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“Have A Green Christmas” by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

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Have

A

Green Christmas”

GREEN CHRISTMAS LEAD PHOTO_Nikon D 70 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

 

Have Yourself A Green Christmas !

If Christmas Day this year is “too close” to put the”green” in your stockings and brighten up the gifts under your Christmas Tree,then, a simple act of “saving” should be the shine on your Christmas tree and keep more bills in your wallet for next Christmas. Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

 

I always got my “Letter to Santa Claus” request.

 

Regardless of the economic conditions at the North Pole and in “The Lone Star State”, Mom and Dad always made sure I had a “Merry Christmas.

As a child, I simply came to expect that I would have a wonderful Christmas. After all, both of my parents were workaholics.

 

My mother left “public work” to stay at home and “raise me.” I appreciate her decision. Throughout my childhood, my dad ALWAYS worked a second job. In 1960, momma and I moved to the farm in Missouri.

 

My mother was one of the few “Women Hog Farmers In The United States Of America”, especially in 1960. Momma raised hogs and used the money to provide for my every need from grade school through college.

 

Daddy stayed on the job in Houston, Texas to “maintain his seniority” and continue working toward a retirement plan.

 

Like most kids, I knew, the vast majority of my toys on Christmas morning came from the money in daddy’s wallet and the cash in momma’s purse.

 

The Big Picture

 

What I never saw was “The Big Picture” of earning a living on a daily basis.

 

The reason the wrapped, brightly colored boxes, sporting bright bows, under the Christmas Tree made my home look like Santa Claus’ North Pole Showroom and a Toys R Us store is because my mom and dad were “bound and determined” that I would have a better childhood than they had.

 

I did.

 

Dirt Poor Childhoods

 

Opal M. DeLong Warren, my mother, was born in a small house in Peach Tree Holler, near Reeds Springs, Missouri. Opal’s mother, Martha, and father, Charley, loaded their personal belongings and their son, Richard, into the covered wagon and moved from Versailles, Missouri to a place, near Reeds Spring in Stone County in 1907.

 

All the rest of the DeLong children were born in Stone County. Richard began farming as soon as he was big enough to do the farm chores. The other boys: Willie, Hobert and Joe didn’t go to school very long.

 

Opal DeLong liked school and graduated from the 8th Grade. Every year, Martha, her mother ordered three dresses a year for Opal out of the Sears and Roebuck catalog to wear to school. She rode a pinto-mix horse, named,”Shorty” to the Wilson’s Creek School in Bear Den Holler.

 

Samuel E. Warren, my father, went to school in Perryville in east Texas. Joseph Samuel Warren, his father, was a tenant farmer, which meant J. Frank Couch, owned the land that “Papa” Warren farmed.

 

Dirt Poor” is an accurate financial description of my parent’s childhood years.

 

To add insult to injury, Fate unleashed The Great Depression around the time of their teenager years.

 

Daddy’s Short Range Financial Plan

 

Daddy adopted the policy of “Live For Today ;Tomorrow Will Take Care Of Itself.” The major flaw in his long-range financial plan is “In Order To Spend Money – You Have To Earn Money. The More Money You Spend, The More Money You Need To Earn To Keep Your Comfortable Lifestyle Going.”

 

Green Christmas Photo 2 by Samuel E. Warren Jr.At the end of the day, Daddy’s financial plan meant, “He had to be a ‘workaholic’, in order to keep earning money to spend. The irony is you spend so much time working,you never have “any fun” spending your money.

 

I remember, Monday through Friday, he would arrive home from work at about 4:30 p.m. He would sit down for supper and talk about his day. He could only relax a few moments and then, he would have to start getting ready for his “night job” as a bartender or bouncer.

 

His gray pressed Cameron uniforms would hang in the wardrobe beside his double breasted suits and neckties. By about 6:30 or 7 p,m,, the pickup would ease down the narrow driveway to take him to his “part-time job.”

 

Sometimes momma would wake me up about 2:30 or 3 am, so I would be waiting for daddy to come home from work. The headlight beams would dance down the narrow driveway and in a few minutes I would smell the aroma from a box of a dozen Dunkin’ Donuts, which daddy usually would stop and pickup on the way home.

 

Daddy did make a lot of money. But, he met himself coming and going.

 

Daddy always had “a wad of bills” rolled tightly that looked like a short, fat, pill bottle, with a rubber band around them that he carried in his front jeans pocket. In addition, to the roll of bills in his front pocket, he always had several bills in his wallet.

 

The roll of bills was one of those “Games Of Life” that when you take it out to pay a bill, people notice and they just naturally assume you are some kind of financial genius.

 

The stated “Big Picture” was daddy and momma were working to build their “Dream Home” on land momma bought in 1938, near her mother and father.

 

The Coffee Service

 

Daddy told me he offered the coffee service in his shop “at the plant.”

 

From 1960 until his death in 1978, daddy always made two trips a year to Missouri. One vacation trip always came for the Fourth of July. The second vacation trip depended on the vacation schedule at Cameron’s, which meant his two weeks began either at Thanksgiving or Christmas.

 

Whenever he came to Missouri, he would stock up on three-pound cans of Folgers coffee. He said it was cheaper to buy the coffee in Missouri. About once a year, he would buy a huge coffee pot that could make about 50 cups of coffee. Daddy wasn’t a shopper. He went into a store, picked up what he needed and paid the cashier at the checkout register.

 

However, if Sammy walked past Craftsman tools, he would stop and browse slowly at all the tools. Daddy loved Craftsman tools and bought all kinds of Craftsman wrenches, vise grips and other tools.

 

One trip each year, daddy would “shop” for a new coffee pot to take “to the plant.” He would shop around at the different stores and compare the features of the coffee pots.

 

I have, no doubt, there are people who bought bass boats with less research than daddy put into buying the right coffee pot. Despite his dedicated “shopping around for the right coffee pot”, he always ended up with the same type. And, he would buy a huge cardboard box full of Styrofoam cups to take back to Texas.

 

I remember the huge coffee pots because their shiny silver cylindrical design made them look like huge vacuum tubes that went into the back of a radio.

 

I get to the plant in the morning and I make the coffee for the shop. I have a coffee can with a slit in the lid. The guys know that coffee is 25 cents a cup. They put a quarter in the can. If they don’t have a quarter, then, they put in some change. I don’t really worry about it because the guys are honest. At the end of the week, I take the coffee can of coins home. Monday morning I always bring in a new empty coffee can for that week’s coins,” said Daddy,

 

In 1978, daddy was suppose to leave at the end of June for his Fourth of July trip to Missouri. He never arrived. The Houston Police Department notified momma of daddy’s death at home.

