Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Gibsland's Getting Close Now

It's almost time. You can almost hear the old Kit Kat clock on the wall, moving it's tail-- swinging it back and forth. Festival time. Time for good friends and Bonnie & Clyde banter-- lots of it. "Boots" tells me the media circus has begun. But this year, the media frenzy is more intense, as the 75th anniversary of the ambush is now upon us. The NY Times and AP are supposed to have reporters there for the weekend. NPR was there last year, and I would think will make the party again this go 'round. The Shreveport television stations, Channels 6 and 3 and 12 and the like, are already conducting their interviews-- and preparing for the great annual B&C event. Yep-- it's festival time.

Being in Gibsland and the surrounding areas at festival time, is like living in a time capsule. The past almost seems real-- as if you could actually be transported back in time, to the Spring of 1934. Things around those parts don't look like they've changed much, in the now 75 years which have passed-- since the time of Bonnie & Clyde. And with old cars on the street there during the festival, you might just as well be back in '34. Just walk into Ma Canfield's, park yourself on a counter stool-- order yourself a lime ricky and set a spell. Just don't be surprised when you leave, if you hear that sweet Southern sound, of a kind woman's voice directed at you and saying--"Y'all come back now, ya hear".

As with many, I am most looking forward to seeing old friends and making new ones. Despite the wonder of the strangely addictive history of Bonnie & Clyde-- somehow it's the people, that make the biggest difference for me. The many wonderful and dedicated B&C historians, family members, aficionados and just plain 'ol folks-- who come from near and far, to rub shoulders there. That to me, is what makes you glad you came. Besides the reenactments, food and activities, there are old cars, old weapons, old buildings and a few really old people to take in as well. If I ever make it to my 80's, 90's or God willing, anywhere near 100, I want to be in the same shape as some of these folks.

But the point of interacting with these fine specimens of human kind, is not to just compliment them on their longevity. For some of these individuals were alive at the time of the ambush. And as remarkable as it seems, there's still an individual or 2, who actually went to the ambush site, and viewed B&C within the Warren car. High on my list this year, will be to speak with as many older folks as I can find there. Also on my agenda, are some really exciting Tres Amigos 'e amigos excursions to B&C historical haunts. Over the river and through the woods-- to B&C, Methvin, Joyner and Cole locations we go. And I'm going to get to the White Owl Cafe spot and El Rancho (still standing)-- if I have to sharpen the machete and hack my way there.

Ah El Rancho-- now that would be my watering hole. I just like the whole sound and feel of that name. A double bourbon on the rocks, an iced cold Coke back and nickels for the juke box please. Hey, still serving food?? Indeed all those old Highway 80 locations are of keen interest to me. Traveling them today, is akin to being alive in 1934. The road that time forgot. Similar to the magic and majesty of driving Route 66, exploring old Route 80 down in those parts-- is like stepping into another dimension. You don't need to use much of your imagination, to wonder what things were like there in the 1930's-- for the landscape of old Highway 80, seemingly hasn't changed much-- from that time at all.

I'm hearing from some who unfortunately, cannot make this great adventure. For those folks, along with all others interested-- Tommy Methvin and I have something special cooking for you. We're planning on presenting festival happenings-- streaming fairly close to live, from Louisiana this year. These photos, reports, videos and the like, will be hosted somewhere-- ie: their own B&C Festival blog or on Tommy's website or the Boodles Board -- somewhere, yet to be determined. So stayed tuned. I of course will post pics I've taken, along with Ambush Festival stories and comments-- here on the B&C History blog, for all to see and enjoy.

So look for links to this special B&C outlet for the festival, here and on other B&C sites you know. And I haven't said much about this lately, but our old friend Jimmy Ray Gillman is on board, and looking forward to participating in and enjoying, this monumental adventure as well. JimBee is alive, well and down-- for the Ambush Festival happening. Tres Amigos and friends ride again!!

As Jimmy Ray says, "Turn it up man to 11 and let it eat".

Whatever that means-- I agree.

1 comment:

ted1933 said...

i could not have said it better myself. this whole thing is about the people you meet.some of our best freinds we have, we met at the festival.and we always look forward to meeting new folks.we are packed,the maps and files ready, and the v-8 is ready to roll! hope everyone has a fun, safe trip! ted