If you’re interested in what Laurel and the other ladies of the book were wearing, take a look at my Pinterest board of 1930’s fashion. If you click on the board below, it’s organized with sections for each year, a small section of menswear, and some general fashion.
I truly enjoy researching the fashion-y bits, and hope you do too!
On the bus tour I previously mentioned, we got the chance to go into some normally-closed areas around town. This is one of them, the final resting place of Buck and Clyde Barrow. (Update – Here’s the location on Google maps).
As you can see, the graveyard sits right off of a busy road, I was completely surprised to find out that these two were there. It’s a busy road in a part of town that still feels a bit wild and lawless, and most of all forgotten. Dallas is notorious for demolishing the old to make way for the new, regardless of the history or value of that old.
If you’re not familiar with Buck, he was Clyde’s older brother who was killed in a firefight nearly a year before Bonnie and Clyde were killed in their ambush. Buck had been in jail for much of his younger brother’s run, and was paroled in March of 1933. He reunited with his wife, Blanche, and then was paid a visit from his younger brother.
According to Blanche, Buck reluctantly agreed to go with Clyde because he thought he could keep him under control or out of trouble. The infamous pictures of Bonnie smoking the cigar and holding the guns was taken during the first couple of weeks the two couples were together, having a great time living in Joplin Missouri.
Of course, the law caught up with them there, and then again a few months later. Blanche was blinded for life in one eye in the shootout that killed her husband. She served several years in prison, and commented that the Barrow family never reached out to her.
Last year I did a history/drinking on a bus tour of Dallas (although, sadly, I couldn’t partake, being pregnant). It hit a lot of random spots, and I believe the woman who led it leads private tours that highlight Bonnie and Clyde, if you’re ever in the area and interested. I’ll add a link to her as soon as I get a chance to go through my notes, to credit her.
Below is one of the pictures I took of an important part of the Bonnie and Clyde legend. Clyde actually was an amazing driver who had an almost photographic memory for maps and roads, so he really did outsmart the law all the time as far as escape routes and being able to out run them.
This bridge connected the main road through West Dallas, where both of their family’s were, to a toll road that no longer exists that went northwest, through to Grapevine, I believe. It wasn’t a popular road (which is why it didn’t get improved and modernized), and was a common route for them to come in and out of town without the long arm of the law noticing cars that didn’t belong in the area.
This gem of a history/art/recipe book happened to catch my eye at the library in the New Releases section, and I picked it up on a whim. Best decision ever (well, as far as library decisions go).
The author of Lost Recipes of Prohibition, Notes from a Bootlegger’s Manual, is a trained museum curator and historian, and he brings that sensibility into the book. He was given the bootlegger’s manual by a friend, and so the book is an exploration of that and much more.
[bctt tweet=”Ever wanted to make your own Gin? This book will tell you everything you need to know!”]
He goes into the history of the recipes and formulas as he shares, and some incredibly in depth information about how Prohibition came about, as well as how people got around it. Ever wanted to make your own Gin? There’s a recipe for that.
One of my favorite parts though, is the actual manual itself and the additional original ads, clippings and what Pinterest refers to as “ephemera.” Full images from the original manual appear throughout the book and really inspired me visually.
If you enjoy history, recipes, old books or the Prohibition era, first off we should be friends, and secondly, you should look this one up. It’s a fun, engaging look at an amazing time in our country. Any other Prohibition cocktail books I’m missing out on?
In The Case of Bonnie & Clyde in Rome, Laurel and the boys visit Widow Boyd in her very austere Sears kit house. Sears (then Sears and Roebuck) was a revolutionary business in their time, and kit houses were just one of the ways they changed commerce. The Boyd house model is shown below.
From 1908-1940, housing kits were available to be purchased through the Sears and Roebuck catalog, alongside shaving necessities, clothes, and anything else you could imagine. It was, quite simply, revolutionary. More than 100,000 of the kits were sold, which arrived with all of the lumber pre-cut and exciting new products like drywall and asphalt shingles, all you would need for a thoroughly modern home.
[bctt tweet=”Sears houses were a revolution – pre-cut lumber and with newfangled drywall and asphalt shingle roofing. Have a look!”]
I also very much love the floor plans that are included. You can tell that a lot of thought was put into them, and nothing was wasted by their standards.
If you’re interested in more information, including about original color schemes, The Arts & Crafts Society has a great set of articles and several books as well.
Dallas is lucky enough to have a few pockets of these original gems left. I’m hoping to make it to the area and take some pictures or possibly a walking video tour to post here. Would anyone be interested in that?
Part of why Laurel is so compelling to me is that she’s doing a job that’s unusual for a woman today, but was downright revolutionary in her time. In fact, it’s been suggested the idea might be far fetched.
Besides the fact that Laurel is based on a real person, I thought you might enjoy this fantastic article by M. Ruth Myers who writes a fantastic series about the adventures of Maggie Sullivan, a female PI in Dayton, Ohio in the late 1930’s.
There’s someone who calls themselves MusicProf78 (and, alternately, “Music Professor” Bob Moke) on Youtube who has posted thousands of rare and old records from the 1920’s through the 1960’s. It really is incredible.
Below are some 200 dance songs from the time frame when Laurel was just moving into Dallas. It’s been great fun to listen to as I edit.
[bctt tweet=”Feel the music- 200 song playlist of the biggest early 1930’s dance and pop music.”]
I thought it would be fun to put together an outfit post for Laurel’s wardrobe in The case of Bonnie & Clyde in Rome. Let me know what you think of her choices! September in Dallas usually the time when the heat of summer is finally breaking, and some rain and cooler air are moving in.
The overcoat is an older style, from the late 1920’s, but still beautiful. Laurel’s didn’t have the fur lining on the sleeves, but that is definitely the right collar. The hat and shoes would have been new, the suit would have been a little bit older.
I also found what Mollie was wearing when Laurel met her.
I have a Pinterest board (see below) that is the source of most of the images, if you like vintage fashion, you should definitely check it out!
In The Case of Bonnie & Clyde in Rome, Laurel is treated to quite a few glasses of Bee’s Knees. Elvin, the little scamp of a bartender, was using a well-known recipe of the time that was particularly good at covering up the quality, or lack thereof, of the liquor used.
[bctt tweet=”Bee’s Knees- a Prohibition cocktail good at covering up the quality, or lack thereof, of the liquor used.”]
Below is my interpretation of the recipes I’ve seen. A few call for straight up honey, so if you want to live dangerous, go for it. This is a great way to use up some honey that has maybe crystallized.
Enjoy! Do you have a favorite Prohibition cocktail?
I found this little gem in the microfilm of a KKK newspaper that ran weekly for several years that the Dallas Public Library has.
Go ahead, soak it in. This was in the middle of some ads that were essentially just business names and contact information. This one took the chance of being creative, I suppose. It offends on so many levels, I’m not sure where to begin, but it’s not out of step with its’ contemporaries.