 

A few days after daddy’s funeral, momma and I made the trip to Houston. We found Folgers coffee cans stored in rooms around the house. Each can was filled to the plastic lid with mixed change from pennies to half dollars and a few silver dollars. The cans all had coins and none of the coins had been wrapped.

 

Momma asked Wanda Brinkley, a next door neighbor for help in wrapping the coins. Wanda had momma take the coins next door to her mom and dad’s house, Mr. and Mrs. Pete Pippins. Momma ordered the pizzas.

 

All day until after midnight, Momma, Wanda, Mr and Mrs Pete and I wrapped coins. Wanda’s two daughters, Donna and Debbie also joined the coin wrapping adventure. At this point in US history, American banks did not accept coins unless they were wrapped in bank wrappers.

 

Using the bank coin wrappers that daddy had on hand and some of the wrappers that Wanda had, we all wrapped coins all day and until well past midnight, It was after 2 am, when we finished.

 

Bank Robbery ?

 

The next day, Wanda, Momma and I went to the drive thru lane of the local Reagan State Bank. Wanda would put about 10 rolls of coins at a time up to the drive thru teller’s window.

 

You have a lot of coins,” remarked the teller.

 

My husband, Sammy had the coffee concession where he worked. He died recently. We just discovered, he never wrapped any of the coins from the coffee fund,” explained Momma.

 

The teller nodded. A bank guard showed up with a dolly. The teller seemed to slow,at one point, in tallying the amount of coins. We sat in the car at the drive thru for a couple of hours.

 

After about an hour, the bank guard emerged from a side door with the rolls of coins in the familiar purple bank sacks stacked neatly on the dolly. He pushed the dolly slowly across the several lanes of the drive thru into the rear entrance of the main bank.

 

The bank guard made about four more trips with his dolly from the drive thru to the bank.

 

A couple of days later Wanda spoke to a friend, who worked at the bank. The friend had heard about all those sacks of coins that came through the drive thru. The friend laughed and told Wanda it was not uncommon for people to drop of rolls of coins at the drive thru and she told Wanda the rest of the story.

 

Then, Wanda Brinkley, telephoned momma.

 

When we dropped those coins off at the bank. The bank got worried and called the local office of the FBI. They told the FBI why they were calling and asked the bureau to check for recent bank robberies because they could not believe that anyone would save that amount of coins.  

 

      FBI LOGO_resizedWhile we were waiting in the drive thru lane and the teller seemed to be taking the time tallying up the coins, they were waiting for a call back from the FBI to tell them if there were any reports of bank robberies where a large amount of coins had been taken,” Wanda explained and laughed.

 

We wrapped about 20 three-pound coffee cans of coins to take to the bank. Momma also brought about 10 cans of unwrapped coins with her back to Missouri. It was two or three years before I ever wanted to wrap rolls of pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters,half dollars and silver dollars.

 

My father died at age 52. The Harris County, Texas Corner’s Report listed the cause of death as a “possible ‘double heart attack.’” Daddy had literally “worked himself to death” through the years.

 

Momma’s Big Picture Financial Reality

 

 

Momma would never be a “Victim Of A Global Financial Crisis.” She had a poor childhood and realized ”Money Has To Be Managed.”

 

Momma always put aside a few dollars to have when she needed it. “Save” wasn’t a word, it was a philosophy and a way of life.

 

People would tease my mother that she probably had the “First Dollar” she ever earned. Momma would smile and shrug off the comment.

 

Opal M. DeLong Warren was “never broke.” Maybe, she didn’t have a lot of money in her wallet or handbag, but, Momma was “never broke” financially.       

 

Momma loved to remind me “I bought the first car, your daddy and I ever owned. And, I paid cash for it. I bought the first home, your daddy and I ever owned. I bought the land in Missouri, under my own name with my own money, before I ever met your daddy.”     

 

All the claims were true statements. Momma’s message was not that she was a Green Christmas Photo 3 by Samuel E. Warren Jr.suffragette or a women’s libber, but that she knew “How To Spend And Save Her Money.”

 

Opal M. DeLong Warren is the woman, who went to the Reagan State Bank in Houston and arranged for the money to “buy the home in Houston at 313 East 26th Street.”

 

Stubborn Sammy

 

During World War II, US Army doctors had told daddy that he had contracted “malaria in the Philippines.” In the late 1940s and early 1950s, the Veterans’ Administration wasn’t always able to convince Congress to provide medical care and decent pensions to veterans.

 

In the early 1950s, momma found out that daddy was eligible for VA medical care payments thanks to the hard-nosed efforts of Texas Congressman and Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Sam Rayburn.

 

Daddy told Momma, Uncle Sam had sent him into World War II and, “I don’t want nothing else to do with the ‘Damn Government.’”

 

Momma reminded Daddy that some days it seemed difficult for him to get out of bed to go to work. Grudgingly, Daddy did the paperwork and accepted “Uncle Sam’s Official Help”, which didn’t last that long. By then, daddy’s health had improved and he did go to work everyday.

 

Momma The Family Banker

 

Martha Lou Marcum DeLong, my grandmother, kept her coins in a coin purse and her dollar bills in a sugar bowl in a plain white dish cabinet in the living room.

 

Everyone knew Grandma DeLong had worked hard all her life, but, Missouri’s “old age pension” provided her the money to live out her senior citizen years.

 

Opal M. DeLong Warren had the reputation in the DeLong Family, Stone County, Missouri, Upshur County, Texas and among neighbors in Harris County – Houston, Texas of “Saving For A Rainy Day.”

 

The Burial And The Banker

 

When daddy died in Texas, I asked momma if we could bring his body back to Missouri for burial. I went to the bank with momma. She told the banker, “I need money to bring my husband’s body back to Missouri for burial. I don’t know, when or how I will pay you. But, you will get your money back.” I watched momma tell the banker those words.

 

In the 21st Century, most bankers would find a polite way to show the widow to the door out of their office.

 

In 1978, the banker nodded, “Okay, Opal. When you know how much you need for sure, let me know. You’ll get the money,” I heard the banker tell momma.

 

I was already a college student, so I was impressed that a banker would listen to a widow without demanding various forms of collateral.

 

The banker was not going out on a limb. He knew momma owned her “80 acres” of land and owned the other “10 acres” of land that she lived on. He knew she still “owned her home in Houston, Texas.”

