Openning lines needed to specify as boy then pre teen liviving in a rough surrounding yet gentle and caring loving home. The reality of growing up navigating through so much negativity being subjected to all that street drama he made a difference.
Growing Up In A North Philadelphia Ghetto
by Raymond King
An huge Red apartment building centered in the mist of chaos there is where
Greg's family lived. Childhood life was rough however as an eager young boy
Greg wanted a different outcome during those difficult times. Greg -
Bonaparte, had a loving but poorest of times with his family in the 1960's,
his family consisting of a single stay at home mother whom he adored and
two sisters kate and susan.
Growing up in the tough streets of Philadelphia in the early 1960's
without his biological father could have made life worse for Greg. In the Ghetto
streets of North Central Philadelphia times were hard quite the contrary from a loving
environment. The rough and tumble rigors loomed for example fights also crime which
lead to more arduous events daily. Drug related activity wreaked hovac in Greg's
community. Down the street fom his apartment building gangs and thugs made life
miserable for neighborhood living.
Large Afro's glistening from packed in Oil Sheen, running in cava's Chuck-
Taylor's with mischeif intent,teenagers antagonizing anyone who feared them
brought trepidation in the area of 11th and Huntinton Street. Each day volience with
it's vice grip could've taken a toll on Greg. Not far in the community a desolate
playground dark without many lights still cast a shadow on the basketball courts
and filled with missing bleachers. That is where antisocial and most misfit delinquents
hung out. One day on his way home from school Greg was attacked by sideburn Bobby
grabbing Greg by his collar as he walked by swinging him to the ground. Those actions
resulted a sizeable gash about the dimensions of the Grand Canyon wow ! gushing with
blood from his head.
In addition every time Greg would leave his apartment building it attracted neighboring
hoodlums with nothing to do than recruit for their gang. Their ignorance aggressively
continued particularly sideburn Bobby; a violent gang member willing too pummel
anyone in his path. Residents sat around and said order needs to be established by local
authorities. Haulted briefly by local police the curruption of neighborhood minors by
their speeding vehicles with glaring sirens calmed concerned neighbors. As cops
targeted heckling peers at every corner assuring the neighbors safety. However,these
menaces persisted by standing outside of the Mom and Pop variety store to intimidate
anxiously ready to enlist for their mini army.
This tall teen with thick sideburns - Bobby "asking Greg to join their gang" recalling
his encounter with Bobby ealier who slung Greg to the concrete causing a head injury.
- Greg "declined his invitation." Unfortunately street life did not payoff for teens,
gangs, or use and sale of illegal substances. Therefore Greg dodged a bullet many
youth had fell succumb too in doing so he enabled himself to persevere from illegal
activities of the aforementioned. Young Greg was more interested in his civic duties
even during those dire moments growing up.
I interviewed Greg Bonaparte one of my mentors as he swivelled around reclined in his office chair. His vivid memory of those events impressed and intrigued. To speak with someone who endured many adversities through it all stayed positive and gave back. Speaking to the youth over a spand of years while earning a nice living for himself brought joy to his life.