At this site May 23rd 1934 Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker were killed by law enforcement officers
ABOUT THE AUTHORWilliam P. Watson, born in the oilfield town of Haynesville, Claiborne Parish, Louisiana in 1937 - almost 40 miles north of the Bonnie and Clyde "infamous" ambush site - the author began a professional career at age 13 in technical electronic communications. Via a natural, generic interest in Amateur Radio.
Holding both an FCC commercial license and an amateur radio license (W5UNY), he joined the USAF in 1957 to "see the world". Stationed at Travis AFB, California, assigned TDY across the Pacific and North America as an airborne radio/radar repairman, Watson learned to "smell" a keen reaction which the Barrow story had begun to leave on our Globe.
Although this "scent" continued to expand and grow at its own rate, it wasnt until 1967, while in Fairbanks, Alaska, that he "sensed" the storys powerful impact and compelling allusiveness. Employed as an aerospace technician with RCA Service Company, and on of many space-science "satellite trackers", his peers and associates talked in length about Bonnie and Clydes memory. But, their conversations had influences of non-truths and unknown distortions. Because the cinema-versions description did not fit correctly with its true-to-life version, Watsons awareness for missing differences became bits and pieces related by inconclusive Louisiana history accountings. He concluded the storys truth and Clyde Barrows Legacy must appear to the World as a contemporary record. At least, for the sake of Bienville Parish and northwest Louisiana residents.
However, its finished re-arrangement would wait some twenty years later until 1984-1989; until the Great Energy Depression in the South dominated the ARK-LA-TEX and depleted its economy.
Plunged into unemployment and lacking income from his electronics engineering business, bank-mortgaged into saturation and, now, a longstanding resident of Heflin, Louisiana; Watsons story-telling ability became "right" and "over-pressuring" to factually account and explain to-which events actually transpired, what reasons forthwith, and by whom; "15 miles east of here" on LA Highway 154, more than fifty years ago. Like the story-characters ipissima-verba, or literalness, Watsons record and writing are the authentic facts as they have become accepted and known today. As collected piece-by-piece and line-to-line.
He lives it to attending audiences.i.e., the Jury, to evaluate and determine if historys facts, ...if legends wrath are worthy of their keeping - as locked immortality in times non-caring spectrum. Today, withstanding local area attitudes and adjustments, Watson joins much of Louisianas leadership to invite the World to "come and see" for themselves if Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker were offered hospitality and friendship, as Louisianians know and project, with such taken-for-granted traits, here-offered-now and tomorrow.
This story continues some years later. Bill as I called "William P. Watson" or "Pat" as his friends in Minden all call him, and I, Virginia, married July 4, 1981, ( he picked the date so he could remember it). He did go back to work as "Radio Officer" in the Merchant Marines. I was able to go with him on one voyage. I flew to London, England, took a train to Cardiff, Wales and then we sailed back to North Carolina. It was such a wonderful trip that I will always remember.
He did this for 6 years before he took medical retirement after an aorta aneurism and major surgery, in January 0f 1996. In July of 1996 his Mom, Clovice Watson, became very ill with cancer and passed away in September of that year. We took care of her as long as we could here at home. Her passing was very hard on him.
I had a son when we married, John Steven Bates, and they kind of became father and son. Pat was away on a ship when the first grandson, Joshua, was born in 1992. You would have thought that they were blood kin. It was kind of hard on Joshua with his Pap Paw Bill being in for four months then gone for four months, but they had a lot of good times when he was home.
Pat was here when the second grandson, Brandon, was born in 1998. One of the most precious pictures I have is of him holding Brandon shortly after he was born. They were able to bond much better with him being here all the time.
We took numerous trips together and I was able to see many things that I had not seen before, Disney World in Florida, Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, California. We had a Time Share Condo in Branson out on Table Rock Lake that was absolutely beautiful. We both enjoyed these things so very much. We had Amateur Radio in common as I also had my license.
He ultimately went to the hospital August 23, 2003. He had many complaints prior to this time but the doctors could not find what was wrong. He had emphysema, and cancer and passed away on October 30, 2003. He spent his 66th birthday in the hospital on October 1st. For me and my family this was a very difficult time.
I did not realize just how difficult it had been on my grandsons until one day my younger grandson, Brandon, and I went to the cemetery. I had told him that Pap Paw Bills body was there but his spirit was in heaven with Jesus, which seemed to satisfy him. This day he looks at me with a very serious look on his face and said, "Granny, Pap Paw Bill can come back from heaven and get in his body and come home with us." I did not know weather to cry or laugh at his innocence, but it is something that I will always remember. The older boy, Joshua, still can shed tears from his loss. They both miss him very much.
We all have our memories that we will always cherish, as Pats friends have theirs. I just thank God that I had him in my life for the time that we had.
In Loving Memory of William P. Watson
1937 - 2003
Our thanks go to Mrs. Virginia Watson for her contributions to this site.