Bonnie And Clyde Ride Again, A Visit To The Ambush Museum
As it is the 88th anniversary of their death, and the upcoming Bonnie and Clyde festival near where they were gunned down approaches, I am reminded of our road trip through north Louisiana and our visit to the Bonnie & Clyde Ambush Museum.
Their day, and their lives, would end on the receiving side of over 150 bullets fired upon their car in under 16 seconds. Each of them would be hit so many times, the undertaker would have a hard time embalming the bodies.
By the time the smoke cleared, their place in history as America’s original “Ride or Die” couple, would be solidified for eternity.
But what is it about their story that continues to captivate an audience that hasn’t even been alive half as long as they have been dead?
Is it the Romeo & Juliet part of their story? The one where they both came from nothing, and were doing whatever they had to because no matter what happens, they still have each other?
Is it the Robinhood part of their story? The one where they grew up in the Great Depression and would spread the money they stole around the town and the family?
Is it the Wild West part of their story? The one where it was just the two of them, unstoppable, unbreakable, out on their own riding off into the sunset?
At the time it had a lot to do with a roll of film the police find and would later develop, giving the press recent pictures to publish, of them in fancy clothes being playful and smiling. The depression was the big issue of their day, and it didn’t matter to Bonnie and Clyde, you almost had to envy them.
But, what is it today?
What makes a new generation of people fall in love with the story of two kids turned young adults, robbing mom and pop stores and being gunned down in an ambush?
Is this beautiful country of ours cranking out hybristophiliacs by the thousands? Hybristophilia is when someone finds it pleasurable when their partner commits violent acts, it’s even called Bonnie and Clyde syndrome. Though maybe it should just be called Bonnie Syndrome as it is usually seen in women.
Whatever it is, there is an undeniable attraction to Americas first killer couple, one that my Wife and I share. So much so, that we decided that the last get together we had in our sticks and bricks house, would be a Bonnie and Clyde theme party, and our friends did not disappoint.
We even had friends fly in from out of state to be in attendance, and another called in a favor to make sure we had a 1930’s Ford in the driveway when their car couldn’t make it. To say we miss all of our friends back home would be an understatement, but that is for another time.
You see, for me I think it may be a combination of all the parts of the story put together that draws me in to the story of their lives. It’s almost like being star struck, which is odd for me as I would rather have a cup of coffee with a scientist than get an autograph from a sports star.
I think the story clicks a switch in my brain, one that hasn’t been clicked in most of us since the caveman days. In a weird way, and I’m no neuroscientist, I think Clydes kill or be killed lifestyle is hardwired into mens brains from birth. Why else would so many of us voluntarily make careers out of violent sports and aggressive behaviors, and what man doesn’t want a Ride or Die chick by his side?
And every time I watch a nature channel special on pack animals, the narrator always says the females of the pack will mate with whoever wins this fight, because they are now the new Alpha leader. Perhaps Hybristophilia is simply a genetic hold over from our caveman days, similar to when my high maintenance dog who gets her hair and nails done monthly, rolls around on dead bugs to smell like a hunter to the rest of the pack, when we don’t even have another dog.
Keeping with those two lines of thought, perhaps Bonnie & Clyde Syndrome can only exist in symbiosis. The Ying needs the Yang. Without Juliet, Romeo is nothing.
Maybe that is the draw.
We are all looking to find the Ying to our Yang that matches up as perfectly as theirs did. A story of love so strong that no one questions it almost 100 years later. Finding someone who you never have to question if they will be by your side through thick and thin.
If you have the time, you should take the trip to Gibsland Louisiana, and visit the Bonnie and Clyde Ambush Museum. While you are there be sure to say hi to the Owner Perry, and chat with him for a while. He can help you separate fact from fantasy, and myth from reality, and may even help you see that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side, and maybe…
You already found the Ying to your Yang.