The Friends of the Georgetown Public Library’s Hill Country Authors Series:The Hill Country Authors Series will feature Air National Guard major MJ Hegar on at the library. She is author of Shoot Like a Girl and we will be discussing her novel at the event. Please help us publicize this fund raising event and plan to join us at the Georgetown Public Library, 402 W 8th St. The doors will open at for a delicious dessert from the Red Poppy Cafe, with the talk beginning at Tickets will be available for $15 beginning at Second-Hand Prose bookstore on the second floor of the library and online at www.folgeorgetown.org/calen
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Bonnie and Clyde Had Fancy Clothes and Short Lives
Some of the appeal was the Texas, and therefore familiar, aspect. We had a report from Joyce's 84-year-old aunt, who said that West Dallas was and still is an unpleasant place. She wasn't in Texas during the years when Bonnie and Clyde were rampaging, but soon after, she saw the "death car" on exhibit. Frank asked us who would pay to see the death car now, and the response was muted. But...if it were easily available, I'll bet we could get a field trip going! Linda's grandfather had a friend who ran a store at that time. Bonnie and Clyde were customers there when they were passing through. This storekeeper said they were always polite and that Bonnie was hardened-looking rather than cute. It was interesting to imagine Bonnie and Clyde driving thousands of miles in and near Texas in those days, without any Interstate highways, without any fast food and bagged snacks to carry in the car, in cars that needed gas often and new tires perhaps even more often!
Someone said Clyde was smart and would have been rerouted by a social program today; but someone else countered that idea with the argument that many people in West Dallas lived in poverty without turning to crime. Someone suggested that Bonnie and Clyde were stupid to visit their families as often as they did; and the police were stupid to not catch them sooner, since everyone knew they visited their families often. Pat noted that many small-town police forces consisted of volunteers with other jobs rather than full-time paid forces.
Patty said she couldn't help but feel some sympathy for Bonnie and Clyde, mostly because of their devotion to their families, and because they didn't seem to mean or want to be killers and never really warmed up to the task. Clyde did seem to be unfairly targeted by the police and couldn't have been expected to hold a job, the way the police were so often making him take time off for investigations. Mary wondered where the photos of the Barrows and Parkers came from, when photos were an expensive luxury in those days.
Bringing the conversation to the present, Rutger mentioned the influence of the gap between the rich and the poor on incidence of crime. Phyllis said that law enforcement now has instant and thorough communication everywhere, thus keeping everyone informed of current status. Dennis mentioned that even today, a crime against a law enforcement officer is less likely to go unresolved or unpunished than many other crimes. Emily mentioned gun control as involving a paradox between government keeping us safe or allowing us our freedom.
We also talked about the popular movie and the media that constantly surrounded Bonnie and Clyde's real escapades and the crimes they were blamed for but didn't commit. Bonnie and Clyde were folk heroes, for whatever reason, and they were glamorized by the news media at the time (it sold papers) and by the Hollywood movie in the 1960s. But they didn't really seem to have much fun.