I was watching a documentary the other day about gangs and how they effect today's youth. It made me a little scared, a little sick and a lot sad. It sent my mind reeling into the past, back to a time when I was a "gang member" in the Nine Five Drive gang. It made me think back to the old "gang" and the things we used to do. If only we could convince today's youth that what our gang did was cool..... The world would be a lot different.
My first memories are of that little house at the end of 95th Drive sitting on the corner facing it's very own direction. The only house on the street that wasn't in uniform with the other houses. That house was unique, and so were the people who lived in it. All of my childhood memories are there in that house, on that street with the old gang. I thought it would be fun to blog about the memories of those times, those places and those people. My memories are scattered a bit, and I am not certain in which order they actually occured, but I will try to keep them in sequence as much as I can.
My first vivid memory:
A new family had moved in across the street from us! I could hardly wait to meet them. After watching cartoons and eating cereal I rushed outside to ride my bicycle. I wanted to show off to the new kids that I was riding without training wheels. I still had scabs on my knees and elbows from the crash a few days prior when Dad let me go for the first time, but I didn't care, I was riding without the baby wheels and that was all that mattered.
Both of my sisters were outside, Emie (my little sister) still had her baby wheels on, so I could easily out run her if I wanted to. But I didn't want to get into any trouble this morning... I wanted to be the first one to meet the new kids.
After, what seemed like forever, 2 boys came outside. Boys... drat. I peddled my bike up their driveway and wobbled, hopping off before the bike came to a complete stop. Before me stood 2 boys, one that was a little older (and probably the cutest boy I had ever seen!) and the other was about my age. They introduced themselves... Wesley and Jason Roeder. I was instantly smitten with Welsey, but all he wanted to talk about was Space Ships and Astronauts... I didn't know anything about those things so I remember avoiding the topic with him that day... I focused on his younger brother. He was a sandy haired boy with the thickest glasses I had ever seen and his eyes wiggled when he looked at me. He was the most interesting boy I had ever met.
Turned out, Wesley was my older sisters age, and Jason was my age. Perfect! A few moments later a little girl with long thick hair came prancing out to stand beside her brothers. Michelle Roeder, the same age as our little sister. All three of us "Hinds girls" just met our new best friends but wouldn't really know it for some time.
Jason jumped on a peddle bike and zoomed down his driveway. He was riding so fast, and without baby wheels. I grabbed my schwin with the banana seat and took off after him. Jason was amazing on a bicycle. He zipped and zagged as I hung back and watched from a safe distance. And then.... he popped a wheelie. Simply amazing. I knew in that moment that he was by far the coolest most amazing boy I had ever met.
We didn't know it that morning... but that was the beginning of "The Gang" on 95th Drive. Friendships started to blossom that day, and the roots of that friendship started intertwining their way through our very souls....