Grassy Knoll from across the street
I mentioned earlier that Dallas
had been near the top of my cities to visit list for a long time for exactly one reason, and it's not because I'm a Cowboys fan (although I am). I am a JFK assassination NERD. It started in high school, though I'm not exactly sure how. I was completely obsessed with it for a long time. Lee Harvey Oswald, Jack Ruby, Jim Garrison, the Warren Commission... what a cast of characters! I've read every book ever written on the subject. It was more than a decade ago that I ran out of books about that, so I started reading about the Kennedys themselves. Oh, how I love them! They are a lesson in karma if there ever was one. I love how Joe Kennedy essentially sold his soul to the devil and his entire family followed and were cursed because of it, I love how the American public is so stupid they don't even see it, I love how they are constantly seen as America's sweethearts in the midst of extramarital affairs, Mafia ties and everything else, only to pay in some horrific way later.
Taken while standing on the stairs in the Grassy Knoll
I never met so many people who died in plane crashes in my life! Not to mention the assassinations, drug overdoses, suicides, a girl who remains institutionalized even today because of an experimental lobotomy for the love of christ, a baby that died less than a week after it was born, and a guy who *crashed into a tree while skiing*. If ONE of these things happened to you, you'd be all 'why hast thou forsaken me?' Yet they keep on truckin! The Clintons are a lot like the Kennedys, in that they are constantly getting away with shit, except that the Clintons aren't slick, charming and attractive. They are my heroes, except not for the reasons most other people have for saying that. Civil rights, the Peace Corps, PT 109...PSHAW!
But enough of that! I've been to the Kennedy Museum/Library in Boston, their childhood home in Brookline, Mass, and Jack and Bobby's graves in Arlington National Cemetery.
Elm from the Grassy Knoll
Dallas was the one piece of my puzzle that was missing. Getting to downtown Dallas was the most important part of my first trip to Texas. For the last two years Rodney has been telling me that he lived in Dallas, it turns out that he only lives in the Dallas metro area, and knew even less about downtown Dallas than I do. We had to find our way to Dealey Plaza based solely on information I had stored inside my brain. I could have MapQuested the exact directions, but I didn't think I needed to. We drove into downtown Dallas, past that building that looks like a giant microphone, and right away we were on Elm, which I knew was the street we were looking for. Rodney insisted that the location was elsewhere, because he was driving past and saw people taking pictures of the street one time.
I wanted to see the city, so I sat back and relaxed, checking out the sites while he drove all over the place. When he had enough, I told him to drive back to Elm, and I could find it. He did, and I did. I was impressed with myself for finding it without a map...I did the same thing one time on Central Park West, when I found Dana Barrett's apartment building from Ghostbusters. I just get dorkier by the minute, don't I?
We parked the car, threw some quarters into the meter and there I was! In the middle of Dealey Plaza, looking right at the Grassy Knoll... my favorite character from the assassination! A homeless person tried to sell me a newspaper about the assasination complete with maps, but I didn't need that. I could have written that paper. For all I know, I did write it.
Top corner window of Book Depository
In college I wrote a 50 page honors project for my Modern American History class. I walked around and checked out the place, I laid right in the Grassy Knoll and everything. People were taking pictures of themselves in the middle of the street in the exact spot where Kennedy was shot. The hell? What a weird picture to take. Do you smile? Do you go home and tell your friends, this is me, standing in the exact place John Kennedy's head exploded. I took a picture of myself in the Grassy Knoll, and I didn't smile. But the picture turned out like I was really pissed off instead. Then we headed up to the 6th Floor Museum, in the Book Depository. I feel like this museum is just capitalizing on a horrible tragedy, but I had to see that window! Also, I've already told you plenty about why I'm a dork, why should I stop there? The episode of The X-Files in which the JFK assassination had a cameo was wrong, all wrong! There was no sewer on that street that the Cigarette Smoking man could have been inside of when he shot him!
Afterwards, I went to a SONIC for the first time ever.
Trinity in the Grassy Knoll
It's really weird, I see commercials for Sonic all the time, yet the closest one to Milwaukee is in Indianapolis. You always want what you can't have, so I wanted a Sonic burger and a Limeade. I enjoyed it, and so did Trinity, but Culver's is better. Then we spent the rest of the night in the hotel pool, where we saved the life of a giant grasshopper.