In the early 1990's a friend and i went to the Aragon Ballroom to see a show. I think it was Slayer on the Reign in Blood tour. After the show we went to a real seedy bar that served underage kids. We left around 1 a.m. and started walking trying to find the train. We walked a few blocks and we were lost. To say the Aragon was in a bad neighborhood in the early 90's is like saying the ocean is wet. For two teenage, long hair, leather jacket wearing punks it was dangerous. We stopped and tried to regroup with our surroundings.
Approximately, 6 teenage black kids who had previously been talking in the middle of the street now noticed us and called out "HEY!, WHAT'S UP? HEY!" and began walking toward us. My friend Al said "dude i'm gonna run" i kept saying "don't run, don't run"
and then they were all around us. I was trying to look everywhere at once. I felt to drunk and tired for this, i remember bracing myself for a punch that never came. Instead one of the guys said my name in a questioning manner. "Ken?"
"Yea , Ken that's me ." Turns out one of the dudes (Carlos) knew me from high school.
My parents kicked me out when i was 16. I drifted around for awhile but eventually moved into my aunt's building. So essentially i had my own place while finishing high school. She lived in a poor, predominately black neighborhood called Harvey. I got a job stocking at a liquor store not far from my place. All the neighborhood called me "Led Zeppelin" because of my long hair. I would give away booze and i partied with some cool people. Race has never been an issue with me since i'm a minority as well.
It turns out this dude Carlos recognized me from those Harvey/high school times. Him and his friends even walked us to the bus stop we needed. (he told us the train we couldn't find wasn't even running this late.) I asked him if he hadn't have recognized me if they were gonna jump us and not even pausing he said "Without a doubt."