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Tackle Box


The Angry Friar




Simple Delicious


Around The Lake


Jimbo’s Column

14 16 18

Jolly Brothers

Bonnie & Clyde

Best Fishing Times

To Advertise in SPLASH, call 940.321.2122 ext. 121

Shady Shores IS AN




Angry Friar

THE SMELL OF FISH permeates through the air as the Angry

“It’s a play on words,” Wilson said, in his British accent. “These are angry fryers. I’m an angry fryer if you get me pissed off.” Friar crew sets up shop next to Curry Hall at the University of A painted robin-hood-style friar on the bus’ outer shell is a North Texas. Fry Street foot traffic passes as people head to and reminder of the words at play when hundreds of filets have been from classes. dipped in burning hot oil. People flock to the Friar, which is run out of a green double“The neighbors know me for doing things like this, anything to decker bus. The vintage bus is a ’61 Routemaster, was brought over be different,” he said. “I was a maintenance guy for a company that from England after being decommissioned about 20 years ago; It has we’ll not mention. You can say that I just got tired of working now been redesigned to cook fish and chips. there, for other people; working with idiots. I was in a dead-end job. David Wilson, a former maintenance man and Shady Shores resiIt had no meaning. Now I get up in the morning, I have meaning dent, owns the burgeoning business creation, which catches the eyes I’m happy with what I’m doing.” of any passersby. It was after he left his old job that he decided to Wilson said the biodiesel worked automatically with his diesel live out a dream of his: The Angry Friar. engine, which is original to the bus. At the back of the bus a television blast British programming, “These old engines, there’s no conversion at all,” he said. “There’s including a show themed specifically for the setting, “On the Buses,” a few fuel lines that have to be metal. Can’t be rubber anymore.” in which plots revolve around double-decker buses. Wilson said he donates any used oil to UNT, which in turn uses Wilson runs the business with his wife Amy Wilson, and has it to make more biodiesel. The university runs its entire bus fleet off been building a positive reputation throughout Denton. the renewable fuel. For the time being, Wilson buys his fuel at select “It started off the way I wanted gas stations that sell biodiesel. it to start off: very slowly,” Apart from adding kitchen Wilson said. “I just wanted three equipment to the downstairs or four customers a night. It was floor of the moving eatery, new. I didn’t know what I was Wilson plans to take the origidoing, but it’s growing.” nal seating from the bus and Wilson said he found the bus make it into upstairs seating. two years ago near Fort Worth He estimates he could fit about and purchased it for about 30 people. $3,000. It at one time belonged Wilson said he chose to use to a movie company in New catfish in order to keep prices York. down for college consumers and Wilson fries the catfish in to appeal to the Texas populapeanut oil, served with hand-cut tion which is known for enjoychips, rolled up in newspapers. ing the traditional fish. The bus engine is powered by “The population was brought biodiesel made from waste left up on catfish,” he said. “You over from the frying process. D ave Wilson Photo might be the one saying ‘I want “The college kids love this : Greg McClendo n cod,’ but the other 10 will want idea,” he said. “The environmental green aspect is it’s 100 percatfish.” cent environmentally green.” Wilson added that obtaining cod in England has become increasOriginally parked next to a print shop on Fry Street, the city of ingly more difficult because of over fishing, therefore many tradiDenton made him leave. After battling the city, he went to UNT tional fish and chips joints are serving other varieties of fish. Most of and set up shop on their property. the cod people eat in England is imported from Iceland. The name for the business came about from the campus itself, “The English are eating catfish now,” he said. “That’s the fish we where about two years ago Wilson had a naming contest amongst (Continued) students. The winner got $100.

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can get, I’ve got to keep my prices down.” While frying a filet, Wilson is approached by customer Nicole Cocco, who came to talk business. She’s a member of the Denton Community Market Steering Committee, a group trying to organize a monthly market for Denton businesses to gather. Cocco tells Wilson about it and asks if he’d be interested in setting up shop. “We feel that it’s very much a Denton-like thing,” she said. “It has that Denton vibe. It’s very unique. It’s something to the community and would add an interesting air to the market.” The air around the bus mostly smells of fried fish. “The community market is like a farmer’s market,” she said. “Also involved are food and art vendors, smaller businesses, to come out, every second Saturday to basically provide local and sustainable products and services to the Denton community.” After leaving contact information for Wilson, she leaves, being replaced by a regular to the Friar, student Parker Brown, who comes by almost every day to get fish and chips and a Dr Pepper. “It’s really good,” he said. “It actually tastes good. On top of that, it’s British.” Brown is working on his metal-smithing graduate degree in the art building near the bus. “I bring my friends here all the time,” he said. “Actually, I’m ordering stuff for [them] right now.” He said most of the people he knows in his metal-smithing program talk about the bus when the evening rolls around. It’s when the green bus covered with Beatles artwork parks in its usual spot. “I always ask them, ‘have you seen the bus yet?’” he said. “When we hear ‘yes,’ it’s like, ‘yes, it’s time to go eat.’”


