Day 12: December 30, 2009
Downtown Big D
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I decided to use this pass through Dallas to see the place where President Kennedy was assassinated. I've heard about this place for forty-six years so guess it's time to take a look. My first stop was The Sixth Floor Museum in what used to be Texas School Book Depository Building. You can look at the window from which Lee Oswald is believed to have fired the shots that killed Kennedy but it's inside a glass cube so you can't look out of it. Except for its location and that window, there doesn't seem to be much here that's unique. There is a 10 by 10 foot model of Dealey Plaza that the FBI made in 1964 to help with its investigation and a collection of a dozen cameras that were used by a variety of folks to record the events of November 22, 1963 but the bulk of the displays are photos and movies we've all seen. Of course, when I say "we", I'm thinking of people of a certain age. The place was surprisingly (to me) crowded and much of that crowd was below that certain age. I felt underwhelmed but maybe a lot of those visitors learned something. I must admit that almost every aspect of Kennedy's presidency is touched on in some way here.

No pictures are permitted in the museum which is why my first photo was taken from a place that I was honestly curious about: the grassy knoll. That 'X' in the middle of the street marks the spot where Kennedy was when the bullets struck and, sure enough, people pose for photos atop the 'X'. The second picture is from the base of the knoll with the Depository Building in the background. A plaque notes that the spot is historically significant for some unspecified reason. Of course, the assassination isn't the only thing of significance that happened in the immediate area. This is where the city of Dallas began. It's the site of the city's first home which served a few other purposes, too. It's named after newspaper publisher George Dealey whose statue stands in the middle of the place.

The plaque in the last picture is attached to the Depository Building. It gives the history of the building and of the building that preceded it on the site. The last paragraph tells of the assassination. The word "allegedly"is underlined by a scratch through the plaque's coating.

There is a public lot next to the Depository Building where you can park all day for four bucks. I got sucked into a private lot a block earlier that cost me six. But folks that park right at the museum might not see a few things that I did. One is this cabin which may or may not be the "first home" mentioned in that plaque in Dealey Plaza. Some say it's a replica. Some say it's the real thing. Another is the "open tomb" Kennedy Memorial. It's pretty easy to get an argument going over it, too.

But the best thing those parking down the street would miss is the Record Grill. It's not much bigger than the parking lot attendant's booth but, like the sign says, they make old fashioned hamburgers. Eating's cheaper than parking. $5.05 for the whole thing including the Dr. Pepper.

I ended the day at the Royal Inn in Sulphur Springs, Texas. It's not one of the best places I've ever stayed but it's not bad. Here's my room.

When I pulled out of Abilene, this morning, the sun was actually shining -- brightly! Clouds increased as I drove and all was gray by the time I reached Dallas but no precipitation of any sort all day. No snow. No rain. Woohoo!!

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