|Ponyboy M. Curtis|
|Born||September 23, 1954|
Biography EditPonyboy M. Curtis was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on September 23, 1954, to English-American parents whose ancestors had immigrated to America in the early 1800s. Ponyboy Curtis' parents were killed in a car wreck when he was twelve, so he was under the care of his older brother Darrel S. Curtis, Jr. He was a member of the Curtis Brothers gang, a gang of greasers (underprivileged teens who wear grease in their long hair and have leather jackets), and made friends with Johnny Cade, who was two years older than him. Ponyboy, unlike most other greasers, was intelligent and was in honors society in his high school. Ponyboy's first crime occured in 1966, when he participated in a rumble with the Socs. In 1967, he was jumped by Socs on his way home from a movie house while watching a Paul Newman movie. He hated the Socs just like every other greaser, who were beaten up by the upper-class Socs for fun. His view of Socs changed when he met Sherri "Cherry" Valance, a Soc girl who he met at The Nightly Double, a drive-in. H He decided to run away from home when Darrel slapped him, and Ponyboy and Johnny Cade stopped at the park in the center of the town. Usually filled with little kids swimming in the pools there, but it was dead quiet in the night, silent except for the sound of running water in the fountain. It was then that he committed his most serious crime. Socs Robert Sheldon, Randall Adderson, David Peterson, and John Leland departed their blue Mustang that had pulled up to the park to get revenge on Pony, who had tried to pick up Sheldon's girlfriend Cherry. Pony was nearly drowned in the ice-cold water of the fountain by Sheldon, but Cade stabbed Sheldon with a switchblade, killing him. They fled to the house of Buck Merrill, a country singer "friend" of Dallas Winston, one of the greasers, where Dallas gave Ponyboy a shirt, money, and a gun, and told them to hop onto a freight train headed to Windrixville in far western Oklahoma. Meanwhile, Dallas told the police that they were headed for Texas.
Curtis and Cade hid out at an abandoned church on top of Jay Mountain, using the water pump in the back for cold, fresh, water, while they bought food, clothes, free time items, and peroxide, to dye their hair after cutting it to throw off the authorities. Soon, Winston arrived to check up on Curtis and Cade, where Cade revealed that he and Curtis were going to turn themselves in. When they returned to the church, it was in flames (due to the peroxide and a lit cigarette touching), watched by many parents and schoolteachers, whose children were in the building. Curtis and Cade rescued the children, both suffering burns, and Winsto, who pulled them out of the window, was also injured. Curtis revealed to Mr. Jerry Wood, a teacher, that he was a greaser, in the ambulance, but a newspaper editorial stated "Juvenile Delinquents Turn Heroes". Curtis was discharged from the hospital back home in Tulsa, where Darrel Curtis confessed his love for him, and the two understood each other.
Curtis, despite having injuries, took part in a rumble with the Socs that year, a rumble that would end the gang war that had occured following the murder of Sheldon. Curtis was kicked in the head and had a concussion, and to make matters worse, found out that Johnny Cade died in the hospital after the rumble. Curtis lived in a world of confusion afterwards, refusing to admit that Cade died. Later, Dallas Winston, Johnny's hero, committed suicide by cop trying to rob a grocer, and Ponyboy lived in a "vacuum", as Darrel put it. In the court trial, he was not asked the questions about what happened with Sheldon that he had expected, but if he liked school and his home, and was acquitted of murder charges, as Cade had already died.