Chicago Gang History

Status: Extinct

Playboys Ventures Pulaski Park Rice Boys

Formerly known asP.V.P, P.V.R, P.V.J, Playboys late 1950s to late 1960s, Coachman late 1960s, Playboys late 1960s to early 1990s, Ventures 1960s to early 1980s, Pulaski Parkers 1960s to early 1980s, and Rice Boys 1960s to early 1980s
ColorsBlack and white
Primary ethnicitiesWhite
SymbolsPlayboy Bunny head, cane, martini glass, cross
AffiliationUnknown. Submit info.
FounderUnknown. Submit info.
Founding yearLate 1950s?
Founding neighborhoodAustin, East Village section of West Town, Wicker Park section of West Town
Main neighborhoodExtinct

 

I will tell this story the best I can, of course you can find some more details about certain rumbles and shooting events on http://www.stonegreasers.com/playboys.html Stone Greasers site but this will be a general overall explanation of this organization and hopefully some great volunteers can send me the rest of the history I am missing.

The P.V.P, P.V.R, P.V.J thing is a series of alliances between 5 white greaser street gangs and many of times people could just call them one gang because they acted as if they were one force to be reckoned with and at one time it was a hell of a force to be reckoned with.  The Playboys and the Ventures were the biggest pieces of these three alliances as they were a part of all three unities.  One of the 5 gangs in these three unities I have a separate history on because they acted the most independent from this alliance than the other 4 gangs that seemed to adopt the three initials of the alliance as their main representation.  The most independent gang I am speaking of is the Taylor Jousters which I have a separate page on them but these other 4 gangs will be on this page.

I have no idea when and how the Rice Boys formed except I know they came up in the Austin neighborhood at the intersection of Rice and Pine back when Austin was an all-white neighborhood.  They eventually would grow to take the corners of Chicago Avenue and Central Avenue, Menard and Thomas and Crystal and Pine all within the central Austin neighborhood they especially grew once African Americans and Vice Lords moved into the neighborhood in the late 1960s.  The Rice Boys also had territory at Kostner and Wabansia in the West Humboldt Park neighborhood, Rice Boys were there to battle the growing Puerto Rican population and gangs like Latin Kings and Spanish Cobras that were getting big in these areas, the Rice Boys also fought white gangs like Gaylords and Simon City Royals.

I also do not know the early history of the Ventures and I do not know where they even started or when but I do know they were in three different neighborhoods having territory at Crystal and Long in the central Austin neighborhood, North Avenue and Paulina in the Wicker Park section of the West Town neighborhood and they had Hermitage and Wabansia in the Bucktown section of the Logan Square neighborhood

I do not know much about how the Pulaski Parkers came to be except that they started in the Wicker Park section of the West Town neighborhood at Blackhawk Street and Noble and that is all I know.

The Playboys are the least shrouded in mystery as they first started in the late 1950s at the intersection of Winchester and Thomas in the East Village section of the West Town neighborhood.  The Playboys’ first arch enemy was a gang called the “Ashland Vikings” that started at Ashland and Walton. 

The Playboys stayed around for about a decade until they began to fade out and the neighborhood that was becoming more Latino as gangs like Latin Kings and Haddon Boys came into the neighborhood and the Playboys fought them all.  Just before the gang was ready to die out in the late 1960s they changed their name to “The Coachmen” for some strange reason but that did not last long as they merged with a gang in the area called “13th District” because they hung out at Walton and Wood street which is where the 13th District police department is located.  The 13th District was close to Ashland Viking neighborhood and fought them constantly too, so Coachman and 13th District merged and brought back the name Playboys and by 1969 14 year old Polish immigrant Pete “Kong” Smolak assumed leadership because of his fearless leadership qualities. 

Under Smolak the Playboys managed to grow large real fast and even expanded into new neighborhoods like Austin at Division and Waller, Galewood Park in the Galewood section of the Austin neighborhood.  They also opened territory at Wrightwood and Laramie and conquered Cragin Park in the Belmont-Cragin neighborhood.  The Playboys also made their way out to the suburb of Norridge at Montrose and Octavia and hung out in Octavia Park. 

The late 1960s were years of major conquests of white gangs due to heavy Latino and black migration into white neighborhoods.  Belmont-Cragin was experiencing the first influx of Latinos but mainly the neighborhoods near that neighborhood were seeing the most of it like Humboldt Park and HermosaAustin was experiencing black migration in large numbers that brought several members of the Vice Lords that were already trying to take over Chicago Avenue and Central Avenue.  Bucktown and East Village were seeing their first influx of Latinos which angered many white youths and this is how gangs like the Playboys became charismatic with angry white youths that were bullied by black and Latino gangs.  Most of the youths joined gangs like Simon City Royals, Insane Popes and Gaylords, so the Playboys had another idea and that was to unify multiple underdog white gangs to form one large force especially since they all fought both Gaylords and Royals.

It was either in 1970 or 1971 that the unity started happening as Playboys united with the Ventures in the Austin neighborhood and also the connection extended to the Pulaski Parkers of Wicker Park that the Ventures knew from the neighborhood.  The new “P.V.P” or “Playboys Ventures and Pulaski Park” alliance was born and Kong was the leader of the whole thing and also the Playboys’ leader. 

On July 2nd 1971 Kong was shot by Haddon Boys and instead of going to the hospital he went to see his friends and plotted an attack against the Haddon Boys that involved ambushing them; however, the plan failed when they arrived and discovered the Haddon Boys were surprisingly well armed.  A major gun battle ensued between the two gangs and there really was no winner which was surprising because the Haddon Boys heavily outnumbered the Playboys, despite the victory of holding their own Pete “Kong” Smolak was shot more times and died that day.

