Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Bonnie and Clyde Do Death's Dance

May 23, 1934--Often, I attempt to avoid well known historical or notorious event anniversaries because everyone writes or broadcasts them. "It was fifty years ago today...blah, blah, blah".

While growing up, I developed a fascination with criminals during the early thirties. You know, the oft romanticized criminals who are often portrayed as Robin Hoods sticking it to the man. I suppose part of that fascination grew out of the fact that my great grandfather, Ambrose Clark, had an inopportune meeting with John Dillinger and the Pierpont gang (you can read about it the book, "Bloodletters and Badmen") when they knocked off the Peru Police Dept. arsenal (which I'll write about some day). Also, I remember seeing the Bonnie and Clyde death car which was hauled around the country for years.

Which brings me to this date in 1934, the day that Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow became human swiss cheese. I know many kids of my era grew up with the Hollywood version of Bonnie and Clyde's story. A romantic notion gone awry. The truth: Clyde Barrow was not Warren Beatty and, from most accounts I've read, nothing more than a sadistic killer and a lousy thief.

As you can tell, the fascination has worn thin.


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