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▶  More from Harm City Guest Authors Tao of Tony Rooster
Felony Flats
An Old School Tale by Tony Cox

Frank is a coworker who grew up in the area where I now live, but has long since relocated to the suburb of Oregon City.

“That neighborhood used to be pretty tough. It was all poor whites back when I was growing up there. This was before all the Russians moved in.”

“Over on 72nd and Flavel, there used to be a vacant lot, and the house I grew up in was right there next to that.”

“Where the little league field is now? I used to live in those duplexes right there.”, I tell him.

“My sister and my cousin were both good looking girls, real nice figures. My sister never wore shoes in the summer, she was always barefoot. Anyway, they were out there and some guys in a car said something to them. The shouted back something like, ‘fuck you’, and the guys in the car stopped, got out, and one of ‘em hit my sister, knocked her out.”

“My brother in law was sitting in the vacant lot there, drinking him a beer, and sees the whole thing. He runs over to fight this guy, and now he’s fighting all THREE guys from the car. My mom steps outside onto the porch to see what’s going on, and one of the guys threw a brick and hit her in the head. After that, everybody came out into the street, it was a full on brawl. I remember I was 15 years old when it happened.

We got these guys surrounded, and my brother in law tells me to go run at the big guy who threw the brick. I’m all for it, that was my mom, ya know? I start hitting him, and then my brother in law jumps in and starts beating the hell out of him too, had him down, just punching him, knocked his eyeball out of his head! He jammed it back in with his thumb and said ‘How you like me now, motherfucker?’. I had never seen him get violent before that.

Right about then, a city bus was coming down 72nd, and my brother in law flagged it down. He picked up the dude we had beat and literally threw him onto the bus. Told the driver ‘take him away, and don’t bring him back!’”

I had to get a ride to and from school everyday for a month after that, we were worried about those guys jumping me. After a month I turned 16, and drove myself.”

Alienation Nation: Surviving Cultural Free Fall

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