Tuesday, June 26, 2012

There is a Lot More to Dallas...

I’ve been to Dallas three times and find the morbid fascination with the Kennedy assassination a mystery. Not that people do visit Dealey Plaza to gaze at the sixth floor of the former Book Depository Building and the x’s thoughtfully painted in the road and think, “Hmmm”, but that hawkers lurk about trying to sell souvenirs-including  programs containing autopsy photos I find particularly revolting.

During my second visit to Dallas (the first occupied entirely by work), a group of us took the pilgrimage and found people selling this memorabilia, if you will. Some people attempted to show us around as if we couldn’t look up, yep, sixth floor window, look at the road-x, x, look across the street, grassy knoll (there is actually a large yellow and black sign announcing “grassy knoll”) . You certainly don’t need a tour guide. Aside from the grisly booklets, an author or two have set up stands to sell, I guess, their books on the subject.
Light Show at Night
This trip, one tourist went so far as to walk into the road when there was no traffic-not an easy feat-this is a freeway entrance ramp-to crouch down beside onoe x and have his photo snapped. Something I found interesting was his age, maybe thirty, but not older. I was in third grade when President Kennedy was killed and, like others of my generation, remember exactly what I was doing when I heard about it. Anyone much younger than me won’t have that “remember when” time portal, so taking a photo on that spot  perplexes me.

There was a woman selling t-shirts that proclaimed “1963-2013 Dallas”, as if this were a fiftieth anniversary worth marking with a commemorative t-shirt. Should have gotten some of those for the grandkids…
Light Show at Night
To the City of Dallas, I say: You are a well-appointed city with an ignominious stain you can never erase. We stayed at the Magnolia, a grand lady with an impressive view. We ate an excellent hamburger at the Chesterfield, enjoyed pizza at Porta di Roma, had more burgers at a corner burger spot with garlicky good french fries. After the wedding we were there to attend, we partied at Dallas Heritage Village and thoroughly enjoyed your hospitality.
Except for a one-half-block section of perfidy, you are a beautiful, tidy place with scores of other diversions that still can’t expunge the one horrible day you had nearly 50 years ago.


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