Thursday, October 01, 2009

Oct. 1, 1910: They Went Different Ways

Wilda Vail; Bonnie Parker. Happy Birthday in heaven to one, Horrid Birthday in Hell to the other. What went right and what went wrong?

Willie Mae, born and brought up as a High Episcopalian in a Norman Rockwell New England town, had been married just short of two years when she was 23. Bonnie, married at sixteen and an honors high school student, had two dozen bullets in her when she was 23. Born within hours of each other, they sure went different ways.

Wilda Mae Vail Carten lived, at least on the surface, the most ordinary of lives: housewife, mother, popular neighbor, churchgoer. Below the surface, eh, you know how things can go in families. At the age of 74, with the cat dead and her husband in the great beyond, she began twelve years of traveling.

Bonnie Elizabeth Parker, at least on the surface, was the ideal high school girl. She excelled at creative writing and performed a “Shirley Temple” warm-up act at stump speeches of local politicians. Just before she was sixteen, she hooked up with a loser who she separated from but never did divorce, wearing his wedding ring at the end.

On May 27, 1997, Mom attended Mass as usual, took her tap dance lesson then picked up her cruise tickets. She came home, fell over and was gone on the 29th. On May 23, 1934, Bonnie and Clyde returned to their hideout as usual with a car full of guns. The cops fired 165 rounds; she took enough lead to stop an elephant and was instantly gone.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


Ms. Victoria Lawn

October 02, 2009 3:39 PM  
Anonymous ruthc said...

Took her tap dance lesson? At 86???
God love her.

October 04, 2009 10:29 PM  

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