Monday, April 30, 2012

As May Approaches-- So Do Thoughts of Bonnie & Clyde

If you've ever visited the Bonnie & Clyde ambush site at this time of year, besides the sweltering Spring heat-- the 1st thing likely to jump out at you, is how little that area of Bienville Parish, Louisiana has changed since 1934.  In viewing local demographics over time-- if anything, that rural scene is less populated now with less viable financial opportunity than existed years ago.  

Indeed photos of Gibsland in the 1940's showed a bustling industrial area-- however now, it's industry is unfortunately long gone.  And that desolate road leading out of town (now called Louisiana Route 154)-- somehow seems just as quaintly situated as it did when Bonnie & Clyde made their fateful trip through the whispering Pines.  Oh-- the trees were surely more dense then, and that gravel covered road likely kicked up dust with each turn of the tires-- but none the less, to this day-- that's still a conspicuously lonely trip out of town.

And as you near the ambush site-- somehow it's hard not to project yourself back in time, and attempt in vain to warn Clyde & Bonnie of their impending doom.  But just as in a dream, where you're sometimes powerless to affect any difference-- when you take that final turn and view the ambush site in the distance (just as you know Bonnie & Clyde did that fateful day)-- there's no changing history.  Alas, for those intensely hunted lovers responsible for so many deaths-- the end was swift and sure.  But in stopping upon that hill and exiting your car-- for you, the adventure in sharing that hallowed ground with those you know both stood there victoriously and also died such a horrible death-- will stay with you forever.  To experience that location in person-- I surely recommend as a priority for every Bonnie & Clyde aficionado, so wonderfully and uncontrollably hooked on this history.

For reference, these photos taken by me a few years ago-- show a couple of key views of the ambush location.  The 1st pic shows the view from the ambush site, back upon the famous final curve Bonnie & Clyde traveled in approaching their demise.   If all was as reported??-- the Methvin truck would've been located in the Southbound lane (to the left)-- and The Barrow car (when the bullets started flying)-- would've stood in the Northbound (right hand) lane facing the camera.  Although the road's been altered a bit over time-- this pic was taken quite close to ground zero.  

Pic 2 is just about the closest you can position yourself today, as if within the posse laying in the weeds-- in viewing the oncoming approach route.  Unfortunately, the actual spot from '34 within the blind-- has now been removed and replaced by a Conoco gas pipeline road.  My position for this photo was as close to that spot as possible now.  Also note, it's obvious from photos at the time-- that the surrounding Pine Forest and undergrowth were uniquely thick, and not nearly as sparse as is the reality today.                 

Museum of Crime & Punishment Announcement

For those interested, I am including here, a link from The NMCP Website.  If  you can, please join me in Washington D.C. to commemorate the 78th anniversary of the ambush of Bonnie & Clyde.  It's indeed an honor, to participate in this event at The National Museum of Crime & Punishment.  I look forward to talking Bonnie & Clyde, with old & new friends alike.  Click on the Crime Museum announcement, for a larger view.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Join Me, at The National Museum of Crime & Punishment for the Bonnie & Clyde Ambush Anniversary

For those who've been so kind in communicating with me re: Bonnie & Clyde History-- and expressed a desire to meet, a heads up. This year I'll be commemorating the anniversary of the Bonnie & Clyde ambush at The National Museum of Crime & Punishment in Washington, D.C. I'll be there May 17th through the 19th to greet guests to their Bonnie & Clyde exhibit, and discuss the ambush-- along with any and all things Bonnie & Clyde.

Having made Bonnie & Clyde presentations twice for the ambush anniversary in Gibsland, as well as Historical talks in Dallas and other locales over the years-- I feel honored to be invited to The NMCP for this year's commemoration. In speaking to Jim Knight concerning his participation in this event a few years back-- I couldn't be happier to take in this stellar museum, and interact with those in Washington who possess a keen interest in Bonnie & Clyde History.

It will also be my 1st opportunity to see my Bonnie & Clyde dual signatures, as displayed at the museum for many years now. Another heads up for those interested in viewing additional Bonnie & Clyde artifacts. I'll be bringing with me Bonnie's working draft of The Story of Bonnie & Clyde, called The Saga of Bonnie and Desperate Clyde-- which I revealed here on the blog a ways back. I obtained this Bonnie poem from The Estate of Blanche Barrow Frasure. It's a "wonderful" poem to view, as it differs from it's later finished version in some most unusual ways. I'll be loaning it to the museum for all to view and enjoy.

There are also talks in the works re: other Bonnie & Clyde artifacts, which may be provided to the museum. And if all goes well, there's a good chance a "remarkable" artifact from the Bonnie & Clyde Death Car may also be added there-- possibly by the time that weekend rolls around. To my knowledge-- this will be the 1st public viewing of this particular artifact since 2001, owned by another Bonnie & Clyde Historian.

So please keep an eye out here, for more details regarding the May dates-- and for all who can visit Washington while I'm there, it would be a distinct pleasure to say hi to you in person. Please shoot me an e-mail, if you think you may attend.