Friday, April 17, 2009

Gibsland or Bust

Well it's that time again. Time again for the annual mass pilgrimage, to the most hallowed of all areas-- having to do with Bonnie & Clyde. On that fateful day 75 years ago in Bienville Parish, LA, at approximately 9 AM, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow stopped for breakfast sandwiches at a little spot in Gibsland, called simply Ma Canfield's Cafe.

As it turned out, unfortunately for them-- the taste of those sandwiches-- would be the last tastes either of them would ever enjoy.

Again this year, I've been asked to talk a bit at the Festival's annual historian's meeting-- which will be held on Friday evening May 22nd. I consider this quite an honor, and thank Ken Holmes for the invitation. This year Jimmy Ray Gillman and I will discuss Dallas FBI File 26-4114-- the lost FBI file(s) on Bonnie & Clyde. This will be the first public historian's forum I know of, devoted to this hot topic-- which has been discussed and debated since the files coming to light in 2007.

For those who've felt I've spent perhaps undue time worrying about new B&C books-- I'm pleased to say, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at some info I've uncovered, regarding key aspects of the files. For those fortunate enough to read this post prior to Gibsland, and who are planning to attend this year's meeting-- be prepared for some knock your socks off revelations regarding family informant Bailey Tynes. I've located descendants of Bailey-- who know much about him. One nephew of Bailey's, heard of Bailey's experiences with the Bureau "and with B&C"-- first hand from Bailey himself.

The Tynes family never knew whether the stories Bailey told were true or not. They now know, he "was" an informant for the FBI-- and have told me of Bailey's admissions to them. There are most fascinating surprises in store-- "not" detailed in the FBI files. Everyone seems to have their own favorite revelations from the Dallas files. My favorite by far is Bailey Tynes. I feel the placing of a trusted family member within the Barrow residence among other locations as as spy-- an astounding revelation. But as Paul Harvey would say, just wait until you hear-- "the rest of the story".

I will also key on the remarkable Spy vs Spy aspects of the Sowers ambush attempt involving "Smooth Smith"-- among others. In addition, I'll discuss Buster Parker's willingness to put Clyde Barrow on the spot-- to save his beloved sister Bonnie. I do this for Rhea Leen. God knows, she could use some good news, after the recent public degrading of Bonnie Parker's reputation. I am proud to have fought against what I feel is an erroneous, characterization of Bonnie, and will continue as a protagonist for truth-- within was it likely to be an ongoing battle.

And don't be surprised if the infamous Sowers informant as well as "Informant B", get singled out for discussion as well. To me, the Sowers informant (likely a family member) and Informant B are the "deep throats" of the Dallas FBI Files-- mysterious, shrouded, interesting-- and as yet unidentified characters, within the bevy of wondrous info-- that is the Dallas B&C FBI Files. I also plan to choose some more obscure, but interesting documents to highlight from the files-- many of which show members of the B&C saga, in a more human light than has been known before.

I'll likely post more re: plans for Gibsland. Tres Amigos ride again-- hacen si'. My thanks to Tommy Methvin for aiding in the preparation for the historian's meeting. And don't worry, I feel confident JimBee will attend, and give a great talk as always. His focus will be the Louisiana aspects, regarding the "sellout" of B&C-- finally documented in the Dallas file. Also without giving too much away, look for some special folks who may attend, to commemorate the silver anniversary of the ambush of B&C. And keep your eyes peeled, for some rumored Hollywood types (did I say that??)-- who "may" show along with Tonya Holly. I said "may"-- so please don't skewer me, if this exciting possibility doesn't come to pass. But if one particular young lady shows, of whom I'll have to get an autograph for my soon to be 15 year old daughter-- I just want all to know, I may have trouble paying attention, while giving my talk.

For those who wish to attend, the following is the historian's meeting announcement-- from this year's Ambush Festival newsletter. Also for those interested, be sure to look for some special Bonnie & Clyde artifacts, being brought for this occasion by Alan Olson-- Director of Collections, from The Dallas Historical Society Museum. These wonderful artifacts will be on display for the weekend, within the B&C Ambush museum. There will also be an ample supply of B&C related materials available at the Ambush Museum, including (for those who have asked)-- both CDs I've been involved with. And for those who cannot attend Gibsland, I'll be sure to have "much" for you enjoy from this year's festival as well.

Be sure to join us for this year's Special Edition, of the Bonnie & Clyde Ambush Festival Historian's Meeting-- commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the ambush. Big doings will abound-- with Barrow and Parker family members present, as well as Tonya Holly-- Producer and Director of Cypress Moon Studio's upcoming film, The Story of Bonnie and Clyde.

Bonnie & Clyde Historians Jimmy Ray Gillman and A. Winston Woodward, will present fascinating details from the long lost Dallas FBI Files on Bonnie & Clyde-- within a public forum for the first time. Your moderator as always for this event, will be Historian Ken Holmes. The B&C Ambush Festival Historian's Meeting will take place Friday May 22nd, 2009 from 6:00 to 10:30 PM. Admission is $8.00 which includes dinner. Dinner will be served from 6 to 7 PM, with the meeting to follow. See you all there.


Jan said...

Hi Win, sounds like you're all going to have a great time.

Taronda said...

Thanks for the link to your blog! I enjoyed meeting you in Gibsland last year and plan to go this year again. I will be bringing my 34 ford and the trailer with all of my newspapers etc. again also. I love to read and hear what those such as yourself have to say and look forward to the meeting friday night.