Re: what's a bart?

09/02/05 - posted by Candis Smyk Hurlbut

Time: 1950s, into 1960s. Where: I remember The Mission District--other areas/cities in California also had them. Who: The Barts were a gang, who wore black, often solid black, head to toe. They were rough and tough young men, whose girlfriends also dressed in black. Most of what I, and my friends and classmates, knew was hearsay and myth. You didn't see much of this sort of thing when our parents controlled us, totally in grade school, and still quite a bit in junior high. And, somehow, the Barts weren't begging to attend Lowell. What was a "gang" 50 years ago would be a joke today. There were much worse gangs down in Los Angeles, but San Francisco was smaller, more innocent, and more manageable back then. We would hear second and third hand accounts of punchouts (supposedy, they did fight with outsiders), but the only fights I ever saw were between nongang boys, two at a time. I did see girls fighting each other two or three times, but this unladylike activity was disapproved of very strongly. That's all this lifelong little lady can tell you. The above guys, and perhaps some others, will have to fill in the rest of the blanks.

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