Sunday, May 26, 2013

Another Bonnie & Clyde Ambush Aniversary-- But What Does It All Mean??

To many the look on Bonnie's face within this photo, likely taken just weeks before their deaths says it all-- concerning an event Bonnie surely knew was coming.  And for a woman who seemingly possessed some spiritual or psychic ability to "know"-- as she did concerning the deaths of Billies children-- Bonnie couldn't have been more right.  For 79 years ago, those both supportive and enemy alike-- were gripped by sensational headlines and prose, telling of the annihilation of Bonnie and Clyde by the most decisive and chilling of methods-- an ambush.

But why does this iconic event still captivate so many so long after the fact??  And is it fair now to question what lessons have been learned over the decades-- and what it all means??  Some may choose to over-analyze or forever-rationalize the ambush and it's importance, in ways more complicated than need be. And others may question the harshness of the law until the wee hours of the dawn-- in taking out outlaws surely as ruthless as themselves.

To me, this historic event and snapshot in time is about human nature-- and serves as a reminder, concerning both the wondrous and often hurtful traits human beings possess and level upon one another.  The ability to love to the point of blindness-- the duty to remain loyal to the end, no matter the odds-- of wanting things sometimes unattainable, and taking from others when items desired cannot be earned by honest means-- of ending lives which get in the way-- and traveling roads within life, leading to places cursed as destinations never thought possible. But most telling-- of desperation and the fight for survival. 

Yes people can be wonderful with hearts and goodness to match-- but when pressed to the wall by happenstance or choice-- can become deadly foes.  And sometimes deadly foes need to be dealt with for the common good, by those with the capacity to be just as lethal.

So whether some within their imaginations, somehow wish they'd  also been there to help pull triggers in defense of "justice" that day-- or who feel a unique camaraderie with these strangely likable outlaws, and wish within their very souls to have received the onslaught of bullets as well-- in a defiant show of "passion" and righteousness for the common man-- or for those fans, aficionados or fact checkers striving to discover the truth within this history-- the ambush of Bonnie & Clyde holds a special place.  For you see, it seems no matter the experience, pain or gain-- indeed over time, so many human traits hold true.     

And then there's perhaps the greatest and most challenging of human attributes-- forgiveness.  I'm not sure how that one fits into this oft polarizing history.  But unfortunately-- I'm pretty sure there hasn't been much progress made along that front.



I would first like to say, as someone new to the history of B&C, thank you for providing a place that not only separates fact from fiction, but provides a forum for open discussion.

That said, as I am admittedly new to this, I have a few questions about the ambush that I have not seen asked to date.

I have only had a chance to play around with a manual transmission a few times, but as my experience (or lack thereof) has shown, if Clyde's foot jumped off the clutch, would not the car have stalled?

And secondly, it has been noted quite often that Bonnie's hand was almost blown off. Could that be a sort of defensive wound? Perhaps the idea that there was a pause between the first 2 shots and the barrage of fire would have given her time to raise her hands when the posse began firing en mass?

Again, I purport to know virtually nothing aside from the wonderful information I have read on this blog. But as I have never seen these 2 topics addressed, I thought perhaps I should throw them out there, if for no reason other than to promote conversation.

Thank you for running a wonderful site!

A. Winston Woodward said...

Hello Tim-- Thank you for your kind comments and questions. I'd like to contact Jim Knight concerning your clutch question-- as he is qualified to assist with that one. So I'll get back to you on that.

Concerning Bonnie's hand wound-- we can likely speculate until the Cows come home and never know. That pause as noted by those who witnessed it aurally-- was not terribly long. Long enough for Bonnie to raise her hands?? I would think so, if she did it quickly. But did she?? Unfortunately, all who know for sure to my knowledge never addressed that-- and are gone now.