Monday, July 9, 2012

R.I.P. Ken Holmes

Bonnie & Clyde History has lost a good friend.  I've been notified by L. J. "Boots" Hinton that Historian Ken Holmes has passed away.  Ken who owned The Bonnie & Clyde Ambush Museum and operated Southwestern Historical Publications and Tours in Dallas, has been a key friend and source of valuable insights into this history for many years.  

Those of us who knew him, will miss his matter of fact manner, fun loving spirit and great sense of humor.  And as a mainstay in helping organize the Authentic Bonnie & Clyde Festival in Gibsland, LA each year-- his loss will surely be felt within that community as well.  I and The B&CHB send heartfelt condolences to Ken's family and others closest to him.  

For those who wish to pay their respects-- Ken was laid to rest at Grove Hill Cemetery-- Samuel Blvd, Dallas.  When I 1st met Ken, he was kind enough to take me on an all day Bonnie & Clyde tour of Dallas and surrounding historical locations, such as Grapevine etc.  The photo above, was one I took of Ken standing behind the old Hargrave's Cafe, where Bonnie worked.  He told the story of Bonnie exiting the rear door behind him, to run and take orders from Chinese laundry workers-- who apparently rarely left their posts to take lunch.          

Sunday, July 8, 2012

A Bonnie & Clyde History Q&A-- What Ever Happened to Bonnie & Clyde's Love Letters??

The fate of numerous love letters exchanged by Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, have been a point of keen fascination, contention and wonder for decades.  While liberally quoted from within Fugitives (the families' 1934 expose' concerning Bonnie & Clyde)-- the physical whereabouts of this revealing & heartfelt batch of correspondence has remained a mystery. 

While others have searched for any trace of these wonderfully insightful letters-- in working with the families, I too have politely inquired-- only to be told no one knows.  I would think Billie went a long way toward revealing the fate of at least Bonnie's personally held letters, with her telling of the Pat Plummer story.  Remember Aunt Pat was present along with Edith Clay Parker and Emma-- when a Dallas based reporter phoned on May 23rd, '34 to tell Emma Bonnie had been killed.  That Aunt Pat.  Well according to Billie, after Bonnie's death-- she entrusted Bonnie's possessions to Aunt Pat for safekeeping.  However based on a falling out between them, the unthinkable happened-- when Pat Plummer torched the shed where Bonnie's belongings were being stored.     

My feeling is, whatever letters Bonnie kept went up in smoke during that incident-- so one would think Clyde's letters to Bonnie are gone.  Now logically Bonnie's letters to Clyde, wouldn't have been included with Bonnie's possessions.  So it "may" just be-- some of those letters still survive.  There's one Barrow relative I haven't interviewed, who could know something about this.  And as this is one of those loose ends I've hoped to re-visit at some point-- perhaps there's no time like the present to give it a go.  Some research may be involved, in order to locate this individual to allow for an approach.  However, so many have inquired here concerning Bonnie & Clyde's love letters-- I feel an obligation to address this mystery further.  

Perhaps as it seems, these immortal pieces of Bonnie & Clyde History no longer exist-- except "fortunately" within transcriptions made in 1934.  "But hey, you never know"-- as some remarkable Bonnie & Clyde artifacts have surfaced within just the past few years.   

I'll keep you posted on any results.