A 1960's Minneapolis Gang
Within the underbelly of Minneapolis lurked gang members known as the Baldies. They had street names like James “Deuce” Casper, Perry “The Scholar” Millik, and Tommy “The Bomber” Ogdahl. The youths fought their battles there and, in some cases, crossed the line into organized crime.
Tommy "The Bomber" Ogdahl chose another path and found himself in the unlikely position of deputy mayor to Charles Stenvig, and later, alderman of Minneapolis.
In 1962 a local newspapers reported a meeting of police chiefs from Minneapolis, St. Paul and the surrounding suburbs to discuss the growing problem of violence between two rival gangs, the Animals and the Baldies. The article described the Animals as a high school gang founded around 1960 and hailing from the north and northeast suburban Minneapolis area. Their rivals, the Baldies, were concentrated in south Minneapolis and associated only with members of their group. The Baldies reportedly inflicted injury upon their victims by mercilessly kicking them with heavy shoes.
Minneapolis Police Captain Ray Williamson, head of the juvenile division, advised that not all youth with short hair and dressed like Baldies were gang members.
In contrast to members of the Animals, greasers who dressed casually in blue jeans, the Baldies' dress code called for wardrobes which couldn’t be purchased in run-of-the-mill mercantiles like J.C. Penney. Rather, their clothing came from Dayton’s, Liemondt’s and Rothchilds in Minneapolis or from Peck & Peck and Brooks Brothers in Chicago. Specifics required Gant shirts, Corbin slacks and wing tip shoes with shell cordovans from Florscheim. Pendelton shirts were allowed, though, along with Dobbs hats, and alligator belts. Shirts needed a bar collar and cuff links. Knee high socks were held up with garters. If tennis shoes were worn, they had to be low cut Keds with a blue stripe. Outer wear included loden and teddy bear coats, camel or herringbone dress coats, or hero jackets. In the summertime, khaki pants were worn with gray t-shirts, a straw hat, and sunglasses. In contrast to today’s trend where “gangstas” wear their pants hanging low, the crotches of Baldies' pants needed to be high enough to avoid tripping when attempting to kick someone in the head.
According to the book, Minneapolis Organized Crime 1900 - 2000 by Knute Bidem, if you did not have a close friend who knew Baldy founder Deuce Casper, were not trained as a criminal, or had not done time in an institution, you were not a Baldy. If you could not dress properly or fend for yourself in the inner city, you were not a Baldy. Period.
INTERVIEW WITH THE BALDIES; Tommy "The Bomber" Ogdahl, Jimmy "The Crazy M F-er" Craig and George McQuistin.
INTERVIEW WITH TOMMY THE BOMBER; Street Fighter to Deputy Mayor for Charles Stenvig of Minneapolis, Minnesota.
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