Today marks the 50th anniversary of the President Kennedy assassination right here in Dallas. I grew up in Ohio, and I wasn’t alive back then, but I know all about it…as most people do. Being the 50th, it was kind of a big day in Dallas today. They had a big ceremony at the site, and it’s all they’ve been talking about all week on the radio and local TV.
If you’ve ever been to Dallas, you probably did the tourist thing and visited the Texas School Book Depository and the museum on the assassination that it now hosts. You’ve probably strolled the grassy knoll. I’ve been down there countless times as visiting guests usually want to see it.
Now, what you may not know is that many of the road races downtown run right down that same street. Right along the same path as the President’s motorcade. Every time I run one of those courses, I always feel a little weird. Especially since there is an X painted on the spot where he was shot.
I don’t know if these race directors do this on purpose, or if it is out of convenience. But I’m guessing it’s intentional. Do races in DC go past Ford’s Theater where Lincoln was shot? I have no idea, but I think it’d be weird there too.
Anyway, I love love love history. My dad does too. And so pretty soon after we moved to Dallas, we decided to go see the sites dealing with the assassination. We saw Lee Harvey Oswald’s residences, the Texas Theater where he was arrested, where Officer Tippet was shot, etc.
During that sightseeing trip, we had a really bizarre encounter. We were trying to find one of LHO’s houses. We were driving slowly down the street checking the addresses, when a woman came running out and asked us if we were “Looking for Lee Harvey?” We said yes, and she invited us into his old house. Then she took us into the backyard where the famous photo of him holding the gun and paper were supposedly taken. She went back into the house and came back with a rifle and newspaper, and instructed me to pose in the exact same spot as LHO had. It was weird.
All she asked in exchange for the photo op was our address so she could send a Christmas card. Like I said, bizarre.
I’ve been to the JFK eternal flame in DC. And I’ve seen a statue of him in Ireland. As for LHO, I also saw where he was arrested once in New Orleans. And on a tour there, the guide pointed out a hotel that he said Kennedy had once stayed while at the same time around the corner was a school that he said LHO was attending. I’ve run two half marathons in New Orleans, and I always think about those to spots when we run past them.
What about y’all. Ever been to Dallas and visited Dealey Plaza? Ever run by anything historical? Do you want my address so you can send me a Christmas card?