Clyde’s letter to the editor
A couple of issues ago we ran my review of Fort Worth author Jeff Guinn’s semi-revisionist, research-intensive book “Go Down Together: The True, Untold Story of Bonnie and Clyde.” The book should top the summer reading list of anyone who’s curious about life in North Texas just before and during the Great Depression.
After I finished the book for reviewing purposes, I found myself going back to favorite parts. Guinn’s work is cram-packed with intriguing tidbits. One of the best is a 1933 letter that has often been attributed to Clyde. (Guinn is skeptical that Barrow actually penned it). It was a warning sent to Amon Carter, then publisher and editor of the “Fort Worth Star-Telegram.” The letter complains about the paper running exaggerated accounts of the Barrow gang’s exploits to spike newspaper sales. A particular sore spot for the letter-writer was the “Star-Telegram”’s insistence that Bonnie was a cigar smoker. It ends with “I know where you and your reporters live.”
Carter ordered all references to Parker’s smoking habits removed from copy – and promptly reinstated them after the lovers were gunned down.