Sunday, May 24, 2009

Bonnie & Clyde

Some day they'll go down together
they'll bury them side by side.
To few it'll be grief,
to the law a relief
but it's death for Bonnie and Clyde.
"The Trail's End"
— Bonnie Parker

Sorry I missed the 75th anniversary of the death of Bonnie and Clyde. Here's a pretty good piece from the Miami Herald marking the date:  
Lawless lovers Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, who terrorized and seduced Depression-era America, were among the most beloved of gangsters.

After a fleeting but spectacular career of knocking off gas stations, snatching cars, and killing police, Parker, 23, and Barrow, 25, were gunned down 75 years ago Saturday by a sheriff's posse just south of Gibsland, La.

Even after all these years, a slew of imitators and generations of other celebrity criminals, they exert a tight grip on pop culture. The Bonnie and Clyde machine, launched by an iconic movie more than four decades ago, churns out books, films, music, stage plays, websites and all manner of hot-blooded Internet discourse.

Hilary Duff has signed on to star in The Story of Bonnie and Clyde, a $15 million indie drama that begins shooting in July. And out just in time for the anniversary are Jeff Guinn's Go Down Together: The True, Untold Story of Bonnie and Clyde (Simon & Schuster, $27) and Bonnie and Clyde: The Lives Behind the Legend (Holt, $27.50) by Paul Schneider of Bradenton.

''Their story resonates, especially at this time, because of all the parallels between the Depression of the 1930s and the contemporary economic situation we are in,'' says Sam Grogg, dean of the University of Miami's School of Communication. ``A lot of us are attracted to these folk-hero types who are stuck in nowhere America and manage to obtain national and everlasting fame. It's the same kind of energy that drives American Idol, the common guy who finds a way to rise.''
Yeah well...Frank Hamer pretty much settled their hash with a .35 caliber Model 8 Remington semiauto with a custom 20-round magazine, a "C"-engraved Single Action Army in .45 Colt — Old Lucky, he called the S.A.A. — and a 1911 .45.

I do confess that once I scaled a chain link fence topped with barbed wire to have my picture taken sprawled across the front seat, a la Clyde, of the Bonnie & Clyde Death Car.


Joe Allen said...

Or were they...

For another (far more fun) take on the story:

Pawpaw said...

Murderous thugs, they were.

I had an uncle who chased them "back in the day". He and Hamer were professional acquaintences. Hamer got to them first.

Anonymous said...

Folk heroes? Only in another loser's mind, maybe! No economic time; boom, or bust, justifies taking from another, including another's life.
Frank Hamer is the hero here.
Life Member

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