Monday, May 31, 2010

A Comment About Comments

I surely welcome comments here, within the boundaries I've set for this historical blog. My feeling is when comments are thoughtfully made within an historical context, they focus wonderful creative energy toward a useful examination of this history. However, when comments are made which initially or eventually evolve into vehemently expressed personal diatribes of support for one extreme B&C view or another, then I feel a responsibility to attempt to bring folks to the center-- where the truth likely exists.

"Balance" is a credo I live by and strive for, in recounting Bonnie & Clyde History. As such, I'm opposed to blatant statements of fervor, where either staunch hatred or unmitigated support of B&C or other participants within this history can be implied. These "non-historical" views, unfortunately often include dubious supposition-- in forming such sharp and stationary opinions. I am particularly sensitive to statements wishing harm to others (outlaw, lawman or family)-- or those in which slanderous accusations are advanced.

It is not my intent to be harsh to anyone-- especially those who support this B&C forum. I just need to make sure, thoughtful comments continue as the norm. Many thanks to all, for your wonderful expressions. Of course as always-- I welcome your comments. Thank you.


BarefootOkieGal said...

I do have to excuse myself occasionally for being a bit too wordy, or running on just a bit - it's a natural characteristic of mine!

I'm never looking for any arguments. Since I don't have any "insider" information, but am forced to rely on what's been released publicly, that's all that I can reasonably discuss - and unfortunately, many written sources have contradictory information!

I surely never mean any harm by debating or asking questions or making statements - I see this as a place where I can pick up information that I haven't managed to glean in my years of reading library books and such.

So - if I ever do make a comment that someone considers argumentative or inflammatory, please excuse it - it more than likely was not mean that way, but sometimes I slip up and things come out differently in writing than I had intended them to.

A. Winston Woodward said...

Don't worry-- I consider your comments quite good, and enjoy reading them-- as is the case with so many of the comments expressed on The B&CHB. Yours are expressions laced with insightful human elements, which are considerations often overlooked in commenting on this history.

No-- the issue I believe I need to address, is whether to allow purely anonymous comments. As shown here and within other B&C forums, it seems anonymity so often promotes a feeling of safe haven if you will-- for some to either creatively or blatantly promote what at some point, ends up being a clamoring of B&C extremist views.

If you're familiar with the sorrowful exhibition of B&C comments on You Tube-- please know, that sort of thing will not be allowed here. In providing comment moderation, I have a good handle on protecting this blog, to better assure the kind of freedom in commenting on this "history"-- I feel most who love B&C History are interested in.

For those more enamored with "trash talking" Bonnie & Clyde, the lawmen or anyone in between-- the free for all of You Tube is just a mouse click away. Every once in a while I need to make mention of the parameters here, for the benefit of all. It's rare that I won't allow a comment to be posted on The B&CHB. If I do, there's a good reason why.

But I draw the line as I am now, when comments are made concerning death being wished on some within this history-- because the no good rat deserved it, or because he was related to the other no good rats who deserved it just as much. Kill them all!! Or when words are put in my mouth, to help support a position I haven't said I've supported. I take B&C History seriously-- and greatly respect those who do the right thing in relating it.

BarefootOkieGal said...

Now is one of those times when I really, really miss my older aunts and uncles!

My mom was born in 1925, but she had memories of Bonnie and Clyde and the other outlaws roaming the country at the time. Her two oldest siblings were born in 1909 and 1910, and thus were exact contemporaries of Bonnie and Clyde, but one of her siblings died as a child and her older brother wasn't much of a talker. Most of what I have heard second-hand about Bonnie and Clyde came from my older aunts, who were always interested in them because they traveled around a lot in Oklahoma and they were always hoping to spot them in their travels! My older aunts were born in 1921, 1919 and 1917, so they were still young enough to enjoy the exploits of the bad guys, so long as they themselves weren't in any danger, and the impression that I get is that "regular folks," at least in Oklahoma, weren't particularly afraid of Bonnie and Clyde or Pretty Boy Floyd. Sadly, all of those family members with first-hand information from the newspapers and newsreels and radio broadcasts have passed on, and I can't ask them - too bad! They were all natural storytellers, and I'm willing to bet that most of them remembered when the law got Bonnie and Clyde!

