Monday, May 11, 2009

Gibsfest 2009-- Both Triumph and Swan Song??
Yes and Perhaps-- So Get There If You Can

The past number of months leading up to the 2009 Bonnie & Clyde Ambush Festival, have been anything but peaceful in B&C land. The release of the Jeff Guinn and Paul Schneider books, with their extra spirited commentary-- along with a number of B&C message board wars, somehow resembling The Red Crown and Dexfield Park shootouts-- have led us to this wonderful and defining moment of joy. Another B&C Ambush Festival. The word festival evokes thoughts of fun and engagement. As such, I am hopeful, the upcoming extravaganza, will flourish for all it's potential-- and more. Good friends telling wonderful stories-- and sharing our love for this unique and addictive history. To me, this year's 75th anniversary commemoration of the ambush of Bonnie & Clyde, will not only be special as a great event-- but will also be a welcomed relief, from the B&C related controversies which recently, have loomed so much at the forefront of so many thoughts.

I for one, am very much looking forward to this respite. As much as defending the wholeness of this history is important to me-- my B&C friendships, especially as they relate to Gibsland and the festival, hold a special place within my heart. Make no mistake, even though I've written extensively on this topic, I will re-visit Go Down Together, and publish my own review of this work, once the annual pilgrimage to Gibsland is completed. I feel a concise and critical response to this book is essential, from the perspective of preserving the integrity of this history. But for now-- Gibsland is the key. Gibsland is really what matters. Not to diminish other grand issues and worthy battles, for they can always be re-kindled. However, as the great festival in Gibsland dawns again, it should be noted that this go round, could be one of the last-- at least as we've known it.

I've been reluctant to speak of this until now-- but if not now when?? The B&C Ambush Festival is an eclectic combination of efforts, between local residents and outsiders-- who assure the festival goes as planned each year. As much as some including myself find it "remarkable"-- many of the populous in Gibsland and surrounding parts, seem less than enthusiastic regarding keeping the memory of Bonnie and Clyde alive. Indeed for some, the memory of B&C seems thought of as a curse-- a curse many would prefer to see, just go away.

Health concerns for our friend "Boots" Hinton, along with the harsh economic realities of these times for the Ambush Museum, could come into play at some point. I'm of course hoping they won't, but as life goes on-- they could. My concern is without the concerted efforts of a few key individuals, who have put their great love for this history, along with a good portion of their hearts and souls, into festival efforts-- that the festival's makeup or existence, could be destined to change. I'm sure if push comes to shove, some type of festival could survive, but in what form would remain to be seen.

This year, The B&C Ambush Festival's commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the ambush of Bonnie and Clyde, is indeed a "special" event-- which has garnering much deserved recognition. Media attention for this event seems particularly high this year. Also, I understand many who have not visited the festival in years, are planning on attending. As mentioned, the B&C friends I've met and interacted with, including at the festival-- are without a doubt, the best part of this whole B&C experience for me. Others have also echoed that sentiment. And this year, there's a good chance some of us, who know each other from forums such as this-- will actually get to meet on the streets of Gibsland.

So if you can, my sincere advice, especially this year-- is to pack your '34 Fordor or like vehicle-- and set your path toward Gibsland, Louisiana. It's a sleepy little spot, except at festival time-- when it's alive with activity, energy and B&C "passion"-- whether some of the locals find this devotion to Bonnie and Clyde history, desirable or not. Regarding any changes to this great event, along with perhaps a fulfillment of certain local desires for a Bonnie and Clyde exorcism-- I hope I'm as wrong as you hope I am. However, as I'm pretty close to the action in Gibsland, don't be surprised if some material changes occur at some point-- which could impact this wonderful tradition.

On a positive note, for all who go, please say Hi to "Boots" Hinton, the family members, and the rest of us-- who will all be looking for one other.
Please support the B&C Ambush Museum while there, so they'll enjoy a good festival. And please don't forget the historian's meeting, sure to be a festival highlight-- Friday evening May 22nd at the Gibsland Grill. Dinner's at 6:00 PM, with the historian's meeting to follow. A good time will be had by all. Plus if you're lucky, you'll get to see a now rare appearance by Jimbee. Hell, Tommy and I can't even find him. I guess we'll see him when he makes the trek to Baton Rouge, for the Tres Amigos road trip to Bienville Parish-- with historic stops planned along the way. There are many B&C video links and such, located along the right side of the blog-- with which to get in the mood, for the great Gibsfest.

And look for Tommy and I to post, details of how we plan on presenting the happenings from Gibsland, for all to see. I'm not sure at this point if "we" know, but as soon as we do-- you'll know as well.

'Must be "Dirt in the fuel line".


Anonymous said...

i thought this was about the grits debate?

ted1933 said...

thats it! grits in the fuel line!!

Anonymous said...

Have fun to those who are hitting the road to Louisana, remember those who can't make it and really, really, really, really, really want to go!
Enjoy ;)