 

The banker wasn’t gambling; he was investing.

 

The worst case scenario would be the bank would end up with Missouri real estate and maybe Texas real estate. Real estate in a city is usually more valuable than farm real estate,

 

In the late 1970s and early 1980s there was an active real estate market in Missouri and Texas.

 

But, everyone from Stone County, Missouri throughout southwest Missouri knew “Opal Warren always pays her bills.”

 

Samuel E. Warren was laid to rest in Yocum Pond Cemetery, near Reeds Spring Missouri. The financial cost of moving daddy’s body from Texas to Missouri was $7,000. The bank let momma borrow the money. Momma paid the bank off ahead of time.

 

Momma used money she already had saved for the associated funeral expenses and the double headstone. Uncle Sam provided the “foot marker” that was placed at daddy’s grave.

 

Save And Manage Your Money

 

Through the years, relatives would have financial issues come up in their lives. When they had no one to turn to, they would turn to “Opal.”

 

If a relative was out to buy a big screen TV, then, they were on their own.

 

But, if it was a valid emergency like a mortgage, insurance, food for their kids or medical bills then momma would “loan” the money. A few of my relatives paid Momma back. The majority did not.

 

Momma had a better financial plan than daddy. Momma never invested in the stock market. I had the debate with her several times and she always told me, “Son, I hang on to my money.”

 

Momma quit farming around 1982. The only “risky investment,” momma ever made, other than her son, was in Land.

 

Land That Pays For Itself

 

But, she always said, “Invest in Land, that will pay for itself.” Her Land did pay for itself because she “rented the pasture to other farmers for their cattle to graze on” and “loggers would cut some trees off the Land every three or four years for lumber.”

 

The Other Land

Through the years, momma would tell me that people had called her and tried to sell her land in Galena or elsewhere in southwest Missouri. I asked momma why she passed on the offers.

 

I have the land I want. The land I have been offered isn’t land I would want to buy at any price,” Momma would answer. Momma lived on one parcel of land. She could open her front door and look across the road to see the land that she had bought back in the 1930s.

 

Momma is one of the few people in the world, I know of, where bankers would call her and try to persuade her to move her money to their bank. She would smile, “The Bank Of Crane has always done right by me. Until something changes, I will stay with my bank.”

 

At age 84, momma left “The Real World” in 2004. She had a double wide home that had central heating and air conditioning. She never went hungry and there was always food in the ice box and the pantry. She always had her coffee and cigarettes. When she went to the doctor or the hospital, she could always pay her medical bills.

 

Momma’s Financial Secret, “She Learned To Save Money And Manage Her Money.”

 

Momma and daddy made sure I always had a wonderful Christmas. I got enough toys to outfit a museum.

 

I was an “Only Child”, which meant I had to play by myself most of the time, but, I had a huge wooden toy box in the garage full of toys to choose from each day.

 

In Missouri, every other weekend or so, my Cousin Donna would be at Grandma DeLong’s and Uncle Richard’s. I would of brought toys with me or we would go off in the woods to play. In Missouri, the toys were in a big cardboard box in the garage.

 

Samuel E. Warren Jr., the senior citizen, realizes now, Momma’s ability to always put “The Green In My Christmas” came from her daily financial sense of saving and managing her money. Thanks to my mother, “My Merry Christmas” was always “A Green Christmas.”

 

Merry Christmas, Momma .”

GREEN CHRISTMAS LEAD PHOTO_Nikon D 70 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons license.

Written by samwarren55

December 20, 2012 at 1:53 AM

Posted in Bloggers, Blogs, Business, Current Events, Ecology, Family, Holidays, Money, Observances, Stone County History

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Black Market Movies In Asia Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

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BLACK MARKET MOVIES IN ASIA_Nikon D 70 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr._resized

Black Market Movies In Asia

Nikon D 70 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

 

I love movies. When I buy a movie or pay to see a movie, I want to know, “It is the ‘Real Deal.’” The demand for movies and TV episodes from the West always exceeds the reliable,credible and efficient supply methods into Asia.

 

The end result always seems to be “The Black Market Movies”, which are rip-offs that can have low-lighting, out of focus cinematography, sound that sometimes has audience reaction in the background and captions they make absolutely no sense at all.

 

Movies and TV episodes made in Hollywood usually have the “Pirated Movie” video footage and the FBI and Interpol movie warnings at the beginning.

 

In the Republic of the Philippines, the legitimate movies, always have the warning about unauthorized use results in a fine of several thousand pesos and possible imprisonment for a number of years.

 

The Black Market Movies usually don’t have the FBI, Interpol or NBI warnings, they usually either go to a screen that allows for Asian language selection or a screen that offers other movies on the DVD that can be played as well as the original.

 

You do not have to be a law enforcement official, a video technician or a sound engineer to realize that some of the illegal movies have been recorded off of a satellite TV channel and simply burned to disc for mass distribution. The tendency of a satellite TV signal to freeze on screen, during bad weather and the erratic pixelation across the screen are obvious indications that the video was recorded off of a satellite TV signal.

 

While Hollywood, London, Sydney, Toronto, Calgary and cities in the West seem to have problems getting the legitimate movies shown and distributed in Asian, “The Black Market Movie System” solves the distribution problem by quantity and the speed to have the product ready for viewers to watch or purchase.

In the photograph,the water buffalo is the animal that is found throughout Asia and has become a symbol that represents the countries and nations of the Pacific and the coconut is a reminder of the island cultures of the East.  The plastic CD case is a reminder that the “Black Market Movies” can even be displayed in what seems to be “official” or “legitimate” packaging.

 

In November 2012, the cast of “The Twilight Saga Breaking Dawn, Part 1,” came to Manila to promote the release of Part 2. Today is November 28, 2012, which means “Black Market” copies of the movie should already be “On Sale” in the cities and rural areas throughout Asia. Nikon D 70 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons license.

The Treasure Tales of the Lost Loot of Shock Short

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Legend or Legacy ?

The Treasure Tales

of the Lost Loot

of Shock Short

by Junior Warren

As a child my grandmother told me the first stories about Shock Short. Stone County Old Timers in the 1960s would whisper and speculate about the “Lost Loot” that Shock was supposed to have hid in Galena. While most people speculate that the Treasure Tales of the Lost Loot of Shock Short is a local urban legend of the Ozarks. Still, one of Galena, Missouri’s native sons made a living robbing banks in the 1930s.

Tale of Two Brothers

United States Congressman Dewey Jackson Short of Missouri stepped into the international spotlight. George Leonard “Shock” Short, brother of the congressman, earned headlines across the United States for bank robbery.