I have respect for the realities of the lives of Bonnie and Clyde, just as I have respect for everyone, and I don't like misinformation published and disseminated. It may be hard to find the truth in any given situation, but that doesn't mean that there IS no truth. I do tend to insert my own emotions and speculations at times, but I surely don't expect anybody else to feel the way I do, or agree with anything when I'm just woolgathering! And I can't believe some of the garbage that is posted on other sites, and I would like to commend you for keeping such a nice, clean site! Some of the comments on the sites I've seen are scattered through with obscenities and poorly-spelled vituperation directed either at Bonnie and Clyde or the law officers, depending on whom the writer is supposedly defending. Facts are facts - Bonnie and Clyde were wanted criminals; Clyde did kill people without much provocation if he felt threatened; Bonnie accompanied Clyde of her own free will despite the killings, even knowing that she had now become a criminal by association, whether she ever fired a shot or not. There are other sides to the two of them, too, and while I certainly don't soft-peddle their crimes, I can see the other aspects of their lives as well. While the fact that Bonnie and Clyde appeared to truly love one another certainly doesn't excuse ANYTHING - I think it is what has kept their legend alive for so long, when so many of the outlaws of the day are just faded memories.

A. Winston Woodward said...

Nice remembrances and "thank you" for the compliment. By the way, I believe I can now provide another confirmation, that B&C were indeed helped by at least one Brother of Pretty Boy Floyd (likely E.W.)-- after Sowers. According to Floyd's relatives, both Bradley and E.W. helped B&C.

BarefootOkieGal said...

I don't believe that I had read about the Floyd family's possible assistance of Bonnie and Clyde until I ran into it in one of the more recent books I checked out of the library (once again, can't remember exactly which one) - it wouldn't surprise me, though, as it seems right in line with the overall attitude of the times - back then, people helped other people out without asking a lot of questions, in most cases (witness the folks who came running out to help after the Wellington crash) and if you were a criminal on the run from the law, well, there were other folks in your shoes, and because their families were likely aiding and abetting THEM, it would be logical to seek out their families, if you had any way of doing so, and seeing if they would help you out in your time of need. I haven't read anything that I remember about Bonnie and Clyde in the books that I've read about Pretty Boy Floyd, except where they're mentioned as being other outlaws of the day, but considering that they traveled in many of the same places, it makes sense that they would have known some of the same people.

See, this is why I like to hang around here - I learn new things! (Never too old...)

joe from Canada said...

Well said Winston. We must all remember to remember that our thoughts and views when spoken do affect the lives of those around us.

I have for a very long time been interested in B and C and like many others especially in the ambush. Yes, there may be different versions of the same incident and different versions of the events that led to the six lawmen perched on the side of the road that morning. In my opinion there will always be as many versions as there are people. This I beleive is human nature and not a desire to distort or cover up. We cannot begin to imagine the adrelin that went through the six lawmen from the they saw the car coming over the hill and identified the occupants as B and C. As the car would have gotten closer any movement on the part of b and C would have appeared that they were going for a gun. Bottom line, B and C had a choice in the life they led and even how they died, others that happened to cross their path were truly the victums of circumstances. B and C could have surrendered anytime to Ted Hinton at a prearranged meeting even at the Barrow gas station.
The death of B and C seems to go on forever possibly because of the Hinton film which forever captured the death scene or that even today the death scene can be viewed in the lobby of a casino in the way of the death car.

To all that died, may they rest in peace. May families were forever changed by the events that took place over two years.

joe from canada

BarefootOkieGal said...

Joe from Canada has an excellent point - the adrenaline no doubt had the law officers' emotions whipped into a frenzy! To them, it was a highly dangerous thing that they were attempting to do; some people of the time were very much in awe of Clyde's ability to escape from such situations, and if they were at all superstitious (as people in the South tended to be back at tha time) they may have even regarded Clyde as having some sort of superhuman escape powers! After all, he'd managed to get out of situations in which the police had been fairly certain they'd be able to capture them. So yes, I would imagine that the law officers on the scene, no matter how much experience they had had in capturing criminals, were all pretty jittery and nervous. Then there was the addition of the wait, which had to be a torment to them - a stakeout for an ambush is going to be pretty nervewracking, considering that you're never sure exactly how the situation will go down. I'm not sure which of the officers were privy to Hamer's information that Bonnie was in a "delicate condition" - that would have no doubt been on their minds as well, adding to the stress. I think that when Bonnie and Clyde showed up in view, all of that pent-up emotion exploded into gunfire, and I can understand why even people who were right on the scene can have differing stories.

By the time Bonnie and Clyde came into view, I'm sure that the emotions of the officers were at fever pitch. In such a mental and emotional state, it can be hard to know exactly what you do and when you do it, because everything happens so fast - I'm assuming that the fact that they just began blasting at the car and continued to shoot for what seems like forever, although it was likely not that long a time period. It is easy when one is caught up in emotions that strong to be confused about your own actions, or to be certainly exactly when you fird