Thursday, May 10, 2012

Talking Points for Washington

As my visit to Washington is fast approaching, I'm busy preparing topics for my talks at The National Museum of Crime & Punishment.  There will be 3 formal sessions (Thurs. through Sat.)-- along with as much time spent with Bonnie & Clyde aficionados at their Bonnie & Clyde Exhibit as time will allow.  Talking points will surely include the ambush, it's conflicting eyewitness accounts-- as well as rumors and espoused theories new & old.  And despite some people's wranglings-- to me no conversation regarding the ambush would now be complete, without addressing the rumored pregnancy of Bonnie Parker.  

Objectively, too many people in differing locations were aware of this possibility-- including Capt. Frank Hamer and Dallas Bureau of Investigation SAC Frank Blake, for smoke to not equal fire. Some more recent declarations concerning the ambush may be less than verifiable-- but that doesn't change the plausible possibility, that there may well have been "3" individuals killed at the ambush that day??  Some (especially from a lawman's viewpoint)-- have asked "What difference would it make, if Bonnie was pregnant when killed"??  My response has been-- from an historical perspective, it would make a great difference, as knowledge of such a reality in 1934 would've likely caused public condemnation of the law.  CYA has long been a shield used on both sides of the war between good & bad.  But even in '34-- the killing of a pregnant woman (and in such a remarkably brutal way)-- would've likely sparked outrage.   

For those still intent on protecting the lawman's position within the guise of "heroic reputation"-- or some who talk a good game, but play both sides of the fence concerning this issue-- my feeling is, it's time to "get real" and bring the past within better focus.  And for those who feel I'm not likely to say anything controversial, when given the opportunity to "kick start" a renewed effort toward truth within Bonnie & Clyde History-- now that doesn't sound like me does it??  This entire history is fraught with controversial assertions.  For me, the closer we come to "reality" as it actually existed for all involved-- the better.      

In addition to thought provoking topics, while in at The NMCP-- I have the unique opportunity  to discuss a variety of Bonnie & Clyde artifacts already on display and newly added.  These will include Bonnie's unfinished "working copy" of "The Story of Bonnie & Clyde"-- originally titled "The Saga of Bonnie and Desperate Clyde".  I'll be bringing this rare Bonnie poem for display and comment.  I'll also have with me, Billie's manuscript "Bonnie, Clyde and Me"-- which contains numerous great talking points, such as Bonnie & Clyde's suicide pact and near use of it at Dexfield Park.  Also Billie's accounts of Sowers and Bonnie's health post Wellington-- as well as Bonnie's premonition concerning the death of Billie's Son Buddy etc.  A grand resource (in addition to Billie's journal)-- for this history and for speaking of Bonnie & Clyde.  In addition of course, I'm always happy to discuss The Bonnie & Clyde Signatures-- and Steve Haas' wonderful Bonnie poem "The Street Girl".    

I'll also be bringing Blanche's Christmas card (seen in B&C documentaries)-- which she used to store her manuscript written while in prison.  Her original manuscript has now moved on to a new owner, but quite kindly-- the Christmas card came my way in 2010.  This card bears an ultra-rare Blanche Barrow signature, as well as a hand written reminder to herself-- concerning her recorded accounts with The Barrow Gang.  This large 8x10" 1930's Christmas card is quite colorful and a remarkable survivor of this history.  There will likely be other loans from my collection-- including correspondence to Blanche from prison, original photos of Blanche available no where else, and perhaps even Blanche's heart shaped locket with photo of husband Eddie Frasure-- one would think worn proudly by Blanche, during his service in the Navy during WWII.  

Anyway-- never a shortage of Bonnie & Clyde topics to touch on in Washington, in addition to whatever Bonnie & Clyde stories others wish to discuss.  I always come prepared with revelations from The B&CHB & Dallas FBI Files, for those wishing to discuss say Wellington or Bailey Tynes etc.  "And"-- I even carry a myriad of B&CHB Poll questions, for some challenging fun.  I hope you'll join me there.  It seems I'll be able to provide an addition link from the Museum, prior to Thursday.  Questions??-- please drop me an e-mail.        

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