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Workers at the Sauer-Beckmann Farm in Johnson City take time from their chores to talk to a visitor.

Renovations bring Farmstead to Life


In 1869, German immigrants Johann and Christine Sauer settled on a tract of land in Gillespie County, between Fredericksburg and Johnson City, with their four children. The Sauer family, which grew to include 10 children, built a homestead around their working farm. Their homestead originally grew up around log cabins, but as they became more prosperous, the Sauers erected buildings of native limestone. In 1900, they sold their property to Emil and Emma Beckmann, who improved the property further. By 1915, they had built and moved into a stylish, Victorian frame home. Across the Pedernales River from the farm lived the family of State Rep. Sam Ealy Johnson, Jr. In 1908, it was one of the Sauer children, Augusta Sauer Lindig, who delivered the Johnson’s first child, Lyndon, who would one day become president of the United States.

Thanks to a recent $128,000 renovation, visitors to Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historic Site near Stonewall can see what the original log cabins, some of which date to 1869, and the 1915 Victorian-style house would have looked like when they were new. Renovations include updates to roofs, porches and a fresh coast of paint. The floors of the Beckmann’s Victorian-style house have been refinished, the wood exterior, roof and the porch of the house repaired and painted and the foundation stabilized. Additionally, the work crews painted the home’s interior, refurbished the windows and repaired screen doors and shutters. Throughout the year, visitors to the living history farm can see park interpreters in period clothing doing the farm chores that the farm family would have done around 1918-feeding, milking, gathering eggs, slopping the hogs, cleaning the house, cooking meals, churning butter, making cheese, scrubbing

floors with homemade lye soap and plowing the garden with a team of horses. Tours of the farmstead are available on a first-come, firstserved basis. There is no charge for the tours, but donations are accepted. LBJ State Park lies directly across the Pedernales River from the LBJ Ranch, operated by the National Park Service. It includes the one-room schoolhouse that a 4-year-old Johnson attended in 1912, a reconstruction of his birthplace, the Johnson family cemetery, where LBJ and Lady Bird are buried and the Johnson Family Home, also known as the Texas White House, part of which is now open to public tours.

Tours of the home, which cost $1, take visitors through four rooms. The state park’s nature trail, historical displays, grounds and dayuse picnic areas are open until dark. Park buildings are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; the Sauer-Beckmann Living History Farm is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. year-round, except Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.


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Around The


Waterfest set for Sept. 11-12 Lake Dallas will host WaterFest and the 2010 Regional Jet Ski Finals at Willow Grove Park on Saturday, Sept. 11 through Sunday, Sept. 12. This year’s two-day race organized by R5WaterXRacing, a regional jet ski race promoter in Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and New Mexico, will feature some of the world’s fastest and greatest riders in ski (stand up) and runabout (sitdown) style watercraft reaching speeds in excess of 85-plus mph as they negotiate around a technical closed course track that pits racer versus machine and water conditions. At Sunday’s conclusion of the race, the 2010 Racer of the Year will be crowned. R5WaterXRacing owner Brian Smith, himself a professional jet skier and recently honored National Champion from the 2010 International Jet Sports Boating Association Endurance Nationals, is the race’s organizer. “Lewisville Lake has always proved to be a very challenging body of water to race in as it gets rough and unpredictable – a prime spot to hold the regional finals because it will make for some very interesting racing,” Smith said. The Texas Gypsies will headline the entertainment schedule for Saturday late afternoon. The Gypsies have an eclectic sound combining gypsy jazz with Western Swing, adding a twist on pop with a feel of the 30's and 40's. Eleven Hundred Springs will be featured for Sunday afternoon’s entertainment with their unique country style and fantastic stage performance. The event offers a family-friendly atmosphere with a children’s play area complete with a rock climbing wall and inflatable play structures. Food vendors will feature menus with a variety of choices for all tastes! WaterFest is free to attend with $5 parking. For more information, call 940497-2226 x132. New boats will help deputies Denton County Sheriff’s Lake Patrol targeted intoxicated boaters and conducted safety inspections Page 12


