32B's Blog

…where I write my words

Larry Hoover

I like to say I grew up in the ‘hood but, recently, I realized I missed out on a lot of the ‘hood activities that many of my peers got sucked into.  I grew up on the West side of Chicago in the West Garfield Park neighborhood.  My parents separated when I was 13 years old so then we moved in with my grandmother who lived in the Austin area.  In my opinion, the West Garfield Park area was less violent than the Austin area.  I could walk down the streets of both without issue but, in the West Garfield area, people knew my whole family so we weren’t ever messed with.  After my mom eventually got on her feet, she moved us to an area which was kind of the North Lawndale or Independence Square area.  By now, I was in high school up north and clearly a skinny nerd who liked to run for a long freaking time.  Basically, I stuck out like a sore thumb but I liked the area.  I made friends only due to my sisters who went to school in the area and knew all the ‘hood chicks and guys.  By association, I was cool.  Occasionally, we would be chillin’ outside when a police chase on foot would occur right in front of us.  We’d stop talking, jumping rope, eating nachos, or whatever and look to see who they were trying to catch this time.  After they ran by, we continued talking like nothing strange had happened.  I do not have any stories about gun shots (unless you count 4th of July), or murders, or drug activity.  Not saying it did not happen but I did not know about it.  I went to school, went to work, went to my meets, went running during the summer at Garfield Park, and came back home.  We had George’s Music Room and guys free styling on the block while I stuck my head out the window to listen.  To me, that was the ‘hood. 

Recently, I realized I lived a very sheltered life within my own little ‘hood which probably sounds weird.  Someone wanted to tell me a story but they started off with some questions first.  How familiar am I with Chicago gangs?  My answer: not familiar at all.  I know the names of the main 2 but that is about it.  Allegedly, my dad and uncles were in gangs growing up and my dad still had “rank” or “street cred” up until he died but I was not sure how much of any of that was true even though one uncle died because he was shoot at least 10 times by several people.  If my sisters and I were “sheltered” from that then I can see why and how.  The next question was: do you know who Larry Hoover is?  My answer: yeah.  That was a total lie!  I had to ask a friend of mine who the hell Larry Hoover is and she was able to tell me the whole story.  I seriously had no idea the history of one of these gangs or who started it.  So, why did I lie?  I wanted to appear “street” since it was becoming obvious (in comparison at least) that I was more suburban than anything. 

I will not go into detail about how this relates to Larry Hoover but I am grateful I missed a big chunk of inner city life than most people who fell victim to it.  My friend who explained who Larry Hoover is, she had been shot at before all because she was friends with a certain person and lived in a certain neighborhood.  She told me she helped a guy in her house who was bleeding from being shot and helped him hide the gun.  She admitted to never using drugs but she did sell a certain one.  Interesting.  Not sure if I should know about all this stuff and I’m not sure if it ever really mattered.  I guess inside my bubble I was always safe due to naivety and cluelessness.  Lastly, as much as my parents were not perfect, I do thank my dad and mom for at least keeping us from the most dangerous parts of the ‘hood.  The ‘hood is a beautiful place in a sense so I will continue to think that while feeling truly blessed that nothing evil ever tarnished our childhood or teen years.  That being said, I am not ‘hood.  I do not have street cred.  I probably won’t bust a grape in a fruit fight.  I have never been shot at and I have never shot anyone.  I stayed a virgin until college.  I have never done drugs, sold drugs, or even saw drugs but I do love how marijuana smells (lol, seriously I do).  I just learned months ago what Chronic really is so you know I don’t know anything!  Just goes to show that your address does not always insinuate who you are as a person or what you will grow up to be.


November 9, 2010 - Posted by | Life | ,


  1. how did you get over the gang life and hood life also are you on papers or do you have life from Driver,Donquez

    Comment by donquez driver | April 15, 2011

  2. Shout out 2 larry Hoover the man 100%

    Comment by shawn | January 27, 2012

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