Thursday, July 12, 2012

West Dallas, home of Bonnie & Clyde, and a whole lot less

My second novel, Friend of the Devil, is a somewhat supernatural tale set during the last days of Bonnie and Clyde's bloody run for glory. My hometown, Dallas, lays claim to two moments in history: the JFK Assassination, and Bonnie & Clyde. And, naturally, is uncomfortable with both. The cool thing growing up there, though, is finding out how the two phenomena were inextricably linked together. Though separated by thirty years, a number of the people involved in the hunt for Bonnie and Clyde were later players in the Kennedy assassination. The most famous being Sheriff Bill Decker. Bonnie and Clyde are still everywhere in Dallas. You just have to nose around a little bit and not be afraid to ask people. Because all the old geezoids in Dallas tend to have stories about them. For instance, I discovered a bank they robbed only about half a mile from my house. Our favorite butcher at Whole Foods revealed to me that Clyde had dated his grandma


before settling down with Bonnie. One of my writing students, a Mexican lady, told me how her great uncle had a bakery in Denton, famous for its tamales and also the marihuana that they sold at the back door. Apparently old Clyde had a taste for both. And her grandmother still remembers them coming by. Even better, I learned our house was on the grounds of what had been a bridle trail next to a riding stable, where the two often hid out. The last time Clyde was seen in Dallas, one of the cops who was later to kill him spotted him driving up Buckner Boulevard only to disappear before he could catch up with him. Sounds like he was probably hiding there at the time. The spot was only a couple of hundred yards from the stables. Bet you anything that where he disappeared to.

I guess the point of all this is that my hometown had a colorful past once and I hate the idea of it being forgotten in favor of all the corporate blandness that seems to have smothered it in the last 50 or so years.

Want to read a cool book where God, the Devil and a dope-smoking, atheist blues musician collide with Bonnie and Clyde in a bizzare and weirdly funny road novel? Have a Kindle? You do? Good! Be a pal and go download Friend of the Devil.

Also, check out this article about my friend, Catherine Horsey, a daughter of West Dallas and all-around artiste.