Memorial Day weekend using two new boats. The lakes will be patrolled regularly on the weekends until after Labor Day weekend. The new boats, both 22-foot Triton Enforcers equipped with Mercury 250 HP Verado motors, promise better fuel efficiency and less maintenance problems. One was paid for by the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program and the other was bought through regular county funds to replace the old boats, which were out of service several times last year and would continue to require costly repairs because of their age. “Boaters need to be aware that

better enforce the Texas Water Safety Act, boating while intoxicated laws, and help educate boaters about water safety. “We’re not out there just to write tickets,” Patrol Captain Mike Caley said. “Our primary concern is the safety of Denton County families. In the overwhelming majority of boating accidents, somebody broke the law and caused a tragedy. Our job is to prevent as many of those as we can.” Last year a total of eight people drowned on Lewisville Lake and Lake Ray Roberts, two of them boatrelated. Man dies at Party Cove Balint Gash jumped off the back of a pontoon boat in Lewisville Lake at Party Cove and didn’t come back up a day before Memorial Day. Gash was 24 and from The Colony. Denton County Game Wardens sent about three boats, along with

Denton County Sheriff’s Deputies in one of the new patrol boats.

the law requires that boats have enough personal flotation devices for each person on board, and that children under 13 years of age must wear one when the boat is traveling on the water,” said Sgt. Jose Pena. “In addition, taking the state boater education course is required for some boat operators, but all boaters can benefit and may even be eligible for insurance discounts if they take the course.” The course can be taken online at In the past five years the Sheriff’s Office has doubled the number of boat patrol officers on the lake during the summer season. All lake patrol officer are trained and certified by the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife as Marine Officers to

Lewisville Fire Department and its dive team, to find the man. Search attempts were successful after two hours, where Gash was brought up to the surface. The time of death is estimated to be about 7:50 p.m. by the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s office. The incident happened about 100 yards off shore from Westlake Park. According to Deputy Public Information Officer Roger Metcalf, the examiners have yet to rule on a cause of death for Gash. “They were really busy over the weekend,” he said. Stormy McCuistion, Denton County Game Warden, said the resources to find the man took several organizations working together. There were seven game wardens and three boats out, alongside three

Denton County Sherriff Deputies in another boat. Additionally two Lewisville Fire Department rescue boats carried about three people each, with the Lewisville Dive Team using a jet ski and three divers. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers also was in a boat on the scene. “That kind of manpower gets the thing done pretty quick hopefully,” McCuistion said. To assist in the search, three side-scan sonar units were used to find where Gash was. McCuistion said there aren’t many currents on Party Cove and that dangers can present themselves during high traffic times; people can hit their heads on boats. “When you’ve got 400 boats tied up together and you’ve got 3,500 people in a small area, you never know what’s going to happen,” he said. The search took about an hour and 45 minutes, after boats were cleared out of the cove. Gash was found in water about 14 feet deep. NTTA says no to under bridge fishing Fishing heats up on Lewisville Lake frequently, with hybrids, sand bass and catfish giving anglers a show. The spot to hit for some fishermen is right under the new Lewisville Lake Toll Bridge. While this succeeds in finding a decent spawning ground for fish, it has spawned a phone call concerning boats traveling under the bridge, something that is unavoidable for boats on the lake. Since the construction of the bridge, May 28, 2009, one complaint has been made by the North Texas Toll Authority about boats under the bridge. According to police reports, one call came from NTTA to the Lake Dallas Police Department April 10, which was concerning a boat sitting under the bridge. The Authority asked the police to go on loud speakers and advise the boaters they couldn’t be there. The responding officer was dispatched to the Lewisville Lake Toll Bridge to tell the boater not to fish under the bridge. When the officer arrived, he could not make contact with the boat’s operator. There are currently no signs telling fishermen they cannot cast under the bridge, only safety buoys that point out the bridge as a potential boating hazard.

Simply Delicious Pimento (Red Pepper) Cheese-Bacon Burgers * * * * * * * * * *


Serves: 4 Preparation: 15 min Chill: 30 min

1/3 cup Hellmann's速 or Best Foods速 Real Mayonnaise 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper 1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder 1/4 pound extra sharp white cheddar cheese, coarsely grated 1/4 pound extra sharp yellow cheddar cheese, coarsely grated 1/3 cup drained and finely chopped roasted red peppers or piquillo 1-1/2 pounds lean ground beef 4 hamburger buns 8 thick slices double smoked bacon, crisp-cooked

1. Combine mayonnaise, salt, pepper and cayenne in large bowl with fork. Stir in cheese and roasted peppers. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes. 2. Meanwhile, shape ground beef into 4 patties. Season, if desired, with salt and black pepper; set aside. 3. Grill or pan fry burgers, turning once, 8 minutes or until desired doneness. During last 30 seconds of cooking, evenly top each burger with cheese mixture, then cook covered until cheese melts slightly. Arrange burgers on buns, then evenly top with bacon.

