When childhood innocence and gang violence lived side by side in Boyle Heightz

#HEALandELEV8 the Village… The Seedz are Watching…

Moorbey'z Blog


In the 1980s, my boyhood best friend in Boyle Heights and I chatted about gangs. Particularly about starting one.

The idea was absurd since me joining a gang was a little like Potsie from “Happy Days” driving south of the border and becoming a hit man for a Mexican drug cartel. It wasn’t in my hard-wiring, nor did my life experience lend itself to me going from a bookworm to “Smiley,” vato loco at large.

But there was something almost approaching mainstream about gangs a generation ago. Starting even something that weakly mimicked a gang — minus the hardcore commission of crimes, getting shot at and arrested — didn’t seem like the craziest…

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