RENEE MONTAGNE, host:
Time now for StoryCorps, when everyday Americans share stories about their lives. Today, Trudy Henry, who's 89 years old, recalls her brush with history. You need to know that she grew up on the outskirts of Dodge City, Kansas, and that her mom worked at the courthouse to support her children. Here now is Trudy Henry's recollection of the day in 1933 when two unexpected visitors showed up at her family home.
Ms. TRUDY HENRY: A car drove up late evening, kind of a boxy-looking car, man and a woman in the front seat. My sister and I were sitting on the porch. The driver got out, kind of surveyed the area around and came up towards the porch, and the woman got out, too. She leaned against the car, crossed her ankles and stood there while this man came to the front door.
Mother answered, and he asked if she was Mrs. Connaway. She said she was. He told her he was interested in some property and would like to see the deeds registers books. And she said, my goodness, I certainly can't do that now because it's late in the evening. So I would be glad to see you at 9:00 tomorrow morning.
Well, while that conversation was going on, the woman standing next to the car whipped herself out a cigar and lit it up and began smoking it. My sister and I were just appalled at such a thing going on. The man thanked mother and started to walk from the porch, and he turned around and said, may I have a drink of water? And mother said, yes, of course. And he followed her in the house. Well, my sister and I, being curious, bounced along into the kitchen to see if he was going to get his water, and he did.
I do not recall that he glanced around or took in a lot of things that were there. But as I grew to an adult, I felt like probably he was looking to see if there were men present and if there were guns. But anyway, he did thank her and he left. He did not show up the next morning at the courthouse. And about three or four days later, in the daily paper there was quite a stir and an article about a couple who had stolen a car from a rancher and wrecked it.
Later, a story in the Daily Globe stated that that was Clyde Barrow and the woman with him was Bonnie Parker. So when their pictures came out, we knew immediately they were the people who had visited us at our house. So we really felt like we were something, getting to see Bonnie and Clyde.
MONTAGNE: Trudy Henry at StoryCorps in Garden City, Kansas. This interview, like all the others, is archived at the Library of Congress. You can learn how to tell your story or subscribe to the StoryCorps podcast at npr.org.
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