Smoked Chile Cole Slaw Serves: 4 | Preparation: 10 min | Chill: 20 min * * * * *

1/2 cup Hellmann's速 or Best Foods速 Real Mayonnaise 2 tablespoons chipotle peppers in adobo sauce 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice 2 teaspoons honey 1 teaspoon ground cumin

* * * * *

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 medium head green cabbage, finely shredded 2 large carrots, finely shredded 1 small onion, halved and thinly sliced 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1. Combine mayonnaise, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, lime juice, honey and cumin in large bowl. Season, if desired, with salt and black pepper. 2. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cover and refrigerate at least 20 minutes before serving.

Jimbo’s Fishing Forecast

Let’s go


By JIMBO JOLLY Outdoors Writer


ES FOLKS, SPLASH HAS RETURNED by popular demand from so many of you, and I am pleased to once again bring you current and long-term fishing and hunting reports for the Lewisville Lake area and abroad. Although printed quarterly at this time, I will do my best to report on those upcoming months as accurate as possible in-between printings. And as always, I welcome any and all stories and pictures from our readers. For starters, the fishing on Lewisville Lake continues to be good depending on the time of day you are on the water and what I report as the here and now I expect it to continue through mid September at the very least before the action changes even more for the better. What I’m about to tell you may go against many of those other generic general fishing reports that you find online, yet what I’m reporting to you is what I have been experiencing first hand and/or from other area anglers who are reputable. But before I get started, let me define what I am calling “good” as listed above. It is not one of those goods that offer you limits of fish on a regular basis, but more of a good steady bite as long as you weed through dead zones and small to average sized fish to find those more active areas and bigger fish. Now that I’ve clarified myself a little more, “Let’s Go Fishin!” Black bass are really congregating close in to the rip-rap of the dams during first and last light of the day; moving out to deeper water as the sun breaks the horizon and they are being caught on a number of different baits. Shallow and deep diving crank baits both in a shad, Tennessee shad or crawfish pattern are the go-to choices. Work those four- to six-foot diving baits by casting them as close to the waters edge along the rocks as possible and retrieving back at a medium speed. Now, as said above, you will have to weed through numerous 13 ½ inch fish to find that bigger bite... just be patient and it will come. Other than the dam areas, focus your attention around deep water structure, channels and break lines in the 15-25 foot range, throwing deep diving DD-22 type crank baits, Carolina and Texas rigged red shad colored soft plastics and jigs. Do your best to find the structure and bounce your baits off of them. If the DD-22 type baits are not bringing you the bite you’re looking for, scale back to one that dives around 12 foot. If you haven’t found the bite during the first 15-20 minutes, move on to the next such area; you will find them congregated eventually. Crappie, on the other hand, continue to hold tight along the deep structure and bridge pilings in the 14-18 foot range without much change from day to day. Minnows are catching the numbers and 1/8 ounce jigs in white, fire tiger and red/chartreuse colors are catching the larger fish. White Bass/Sandies can be found exploding on the surface early morning and late afternoon/evening. Look for the gulls or congregated boats of course to find that top water action. Otherwise, the central area along the main lake dam has been the first stop for most during first light for the large schools. This early morning action has been good until around the 10 o’clock hour and then starting back up around 6 p.m. each evening. Baits of choice are tiny torpedo type surface baits, in-line spinners and slabs. Hybrid Bass up to eight pounds are being caught and are stacking up on deep water humps in the 20-28 foot depths in the main lake on slabs and live shad. Other large hybrids are being caught on slabs underneath the large schools of sand bass. Cast as far past the surface schools as possible, allow slab to sink to bottom and retrieve back to your boat at a steady fast retrieve. Hold on tight as they are hitting like whales! The catfish bite has been going strong for weeks now all around the lake on baits such as cut shad, prepared baits, chicken liver and night crawlers. Target them along the flats in old Lake Dallas, main lake points, marina slips and bridge pilings in the 10-20 foot range. Big Flathead Catfish are showing up late along the rip-rap on the dams and coves with large boulders and rocky bottoms; as well as mid-day around brushed out boat slips. Overall, I’ve been impressed with the way the bite has been holding up compared to recent years and really don’t expect much to change from this report until the lake water temperatures drop 10-degrees or more sometime after mid-September. At which time you should still find fish holding in similar patters, just search a little more shallow. I welcome all stories, pictures and story suggestions. I can be reached by email at I can also be reached by calling 940-497-NEWS. If I don’t happen to be in, just leave a number and I’ll call you back. Until next issue, I wish everyone bent rods, screaming drags and big fish! Splash

