1380 BIG GUNS IN ANTIOCH APRIL 23, 2015
As suspected, the recent articles about Bonnie and Clyde brought in a few emails about their sightings as they sped along back roads. One was particularly interesting and thanks to Phillip Noble for allowing me to use it. “My name is Phillip Noble and my family is from Delta County. Mark Deatherage is my distant cousin and still lives in Delta County. I visit every summer for a fish fry in Pecan Gap that Mark puts together. Another distant cousin is Weldon Briscoe that once lived in Pecan Gap. I currently live in Golden, Colorado and receive the Cooper Review in the mail, usually about a week late. I am a regular reader of your column and always enjoy the stories. My mother, Verna Charlene Briscoe Noble, was born in or around Antioch. As a young child she had an encounter with Bonnie and Clyde near her home. Her story has been passed down through the family and was even printed in the Dallas Morning News in 1999.”
Here is Phillip’s mother’s story. “The encounter occurred between Pecan Gap and Cooper when I was about ten years old. I’d been down the road hoeing weeds off the ditch bank. It was noon and I was going home for lunch. I was alone and right at the Y in the road. I came up out of the ditch and started walking home. I looked up and a roll of dust was coming over the hill from Pecan Gap. It looked like a tornado coming down that road and my eyes were big. I knew that somebody was really in a hurry. They zoomed right up to me and stopped. And it was Bonnie and Clyde but I didn’t know it at the time. Back then we weren’t afraid of anybody. Everybody was nice. Well, except for Bonnie and Clyde I guess. The car looked like a limo and we usually didn’t see anything except Model T Fords. The man driving said ‘Hello honey. Can you tell me which of these roads will take us to Commerce?’ I walked up to the car, put my arms on the door, and told him which way to go. As I leaned on the door I looked in the back seat and saw a lot of guns. The man thanked me and drove away as fast as he had come. I went home and told Mama about all the guns, big guns. She said not to worry, they were gone now.
Later that evening we had our little radio on. The news man said Bonnie and Clyde had been seen in Bonham, Ladonia, and Pecan Gap. The sheriff had chased them and lost them. I realized then it was Bonnie and Clyde I had talked to. The news man said they had got through Commerce and went on to parts unknown. I was afraid I would get in trouble for helping them get away. I knew they were awfully young. They were neat and clean and she was sitting over close to him. It wasn’t too long after that they were killed.”
Phillip commented on a coincidence that happened at the grave site when his mother was buried in 2011. “Mom passed away on May 2, 2011 and was buried next to my father in Crown Hill Memorial Cemetery just north of Love Field in Dallas. After the service many of our family and friends were telling stories near her grave. The Bonnie and Clyde story was mentioned and the funeral director heard it. He said he wanted to show us something and led us over to where Bonnie was buried. My mother and Bonnie Parker are buried not more than 30-40 yards apart. “
Philip wound up the email with a few more tidbits: “As earlier mentioned I have a lot of relatives in Delta County and quite a few are buried in Oaklawn Cemetery. Some of their names are Noble, Briscoe, Wright, Turbeville, Davis, and Deatherage. There are still some of the remains of the house my great, great grandfather, Joshua H. Noble, built on the corner of CR 4135 and CR 4136. I have one of the bois d’arc stumps from the foundation and it is harder than any rock you can find. Last but not least, you previously mentioned Billy Poteet in your article. He was my P.E. teacher at Maple Lawn Elementary in Dallas many, many years ago. Take care, and maybe we will meet some day when I am passing through. Phillip Noble.” Thanks, Phillip for that historical and interesting information.
Fishermen are really happy about Cooper Lake being only about two feet low. Most people are catching quite a few fish each trip. I talked to Bobby at Johns Creek Lodge last week and he was also excited about the lake. Said this last weekend was the first time every room of his motel was filled with fishermen in two years. Son in law, Jason Barnett, Junior Larkin, and I fished two days and caught several catfish. Friday, Ronny Glossup, Junior Larkin, and I were pleasantly surprised to find Thursday night’s two inch rain around Commerce had South Sulphur running strong. We moved to the running water and caught well over a hundred pounds of blue catfish. Used shad for bait.
The sheriff of a small Louisiana town got a call about a huge alligator in a nearby lake. People were worried a kid or pet might get killed. The sheriff got his deputy to go along and they crawled up to some bushes growing close to the bank. As they peeped out over the lake there lay a very large alligator right in front of them just a few feet away. The alligator was looking right at them. The sheriff told his deputy to just stay calm; the alligator is just as scared of you as you are of it. The deputy said, “If that’s the case, the water in this lake ain’t fit to drink.”