A Grassy Knoll, A Haunting Museum

Dealey Plaza, the site of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States. If there was one place in Dallas that I wanted to see, other than Neiman Marcus, it was this. The warehouse from which Lee Harvey Oswald shot the President has been turned into The Sixth Floor Museum – a disturbing and somewhat morbid commemoration of the events that took the life of a young President.

My mother was fascinated by the Kennedys, and I was raised with an active interest in the history and story of JFK’s assassination. She had books on the subject, and even a bust of the President that should still be somewhere in their attic. Each November 22 we would go over the sad events, and as I walked through the museum it brought back a childhood of learning, and a fascination of what could never be fully explained.

The museum does an excellent job of presenting the historical background of the time period, and then an excruciating follow-through of the shooting and the various theories and evidence behind it. Questions still linger, doubts remain, and in the end all I was left with was a feeling of profound sadness for what can never be understood – the senseless end of a promising life. I think it was the image of Mrs. Kennedy in her pink suit, climbing over the back of the car, helpless and alone, that struck me the most.

Then there were the boxes ~ the storage boxes that Oswald hid behind while staking out his striking point from the 6th floor window. They stood, piled high, disguising the small space of a murderer – and it was such a small space, such a small life, that still somehow managed to snuff out such a large one.

Afterward, in the cold, I walked across the street and took these photos of Dealey Plaza. Sometimes nothing makes sense. Sometimes all is forlorn.

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