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Meeting Silas, Big Bucks and the

Jolly Brothers Outdoor Adventure Series



“Tibbee Bottom,” exclaimed Uncle Billy when I brung up deer huntin’ in Tibbee Bottom; which is tucked away amongst some of the oldest, deepest, wildest, swampy hardwoods that you could ever find south of the Mason-Dixon Line. Only the best huntin’ in the county, both then and now. A place that had haunted the dreams of my little brother and myself of one day hunting those big bottomland bucks as youngsters… which began back in the early 1970s. Now, we had been huntin’ on the west end of Tibbee as kids but over the past few years our area had become posted. Nevertheless, it was the east side of the immense Tibbee Bottom, miles away from our past adventures that our dreams dwelt upon… an area known for monster bucks and teaming with game of all sorts. “Well, my mama, brother and me have some land in Tibbee Bottom where you are talking about,” said Uncle Billy, which caused our young hearts to skip a beat or two. I knew Uncle Billy had grown up in the tiny, teeny-tiny community of Tibbee Proper where they had some land there on the high ground. But I never dreamed they had land in the bottom also. Thus began the greatest adventure of our life! An adventure, still unfolding every fall and winter to this very day, and an adventure that included one old geezer by the name of Silas. Stinky Silas as we called him. Ancient when we met him! A legend in his own mind! A skeery legend! Who am I? I’m Jeff and my little brother is Jimbo, who is a writer for this magazine. This story is the first of an upcoming series about the adventures of two young brothers and friends growing up in the backwoods, and one important character: Silas. (Now passed, God rest his soul.) “When can we go, when can you show us the land… when, when, when?” We were both spazzin’ purty good with anticipation as we begged Uncle Billy to show us the land in Tibbee Bottom. “Next Saturday,” was his reply. So the next Saturday, Uncle Billy, Daddy, little brother, baby cuzin’ Chris and myself loaded up in Uncle Billy’s four-wheel drive Bronco and set off for our first look-see! We drove through Tibbee Proper, took a few gravel roads this way and that, deeper and deeper into the bottom. Finally turning onto another road that actually appeared to be more of a rutted up trail than any road. But you could tell that this tracked up trail had some occasional traffic, yet, certainly not much. Little brother Jimbo and Chris were bouncing on the front seat… ”We almost there, we almost there?” they kept on buggin’ Uncle Billy as he drove us toward the bottom. “We are almost to Silas’,” Unca Billy replied. I thought to myself, what’s a “Silas?” Readin’ my thoughts, Uncle Billy said, “Silas is a real old-timer that’s lived out here as long as my own grand-pappy could remember… a sometimes wild ole man and sometimes wise.” But it was important that we got to know him. As it was at Silas’ house or barn that we would have to park. Venturing on from there on foot, deeper into Tibbee Bottom where all of the land surrounding Uncle Billy’s belonged to Silas or some of Silas’ kinfolk. We started down this trail of a road, twistin’ and turning’ all the time going down-and-deeper into the woods. After a spell, the road started to rise Page 14


