Overnight at the Bonnie and Clyde Hideout

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This month, my Friday Road Trip became a Weekend Getaway, at a unique destination 1.4 miles from my home in Joplin.

My sisters joined me for an overnight at the Bonnie and Clyde Hideout.

And here’s how this interesting weekend came about. Wanting to include local sites of interest on my blog, I checked online to find the owner of this historical building in my city. Intending to gain permission to take photos in the Bonnie and Clyde Hideout, I instead discovered the apartment over the garage is an Airbnb available to rent.

Perfect!

My intention to take photos for a story turned into a fun overnight experience.

Overnight at the Bonnie and Clyde Hideout title meme

The Barrow Gang Comes to Joplin

The Joplin connection is a vital one, in the saga of Bonnie and Clyde.

This infamous couple, Bonnie Elizabeth Parker and Clyde Chestnut Barrow, traveled the lower Midwest between 1931 and 1934. The pair’s life of crime began with robberies of small stores and gas stations and escalated to bank heists and murder.

Clyde’s brother Buck and his wife Blanche and the youth WD Jones completed the Barrow Gang. During their years of crime, they killed nine police officers and four civilians.

On April 1, 1933, the gang rented an over the garage apartment in Joplin, Missouri. Located in a quiet, affluent neighborhood, the upstairs apartment’s many windows provided vantage points to watch for the approach of law enforcement.

For 13 days the group hid in the apartment while committing a series of robberies in Missouri and neighboring states. They slept late into the day, partied heartily at night and cleaned weapons in the garage.  A variety of stolen cars appeared and disappeared from the property. Their unusual activities drew suspicion from the neighbors.

On April 13, 1933, police arrived, expecting to find bootleggers. Instead, a furious shootout occurred. Joplin police detective Harry McGinnis and Newton County Constable John Wesley Harryman lost their lives. McGinnis died from his wounds in a nearby hospital while Harryman died instantly, his body falling into the garage.

Overnight at the Bonnie and Clyde Hideout 1933
Bonnie and Clyde apartment 1933. Photo taken by Blanche Barrow.
Overnight at the Bonnie and Clyde Hideout 2020
Overnight at the Bonnie and Clyde Hideout in 2020.

The Importance of the Joplin Hideout

Bonnie and Clyde, Buck and Blanche and WD escaped, however they left all of their belongings behind. Police discovered a camera and undeveloped rolls of film. The circulated photos from those canisters allowed law enforcement across the lower US to see what the outlaws looked like. The brutality of the shooting in Joplin helped to change the public’s opinion about the gang.

Buck Barrow died as a result of gunshot wounds from a raid at Platte City, Missouri on July 29, 1933.

Blanche Barrow eventually served six years in prison for assault. After her release she remarried and lived quietly for the rest of her life. She died December 24, 1989.

WD Jones, who was only 16 when he joined with Bonnie and Clyde, received a 15 year sentence. He was paroled after six years. WD died August 20, 1974 from gunshot wounds, after an altercation.

And Bonnie and Clyde’s crime spree came to an end on May 23, 1934 on a rural road in Louisiana. A posse of Texas rangers and Louisiana officers set up an ambush, firing more than 100 rounds into the car carrying the duo.

Overnight at the Bonnie and Clyde Hideout duo
Overnight at the Bonnie and Clyde Hideout – photo of the pair found in the camera left behind in Joplin.
Overnight at the Bonnie and Clyde Hideout Bonnie
One of the most famous photos of Bonnie Parker, found in the camera left in Joplin.

Spending the Night at the Bonnie and Clyde Hideout

I reserved the apartment through Airbnb. My sisters and I, along with our mother, arrived at 3:00 pm sharp. We checked ourselves in through the access keypad on the door.

The apartment, which is registered as a historic site, contains a living room, full kitchen with a dining area, two bedrooms and a bathroom. One of the bedrooms is set up as a parlor without a bed.

Saundra, the owner and host, offers charming and meticulously clean accommodations with an authentic 1930s feel. The rooms contain photos, newspaper articles and books detailing the lives of the Barrow Gang. And guests can watch the 1967 film, Bonnie and Clyde, starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, on the television hidden in a cabinet in the living room.

