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Dec 1st, 2007
Wanderers movie Ducky Boy - Mark Lesly

Nov 12th, 2007
Back to the Ducky - Fall 2007

Nov 4th, 2007
The Bronx Borough Historian helps me out

Oct 14th, 2007
Boston w/ Ducky friends and Mark Lind of the Ducky Boys band

Jan 19th, 2007
Two Ducky Boys in a Ducky House

Dec 20th, 2006
Black 47, Pat St. John, & Chess Sets

Oct 28th, 2006
The Warriors vs The Wanderers

Oct 21st, 2006
Ducky reunion 2006

Sept 30th, 2006
Ducky Slingshot Victims - Lou & Kevin

Aug 22nd, 2006
Author Gary Weiss

Aug 19th, 2006
Konrad Sheehan at Van Courtlandt Park

June 12th, 2006
Two Ducky Girls in Florida

May 27th, 2006
Down the Ducky with some Duckies

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Ducky Boy Territory Pictures - 2006
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Bronx Zoo Pictures - July 2006

Out of Our Dens:
The Richard & the Young Lions Story
a Lantern-Media Production

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Bronx Gangs Documentary Diary

October 21st, 2006 entry - Ducky Gang reunion 2006

Ducky Reunion Pix

Well, the 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.

So lets 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:

  • Mainly, 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.
  • Secondly, 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...
  • Another 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 info@lantern-media.com 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)

When everyone 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 it changed...

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...

I 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!

-=James

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