by Brothers Jeff and Jimbo Jolly PART ONE


where it now crossed through the middle of an old beaver and muskrat infested slough. It wove across this slough a quarter mile or so, then through a tangled growth of young cut over timber. On through that thicket, the road continued until suddenly there was an old garden. Looking past the big garden that spanned across at least 15 acres, I could see the old woodman’s shack and barn and could only assume it was the Silas place. Driving up into what I could only guess to be a yard, my heart was pounding with excitement, having seen all sorts of wildlife on the way in. “Well, we’re here,” Uncle Billy said. Then told me to run on up to the house and see if Mr. Silas is in. As I walked up to the old shack, my mind was racing with all the ideas of what our future held out in these backwoods… of the days to come building stands and deer blinds, of fishing, trapping and just adventure in general. As I got to the door, I was fairly surprised to see a button for a doorbell on this ole shack. With thoughts of all the monster bucks to be had in these bottomlands, I reached and pressed the doorbell… “EEEYYAAAHH!” I heard myself yell. I’d been shocked worse than any electric fence I had ever p--- …uh-umm… touched before. All visions of bucks now gone with my finger throbbing, I could hear Uncle Billy and Daddy laughing! Laughing mind you! But before I could protest or ask why, we all heard a gravely ole voice coming from the barn where even more laughing was taking place. “Who-is-dis and Whu-whu… Whut-chu won’t?” the voice said. Uncle Billy quickly shouted a reply… “Silas, if you’ve got that gun, put it down… It’s me Billy, Capt’ns’ son.” To which Silas shouted back: “Billy, come on down-chere to-da barn. Wez refreshin’ out chere. As we walked to the barn, this tall old geezer of a man walked out. As round as he was tall, Silas wore faded old overalls, unbuttoned at the sides to accommodate his belly, with spindle legs underneath. Old… ancient… littlebitty round Ben Franklin type spec-tackles over his beady-little eyes that were squintin’ hard to focus. A round, circular shaped head with a stubblecovered chin. And when he spoke, it was through tightly gritted, lockjaw kind of teeth, that though he spoke, the teeth seldom parted… lending puzzlement to the fact that spittle flew all over when talking. Silas didn’t walk, he shuffled and oozed along in his clod-hopper boots with the lace up strings missing. After a moment of how-do’s with Uncle Billy, Daddy, little brother and cousin were introduced. Uncle Billy turned to me at the same time as Silas fixed his beady little eyes on me with a hard gaze. I’m fairly certain that I gulped audibly with knocking knees as I stood there under that Silas stare. Silas, still staring at me with those squinty eyes, asked… “An-this-un… Whut-ezz-him’s name… It looks like he be-uh-wont’n-sumpin!” Uncle introduced me as his nephew. ”Silas, this is Jeff! Jeff Jolly, and he wants to hunt the bottom!” “Jeff… meet Silas!” Where upon, Silas immediately gave me a nickname. “So, Jolly-Pop… Yu and yo squirt bruther gunna hunt down in em-air (Continued) bottumz ain’t-cha?

“Well… I stammered! Uh, umm, oh and then blurted out… ‘Mr. Silas you need to fix your doorbell, it shocked me!’” Then after another round of chuckles and laughing Silas said to me… “Jolly-Pop, taint no doorbell… runz stret through to muh ole battry; spose to shock”! But before I could protest further, Silas went on… “If’n yu be frins or kno me, then taint narry reason to push it. That, an-ya orta know better. “Now, see’n as how I ain’t likely gunna be in tha house in tha daytime… tha way I see it… If’n a stranger comes, pushes tha button and then hollers jest like yu yelled; well, I’ll hear ’em full out to the woods. I’ll hear ’em and get uh good laugh too!” After that explanation, little brother and I decided then and there, as any young boy would, that when we were grown and have a house; we would have to have our own Silas bell. Silas did apologize and offered me a sip of water outta his Mason jar. He said it was refreshing and would fix my still pounding finger, that, plus anything else what ails you. Dad said I was too young to be drinking from a Mason jar. I didn’t know it then, but that Mason jar came from Silas’ moonshine still in the same bottom we were to hunt. Silas didn’t like many folks and most people were scared of Silas, saying things like, “Silas is crazy! He’s a full wild man!” Jimbo and I was to learn much about Silas soon and grow to love him as the years unfolded. Silas took a keen liking to us from the get-go, and while standing at the old barn looking over the garden, Silas told us… “Look-heah… Look-heah, thez summa-em air gret-big-bucks back-uh tha garden spot; up of-uh mornin’ afore they eaz-on down to-tha crick… Now, go on git-us some meat soon as ya kin.” That was meeting Silas, stay tuned as Jimbo and I visit Silas and start our adventurin’ in Tibbee Bottom… with the Legend.

Outlaws once known as...

