Brooklyn Navy Yard Gangs, Suicides gang, Farragut House Gangs
History of Little People Suicides
Growing up near the Brooklyn Navy Yard (FARRAGUT HOUSES) during the late 50's wasn't easy for a young teenager like myself. As the new kid on the block I was forced to join the Little People Suicides. They we were an offshoot of the older Suicides who eventfully would go on to ominous notoriety and an infamous status by murder.
Most Members were students of the then new Sands Junior High School, which was located right across from the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The "Little People" where often the victims of predation from such gangs as the MAU MAUS from Ft. Greene Houses and the Chaplains. The only way we could survive was to band together and protect each others back.
Sands Junior High School teachers and its administrators were totally oblivious to our plight and we could not rely on the school as neutral ground for education. We were often attacked in the class rooms and hall ways. We held our own and prevailed in most encounters. Our biggest problem was in route to school and home. Other then that we were successful in keeping our home ground free of marauding gangs. We were farmable to all who challenged us or intruded on our turf.
Father McCabe of Saint Ann's Church
I think we owe a debt of gratitude to Father McCabe of Saint Ann's Church, which was located on the southwest corner of Gold Street and Front Street (it has since been demolished). He held a confraternity every Friday in the church basement. The main attraction for the guys were the girls who attended and for most of us it was a big deterrent from getting into trouble and it was a God sent diversion. We were never invaded by outsiders. Those who were not gang members were allowed to attend provided they did not hit on our girls and did not get into our faces.
The demise of “The Little People” came in four waves: we went to work after high school, we moved on to further education, the Viet Nam War was just beginning, and the Big People Suicides became involved in a stabbing in which an alleged Chaplain was stabbed to death.
Thank God for Father McCabe.
by Hercules (gang moniker)
Farragut House - Memories
I was a white kid who lived in Brooklyn, literally across the street from Sand St Jr. High. On Hudson Ave. (Before Sands was built, even.) Wondered if there were documentation about the Suicides.
My tale, about 1961 or 2: Everyone knew the Suicides and were scared of them. One day I'm walking along toward St Anne's, going to the Twin Bowl across the street, if I recall.
I got stopped by a gang of kids, I think they were all Puerto Rican, and they were known as Suicides members. They're hassling me and pushing me around, and I say something -- I forget entirely what -- but whatever it was it made the oldest guy, who was sitting watching this, laugh. He told his guys to stop, asked me to come over. We talked some, me answering questions. I have this way of answering questions when I'm nervous (and also angry but not able to show it for the situation) -- I dunno, it can be funny. Anyway, turns out this guy is the Head of the Gang. He says he likes me, and announces 'hey, this kid is under my protection. Don't hurt him.'
This actually happened. It made it easy for me to get by. Or easier. Most of my friends were black or Puerto Rican, living in Farragut Housing, but neither they nor I would go through the Maus Maus turf. We did once, I forget the name of the big park there, and got chased off. Those kids were my friends because they were decent folk: the white kids in my down-by-the-waterfront neighborhood were really scummy human beings.
Also, I remember Fr McCabe, also mentioned at this site. And that people loved him.
Anyway, thanks for being there. Hope I didn't offend anyone with my story. But actually did happen the way I wrote.
Good luck to you all
Jim - former Farragut House resident
PS: Forty years later I'm in the elevator with my neighbor Eddie. He's looking at his mail and I see "Robles." "Edwin Robles from York Street!" I shout. He and his brother were my best friends for a couple of years. Turned out a solid citizen, did a lot of charity work. He, and his brother, both died: Eddie just weeks after we connected; Ferdinand a year later. Their mother and sister still survive as of a couple of years ago, if anyone knew the family.