy/Gangster lifestyle through my big sister's boyfriend.
He took me on occasion down to his neighborhood over in The Aves to see some of his buddys.

I started to become fascinated by the way they carried themselves and spoke in a slang i never heard before. I'm guessing its probably like some of the kids today and now they see it as, feeling the same way i did.

My first impression? I thought these guys were pretty tough and pretty cool. They were clean sharp dressers too, and so i was really impressed and really very impressionable.
Their cars were nice rides and some were dropped real low for cruising and i just liked how they looked, even to this day i really dig the Lowrider. (O G style) Today alot are just tricked out lifted (over the top) rides with all the bells and whisles and not like old school OG rides i remember. And so, I saw how they would sit real low in their cars when cruising even if their car wasn't low, they be lowriding either way.

Well eventually i was hit up (approached) by a guy from my own area who was looking for recruits to join and re-start the neighborhood gang which had been dead (dormant) for a few years due to all the previous homeboys growing old, having kids, shacking up or getting married, maybe in Prison or just Dead.
They were a whole different breed, a different generation from another time, even before my time.
When street life and gangs had strict codes to follow and respect was the norm. You see... If you were in a fight and you knocked the guy down , you let him get up then continue and it would be a one on one thing... fist to cuffs! There was a fairness to proving your manhood by being this way, sure there were the lesser "dirty" fighters who would kick you when your down. They knew they would lose in a fair fight! That didn't prove anything... like the "cowards" that exsist today that shoot from a distance or passing car into any crowd of innocent people and children. This respect of street code is something so long gone and unheard of these days! moving on...
So we were going to pick up the torch in this hood of ours and continue on where it left off. This is very common, even to this day and some just turn into generic splinter cells.

So now this guy who is asking me if i would be interested went by the name of skeeter. I only met him once or twice before and he had told me that he and a few other guys planned to start it up again but they were only 4 guys. I told him NO, i wasn't really interested.

The next time i saw him he came at me from a different angle and asked me how long i lived in this neighborhood? All my life i said. Then he asked me why wouldn't i want to be a part of it, and be a member of this proud neighborhood and "represent it".
He then explained how we would take care of each other's back and if there was ever ANY problem , i would have backup there for me etc. and vise-versa. I never really thought about it like that but it made sense...

So as he kept talking i finally thought to myself, yeah why not! This is where i'm from and i lived here. It was my neighborhood.
So what he did was fire me up! and it made sense to me (a 14 year old) to be a part of something new (revived) on the ground level and to see where it took me. It was an opportunity for me to have a say from the start too.
The following week i met the other guys who were all older than me and bigger too.

They explained what the routine was about becoming a gang member and that i also had some options. One was to just drop and cover myself the best i could, the other was to still get beat down but to stand and fight as best as i could. Those were my options. The next day we met and went to one guy's house, to the back yard area where it was secluded and also now getting dark.

As instructed I now began to take everything out of my pockets and placed my shirt nearby and then stood there in the center. I was now asked to take an oath as they were now going to "jump me in", I did. Each one took a firm stand around me as i prepared myself. The next move would be when they were ready to make their move. I looked at each of them and waited for the fury of blows...