gang boy

Screen shot 2016-06-25 at 16.46.38

Gang Boy, 2016

“Our gang used to go robbing stores almost every day. When trucks would come along, we’d jump on and throw the stuff off. Sometimes, we’d raid ice cream wagons. If the driver saw us, he would jump off and give us a shag. If he caught us, he would usually kick us in the pants and let us go. When we wanted to steal a bicycle, we’d jump up into the chains, destroy the brakes, or file the lock.

We’d go into a store and rob a poor old lady. We’d ask her for an empty box and steal everything she had when she was gone. Or we’d take an apple and start eating; then we’d say we did not like the fruit, throw a nickel on the counter, and run out with a lot more stuff.

We did all sorts of dirty tricks for fun. We’d see a sign, “Please keep the street clean,” but we’d tear it down and say, “We don’t feel like keeping it clean.” One day we put a can of glue in the engine of a man’s car. We would always tear things down. That would make us laugh and feel good, to have so many jokes.¹”

¹Gang boy’s own story.
The Gang: A Study of 1,313 Gangs in Chicago
Frederic Milton Thrasher, 1927

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