The Great Depression helped to make Shock Short a controversial folk hero. Local stories point out his Robin Hood compassion and his Jesse James’ bravado.

The Treasure Tales of The Lost Loot Of Shock Short lives on in Galena, Missouri.

President Roosevelt’s Depression Era economic policies drew fire, from Galena, Missouri’s most famous native son, United States Seventh Congressional District Congressman Dewey Short. Meanwhile, George Leonard “Shock” Short, brother of the congressman, handled the redistribution of America’s wealth in the Midwest by robbing banks.

From 1932 to 1935, Shock Short and the Irish O’Malley Gang hit banks in Missouri, Arkansas, Illinois , Kansas, and Oklahoma. The Federal Bureau of Narcotics agents were the law enforcement headliners of the day in the 1930s.

1930s – Bankrupt America – Dumbfounded Government

Meanwhile the Justice Department’s Bureau of Investigation seemed best suited to keep track of official paperwork. The massive numbers of bank robberies since the 1929 collapse of the stock market was forcing Washington D.C., leaders to try and find a way to stop the various mobs of bank robbers that were finishing off the remaining banks.

The Justice Department’s BI agents were years away from becoming professional Federal Bureau of Investigation agents. At the time, Many of the young agents hadn’t even fired a gun and they were being ordered to go after the gangsters of the era: John Herbert Dillinger, Alvin Karpis, Pretty Boy Floyd, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrows.

Bankers Are The Bad Guys – 1930s

Time had given the gangsters a big head start. Public sentiment was against the banks. Banks were the villains Bankers are the bad guys. In the 1930s – Money was NOT the “root of all evil”; it was the banks. Banks foreclosed on homes and farms – people were homeless. Mother Nature added insult to injury – more than a million tons of topsoil blew into the Atlantic Ocean. Nature’s Dust Bowl became an apocalyptic economic event.

Wealthy Americans would call the bank robbers, “hoods, “”henchmen,” and “gangsters.” Homeless penniless, Americans would view the bank robbers as “Robin Hood,” “knights in shining armor,” and basically, “neighbors who had the guts to stand up to banks and big government and fight the system.”

The line of Black and White between Good and Evil and Right and Wrong had been blurred because of the lack of Green. Bank robbers had become “Celebrities” and “Entrepreneurs” While the heroes were bank robbers; the villains were banks, local, state and the U.S. Government. America’s Conservative Hard Work Ethic had been knocked on it’s backside and none of the rules of “an honest day’s work for an honest day’s wage” seemed to apply anymore. Everyone seemed broke.

The Herbert Hoover Administration’s ideas to save the U.S. Economy had seemed worthless and “Too Little, Too Late.” Americans were broke. Americans had gambled that Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the Democrats might have the ideas to save the economy.

Newspaper headlines of the 1930s reveal that bank robberies in the United States spread like a series of national wild fires from the East Coast to the West Coast and across the Midwest. A bankrupt economy had brought a rebirth of the Days of the Wild West and the six shooters had been traded for Tommy guns. Fast horses had given way to automobiles with V8 engines.

The 1930s had set the stage for the bank robbers. In Galena, Missouri, George Leonard “Shock” Short, had chosen the lucrative career of bank robber. Short and his gang were equally successful, as the other gangs, but, not as famous, or infamous, as the nationally known gangsters of the era.

Revenue Rewards

Congressman Dewey Short’s efforts to get Galena on the map were well known locally. Congressman Short got credit for getting the Historic Y Bridge at Galena built. He convinced the U.S. Congress to make the funds for Table Rock Dam a reality. Even the U.S. Navy commissioned a vessel: The U.S. S. Stone County. The congressman’s actions were instrumental in bringing revenue into Stone County during the Great Depression and into the years following World War II.

Tales of Treasure Tunnels

The local legends always credit Shock Short with being willing to share some of the money with his fellow Stone County citizens. The tales suggested that he would give neighbors money to help clothe their kids and even keep banks from foreclosing on homes and making even more people homeless.

Shock Short and the O’Malley gang were credited with the successful simultaneous bank robberies of two banks in Okemah, Oklahoma in 1934. One of the gang’s jewelry store robberies is reported to have got them $75,000 in precious stones. Chicago Typewriters spit hot lead and the nation’s presses set the cold type that reported the O’ Malley gang’s daring, which included the skills of Daniel “Dapper Dan” Heady – to the jail break assistance of “Pretty Betty.”

Local legends also suggest Shock Short hid bank loot, in and around, Galena, Missouri. Stories credit Shock and his gang with digging numerous tunnels in and around Galena to easily escape law enforcement and to hide the money.

The 1930’s Controversial Gold Standard

21st Century bank robbers traditionally go for the bills because coins are bulky, heavy and not as easy to carry out the door in a hurry. There was nothing traditional about The Great Depression. The Stock Market was smoke. More than 3,000 U.S. Banks failed virtually overnight. Americans were making runs on banks to get their money out before they became penniless. FDR had ordered the “Bank Holiday” to close banks to keep people from withdrawing their money and to buy time for some faith to be restored in the banking system.

The United States of America – The Great Democracy was in a nose dive to Third World Status.

Since the days of Washington and Franklin, the United States had been on the Gold Standard, which meant U.S. Banks had gold coins. The new administration had threatened to take the U.S., off the gold standard, which meant the U.S. Government and not citizens would have gold coins and citizens would no longer be paid in gold or be able to use gold to pay debts.

American monetary tradition – The Gold Standard – was a presidential pen stroke away from oblivion.

FDR signed the Executive Order and U.S. Gold Coins became the property of the U.S. Government. Dollar bills became the legal tender of the nation. Confiscated gold got melted down and shipped to a secure location – “America’s Vault” – Fort Knox.

One Shock Short legend claims that there maybe jewels and gold coins in the stolen loot. The most popular local urban legends and folk tales claim that the long lost bank loot is hidden in the City of Galena or in and around some of the suspected tunnels or known caves.

Sister of Two Famous Brothers

In the 1970s, when Omen’s Liberation swept the country like a runaway brush fire. The Equal Rights Amendment national debate pointed out the differences in wages between men and women, Fashion shattered tradition, especially for men. Conservative national figures were turning in their dark business suits for wide lapel-ed, checkered sports jackets, wide ties and polyester pants. Metropolitan America “lived by the clock” as people used their fast paced lives to become workaholics. There was not enough hours in the day to work. Metropolitan America had no time for the slower paced lifestyle of rural America.

