TWO YOUTH GANGS, Growing Up Pittsburgh

TWO YOUTH GANGS, Growing Up Pittsburgh

by Andrew L. Stevans


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The large red brick of the firehouse loomed up in front of him. The side door at the back was ajar. The young boy looked left and right and saw no movement. He nonchalantly walked across the street, slipped silently through the narrow opening and into a hallway.
There was a far-off sound of men's voices, coming from the front near the fire engine. No one was in the recreation room. There were a few empty bunks and a window overlooking dozens of stacks of railroad ties. Near the bunks he noticed a small dresser with a lamp on top. He checked the hallway, again, and then returned to the dresser.
The bottom of the dresser was without drawers and contained dozens and dozens of comic books in several stacks, next to the each other. He dropped to one knee and quickly scooped up an armful of comic books, walked back down the hall and out the side door. He returned to his hiding place across the street where he arranged the comic books in a neat pile, covered them with newspaper, tied them with string, and deposited the first bunch in his Red Flyer wagon.
He made his trip several times, arranging each newly acquired bunch in a neat pile, tied and loaded these into his wagon. He then pulled the loaded wagon the dozen blocks to the shed, an old, empty chicken coop, behind his house. In a far corner of the shed was a small pile of his and his two brothers 'comic books. This is where he deposited the tied bunches of his latest acquisition.
The following morning, the young boy visited Bill's club-house. Bill was him and his brothers' rival gang leader and his oldest brother Jake's nemesis. He hid near the trees in the high grass, across from the gangs' large, barn-like shed. He waited patiently, watching for any movement. The shed appeared empty. Satisfied that no one would see him, he quickly walked through the high grass, climbed half way up a chute-like entrance while listening for any sound.
As his eyes adjusted to the dim light, he saw the comic books in a box near a door on the far side of the shed. He noticed that the top comic book was Cowboy Dan, Marshall, one of his favorites. It had been missing, along with several others, since earlier in the week. Two of Bill's gang members, Chas and Matt, had made a "peace" visit to Jake and the brothers' hang out, a former chicken shed. "They said they wanted to play us in a touch football game, again," Denny said to himself sarcastically.
"Yeah, right, a peace mission, to steal our comic books" the boy mumbled. He grabbed the box of comic books. As his eyes fully adjusted to the dim light, he saw another box on a table. This smaller box contained many small stones and marbles, the perfect size for sling shot use. He heard a sound on the club roof. Probably a bird landing, he thought. Denny didn't move for a moment, making sure there weren't any footsteps. He continued to carry the box of comic books to the exit chute.
He didn't want to waste any more time, so he stashed a handful of stones from the small box into his pocket, and pulled the comic book box carefully behind him as he slid down the chute, walked across the road and disappeared into the woods toward home.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780984834051
Publisher: Andrew Stevans
Publication date: 05/24/2017
Pages: 136
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.29(d)

About the Author

Andrew Stevans grew up in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. He has worked as a farm hand, a Navy non-commissioned officer, an IBM engineer, an adult ed instructor and a human resource manager. He lives and writes in Northern Virginia.

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