The Juggalo Cleanup Crew was up and out at Osteen Road, off Massachusetts Avenue, early on Saturday morning to pick up trash for the Dead Stephanie Memorial Cleanup.
This isn’t the first time the crew has cleaned Osteen. In recent years, the Juggalo Cleanup Crew has held cleanups there in honor of Stephanie Harris, a Gulf High School senior who died from juvenile diabetes in 2008. The youths also hope to scrub clean the soiled image of the “Juggalo” and youths like themselves
Now, the crew has noticed a decline in the amount of trash they’ve had to pick up since first coming to Osteen Road. If you’ve driven down Osteen in the past, you know it's a huge accomplishment.
“It used to be really, really bad,” Stamback said.
The crew consisted of a group of teenagers that includes Elias Stamback, 18, Tyler Kaczmarek, David-Michael Unger, Devin Myler, Shawn McCullugh, Bri West. They were accompanied by Gail Harding, Stamback’s grandmother.
The website, AbsoluteAstronomy.com, refers to “Juggalos” as fans of the band Insane Clown Posse, or any other Psychopathic Records hip-hop group. Juggalos have developed their own idioms, slangs, and characteristics according to the site.
“A Juggalo is someone who listens to a certain type of music, such as Insane Clown Posse, or The Dead Heads, who are known as Grateful Dead, and KISS Army, as Kiss. It’s just another music following,” says Kaczmarek, a Gulf High School student.
Stamback, another Gulf High School student, explains.
“We kind of got sick of being told that we’re bad kids, and people looking down on us, so we chose to prove everyone wrong and do our own thing,” he said.
The Juggalo Cleanup Crew members choose to use their free time to do something that involves making the community a cleaner, healthier and more environmentally conscious place in which to live.
“We’ve made it fun to cleanup. We get people to come that would usually just stay home and be the ones throwing trash everywhere,” Stamback said.
In theory, while these kids are polishing up the community, they’re also polishing up their images among their neighbors, peers, teachers and parents.
“We’re not bad people, we actually do things to improve the community and help," Stamback said. "You don’t have to be stuck with what people label you as.”