Stone County, Missouri, in the 1970s, was still Rural America – people didn’t lock their doors at night out in the country. They usually left their car keys in their vehicles. In 1972, the Stone County Sheriff had three deputies in his office and they all used their personal vehicles as patrol cars. Stone County was a living, breathing Norman Rockwell painting.

Bess Allman, an elderly Galena woman had a smile for everyone. She called men and women, “honey” or “sweetie.” Known and respected throughout Stone County, Bess Allman always stood ready to help out friends and neighbors. In the decades before cell phones, email and computers, Bess Allman was a living library of information about Galena and Missouri. She seemed like any other woman old enough to be a grandmother, but she had two famous brothers: Dewey and Shock.

Congressman Dewey Short had stood in the international spotlight and his brother, Shock had earned headlines throughout the Midwest. Meanwhile, in Galena, their sister: Bess lived her life as a friend and neighbor in the local spotlight.

When I met Congressman Short it was because Bess Allman had called my mother and told her Dewey was back in town for a few days. Bess Allman made sure I got to meet and shake hands with Dewey in Galena. My mother had told Bess about my interest in politics and I had seen Mrs. Allman around Galena through the years when my mom went to the courthouse or went shopping on the square.

This house in Galenam Missouri was a home for Bess Allman, the sister of a congressman and a famous bank robber. Photo by Junior Warren.

As a kid, I had heard that Bess Allman had a husband. In the late 1970s, while researching some local information I heard the story that the two story home on the other side of the railroad tracks on the banks of the James River had been built for her as a wedding present from her new husband. In my childhood in the 1960s, the house had been known as the Standridge Farm and later, the Bessie Lawrence Farm.

I never had the opportunity to ask Bess Allman any questions about her brother, “Shock” Short. To my knowledge, Bess Allman lived most, if not all, of her life in Galena. Her last home in Galena is reported to have been a white two story, near the courthouse, and across the street from the old Bank of Galena building.

The Tunnel Tales

If Shock Short and his gang had dug all the tunnels that legends credit them with digging – they would of never had any time to rob banks. However, Missouri tourism once promoted the state as The Cave State and there is no shortage of caves throughout Stone County, Thus, the stories about The Tunnels Of Galena may have some basis in fact.

The James River Tunnel

The James River Tunnel is supposed to be around a boat ramp, near the old Bill Rogers Motel, on the bank of James River. Legend states that this tunnel would allow Shock or any member of his gang the ability to use the tunnel to emerge up into the sunlight inside the city limits of Galena.

The tunnel might be there; however, Galena, Missouri experienced severe flooding in 1993, so any tunnel would of probably been washed away or collapsed by the rising waters. Even in the 1930s of Shock Short’s era, poisonous “cotton mouth” and water moccasins snakes were common around the banks of the James River. It would be unlikely a local boy would dig a tunnel anywhere near these poisonous snakes.

The Family Home Tunnel

Another Shock Short legend claimed there was a tunnel in the City of Galena that would allow Shock Short to easily leave Galena if there was news of a posse and he could emerge inside his family’s home.

The Church Tunnel

One Shock Short legend states that one time in the 1930s, someone tipped off Shock Short that the Greene County Sheriff from Springfield was coming to see the Stone County Sheriff with a warrant for Shock’s arrest. The legend states that Shock slipped into a tunnel in Galena and emerged a few minutes later – out of a church on top of a hill in Galena.

This is the Bank of Galena Museum in Galena, Missouri. Photo by Junior Warren

The Bank of Galena Tunnel

Before The Great Depression, there was a Bank Of Galena. When the banks of the depression failed, the Bank of Galena was one of the causalities The irony is there is suppose to be a tunnel underneath the old bank building. The story of this tunnel states that it was actually in the bank. It was suppose to allow Shock the ability to disappear into the tunnel and emerge into the sunlight a short distance from the bank into one of two nearby homes on either side of the street.

Are The Galena Tunnels Real ?

As of 2011, no one has admitted ever finding any of the tunnels.

Some Americans were fond of keeping their money in mattresses and in the walls of their homes, even before the Great Depression, thus, the rumors of money in root cellars and basements may have some basis in reality.

Although the East Side of the Galena Square in the 1960s hosted the U.S. Post Office, a beauty shop, a barber shop and the Hog Heaven Cafe, in 2011, that area is now the parking lot and the building of the Stone County Judicial Center, thus, searching for treasure tunnels underground probably will not be happening any time soon.

While the Shock Short legends credit Galena with a spider web of suspected subterranean tunnels, the one place that seems immune to the tunnel tales is the Stone County Courthouse, in the center of the square.

As a child growing up in Stone County in the 1960s, some of the old timers swore that Shock Short had hidden money away in tunnels in Galena. Perhaps, the tunnel tales are stories grandparents and parents told their children to inspire their imaginations. However, newspaper archives document that Shock Short and the O’Malley Gang robbed numerous banks in several states.

While local citizens obviously respected Congressman Short, the treasure tunnel tales have made Shock Short a legendary local folk hero.

Where the heck is Galena, Missouri ?

Galena, Missouri sits on the banks of the James River. Springfield, Missouri is about 40 miles away and Branson, Missouri is around 25 miles as the crow flies. In the spring and summer, visitors can rent a canoe and float the James River.

A 2005 photo fo the James Rivers Outfitters sign in Galena, Missouri. Photo by Junior Warren

Campers can camp out at the James River Outfitters by the historic Y Bridge.

The Bear's Den offers fast food and soft drinks, near Galena High School, in Galena, Missouri. Photo by Junior Warren.

For hamburgers and soft drinks, tourists can dine at The Bear’s Den, near the Galena High School.

This 2005 photo shows the exteriors of two of the four cabins of Pop's Retreat, on the banks of the James River, in Galena, Missouri. Photo by Junior Warren.

This 2005 photo shows the first floor layout of one of the cabins of Pop's Retreat. Photo by Junior Warren.

If you want to spend some time enjoying nature you might want to consider renting one of the cabins at Pop’s Retreat on the banks of the James River.

This 2005 photo shows the second floor layout of one of the cabins of Pop's Retreat in Galena, Missouri. Photo by Junior Warren

Bring your camera, especially if you are interested in nature photography – in recent years – eagles are a common sight flying around Galena.

Does the Legendary Lost Loot of Shock Short lie beneath the streets of Galena, Missouri ?

Time will tell.

