Bronx Gang Documentary Diary
Bronx Gang Bios
Related Picture Galleries
Dec 1st, 2007
Wanderers movie Ducky Boy - Mark Lesly
Back to the Ducky - Fall 2007
The Bronx Borough Historian helps me out
Boston w/ Ducky friends and Mark Lind of the Ducky Boys band
Two Ducky Boys in a Ducky House
Black 47, Pat St. John, & Chess Sets
The Warriors vs The Wanderers
Ducky reunion 2006
Ducky Slingshot Victims - Lou & Kevin
Author Gary Weiss
Konrad Sheehan at Van Courtlandt Park
Two Ducky Girls in Florida
Down the Ducky with some Duckies
of Our Dens:
The Richard & the Young Lions Story
a Lantern-Media Production
the DVD here
Gangs Documentary Diary
21st, 2006 entry - Ducky
Gang reunion 2006
big day finally came on Oct 21st, 2006 -- The first known Ducky
Gang reunion in their old stomping grounds of Bronx Park - affectionately
known by them simply as "The Ducky".
I have to
admit, I was dreading having to write this journal entry. So
many events and emotions went on that day that I didn't have
a clue where to start... Luckily, I had to wait a week to get
all the pictures from everyone, and that gave me time to sort
out my thoughts.
get started at the beginning...
Ever since I started
talking to Ducky Gang members earlier this year, a reunion was always
on the wishlist (for me and them)... And as we started finding quite
a few of the old gang, eventually it started to become a reality.
And in late September, we found a date that worked for the principal
participants and booked it for October 21st...
Now, there were
a lot of things to consider putting together a Ducky Reunion on such
short notice - especially one that will take place OUTSIDE in the
Bronx in late-October! People were flying in from New Mexico and Florida
specifically to see their old hangouts, so a rain-date was not an
option. Luckily, the weather was on my side... But, while the date
worked for my key Ducky contacts, it didn't work for everyone...
I was really hoping
to have a larger showing that day, but it just wasn't in the cards
for a variety of reasons:
there aren't that many Duckys still around. Over the years, many
of the gang passed on due to illness, drugs, etc. When you think
that there were so many kids in the Ducky, and there is only a handful
left, it is really overwhelming to me. And I didn't even know these
kids personally - I can't imagine the emotions going on in the people
that were part of the Ducky Gang.
of the Ducky's that are still around, some just don't want to go
public with their stories for various reasons. I've actually heard
that one of the Ducky said "I'd rather put a bullet in my head
than talk to James". Its pretty hard not to take that personally...
But hope springs eternal...
big problem is that many of the Ducky Generation are not Internet-savvy
and aren't easily found online in places like Classmates.com...
This one is slowly being overcome -- Every week I get at least one
new lead on finding new Duckys. So if you're a Ducky (or someone
who knows a Ducky) who I haven't spoke to yet, please make my life
easier and just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
If even to just say "thanks, but no thanks"
Ok, so back to
the actual reunion...
Once it started,
we all had a great time... The emotion of good friends and first-loves
who haven't seen each other in 40-plus years is really something to
behold... I could not even come close to describe it in words, but
just look at the pictures below to see the faces of the participants...
There were a lot of tears (both of joy and for fallen friends), hugging,
laughing, amazement at who showed up, etc... It was quite the emotionally
charged day -- As I write this journal a week later, I am just now
barely able to make sense of all the cool things that happened...
We were to meet
on the Balcony off East 204th and Webster Ave. I got there early to
get a GREAT pre-reunion interview (You'll have to wait until the documentary
comes out to know who and why it was so great -- sorry for the tease,
but cant give too much away here)
Then as everyone
started showing up, the excitement just kept building... Everyone
that passed by got the "Is that a Ducky?" The random people
walking by must've wondered what the hell we were doing there with
everyone staring with cameras and video cameras aimed at them (then
putting it down disappointed)
who was getting there arrived, we took the walk down to the tunnels
where the Duckys saw their graffiti still on the walls 40 years later.
This tunnel was their home turf and they were surprised at how little
Once the tour
of their old stomping ground was over and everyone was getting cold,
we headed off to the warmth of the Jolly Tinker on Bedford Park and
Webster to continue the trip down memory lane...
just want to put a quick ad in for the Jolly Tinker here... Paddy,
Adelle and Jose were great hosts to us and even with some confusion
which was my fault, they really did a great job... So if you are
looking to have a gathering in the old neighborhood, they have a
nice sized backroom and are VERY affordable and hospitable...
At the Jolly Tinker,
I got some great interviews, had some Bronx pizza, and heard some
great stories (some which will never see the light of day again for
obvious reasons LOL) -- But it was such a thrill to hear these stories
from the people who lived them...
After a few hours
there, we had to end it... But the trips down memory lane didn't end
there... The Ducky Gang hung together for the next few days without
cameras or my interference -- They had given me plenty on Saturday
and deserved their "alone time" with their old friends..
Hope you enjoyed
this installment of my documentary journal... Keep tuning in!