After the death of Smolak the Playboys began to die out in numbers until they were revitalized by the formation of the “UFO” or “United Five Organization” in 1973, which is when the Gaylords extended the olive branch to these greasers to join them in a unity: Chi-West, C-Notes and Taylor Jousters. These five gangs then became heavily unified just like brothers.  Simultaneously the Playboys and Ventures got another break as they formed a secondary alliance with the Taylor Jousters that became known as “P.V.J” or “Playboys Ventures and Jousters.”  The Pulaski Parkers were not in this secondary network and were only protected by UFO and P.V.P.

When the WPO or “White Power Organization” broke up in 1975 because Simon City Royals and Insane Popes went to war with the UFO, now the P.V.P and P.V.J were going up against more powerful enemies and their numbers started to decline once again this is when they called upon another alliance with the Rice Boys of the Austin neighborhood that were battling the Vice Lords and Black Gangster Disciples in the Austin neighborhood.  The Playboys and Ventures drew up a new alliance with the Rice Boys that became known as the “P.V.R” or “Playboys Ventures and Rice Boys.”

Together Playboys, Gaylords and Taylor Jousters fought for control of the Belmont-Cragin neighborhood in the later 1970s and as result the Playboys took over Cragin Park while the Jousters took over Hanson Park.  Winchester and Thomas was under P.V.P control as all three of those gangs hung there. Divison and Waller in Austin became the P.V.R combined headquarters for all three gangs. The P.V.P also had a headquarters in Austin at Austin Bowl at Central Avenue and Division.  In Octavia Park in Norridge was another headquarters for the P.V.R unity.

In the early 1980s the P.V.P, P.V.R and P.V.J unities began to fall apart mainly because the Austin neighborhood was now a completely black neighborhood and all white gangs evacuated. The Ventures’ section of Crystal and Long collapsed and North Avenue and Paulina in Wicker Park fell as that neighborhood was only for Latino gangs now and even Royals, Popes and Gaylords could claim turf there, leaving only Hermitage and Wabansia for the Ventures but Bucktown soon was all for Latino gangs and the Ventures had to leave there due to a lack of reinforcements from allies in Wicker Park, the Ventures now went extinct. 

The Pulaski Parkers went completely extinct in the early 1980s as they could no longer hold Blackhawk and Noble, thus, ending the P.V.P alliance for good especially since Austin Bowl was off limits now too do to it being in a black neighborhood. The Rice Boys went completely extinct in the early 1980s as Kostner and Wabansia was now in the all Puerto Rican and black community of West Humboldt Park.  Rice and Pine, Chicago Avenue and Central Ave, Menard and Thomas and Crystal and Pine all fell as those were all in the all-black community of Austin.  The Playboys suffered a great loss as well as Division and Waller fell in the Austin neighborhood.  Winchester and Thomas fell as East Village was taken over by Latino gangs completely. 

The UFO alliance completely split up in 1982 which cut off the alliance the Playboys had with the Gaylords and Jousters especially since now that the Gaylords were a part of the People Nation, the Playboys now withdrew from Galewood Park as that was under Gaylord control.  I do not know when the Octavia Park section fell but I think it happened in the 1980s as legend has it by the mid-1980s the Playboys were confined to just some numbers near Cragin Park at Wrightwood and Laramie.

In the year 1984 the Playboys got a second wind and suddenly sprouted up in large numbers at Wrightwood and Laramie, they were a gang that would not die out.  The Playboys fought viciously with the Spanish Cobras that were trying to take the park and in the mid-1980s the Playboys were victorious and took a strong hold on the park which they held throughout the rest of the 1980s but for the fifth time in their history the gang started to die out in the later 1980s and by the early 1990s the Playboys were completely extinct mainly because the neighborhood was changing in the southern part of Belmont-Cragin from white to Mexican and the Mexican gangs were now fighting in heavier numbers for Cragin Park and Hanson Park. The Playboys just decided to finally disband especially since their closest allies the Taylor Jousters were in their earliest stages of decline.  The P.V.P, P.V.Rs left a legacy of tough greasers but like most white gangs that refused to sell drugs and/or join the Folk or People alliances they did not fit into the gang landscape of the 1990s going forward.

Please send in 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s pics!  I am looking for Playboy, Venture, Rice Boy and Pulaski Parker old school pics for this page!

Questions:

  1.  What exact year did the Pulaski Parkers start?
  2. Who was the founder of Pulaski Park and what happened to him?
  3. What year did Pulaski Park turf close?
  4. What exact year did the Pulaski Parkers go extinct?
  5. What exact year did the Rice Boys form?
  6. What was the founder of the Rice Boys and what happened to him?
  7. What years did each section open and close for Rice Boys turf?
  8. What exact year did Rice Boys go extinct?
  9. What exact year did the Ventures form and what neighborhood did they start in?
  10. Who was the founder of the Ventures and what happened to him?
  11. What year did each Venture set up and close?
  12. What exact year did Ventures go extinct?
  13. What year did P.V.J break up? 1982?
  14. What exact year were the Playboys founded?
  15. Who was the founder of the Playboys and what happened to him?
  16. What was the time line of Playboy leaders before and after Kong?
  17. What year did each Playboy section pop up, what year did each collapse?
  18. What exact year did P.V.P form?
  19. What exact year did P.V.R form? 1975?
  20. What exact year did P.V.J form? 1973?
  21. What exact year did the Playboys go extinct?

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