Gangster Research Request

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Gangster Research

Request



by Junior Warren

Stone County, Missouri’s Major Claim to Global Historical Fame is as “The Site Of The Last Official Public Hanging In The United States,” which is also the “Last Hanging In the State of Missouri.”

Roscoe “Red” Jackson, 36, on May 21, 1938, walked up the steps of the gallows on the Stone County Courthouse lawn. He had robbed and killed a salesman who had given him a ride.

The crime had happened in a neighboring county, but, the Missouri Law of the day stated that a “Death Sentence” had to be carried out in the county that passed the sentence. Thus, the duty to execute Jackson fell to Stone County officials.

Stone County Missouri Courthouse - August 1985 - Canon AE1-Program Photo by Junior Warren. The Last Official Public Hanging in the United States took place at the rear of the Stone County Courthouse in May 1938.

There was a board fence built around the scaffold and tickets were issued to witnesses. Still, the actual event was relatively easy for the public to witness. The 1920 Stone County Courthouse, on the National Register of Historic Places, is a structure that would allow people on the second floor to view the hanging with ease.

The actual specifics of the story written for the “History of

Ammabelle Burk, authored "Last Hanging In Missouri" on page 271 of the "History of Stone County Missouri, Volume I book published by the Stone County Historical Society. Nikon D40 Photo by Junior Warren

Ammabelle Burk, authored “Last Hanging In Missouri” on page 271 of the “History of Stone County Missouri, Volume I book published by the Stone County Historical Society. Nikon D40 Photo by Junior Warren

Stone County Missouri,” Volume I, was authored by Ammabelle Burk, my second grade school teacher at Abesville.

The actual layout of the courthouse square from the 1930s to the late 1970s would of propably made it relatively easy for anyone who was interested to find a place to view the execution.

I met Herschel Johnson, a quiet, soft spoken easy going man, who liked to smoke his pipe and wore stripped railroad overalls. An outstanding carpenter, in my childhood, I was told that Herschel Johnson is the man that built the gallows for the Red Jackson hanging.

More Hangings ?

There were other hangings in the United States, after Red Jackson, but, research indicates that these executions were usually carried out in state “Death Houses” away from the easy or accidental view of the public.

Stone County, Missouri’s unique claim to fame isn’t the sort of publicity that has Mom and Dad loading the kids into the RV for a summer vacation to Galena, Missouri.

But, the “hanging” event does raise not only “Death Penalty” and “Capital Punishment” issues, but it also brings the focus of attention on The Great Depression and America’s never ending war to understand economic issues.

While there may have been people in the “Depression” who were simply “crooked,” ;it does seem as though some Americans were pushed to the limit and turned to “crime” to make ends meet on a day to day basis.

Shock Short Search Continues

For the last couple of weeks, I have been trying to research events in the life of Leonard “Shock “ Short. I know other kids heard stories about Shock Short growing up.

I would love to get emails from these people spelling out what they were told as kids. I was told time and again Shock Short was “Stone County’s Robin Hood,” who really did use some of his loot to help neighbors in the Depression.

Family Members’ Recollections

I would hope the grandkids, great-grandkids, grand neices and grand nephews would also send me some emails with information about their famous relatives: Dewey Gilmore, Davey Gilmore, Virgil “Red” Melton, Fred Reese, Irish O’Malley, Jackson “Jack” Miller, Russell Cooper, Daniel T. “Dapper Dan” Heady, “Pretty Betty” Heady, and, of course, Leonard “Shock” Short.

Texas Ranger badge - 1962 - from the Texas Ranger Museum website. In the early 1930's, J. Edgar Hoover sought men who were proficient in the use of firearms. These Texas and Oklahoma lawmen, would be called “Hoover's Gunslingers by later authors. The interesting details of this era in FBI history is at the website: Dusty Roads Of An FBI Era.

I would also like to hear from the grandkids, great-grandkids, grand neices and grand nephews of the Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas, Illinois, and Oklahoma lawmen who pursued “Shock” Short and his gang.

Are there any family members of FBI agents, who pursued the gang ?

The irony is that current research indicates that there were no FBI or Federal Bureau of Narcotics agents that were actively seeking this gang, which really seems unusual for the time period.

Obvious Subjective Approach

I grew up in Stone County, so I’m inclined to give “Shock” Short the benefit of the doubt, especially based on the times that he grew up in. Plus, as a kid, he was portrayed to me as a “Robin Hood” larger than life. Also as a child, I often saw Shock’s sister Bess Short Allman, almost everytime my mother and I went to Galena. I met Congressman Dewey Short, when I was a young boy in Galena. Since I met and respected members of the Short family, I will, no doubt, be subjective in an article about Shock.

I went to military journalism school and wrote numerous articles for Uncle Sam, where the instructors and editors always drove home “a journalist must be objective.” True. But, journalist and reporters are humans and humans have emotions, which usually influence the overall “objectivity” on the issues. Unfortunately, in the Real World, even reporters, are not Mr. Spock.

The Forgotten Gangster

Jake Fleagle isn’t one of those names that leap to the forefront, when people talk about Prohibition and Depression Era Gangsters. While I don’t know of any books that have been written or movies made of his crime spree; you can find information about him.

The Forgotten Gangster Of The Depression Era seems to be Shock Short and his gang. The information is out there and Ive found some. But, even now, there are more questions than answers. Where did these men get together as a group to begin robbing banks ? Who were there contacts along the way, who helped them out in the various cities ? Who were their girlfriends ? Besides, “Pretty Betty,” did any of the rest of the men have wives ? Did they have a favorite hangout to hide from the law ? These and other questions, really keep me from getting a good night’s sleep.

It’s not fun waking up in the middle of the night and asking, “If these guys were on the lam, did they ever hookup with Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker to take down a bank ?” Stone County history does record the story of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow having a shootout, near Reed Springs, Missouri.

Finding the information on America’s Forgotten Gangster might help to add new information to the well known gangster stories of Dillinger, Karpis, the Barker Gang and perhaps others.

Reason For Writing

What is in the Shock Short Story for Junior Warren ?

A Good Story.

I’m not trying to write a book.

I don’t have a book deal of any kind.

I don’t want to write a book – I’m too “long winded” when it comes to writing.

My Grandma DeLong told me the Shock Short Stories, when I was a kid. I would just like to write the story and post it to my blog. Maybe, then, I can finally get a good night’s sleep.

The kids of Stone County, Missouri had their own local John Dillinger, so they should have an opportunity to know the history of the man and the difficult times that he lived in. And, the Stone County Historical Society can fill in the blanks about the local boy who made history by robbing banks in the 1930s.