Join me on a photo tour of this unique apartment.

Overnight at the Bonnie and Clyde Hideout stairs
Overnight at the Bonnie and Clyde Hideout – stairs leading up to the apartment. The door to the garage, lower right, is locked.
Overnight at the Bonnie and Clyde Hideout Ferni
Ferni’s first photo op. Check out our last adventure.

Bonnie and Clyde Hideout Kitchen

I love Airbnbs with kitchens. We toted in groceries for our evening meal, snacks and breakfast the next morning. The kitchen in the Bonnie and Clyde apartment offers a full sized electric range, a small refrigerator with freezer and an assortment of cooking pots, dinnerware and utensils.

A small dining table and two chairs provide a spot for meals.

With its windows and cozy decor, the kitchen became my favorite space in the dwelling. I enjoyed preparing aloo matar for dinner and fruit bowls for breakfast. A black tea kettle inspired me to prepare cups of peppermint tea.

Overnight at the Bonnie and Clyde Hideout kitchen
Overnight at the Bonnie and Clyde Hideout – love this cheerful, bright kitchen.
Overnight at the Bonnie and Clyde Hideout making tea
Making tea. The full sized stove made cooking easy during our stay.
Overnight at the Bonnie and Clyde Hideout dining area
My favorite spot in the apartment.

Bonnie and Clyde Hideout Living Room

The living room, with its original wood floors and wall of windows, provides the perfect place to gather. The four chairs offer ample seating. We enjoyed thumbing through the books about Bonnie and Clyde.

Because Mom and my daughter Elissa joined us for dinner, we used this space for eating as well as lively discussions and watching the Bonnie and Clyde film together later.

Tucked into a corner is a large cupboard where the gang stashed their guns. There’s a bullet hole within it, from the spray of bullets that came through a window.

I also enjoyed looking through the guests books in this room, where visitors record their appreciation for this apartment.

 

Overnight at the Bonnie and Clyde Hideout living room
Overnight at the Bonnie and Clyde Hideout – comfy living room
Overnight at the Bonnie and Clyde Hideout book
Copy of Blanche’s book, My Life with Bonnie and Clyde, available to read. We all read the Joplin chapter while there.

The Bathroom

The bathroom off of the short hallway still contains its original bathtub. However the rest of the bathroom is updated for convenience.

I love the black and white theme and the clean, bright space.

Saundra provides soaps and towels for her guests.

Overnight at the Bonnie and Clyde Hideout bathroom
Cute and classy black and white bathroom.

Bonnie and Clyde Hideout Bedrooms

The original floor plan of the apartment shows two bedrooms, one at either end of a short hallway.

Although Saundra set up one room as a parlor, it’s easy to determine which bedrooms members of the Barrow Gang utilized.

The front bedroom, overlooking the street, is currently the parlor. Blanche and Buck Barrow slept in this room.

Bonnie and Clyde used the back bedroom. I read that WD Jones actually slept with the couple most of the time although in this apartment it’s possible he also claimed the living room as his space.

For our overnight, my sisters slept in Bonnie and Clyde’s room while I slept on an air mattress that I brought along, in the front bedroom.

Overnight at the Bonnie and Clyde Hideout Blanche and Buck's room
Overnight at the Bonnie and Clyde Hideout – Blanche and Buck’s room, now a parlor
Overnight at the Bonnie and Clyde Hideout Bonnie and Clyde's bedroom
Bonnie and Clyde’s bedroom.

Our Overnight at the Bonnie and Clyde Hideout

We loved our overnight in this lovely apartment.

The neighborhood is indeed quiet and the windows in the upstairs apartment let in plenty of sunlight. After settling in, we savored our evening meal and snacks and chatted until early in the morning.

I enjoyed preparing tea for me and one of my sisters. And imagine the surreal experience of watching a movie about these notorious outlaws while actually sitting in the space they lived in for a short time.

