Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Bangin' On Hellman Street

When I first moved to the Hellman Street ghetto of Long Beach in 2002, I didn't think I was really going to be powerfully influenced by my surroundings, but I was wrong. Before that particular crazy adventure was over, I'd witnessed murders, tricks, drug deals, pimps, hustlers, prostitutes, crackheads, misfits, meth freaks, junkies, thieves and con men and had my life threatened more than a few times. And ended up pissing off the Long Beach Insanes, the local branch of the Crips, who had something of a headquarters just across the street. And, oh yeah, I inadvertently, and almost single-handedly, re-ignited a turf war between the Insanes and the Longos, the Hispanic Crips who competed with the Insanes for drug territory in my neighborhood.

I don't think the Crips were any more ready for an Alabama straight-tawkin' hillbilly than I was for a bunch of trigger happy thugs willing to kill you if you dissed Westside Connection. The Gangsta, the Killa and the Dope Dealer!

Hellman Street gangstas ain't playin'.

My takeaway lesson from the whole thang is purty much "Don't go seven days without any sleep unless you wanna be actin' a fool"...

But I could definitely also say that I made some interesting new friends. ;-)

A shout out to my Long Beach homies: Leah and Tony, Frank, KJ, Tre, Keith and Justina, Javier, Fernando, DeeDee, Steve and Bernadette, Cowboy, Potion, and all the rest of you crazies.

Steve Elliott ~ "November 6, 2003" [10.10.07]

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