I ‘ll leave the intense research of the Shock Short story to other writers, authors, Missouri and American historians to dig deeper for the true trivia of history (- like did Shock have a newspaper route as a boy ?)

I leave it to the Hollywood screenwriters to look for the details to try and get Michael Mann, Dick Wolf, or Jerry Bruckheimer interested in bringing the story to the movies. The Hollywood screenwriters can try and convince Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, Matt Damon, Bruce Willis or Don Johnson that here might be another unique gangster story that could use their talents to bring the story to the silver screen.

If family members want to send me their Shock Short stories, then, please email me your stories and recollections to : SamuelWarren55@gmail.com

Thank you,

Junior Warren

Shock Short Search Still Seeks Stories

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AMERICA’S IGNORED GANGSTER


SHOCK SHORT


SEARCH STILL


SEEKS


STORIES


by Junior Warren

John Herbert "Jack Rabbit" Dillinger - FBI website photo

John Herbert “Jack Rabbit” Dillinger and “The Terror Gang” blazed their way on to the nation’s front pages blasting away with Tommy guns, sawed-off shotguns and an arsenal of pistols. Wearing bullet proof vests on occasion, they squeezed the triggers of the Chicago Typewriters to spew hot lead, and make a mad dash into an awaiting V-8 sedan. When the thick curtain of gunpowder smoke vanished, stunned wounded, confused local sheriffs, deputies and police officers were left with the echoes of squealing tires in the distance and spent shells cooling on the pavement.

Rowdy Reporters,  Ecstatic Editors,

Persistent Publishers

Excited crime reporters “beat feet” back to their offices. Tipping back the press card fedora, the cigarette smokes in the ash tray, the reporter’s fingers dance on the keys of the Olivetti as characters explode on to the wiggling sheets of bond paper and the story blasts to life.

Dillinger Wanted Poster - FBI website photo

A quick glance up at the newsroom clock, the reporter pounds out the story to beat the deadline for the next Dillinger story. Across the nation, copy boys rush the editor approved copy down to the press rooms. The waxed sticks of copy go on to the galley sheets with the black and white photographs. The metallic groan of the giant presses waking up blends into the rapid fire melody of the broadsheets shooting across the thundering presses and down on to the conveyor belts.

Ah, the smell of newsprint in the morning and ink in the evenings. Tilt the hat and head for home; it’s all up to the guys in the press room now to get the hot copy on the streets.

Hot off the presses ! Bundled copies of the morning and evening editions of the nation’s newspapers slam on to the pavement. In moments, newsstands have the hottest editions and newsboys are hawking the bank bashing bravado of the debonair, dashing, daring Dillinger desperadoes. The Terror Gang’s 13-month crime spree is a shotgun blast across the Midwest.

Doin’ da’ Dillinger Dance !”

President Roosevelt makes his daily call to J. Edgar Hoover at

J. Edgar Hoover - The Director - FBI website photo

the United States Bureau Of Investigation to find out why Hoover hasn’t got Dillinger yet. Hoover, then, picks up the phone and calls the Chicago Office’s Special Agent In Charge Melvin Purvis, head of the “Dillinger Squad,” and asks Purvis, why he hasn’t gotten Dillinger yet ?

Dillinger becomes “The American Godfather of The Great Depression Gangster,” enthroned by anxious editors and excited reporters of the nation’s newspapers. The American Public of The Great Depression were not fond of banks. The G-Men, had a reputation as “College Boys,” who couldn’t shoot straight.

The FBN became the DEA

Gangsters worried about the Federal Bureau of Narcotics agents, but the BOI agents were not originally considered a serious threat. The U.S. Department of Justice’s BOI had a reputation of being corrupt.
The young J. Edgar Hoover worked within the Justice Department’s BOI to try and reform, reorganize and promote his struggling band of government lawmen.

Dillinger and the other gangsters were a persistent thorn in the side of the BOI. J. Edgar Hoover’s

The United States Department of Justice served as the parental agency of the BOI, which were essentially investigators who could investigate, but arrest no one in the early days of the 1930s.

agents had law degrees, but most had never fired a gun, while Dillinger and the other bank robbers of the era were knocking over banks like a kid’s dominoes.

George "Machine Gun" Kelly - FBI website photo

The brouhaha of federal legislation favored the gangsters: (1) Bank Robbery was not a federal crime

Charles Arthur "Pretty Boy" Floyd - FBI website photo

(2) As early as 1917, apparently the BOI agents had been issued a service revolver, but Congress had stressed, the firearm was for “defensive purposes.

Lester Joseph Gillis a.k.a "Baby Face Nelson" FBI website photos

(3) The BOI agents weren’t originally authorized the “arrest power,” which meant U.S. Marshalls, local sheriffs, deputies, town marshals, and city policemen had to be on hand to “arrest” a gangster.

Dillinger, an Indiana farm boy, quickly became the hero of poor and out of work Americans who could identify with the humble beginnings of the Depression Era Robin Hood on his Horatio Alger Jr.’s“Rags To Riches” rise to celebrity notoriety before their eyes.

Clyde Champion Barrow of "Bonnie and Clyde." FBI website photo

Dillinger’s legendary charismatic nature and willingness to talk to the reporters made him the flamboyant “Teflon Don” of his era. Dillinger and The Terror Gang were on a roll.

Alvin “Old Creepy” Karpis and the Barker Gang got their fair share of ink on the nation’s broadsheets of the day. Bonnie Parker, Clyde Barrow, Machine Gun Kelly, Pretty Boy Floyd, Baby Face Nelson and The Purple Gang were among the gangsters grabbing headlines. They earned several column inches of newspaper copy almost daily to detail bank robberies, shoot outs, jail breaks and daring get aways.

Bonnie Parker of "Bonnie and Clyde" - FBI website photo

Shock Short’s Shadow

Meanwhile, Shock Short, a Stone County, Missouri man and his gang were also successfully credited with robbing banks in the Midwest, but they always seemed to be, in the shadows,at the edge of the limelight.

I heard about the adventures of Shock Short, growing up a boy in Stone County, Missouri. The information was always sketchy at best.

First, when I heard the stories it was the 1960s and Shock had been robbing banks in the 1930s. Second, Shock is the brother of the late U.S. 7th Congressional District Congressman Dewey Short, of Galena. Third, Shock’s family – the Shorts of Galena – held a local respected reputation, which ranked the family at a position equivalent to that of the Political Dynasty of the John D. Rockefeller Family, which meant while everyone talked about Dewey and his successes in the nation’s capitol; “Shock Short Stories” were quietly told by parents, grandparents and Stone County Old Timers.