‘Lake Dallas Gang’


HE NOTORIOUS OUTLAWS Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker, sometimes known as the “Lake Dallas Gang,” were shot and killed on a country road outside of Gibsland, La., 76 years ago. Jeff Guinn, who wrote and recently published his book “Go Down Together, The True, Untold Story of Bonnie and Clyde,” said the two and their accomplices gave themselves the name “The Lake Dallas Gang” since they hid out in woods on the lake. The sparsely settled area nearby was then called Lake Dallas, before the lake was expanded and renamed Lewisville Lake. The area provided a great place to avoid the law but still be close to their families, friends and accomplices in Dallas. On one of their first visits to Lake Dallas and in their early criminal careers, according to Guinn’s book, the gang found a secluded place along the lakeshore to test guns they had purchased from a pawnbroker in Illinois. But the purchase turned out to be a bad investment as many of the guns wouldn’t work. This was only the beginning of the gang’s history and it wasn’t starting out well. Guinn writes, “The first three weeks of Clyde Barrow’s and Bonnie Parker’s new lives as career criminals were notable mostly for bad decisions and worse luck. At times, their misadventures would have constituted slapstick comedy if lives hadn’t been at stake.” The year was 1932. Ralph Fults, one of the gang members, knew a shopowner in Drupo, Ill. who illegally sold high-caliber weaponry. On one of their first crime sprees, the gang visited the shopowner on the way back using loot they had just stolen to make the purchase. But with their guns in non-working condition, the gang needed to find money and new guns. So, on April 11, 1932, the gang planned to travel from their Lake Dallas hideout to the nearby Denton town square to rob two banks simultaneously. But that never happened since the gang noticed a couple of Texas Rangers sitting

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in a vehicle on the square. Even as the gang began, Barrow was concerned that someone was ratting out their plans. Someone did rat out their location some two years later, leading to the end of their criminal careers as well as their lives. There were local ties to the gang as well. Jim Sargent, the son of a prominent business owner in Lake Dallas, recalled the gang passing through Lake Dallas and stopping at the family’s general store and gas station, Sargent’s Store, located at the corner of Goliad and

Main. He said they were always polite and paid for their gas. Red Boyd was a youngster who sold the Dallas Morning News locally. He said The Lake Dallas Gang was a good customer since they enjoyed reading about themselves and their escapades and wanted to stay one step ahead of the law. Boyd said he knew where they hid out and knew it was an easy sale.

Shady Shores resident Muriel Brown also remembers Clyde Barrow, who saw Brown walking home barefoot and offered to give her a ride on the sideboard of his car. She jumped on the sideboard and Clyde wrapped is left arm around her so she wouldn’t fall. She recalls him being very polite. Over time, the gang would travel farther on their outlaw escapades. When Clyde recruited his brother Buck, the Lake Dallas Gang would also be called the Barrow Gang. It was a trip to Gibsland, La. to hide out that would lead to their demise on May 23, 1934. The 25 and 23 year old outlaws were taken out by an ambush of law enforcement officers from Texas and Louisiana who pumped more than 100 bullets into their car and their bodies. Those officers stayed in the woods more than two days after getting word that the two would be passing through. The death car, with the bodies still inside, was brought to the nearby town of Arcadia, La. to a furniture store that doubled as a mortuary when needed. Newspaper reports say that the little town of 2,000 swelled to more than 12,000 upon the news. They came in cars, by train, by horseback, by buggy and some even walked for miles. Everyone wanted to get a look at the bodies of the outlaws. During their brief but busy careers as outlaws, The Lake Dallas Gang was thought to be responsible for at least a dozen killings, including nine police officers. Their bullet-riddled bodies were brought back to Dallas for large funerals. Thousands of people attended the funerals or just turned out to see the chaos that ensued. Bonnie’s funeral service was held at the now-defunct McKamy-Campbell Funeral Home on Forest Avenue in East Dallas. She was buried at Fishtrap Cemetery, but in 1945 her body was moved to Crown Hill Cemetery in Dallas. Bonnie had written a poem request-

