Thursday, May 21, 2009

Bonnie and Clyde Give Me The Willies

Before we dive into today's topic, I would like to point out two tiny tidbits.

  • I got back the Envoy last night. She's looking better than she has in years. New stripe, new running board, the side panel has been secured to the passenger-side door, the bumper was repainted and a new inspection sticker. Oh, and it got a bath. After driving the big white diesel for a week and a half, I'm having trouble readjusting to my smaller vehicle. My goal is to stop taking such wide turns sometime this afternoon.
  • I worked out so hard last night, I nearly yacked. We ran about three miles, then went inside the house to do our "Love Your Legs" DVD. About five exercises in, my stomach felt icky. LJ said that's what high school football players feel like and that she wasn't worried. I'm glad I was on yearbook staff in high school.
On to my blog post. In my recent post, "Camden Weekend," I hit on a topic I would like to further explore — my childhood fascination with Bonnie and Clyde. In the story, I mention how my grandparents had a book about Bonnie and Clyde on their bookshelf, and each time I visited I would look through the book until I was too scared to continue.

In the center of the book, there was an illustration of Bonnie and Clyde's bodies, a dot marking each spot where they were struck by a bullet. They weren't heroes to me, although some people saw them that way. I just couldn't understand their crimes or what made them that way. It was such a raw evil that it was impossible to wrap my head around it as a child.

My grandparents had a great story about Bonnie and Clyde. My great-grandparents lived on an old highway that ran from Louisiana up through Arkansas. It was a rural area and most people passing through were friendly, including one young couple whose tire went flat just down the street from my great-grandparents house. With no other means of assistance, my great-grandpa helped change the couple's tire, sent them on their way and went inside the house for dinner.

My great-grandparents listened to the radio as they ate dinner. In the middle of their meal, a news report turned my great-grandpa white as a ghost. Bonnie and Clyde were reported in the area and considered armed and extremely dangerous. My great-grandpa had changed their tire, completely unaware that the friendly couple was actually the most infamous killers of his time.

Can you imagine? Coming face-to-face with that kind of evil and not knowing until after the fact?

The Times is doing a four-day report on Bonnie and Clyde, which sprung my fascination back to life. Check it out. Seventy-five years later, it's still very interesting.


Lindsey said...

Rick Rowe from KTBS had a thing on it this morning! I remember seeing pics of their bodies riddled (sp)with bullets...ewwww. Scary.

Stephanie Netherton said...

Ewwww is right. In The Times' photo gallery, there's a picture of people swarming the "death car" to get a look at the bodies. They even took the car to the elementary school so kids could see. How crazy is that?