Larry Baran
The Housewife Loved a Bandit
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The author is a Vietnam-era Marine Corps veteran. Now retired from the electrical/electronics industry in Chicago, he enjoys playing guitar, writing songs, gardening, tennis and Irish Wolfhounds.

My mother is the only woman to escape from the Sarasota County Jail. That begs the question “What was your ma doing in jail?” In 1953, she left her husband and six kids (me the youngest) in the Hyde Park Chicago neighborhood for a 7 month coast-to-coast crime spree. Flo Baran and Bill Gaskell used guile, guts and a gun to support their illicit lifestyle. Their little fun ride together came to a surprising end at a Miami motel. You know, just like a tale of love, adventure and betrayal should.


Written in an informal conversational style, this book chronicles the life and times of my ma, the Housewife, and her fling with the pistol packing Bandit covering the time span from 1901 when my grandparents began emigrating from Poland through 2006 when the last of my parents’ generation passed on. The tale includes a generous helping of personal family photographs and bios, Florida newspaper articles and official quotes from the FBI, Florida and Alabama law enforcement and World War Two era Navy documents all sprinkled with doses of innate humor and well-intentioned sarcasm. Also, historical and local events are included to provide perspective of what was happening in the world while these characters were on the road doing their thing. 63 years after I watched my mother being dragged away by US Marshals and Chicago Police, her story is now ready to be shared.