ing her body be buried next to Clyde’s. Her mother made sure that didn’t happen. Clyde’s funeral was held at the SparkmanHoltz-Brand Funeral Home located in the historic A.H. Belo Mansion in downtown Dallas. He was buried in Western Heights Cemetery in Dallas next to his brother. The single granite marker has both brothers names and the wording “Gone but not forgotten.” Interest in Bonnie and Clyde still continues. Southwest Historical Tours of Dallas gives tours of the sites where Bonnie and Clyde grew up in West Dallas, went to school, worked, robbed and are buried. Ken M. Holmes, Jr., a Bonnie and Clyde historian gives the tour. He owns the 1934 Ford that was used in the 1967 movie about the outlaws as well as featured at festivals. The car was on display at the Planet Hollywood in Dallas as well as the Southwest Historical Wax Museum in Grand Prairie. Holmes is co-owner of the Bonnie and Clyde Ambush Museum in Gibsland, La., opened in 2005. In what was Ms. Canfield’s Café where Bonnie and Clyde dined just prior to their demise. The museum weapons seized from the real death car, exclusive movie footage taken by the law enforcement posse immediately following the ambush and other memorabilia of that era. While at the museum, visitors can visit with Museum Curator L.J. “Boots” Hinton whose father was Deputy Sheriff Ted Hinton, one of the lawmen at the ambush on a country road nearby. The annual Bonnie and Clyde Festival each May offers a weekend of events ranging from a pancake supper, a parade, history meetings, discussions and ends with a re-enactment of the ambush. In all, there are usually four re-enactments of the shootout. Historians, Bonnie and Clyde buffs and even family members from both the Parker and Barrow families attend. For many, it’s like a family reunion every year. In addition to Guinn’s book, several other books have come out in recent years. Historian and writer John Neal Phillips, who does a yearly “Bonnie and Clyde Tour” for the Dallas Historical Society, has written his second book on the outlaws. His first was “Running with Bonnie and Clyde: The Ten Fast Years of Ralph Fults.” Fults was one of the gang’s first members, but he later went on to be a minister. His newest is “My Life with Bonnie and Clyde” that follows Blanche Caldwell Barrow and her relationship with Clyde’s brother Buck and their travels with the gang. She was apprehended in a shootout with law enforcement and served

prison time for her involvement. Phillips is a college professor for the Dallas County Community College. Dixie Lee Sedgwick, a Dallas actor, continues to portray Parker in her one-woman play that she wrote. Over the years, she’s performed the play in 17 cities including an offBroadway run at the John Houseman Theatre Center. She’s been interviewed and has been a part of many Bonnie and Clyde documentaries

Clyde Barrows grabs Bonnie Parker next to his car.

and events. Currently she is producing “Bonnie and Clyde – End of The Line” a feature film now in development. A new mainstream movie is in the works about Bonnie and Clyde and will star Hilary Duff and Kevin Zegers. “The Story of Bonnie and Clyde” is a new adaptation of the outlaws, rather than a remake of the 1967 movie starting Warren Beaty and Faye Dunaway that was extensively shot around North Texas and in many Denton County locations. Tonya S. Holly began working on the project after reading old newspaper articles about the gangster pair hiding out in an abandoned house on her family’s property. She researched and wrote the movie and will also serve as the director. The movie is being shot Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama and will reportedly star Cloris Leachman, Dee Wallace, Peter

Coyote, Lee Majors and Tess Harper as Governor Ma Ferguson. The movie is scheduled to be released in 2010. The death car, Ford Model 730 Deluxe Sedan, was claimed by its’ rightful owner, Ruth Warren of Kansas, who had trouble with law enforcement personnel who didn’t want to give it back. When she was allowed to take the car, she drove it to nearby Shreveport where the vehicle was loaded onto a truck and taken to her home where it sat in the driveway for some time. The car changed hands numerous times and was taken out on exhibition tours where people could pay to see the car up close. The car has been on display in Primm, Nev. since 1988 except for a few times the vehicle was moved to other casinos. It is located in a rotunda that joins Primm Valley Resort & Casino and the Fashion Outlet of Las Vegas. Along with the car, the display also includes part of the shirt Clyde died in, a belt and a necklace both made by Clyde in prison, a handmade mirror and 17 Barrow family photos. A car once owned by Al Capone is part of the display. There are some oddities in the Bonnie and Clyde story. There are as many as four musical versions of the Bonnie and Clyde story. Several singers recorded Bonnie and Clyde songs ranging from their being outlaws to lovebirds. One-inch squares of Clyde’s shirt, the shirt he was killed in, are being sold and are now fetching as much as $500 each. Even today, you can find a one-inch square of the actual pants Barrow was wearing on Ebay with bidding running about $200. Bonnie and Clyde movies, posters, pictures, audio accounts, audio books and numerous books can be found on Ebay as well. At last count, there are more than 200 items on the auction site relating to the outlaws. The Franklin Mint offers a Bonnie and Clyde miniature of a 1932 Ford Coupe for just $145, or three easy payments of $48.33. The car comes with a reproduction of a letter Clyde wrote to Henry Ford, praising his car. “Make a quick getaway in the Ford favored by history’s greatest outlaws, complete with the gear you need for the big heist,” says the Franklin Mint Web site. “Inspired by an actual getaway car driven by ‘The Bloody Barrows.’ Swing open the doors for a look at the authentic interior. Open the dual side-lifting hood to admire the incredibly detailed recreation of the Ford Flathead V-8 engine.” Popular rapper Jay-Z also joined the fanfare with his version of a Bonnie and Clyde rap.


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