With my sensitivity to energy, it was not hard to sense Bonnie, Clyde, Blanche, Buck and WD moving silently about the hideout. And while many romanticized this couple during the height of their crime spree, Bonnie and Clyde lived a life outside of the law. The consequences of their actions and lifestyle resulted in pain and death for innocent people. And yet, I recognize their humanity too and I’m willing to learn from their stories.

Overnight at the Bonnie and Clyde Hideout tea time
Tea time during our overnight at the Bonnie and Clyde Hideout.

Sleeping Well

When I first arrived at the apartment, I felt some of that residual pain empathically. After all, two men died during the shoot out. Because of that lingering energy, I honestly didn’t know if I could sleep in Blanche and Buck’s room. However, by bedtime I’d made peace with the energy there, which mellowed out during the evening.

We slept well in the Bonnie and Clyde hideout, my sisters and I.

Awaking early, with sunlight streaming in through the windows, I curled up on the chaise lounge in the parlor and read in Blanche’s book. Taken from her diary, the book provides an intimate glimpse into life with the famous outlaws. Gratefully, I’m picking up the book at the Joplin Public Library tomorrow, to finish reading it.

Overnight at the Bonnie and Clyde Hideout reading
A lovely spot to start the day.

Visit the Bonnie and Clyde Hideout

I highly recommend this Airbnb! Saundra is a super host, providing a unique experience for her guests. My sisters and I would definitely stay here again.

The apartment is located at 3347 1/2 Oak Ridge Drive, in Joplin, although the building actually faces 34th Street. There is a historic landmark sign in the yard.

If you appreciate unusual buildings, enjoy history or want to experience a space where famous outlaws once resided, book this outstanding Airbnb using this link. New to Airbnb? Save up to $65 off of your first stay with this link!

When you visit, soak in the history and the stories within those walls…and tell the Barrow Gang I said hello.

Overnight at the Bonnie and Clyde Hideout sign
Historic landmark sign at the Bonnie and Clyde Hideout.

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Wrapped in Love

This has been such a joyful and restorative day. Every action I have taken has had one purpose…to practice deep self care. I have, quite literally, wrapped myself in love.

Here are pictorial highlights of my day.

I brought in all my own food. Everything is organic, healthy, and easily prepared. Being able to cook for myself is at the core of my self care, and the reason I wanted a full kitchen on site for this personal retreat. Breakfast was simple…sliced bananas and cara cara oranges, and a cup of hot Scottish breakfast tea with a splash of unsweetened almond coconut milk.

The gorgeous kitchen I have been preparing meals in today.

And below, the equally gorgeous view out the dining room windows and sliding door.

I spent the morning reading, writing and thinking, sitting wherever I felt drawn to sit. This oversized chair made a comfy writing spot.

Lunch was a light and refreshing orange, green olive and avocado salad, a recipe I picked up from Anthony William. It was so delicious! The flavors complemented each other marvelously.

I kept being pulled to the windows, overlooking the lake. I stepped outside a couple of times, but with a high in the 20s today, it seemed too cold to linger. Nevertheless, on one of my wanderings outside, I brushed ice out of a rocker. Perhaps tomorrow, I thought.

As I was reading this afternoon, the clouds cleared away and the sun shone brightly. It didn’t raise the temps, but I could no longer resist. I pulled on my warm boots and grabbed my soft, wooly blanket and headed out onto the deck. The rocking chair was ice free and sitting full in the sun.

The sunlight danced on the water and filtered through the tree branches to bathe my face. I closed my eyes and sun gazed, and colors then danced on my eyelids.

This is me. Unplugged. No make up. Wrapped in love. The air was so cold that it made my nose tingle to inhale. However, the fresh frostiness was invigorating. And the blanket kept me warm.

After a time of meditating and writing in front of a crackling fire, which felt especially good after sitting outside, I prepared another recipe of Anthony’s for dinner. Aloo Matar, an Indian dish, is such a fragrant and comforting meal. It contains homey potatoes, onions and peas in a mild tomato based curry.

I have been excited all day about preparing this recipe for the first time. I was not disappointed. It was excellent! I am even more excited that I have enough left over for tomorrow night’s dinner.

Day two of my weekend getaway is winding down. I’ll sip on a cup of hot turmeric milk soon, while I relax in the soaking tub. And then perhaps I will color for a while. However I choose to end the day, it will be absolutely perfect.

