I have always had a fascination with outlaws. Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker top my list. So, when John Fioravanti posted on his blog today that March 24th was Clyde’s birthday, I decided to tell some little known facts about him.
Clyde’s middle name was Chestnut. (I’d love to know where that came from)
He was the fifth of seven children, born in a small close-knit farming community of Telico, Texas, just north of Ennis in Ellis County. It was said that the Barrow’s farm failed from drought and his father moved them to Dallas.
He was a small unassuming boy and attended school until sixteen. He had ambitions to become a musician, playing guitar and saxophone.
He was first introduced to crime by his older brother with petty thievery, then advanced to stealing cars. By the time Clyde was 20, he was a wanted man and fugitive.
He met a nineteen-year-old waitress, Bonnie Parker in 1930 and it is said that he was immediately smitten.
But, their romance was interrupted by Clyde’s arrest and prison conviction. (Sounds like a similar story – one I wrote)
Bonnie smuggled a gun into prison to Clyde during a visit and he made an unsuccessful escape attempt. When he was released in 1932, they began their crime spree that would last only a mere two years before they were both killed.
They were known as a friend to the poor and many harbored them over the two years they robbed and killed.
What they did was irrefutably wrong on every level, but there is no question as to their love for each other and maybe that is the part of the story that pulls me in. After all, I am a hopeless romantic. Thanks for stirring the pot, John F.!