Grandma DeLong - DeLong Family Photo

Grandma Martha DeLong’s Shock Short Stories always stayed locked away in the bank vault of my mind along with the legendary tales of his hidden loot. Recently, working on some Stone County stories, I recalled the fingerprint of Shock Short Grandma DeLong had left in my mind. I decided to see if I could find some evidence to flesh out grandma’s stories. I was surprised when my search of the FBI website didn’t list Shock Short or any member of his gang in the FBI history of gangsters of the 1930s.

I’ve kept digging through the dark corners of history trying to find dusty files hidden in the warehouses and morgues of cyberspace. A clue here and a lead there has gotten me searching the rundown flop houses, skid rows and strolling the back alleys of the Internet. I adjust my fedora, turn up my trench coat collar and work the street beat trying to find information to knock out a story on : “Shock Short America’s Ignored Gangster.”

I’ve gotten some notes and scraps of data, but, I’d like to get some more in depth information. Somewhere standing in an unlit doorway of the Internet is a grandfather, grandmother or grandchild with a Shock Short Story to tell. I’m ready to listen and pass it on, please, email me at SamuelWarren55@gmail.com.

To date, I’ve poked around the Internet and it looks like Shock’s gang at one time or another involved: Daniel T. “Dapper Dan” Heady, Dewey Gilmore, Davey Gilmore, Russell Cooper, Virgil “Red” Melton, Fred Reese, Jackson “Jack” Miller, and Walter Holland who used the alias names of “Leo O’Malley,” and“Irish O’Malley.”

The Dillinger Gang had several wives and girlfriends, who live on at The Official Website of Don’t Call Us Molls:Women Of The John Dillinger Gang http://dillingerswomen.com/index.html To date: “Pretty Betty,” the wife of Daniel Heady, is the only woman that I have found associated with Shock Short’s Gang.

The Lost Loot of Shock Short: Money or Myth ? Staged Photo by Christy Warren

The irony is while Shock Short’s tales has spawned numerous stories, myths, and urban legends about hidden loot in Stone County, Missouri; the man is still “hiding out” and remains an overlooked mystery in the American’ Archives Of Gangster History.

Sam

SOURCES

FBI -Federal Bureau of Investigation http://www.fbi.gov/

Home – Dusty Roads Of An FBI Era http://historicalgmen.squarespace.com/

Midwest Gangsters of the Depression Era – Mister 86’s Report http://mister86.wordpress.com/2008/08/25/midwest-gangsters-of-the-depression-era/

Hollywood goodfella http://af11.wordpress.com/

Crime Magazine http://www.crimemagazine.com/history-kansas-city-family

Prohibition and Depression Era Gangsters and Outlaws http://www.legendsofamerica.com/20th-gangsters.html

Tru TV Crime Library http://www.crimemagazine.com/history-kansas-city-family

Between the Wars (1920s & 1930s) http://www.chenowith.k12.or.us/tech/subject/social/depression.html

Wikipedia John Dillinger http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Dillinger

Official Website of John Dillinger – Public Enemies http://johndillinger.com/

Stone County Missouri US Gen Web http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~mostone/stone.htm

American Outlaw, Missouri Gangster – Research Continues

with 5 comments

by Junior Warren

When I was a little boy my grandmother told me stories about The Great Depression. One story I never forgot is about Stone County’s “Robin Hood.”

Staged Vigilant Outlaw Photo by Christy Warren

Prohibition put Chicago’s Al Capone and Detoit’s Purple Gang on Page One of the nation’s newpapers.

The desperation of The Great Depression created a hunger for the news of how FDR and the U.S. Government was going to put food on the table and money back in the pockets of all Americans. According to Grandma DeLong, people in The Great Depression would crowd around a radio and search through newspapers for information and signs of hope.

John H. Dillinger Jr., George “Machine Gun Kelly” Barnes, Charles Arthur “Pretty Boy” Floyd, Lester Joseph “Baby Face Nelson” Gillis, Clyde Barrow, Bonnie Parker, Alvin “Old Creepy” Karpis, Jake Fleagel and the Barker gang were the Americans, who had an aggressive way to rebuild the economy: bank robbery.

Tommy guns, sawed-off shotguns and pistols sprayed bullets in banks and at mail trucks. From the kidnapping of prominent Americans to train robberies,these American gangsters blazed their way on to the nation’s front pages.

J.Edgar Hoover’s outgunned G-Men, postal inspectors and Federal Bureau of Narcotics agents always seemed to be “a day late and a dollar short,” while the national economic war raged like a Missouri brush fire.

In the midst of national economic chaos and spreading poverty, a Stone County, Missouri man also joined the guerilla squads of bank robbers. At home, he was hailed a “Robin Hood” for his willingness to help his neighbors.

Dillinger and Bonnie and Clyde grabbed the page one headlines, but his successful gang was also out robbing banks in Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas, Illinois and Oklahoma.

Stone County Old Timers and the grand kids of the Stone County Old Timers, if you have any information or stories about Shock Short please email me: SamuelWarren55@gmail.com I’m researching his Life and Times of Shock Short.


The FBI website has a plethora of information on Capone, Dillinger and the famous gangsters of the 1930s, but my search of their site didn’t turn up anything on Shock Short.

Hard to believe, J. Edgar Hoover would let a bank robbing Missouri boy get past his G-Men. Stone County isn’t that far from Chicago.

Still, other Outlaw, Gangster, Crime and Law Enforcement sites have also let Shock Short and his gang slip out of town and by pass their websites.

Nonetheless, I’m on Shock’s trail. In Stone County, Shock Short was ever bit as famous as Frank and Jesse James.

Bald Knobbers Vigilantes on the Ozarks Frontier Photo by Junior Warren

In southwest Missouri in the 1960s, Taney County had their stories of the legendary vigilantes – the Baldknobbers, meanwhile, next door in Stone County, we had our Shock Short stories.

I can’t “deputize” anyone to ride the Internet with me to try and pick up the trail of Shock Short and his gang, but, if you do stumble on to some information; I’d appreciate a shout at my email.

I have some information, but I would like to hear from people who might have stories from their grandparents about this famous Stone County outlaw to try to round out the overall picture.

Time to roll up the bedroll and douse the old campfire, I’m back out on the research trail. Thanks for your help.

Adios, Amigo.

Douse the camp fire Photo by Christy Warren

Sam.


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