Thursday, November 5, 2009

Respect-- Versus The Right To Know

As many are aware, I have wanted for some time to do a respectful article on Buster Parker. The reason is simple-- there have been repeated calls over the years, for information regarding Bonnie's brother from those interested in Bonnie and Clyde History. But even with this heightened interest, little is known of Hubert Nicholas Parker. In May of this year, I gave a talk at Gibsland-- where I highlighted numerous accounts from the now public Dallas FBI files on Bonnie and Clyde. One of these accounts involved Buster, and his U.S. Bureau of Investigation interview concerning the outlaws.

I especially wanted to speak of this newly released account, for the benefit of Buster's daughter-- who was present in the audience that night. I wanted to recount Buster's reported offer to put Clyde on the spot to save Bonnie. Now many might feel this gesture on Buster's part completely logical-- however the facts concerning the Parker's Bureau interview and Buster revelation, hadn't been revealed prior to release of FBI File 26-4114. I thought the re-telling of this account, was important for the historians gathered-- and also felt it might provide a source of pride for the Parker family. All went well that night, and from my viewpoint continued as such-- until months later, when I asked to learn more of Buster. I wanted to learn more if I could, about the character of the man-- so that in recounting my Gibsland info here, I could help provide additional insights into a B&C historical figure-- who has been shadowed in obscurity for so long.

Even though my focus was a respectful biographical approach, and even though I asked politely-- difficulty arose with the family apparently feeling I was being intrusive in wanting to learn more of Buster. Even as such, a
poignant overview containing many sensitive details concerning this gentleman-- was provided to me by a family member.

Within the telling of any history, sometimes there are places you just can't venture-- out of respect for others. And when historically based confidences are shared, just as in most cases in life-- confidences should be upheld. As many know, I've spent much time over the past year or so-- fighting the "good fight" for Bonnie Parker's reputation, against a couple of authors (both past and present)-- who in my view have made it a point not to be respectful, and to malign Bonnie without cause, justification or valid evidence. In response, some have further knocked Bonnie-- in asking why I would protect the reputation of a killer?? and someone who had such little reputation to begin with. I have felt those to be crass comments, made by some unaware of the true history of these outlaws. Then of course, we transgress into the argument of how Bonnie should be treated, based on the realities of her actions.

Conversely, there are those who are glad I've taken up this fight for Bonnie-- against some less than diligent tellers of fiction. These feelings have revolved around the point, that no matter Bonnie's faults and involvement in this history-- Bonnie didn't deserve to be slandered. And so the debate rages. It seems sometimes you just can't win-- and you're damned if you do, and damned if you don't. But let me say loud and clear, that I have no regrets in supporting Bonnie-- when it's been the right and honorable thing to do. And for the record, the Parker family has thanked me for my help in this regard. For that overture on their part-- I wish to say how much I appreciate those kind thoughts.

With many often protecting closely held information regarding a number of B&C subjects-- you might think that invariably a philosophical tug of war could evolve, between the element of respect and people's historical right to know. My feeling concerning this is simple. Where "historical" matters are concerned, "at some point" before the truth is lost-- the truth should be revealed. Now considering trusts that could be involved, that may take some time. But eventually, I would prefer to see the truth come out. I'm not sure people with an insider's view of the truth, should have the right to leave history wrong. However pertaining to purely "personal" info concerning historical figures and their families, just as with your family or mine-- that knowledge should be a family's business-- and should be respected. With the way things are today concerning "reality everything"-- I'm sure many feel my views archaic, but those are my old school values none the less.

Some have apparently expressed concerns that I would even write a Buster Parker post. But as I plan on doing little differently from last May's Buster expression in Gibsland-- I wouldn't worry. As you'll see, the post which will appear soon-- is not at all about slinging dirt. That worry has surprised me, as much of my entire being-- has been dedicated to fighting against those who have slung B&C dirt. Indeed many expressions from me, concerning combating scurrilous rumor and innuendo-- can be found here and elsewhere. My strong and consistent actions concerning this subject, and over a considerable time are a matter of record-- and haven't wavered. I may have been told a goodly amount concerning some issues surrounding this post-- but that was neither my goal nor my choice in being told. And rest assured-- that certainly doesn't mean I would reveal matters, which in my humble view shouldn't be revealed.

Rather what will follow shortly-- is the story of a brother, who apparently loved his sister very much. Enough to risk a killer's wrath, and stand up for his family's honor-- against what he felt was wrong. The upcoming post concerning Buster, was always meant to be one in a series of articles published here-- concerning the B&C informants, which I discussed at Gibsland. As such I've posted to the blog, articles concerning Bailey Tynes, Hattie Crawford, Informant B, The Sowers Informant and soon Buster Parker. I have also posted here, remarkable unknown insights into Bailey Tynes and his involvement in B&C History-- which Tynes family members gave me permission to reveal. My thanks again to the Tynes family for being so open, in contributing such important knowledge to this history. Concerning Buster Parker, I will be able to relay some basics, but it's the family's wish that more not be known.

Even 75 years later, there seems to be a staunch sensitivity concerning the telling of B&C History. In my view, sometimes this sensitivity is warranted and sometimes it's not. I always encourage those who have valuable information which could change this history to be more correct, to please let it be known-- without advancing prolonged reasoning as to why this cannot happen. I am sensitive to the fact that confidences and family concerns "are" indeed important. Also there may be personal concerns, which can inhibit revelations with the greatest intention of finding daylight. After all, we're all human. But when you stop and think about it, time can be the great enemy of truth. So when the time is right, I call on all who can provide reliable untold accounts of B&C History-- to make their knowledge known.

The Buster Parker post, concerning his early 1934 Bureau of Investigation interview will be up soon. This post will include brief insights into the man, learned from various sources including public access programming-- but will also remain respectful to the wishes of the family-- and stay true, to my standards of right and wrong. I feel I should have no qualms in presenting important aspects of B&C History-- especially ones already accessible to the public. Some might wish their relationship to history, as dictated by events which occurred so long ago-- to be different. In a way for some, I wish that could be true as well. But history is what it is, as determined by others who lived before us. And for those of us who tell of history-- doesn't that same reality, hold true as well??

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