I remember, it was like ’89 or ’90, and I’m living in the Seward Park district of Seattle. I was like 15, 16 years old, this token punker white boy who sidebusted with the local BGD gangbanger kids. I was living in a receiving home, one of those joints the Children and Youth Authority send incorrigables through. It was ok, I mean I got to know some cool kids.
All that shit about race and all, it didn’t really mean shit. You know, there’s all the Big Analyses of things and everything, but when it comes down to it people are people and generally everybody was cool with me cause I was cool with them. Given, I was maybe one of four caucasians living in a four mile radius, but that shit never seemed to matter.
I rememeber I had just come to Mrs. Millers place, she was an older black lady who subletted her basement to the state for the housing of troubled youth. She was fucking awesome. Like sixty some odd years old and just the coolest lady ever. She basically cooked us meals, and left us to our devices, though we were more than invited to go to church with her if we felt like it. I did a couple of times. It was pretty cool. The kind of “Get Up And Fucking Praise!” type thing. If I were religious, I swear to you to this day the only church I’d want to attend was th First Church of God in Christ on Ranier Ave. in Seattle. I was the only white person there, but it was never an issue. Everybody was totally sweet to me, and just glad to have me attending.
Anyway, I had just arrived. I had my bunk downstairs. I was sporting crusty dreads and my leather jacket and all. Just a typical NW teenage punk from Auburn in the big city. I’m like fucking with my shit, you know arraigning my meager possessions, and one of the kids comes in and he’s like “Hey, Lee wants to see you”. So I go into the other room there and there’s this older kid, and he’s holding a forty ouncer of Old English 800 and a lit joint. He’s big. Black kid. He looks at me and says “So, you do bad stuff?”
Turned out to be the start of a great friendship. Me and Lee drank and smoked together that night, and as it turned out he was a middling level gang character of sorts. Shit didn’t matter for dick to me. The area wasn’t as fucking nutso as the CD as far as drive by’s and shit, and most of the local set did their thing without having to be too over involved in shooting motherfuckers or whatever. Lee let me hang out, and even landed me a legit job doing carpentry work out in Enumclaw under this dude who’s daughter he was banging.
Of course, you know, I still got to go out and represent and shit. I was like the trusty sidekick for chuckles I guess but it was ok cause everybody was cool with me. This one time we were on the bus, and some shit erupted with some cripettes…and like somehow I wound up being the defuser of the whole situation. The girls had claimed Crip, the dudes I was rolling with had taken some manner of affront to that…and just as one of the girls was reaching under for her heater she said, “What about you, white boy? Who you down with? What set you claim?” I just looked as stupid as I could and replied, “I’m down for peace.” Everyone just erupted in nervous laughter and that was the end of that. After that it was just bus ride with some teenage boys tying to talk up some teenage girls. Maybe averted a bloodbath. Maybe not. I don’t think anybody really wanted to shoot anybody anyway.
Well. At any rate, running with those kids back then I developed an appreciation for Malt Liquor. Old English was the top of the charts, though St.Ides was a close runner up. I drank myself stupid, often accompanied by copious amounts of ganja. I started running Lee out to auburn to score weed, and he was stoked. Better deals, quality shit. I was the hook up. And I remember there were like these 13 year old crack dealer kids that used to rely on my professional opinion as to how big of rocks to sell. Cause, you know, I was white, and white people know cocaine, right?.
But there was this one time I was standing at a bus stop on Ranier and Genessee with a forty, and this lady walks up and she’s like “You’re too young to be drinking that stuff” My reply, in charge with the times and my nuclear holocaust fixated anarcho-punk frame of reference was “I’m not too young to die in a nuclear war. so I’m not too young to drink this shit.”
I don’t know what excuse kids nowadays have. Maybe it doesn’t matter. The world is still fucked up, you know? But I just wanted to post this old drinking song we used to tip forties to way back when. This is totally for Lee, “Slay D.” Adams and all my old friends, Thumper, Mago, Mike E. all ya’lls. If you made it, then here’s to you. If not, you know damn well I’d be pouring a forty out for you if I was there.
Seriously. Fuck all the dumb shit about “finding allies” in “communities of color” or any of that fancy stuff. People are just people, and if you don’t act like a fucktard you’ll generally find that stupid shit like the tint of someones skin don’t really matter.
Here’s to my Seward Park Posse. Cheers.