Life has been crazy the last month or so. Work has been busy, to say the least, which hasn’t allowed much time for blogging! When I had to go to Dallas last week for a meeting, I looked forward to going to bed early, soaking up creative inspiration and motivation, and reconnecting with work friends from Texas, Arkansas, Wyoming, Colorado and even Wisconsin. I needed the trip to recharge my batteries. What I didn’t expect, was a chance to feed my need to explore as well. One afternoon I had a couple of hours between the last session of the day and dinner, so I made my way downtown to Dealey Plaza. I’ve been to Dallas before, but I have never seen the famous grassy knoll and the Sixth Floor Museum located in the Texas Book Depository on the corner where Kennedy was shot.
You know the story: the museum is built on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository, which was constructed in 1901. Evidence was found showing that shots were fired from the sixth floor at President Kennedy as his motorcade went past the building. Depository employee Lee Harvey Oswald was charged with the president’s murder.
I walked through the museum and then went down on the streets below to see the route the President’s motorcade took as it turned left in front of that sixth floor window where Oswald stood taking aim. I saw the grassy knoll and remembered film footage I have seen dozens of times of people running, as they thought shots were being fired from that area. There is a beautiful monument in Dealey Plaza that offers a view of the grassy knoll alongside a reflecting pool.
My favorite part of the time I spent at the site was visiting with a policeman who said he had studied Kennedy’s assassination and the conspiracy theories for 45 years. He named authors whose books he recommended if I wanted to dig deeper into the truth and criticized JFK the movie as sensationalized fiction. There was one shooter, he said emphatically. Lee Harvey Oswald.
When I told some friends at the conference that I had been down to the museum, they asked if I had seen the X in the street indicating the spot where Kennedy took the bullet. I regretfully told them no. The policeman hadn’t pointed it out, and I didn’t know to look for it. Oddly enough, when I looked at my pictures, there in the frame of shots I thought I was taking of the grassy knoll was the X. I admit, it was creepy seeing it there in the photos without my knowingly focusing on it in the middle of the street.
In fact, the X showed up in more that one shot…here it is again from a different angle.
To me, history is fascinating. Conspiracy theories are even more fascinating. Traveling to locations that bring history (and mystery) to life is simply FANTASTIC!