Archive for Friday, September 30, 2011

Stick ‘em up: Clyde Barrow bank robbery re-enactment draws a crowd

September 30, 2011


Theatre Lawrence actor Shawn Trimble, left, playing bank robber Clyde Barrow, coerces Lawrence Mayor Aron Cromwell, playing the president of First National Bank, to open the bank vault. The re-enactment Friday of a supposed 1932 robbery began at the Eldridge hotel and progressed to Teller’s, 746 Mass.

Theatre Lawrence actor Shawn Trimble, left, playing bank robber Clyde Barrow, coerces Lawrence Mayor Aron Cromwell, playing the president of First National Bank, to open the bank vault. The re-enactment Friday of a supposed 1932 robbery began at the Eldridge hotel and progressed to Teller’s, 746 Mass.

Lawrence Mayor Aron Cromwell learned firsthand Friday evening there are things more menacing than mudslinging political opponents.

Playing the part of the president of First National Bank, Cromwell had cold steel pressed to his chest as part of a re-enactment of a 1932 robbery.

The robbery was said to have been orchestrated by Clyde Barrow and partner Ralph Fults. Fults told his biographer it was the job that got Barrow into the bank-robbing business, though no other evidence proving the robbery happened is known to exist.

Cromwell was walking near the intersection of Eight and Massachusetts streets when he was accosted by Shawn Trimble, who played Barrow, and Ray Remp Jr., who played Fults.

They ordered Cromwell to unlock the door to the bank, where Teller’s restaurant now stands. The men retreated inside for a few minutes, as the famous bank robbers’ voices boomed through the Teller’s sound system, narrating to the crowd outside the robbery as it happened.

“Well we sure have appreciated doing business in your fair city,” Trimble said. “My name’s Clyde Barrow. I have a feeling you’ll be hearing more from me.”

After pretending to take $33,000, the robbers made their getaway in a 1933 Ford sedan, which had been used in the film “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”

The audience cheered. “We’re in the Money” played.

Though Barrow’s famous partner and love interest Bonnie Parker was not involved in the robbery, a member of Theatre Lawrence was on hand to play her. She could be seen in the crowd, as could other actors decked out in 1930s clothes. One played Barrow’s other accomplice, Ray Hamilton, and several others played bank tellers.


Ian Brown 6 years, 6 months ago

You know what else could draw a crowd? A golfer with an arm growing out of his a$$.

Caller Hunsaker 6 years, 6 months ago

I agree with poolside, I was having dinner at Teller's and it was fun as far as ibrown3's comments. What's the difference between a golfer with an arm growing out of his a$$ and a blogger with his head up his a$$? Give up? The golfer can still look around and see the world and is not in the dark all of the time! LOL LMBU!

Ian Brown 6 years, 6 months ago

It's a line from the movie "Happy Gilmore", buddy. Simmer down. It played into the end of the headline "...draws a crowd."

doc1 6 years, 6 months ago

Happy, Happy, Happy! Seriously though, this reenactment based on myth is ridiculous. This is how the translation in history gets skewed by assumptions that were probably nowhere near the fact. Look at the Bible for a perfect example.

BruceWayne 6 years, 6 months ago

Would have been even better if it was Compton playing Clyde telling Cromwell to open the vault door. Oh wait, that happens every tuesday night at city hall.

lunacydetector 6 years, 6 months ago

why didn't mayor cromwell play dress up portraying the thief? great to immortalize a murdering criminal though i'm surprised it wasn't done on three dollar bill night....what's next, play dress up and reenact william burroughs shooting his wife in the head? city's got a park named after him....then there is that would be almost as good clean fun as the bank heist.

some guy told a guy i sort of know that charles manson stopped in to lawrence and bought some l.s.d. on his way across the country...sounds like a great story to reenact as well, mayor cromwell.

woodscolt 6 years, 6 months ago

I find it ironic that tellers would want to reenact a quite likely "never happened" piece of questionable history when Tellers original owners played the part bonnie and clyde when it came to not paying many of the local craftsmen who worked to make the restaurant what it is today. Their very real scam reenactment would go something like this. Even though you haven't been paid, if you don't keep working so the restaurant can open, we will never have the money to be able to pay you for your work. Then once the restaurant was open, it turned to hiding and avoiding the local people instead of paying them. Then it turned into who had more money to pay attorney fee's, Tellers or the people they didn't pay. So to this very day, tellers robbed the very people who worked to make the restaurant you see today. The tale of one very real reenactment and one very questionable reenactment.

BlackVelvet 6 years, 6 months ago

Hey wife was a survivor of Quantrill's raid. How dare you say it did not happen!

Flap Doodle 6 years, 6 months ago

What next? The re-enactment of the time Henry Hudson sailed a ship up the Kaw?

RoeDapple 6 years, 6 months ago

Interesting . . . While doing a little research I ran across this site.

What makes it interesting, at least to me, is a story my father told me over 40 years ago. When he was very young his father died so he and my uncle quit school to take jobs to help Grandma keep the home. He said one night at the roadside cafe where he washed dishes, gunfire erupted in the motel across the street. Patrons and employees of the cafe all lay on the floor as a few stray bullets broke windows overhead. They were later told it was a shootout with Bonnie and Clyde by the Pratt City, Mo. police chief. My dad was born in 1920, would have been 13 at the time so as a young 20 something I dismissed it as just a story my dad made up about his youthful adventures. According to this site it may very well been as he described.

Well it seems the tiny.url doesn't work so the site was Google Books "My Life with Bonnie and Clyde By Blanche Caldwell Barrow, Esther L. Weiser")

Terry Sexton 6 years, 6 months ago

"Your little fantasy world seems like an interesting place. Do you offer tours?"

Oh, wee wee, mon sewer, he do tours.
'tis a nice respite.
u definitely need a guide, tho.

irvan moore 6 years, 6 months ago

we are rehashing an imaginary event just like this website keeps rehashing old man on the street crap instead of hiring someone qualified to run it

Beth Ennis 6 years, 6 months ago

how much of history do we know only because someone passed it on? Fults told someone what he had done when they were writing a biography of him. Why would he lie? What purpose would it serve? I'm guessing the guy writing the biography asked him how they got started and he told him. Does it make sense that a bank in those days wouldn't say anything? Of course it does. Otherwise, the citizens of Lawrence may have had a run on the bank and most would have lost their money and the bank would have gone under. It certainly can't be proved otherwise, and since the story came from someone who was actually involved, and not from a 2nd hand source, I say go with it. It was fun, downtown was packed last night because of it (and homecoming) and I think everyone had a great time watching it. What's so wrong about bringing business to downtown where folks who may not have gone down there might spend some money at a restaurant or one of the bars? On top of which, right from the start, it has been told that this cannot be proved, there was never a robbery reported in Lawrence around that time, etc. What do you get out of being so negative? Beatnik, if you don't like this website, why read it? You are wasting your time.

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