Cindy Unplugged

This afternoon marked the beginning of my long weekend getaway. I have been full of anticipation for this mini retreat, and now it is here. I am going to unplug during these four days, from my phone, from other people, from television and business and everything, really, except listening to my body, conversing with the Divine, and allowing my imagination and daydreaming the freedom to expand.

I packed a minimal amount of clothing, intending to wear comfy lounging clothes primarily. However, I brought along a variety of journals and notebooks, a Love Your Life Workbook, colored pencils and coloring books, a sketchbook and a couple of books to read, if the desire to do so arises. Because I will be cooking nutritious meals while I am here, I filled three large shopping bags with food. Overall, I packed less when I traveled to Europe for 12 days!

I will be posting in my blog daily, because this is a commitment I have made with myself. However, they will be brief, and photo heavy.

The house I am staying in is beautiful and perfect for my needs. I can see the lake from the large windows in the dining area and kitchen.

I am grateful for the windows, because although there are two large decks overlooking the lake, the cold temperatures will keep me inside. I hope to walk down to the lake at least once while I am here.

I created a wish list for the location of my weekend away. I wanted a view of water, a deck, a full kitchen, and privacy. This house has it all, and I am extremely grateful.

It also has something that I did not know I wanted…a wood burning fireplace.

Greg, who dropped me off this afternoon, and lugged in all of my bags, graciously took the time to start a fire for me. He also provided pine logs that are easy to ignite and will burn for hours. I pulled two chairs together to form a great lounging area. Piled with pillows, and a soft fluffy blanket to curl up under, this has been the space where I kicked off my weekend. I had tea and gluten, dairy and sugar free scones here. I wrote in my workbook. I meditated. I stared into the fire and felt every muscle in my body relax as I was serenaded by the soothing sound of a crackling fire.

What incredible bliss. And what a beautiful gift is this weekend, this time and this gorgeous space. I am grateful for it all, including the thing I didn’t know I would enjoy so much. I am smiling about the unexpected gift of the fireplace. I am unplugged, and undone.

Travel Scavenger Hunt

I’m not quite sure what I had in mind when I wrote out this Inspiration Starter back in July…Go on a travel scavenger hunt. However, when I drew this slip of paper from the jar today, an idea immediately came to mind. A scavenger hunt, by definition, is a game in which the participant seeks to gather all of the specific items on a list.

I had a list in mind, and it was connected to travel.

The first Inspiration Starter I randomly drew on December 1 had to do with going on a Getaway Weekend. I was puzzled at first about why I drew that slip on a day when a weekend away wasn’t possible. However the day was full of surprises, and by the end of the afternoon I had been gifted with a generous check, for the very specific and stated purpose of having a solo weekend out of town.

I am full of anticipation for a few days of personal retreat time in January. I used today’s inspiration as a nudge to seek out the perfect place to get away to.

Here was my scavenger list for that special weekend:

• Location within 100 miles of Joplin, with particular interest in NW Arkansas or SW Missouri.

• Water view

• Kitchenette so I can do my own meal prep

• Private deck

• Cute place

• Seclusion

• Right price

I would know I had found the perfect place for my retreat if I could check all of the items off of my list.

After a bit of searching on my laptop, I “happened” to stumble across something new to me…Vacation Rentals By Owner, or VRBO. These homes, cottages, condos, apartments and cabins are managed by their owners, much like Airbnb, and the prices are incredibly good.

I sorted through possibilities, checking them against my scavenger list. Some had a couple of my “must haves”. Quite a few had six out of seven. I knew those were not the places for me. I found three that had all seven items. It then became a matter of which location appealed to me the most.

The little condo I have selected, located in NW Arkansas, not only had all seven of the items on my list, its decor drew me. There is a Namaste pillow on the bed, a framed art piece with the word HOPE on it, a glass door that opens onto a private deck. It is cozy, intimate and perfect for my purposes.

I love how the Divine has brought this whole idea of a getaway weekend together, encouraging me to go, giving me a playful nudge to find the right place, and providing the funds as a beautiful gift to me.

