Before you get to the article…
On February 23, 2018, my book on the Mau Maus and Sand Street Angels, who were two Brooklyn youth gangs from the 1950s, has been completed. It took 15 years of research and writing to complete Brooklyn Rumble: Mau Maus, Sand Street Angels, and the End of an Era. This book is roughly 6″x9″ and has 370 pages and includes a look at the characters in the Mau Maus and the details of a gang killing that happened in February 1959 in front of the iconic Brooklyn Paramount Theater (now Long Island University). If you want to buy a copy, click here and this link will take you to an online ordering page.
I find a story so much more interesting when the character of the people being written about comes out. It makes you more attached to the person or at least gives you the capability to observe them (in a way) from the outside looking in. Here is a short profile given of Andrew Whalen aka “Bo,” the former Jackson Gent that was knifed in the back twice and died from his wounds in a fight in December 1960. If you want to read more about the details of his death, click here, there is a page devoted to what happened that fateful day.
The following is a small glimpse into Bo’s character courtesy of another former Jackson Gent who knew him at the time and was there on the day he died and the one who provided the detailed synopsis of what happened that day:
Bo was about 5’6″ with dirty blonde hair and he must have weighed all of 140lbs. He was quiet, by that I mean that he wouldn’t stand out, at least not in our crowd. He had a quick sense of humor and I remember that he laughed a lot. He was just a regular guy. Bo could also draw, he was really good at drawing ships and boats of all kinds. He had a dog (whose name I don’t recall) and sometimes he would walk him after dinner. I remember one night he brought the dog to the club, we were all sitting around drinking, Bo said that his dog liked beer. Well, we got the dog drunk. I don’t know what happened when he brought that dog home because he never mentioned it again. On the other hand he never brought him back again either. Shortly before he died, just a few months earlier, we had a conversation. Bo was 16 and he told me he had never gotten laid. and he was anxious about it. As best I can recall, maybe a week before he died, he told me that he’d banged some girl. I remember how happy he was. The strange thing is that that is the way I always remember him.