My fascination with Chicago street gangs—and especially white gangs, from middle of the last century—began when my Chicago paramedic pal Eddie Reardon told me with not a hint of irony that the toughest gang around when he was growing up in the late fifties and early sixties was an outfit called the Polish Playboys.
Well now, thanks to Facebook, I get a regular schooling in the genre.
For instance, who knew that the Thorndale Jag Offs supported the Black Power movement?
The Thorndale Jag Offs, who were once called the Goons. They got into a fight with a pair of police officers, after which a detective named Dennis Farina—who eventually became an actor—told them they were “jag offs” for taking on two cops at once. So they started calling themselves the Thorndale Jag Offs. Or so the story goes.
Every day’s a school day here at Writing Boots.