That last part carried significance today, as I played my scavenger hunt game. Because, the object of the adventure is to find the items on the list, without purchasing them. I laughed when I realized how wonderfully connected it all is.

It is going to be an amazing weekend away, I can already tell.

Starting Inspirational Fires

This is the blog post that almost wasn’t. And it is one of those twisty, turny journeys that needs a bit of backstory to make sense. Bear with me.

In July of this year, I felt drawn to create what I dubbed Inspiration Starters. Read about those HERE. I wrote creative ideas, with the intention of challenging myself, on 32 slips of paper and dropped them into a container. I randomly selected one of those Inspiration Starters a few days later. And then, totally forgot about them, as in, they passed from time and memory. Until this past week. Decorating for Christmas I opened the ceramic jar and thought, oh yeah!

I had 31 slips of paper left. December, with its 31 days, was about to begin. I decided what a great way to finish this Year of Inspiration, this time of living with a focus on creativity and treating others with kindness. I could draw a slip of paper each day, beginning December 1.

I was excited to draw the first folded slip today. When I played a similar game last year I was amazed by the synchronicities, the Divine guidance, the remarkable alignment of perfect conditions that appeared around each of those slips of paper. Drawing them randomly takes me out of the equation and opens my heart, spirit and creativity to a power greater than me.

What would I select? Honestly, I had created the Inspiration Starters five months ago. I had forgotten all that I came up with, which was good. I could be surprised.

I drew:

My first thought was, Well…even though this is Friday, and this Inspiration appears perfect, it won’t work this weekend. I have an out of town family birthday party tomorrow and an open house Sunday. There would be no get away this weekend.

My second thought was, This one is a miss. The timing was off. And, there was more to it than that.

I have been thinking much about a weekend get away lately, just me and a journal and a pen. As this year winds down, I feel drawn to go off by myself and think and dream and plan, a releasing of 2017 and an anticipation of 2018. I want time to commune with the Divine and meditate and go within. With that desire in mind, I asked the Divine to arrange the get away weekend, guiding me to the right place, at the right time, by way of signs, symbols and synchronicities.

To make it an even more fun and challenging quest, I asked EL-LE (my personal name for God, pronounced like the letter L), for a very specific sign. I would know it was all EL-LE’s doing in two ways: The weekend away, alone, would cost me nothing, or very little, allowing me to be open to all kinds of opportunities beyond simply staying in a hotel somewhere. And, I would know which place was the right one because it would have a particular symbol attached to it, that is significant to me.

Drawing that slip of paper today threw me. Nothing appeared to be in place for the weekend get away. It did indeed seem to be a miss, timing wise. I decided to keep a weekend away in mind during this month, and just see what unfolded. I left the slip of paper on my writing table in my studio.

I’ve had other things going on today. I’ve been busy and didn’t dwell on that Inspiration Starter. I wasn’t sure what I was going to write about this evening but I trusted the right thing would come along at the right time.

It did. And it connected back to the weekend get away paper that I drew.

As I was finishing my last task for the day, I was offered an amazing, and surprising, gift. This person, who wishes to remain unnamed, did not know that I have been asking EL-LE for a weekend away, or that I had drawn that slip of paper earlier in the day. I was gifted with a check, for a generous amount, and instructed to get away for a weekend, to have some time alone. I was told that the thought suddenly came to my gracious benefactor late today, seemingly out of the blue, accompanied by the urge to give me this gift.

I am undone. I am so grateful. A miss? No. The slip of paper I drew earlier was a wink from the Divine, a hint that it is almost time for that weekend get away I have been longing for. And as I hoped, as I trusted, all is being arranged.

I am looking at the end of the month for my special weekend. Or perhaps the first week in January. I have no doubts that I will know which weekend is perfect, and where to stay. I am being guided. I am involved in an ongoing conversation, an intimate dance, with the Divine.

The December creative game is underway. This must be why I completed my Christmas decorating early this season. I needed to be free. Something bigger is unfolding. I am going to finish out this incredible year by starting 31 fires that will ignite my passion, creativity and imagination. I am setting my heart aflame.