By Mel McConaghy
While growing up in Prince George, there were times when there was friction within our gang.
Usually it was a power struggle, some breach of diplomacy, or girls. Girls were always causing trouble among the older boys. They would smile, giggle and wiggle their little behinds, and any boy whose voice had started changing, or was getting a little fuzz on his face, would go all gaga.
I don’t know what caused the friction, but it was between my older brother, Jim, and one of the guys his age from over on Eighth Avenue. The conflict festered, and soon divided the whole gang. It was gang war then! We had our generals, lieutenants, and of course, our men-at-arms. We’d learned a lot about spying and planning from World War Two movies we had watched. Why, if John Wayne had ever come into our neighborhood, he would have marveled at the expertise with which the local gang war campaigns were ran.
As in any gang war, there was a lot of taking sides, and shifting sides. If the other side looked a little more promising, we’d change our loyalties, so there was always a lot of spying. There were devious plans made about what we’d do if we caught our foes. We did not have guns, so we could not shoot them. We even thought about taking a page from a cowboy and Indian movie we’d seen, and burn them at the stake (if our moms would let us). After dinner, when it was getting dark, we would form little patrols and sneak into our enemy’s territory to spy on them. Sometimes we’d bump into other patrols, and could not tell if they were on our side, or the enemy’s. These patrols were always made up of the younger members of the gangs, because the older guys were busy trying to impress the girls, or planning the next diabolical deed they were going to send us younger guys to do.
Just like military organizations, it was always the foot soldiers in gang wars, the younger guys, who got the dirty jobs. Because we were not really sure what this ‘gang war’ was about when we met under these circumstances, nothing ever happened. This went on for seven days without conflict, without so much as a blow being thrown, or someone struck. However, there was a lot of posturing, changing sides and spying. Then, everyone just seemed to forget about the gang war, and everything went back to normal. I was happy about this turn of events, because a couple of the guys from one of the sides (I can’t remember which side they were on), and I had plans to sleep out in the field behind our house, in a snazzy new tent that one of the guys had gotten for his birthday. And so ended ‘The Seven Day Gang War’.
My Life Through a Broken Windshield by Mel McConaghy
Mel McConaghy is a retired trucker and author from Prince George, British Columbia. Mel’s tales are his views of life “through a broken windshield”. They are entertaining and humorous in a folksy style.
Visit Mel’s website at www.melmcconaghy.com