As we are winding down now concerning materials remaining within Billie's mid '70's manuscript (and as I've been bouncing around anyway)-- I've decided to skip to the end, of what is known of Billie's unpublished writings. Remaining are a good intro and quite unique description of Depression realities, along with additional insights from Billie Jean-- which I'll post stand alone. Throughout Billie's unfinished book, I feel there's considerable compassion evident within Billie's descriptions and memories of Bonnie & Clyde-- which may not have been so obvious, within writings revealed in this series so far. But as you'll soon see, these expressions of compassion from Billie Jean are prominent-- within her thoughts and recollections of her beloved sister and the man Bonnie loved. Thus it's time to quote Billie's manuscript again--
"Bonnie has been painted as a gun-toting gangster who smoked cigars. That is not true. She never smoked cigars and, before her death, tried to make it clear to the public the image was wrong. It would sadden her today if she knew she never was successful and that most people still believe she was addicted to cigars. Clyde also has been much abused by the press and the police. He admitted to us many times that he had robbed places and killed people. But he was accused of many things he denied to the family. Why, if it wasn't the truth, would he deny these things when he admitted so much more was true."
"My purpose is to tell what I know to be the truth about Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow. I grew up with and loved her. And many times I rode with them after the law was hot on their tails. I know the heartache they felt at not being able to live normal lives with their families. I know the caution they had to use-- even to the point of not calling each other by name-- in order to avoid the bloody end that eventually was theirs. I know the misery they endured in the wind swept woods as they tried to sleep and stand watch at the same time."
"I sat up many nights at the campsites, standing a watch in which the silence of the woods magnified every sound to terrifying proportions. I know the feeling of panic which came to them when a sudden sound would send Clyde scrambling for his guns and Bonnie running toward the car. When they are called cold-blooded killers, nobody bothers to mention they were kids, barely into their 20's. Nobody seems to care that when Bonnie died on that deserted Louisiana road while trying to help a friend, she was only 24-years-old and so homesick she would have abandoned the back roads if she could have."
"Nobody seems to realize, or care, that Bonnie never was in any trouble until Clyde Barrow appeared in West Dallas. And nobody seems to realize that Clyde got involved in a set of circumstances from which he could not return. They were kids forced by times and life to take the road they took. By the time they realized what was happening, it was too late to turn back. Their suicide pact is clear evidence they knew what eventually would happen to them. They preferred death at their own hands to death in the Texas Penitentary's electric chair."
"Instead, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were cut to tiny pieces by a combination of police and bounty hunters shooting from ambush. The kids were dead before they even could touch one of their guns. And, ironically, their last thought was for a friend in trouble. When they pulled off that Louisiana road and into the ambush, they were pulling over to help Henry Methvin's father change a blown out tire on his old truck. I don't guess they ever knew Methvin had sold them out to the posse. At least, I hope they never realized that."
Billie can be seen leaning on Clyde with his arm firmly wrapped around her in the picture above. In a number of ways, this family photo said to have been taken the day before the Sowers ambush-- seems to speak for itself. Next to the closeness between Clyde and Billie, I've always thought the sorrowful resignation in the expression of a worn looking Emma Parker-- to be the most remarkable element of this photo. To me, The Barrows were perhaps better at putting on a good face for the camera than the Parkers-- where the reality of their situation, seemed more apparent within their expressions. Through Billie's admissions, we know now Bonnie felt responsibility for Emma's morass of sorrow. With her mother's arm around her, perhaps that too is evident-- in the expression of Bonnie Parker.
There's still more to learn from Billie's manuscript-- so please look for additional insights, from this wonderful and personal collection of Bonnie & Clyde remembrances. Billie Parker Moon's manuscript as recounted in all forms-- is © 2010 The B&CHB by A. W. Woodward. As always I welcome your comments.