JFK and the day I took one quick shot in Dallas ...

 

Share
Related Topics

I’ve spent the last week overdosing on Kennedy porn. I’ve watched so many documentaries about what happened on that awful day in Dallas 50 years ago that my own head is ready to explode. I feel somehow guilty being so obsessed with the tragic death of a man but, like so many others, I am. 

About three years ago I set off on an “assassination vacation” of the USA. I did a road trip in which I visited most of the most infamous assassination sites the country had to offer. Dealey Plaza was by far the most powerful. As I rounded the corner of the Texas Book Depository it was as though I’d stepped on to the set of an unbelievably powerful déjà vu.

What really struck me was that Elm Street itself is still a busy thoroughfare, with two white crosses painted on the tarmac to indicate where the bullets hit the President. I think I rather expected it to have been closed down and turned into some sort of commemorative site but the Dallas rush hour traffic stops for no man.

Just next to the grassy knoll were a bunch of conspiracy theorists that had little stalls and each tried to sell you their version of who killed Camelot – “LBJ, The Mob, Castro, The Russians, Marilyn Monroe…” It was Nutsville Central. I asked the least nutty one whether I could visit the Texas Book Depository.

“You can, it’s now a museum, but you don’t want to go there as it’s run by the Federal Government. It’s all lies in there. They’ll register your details and you’ll be on the list. Don’t do it.” He looked frightened.

I backed away and headed for the museum. A sign on the door warned visitors (a little tardily I thought) that firearms were not allowed in the building. I took the lift up and wandered over to the corner where Lee Harvey Oswald had set up his solitary sniper’s nest. The area was glassed off, the boxes he’d piled up for cover frozen in time. I looked out of the next window down and saw the view that Oswald would have seen (minus the presidential motorcade obviously). I took out my camera and snapped a shot of this iconic vista. Within seconds an enormous security guard was on me.

“No photography sir…”

I apologised and made to move on but she was having none of it.

“I have to ask you to delete that photograph, sir.” She wasn’t joking. I was being asked to delete a photo of one of the world’s most photographed city streets by a representative of the Land Of The Free. I refused and headed for the lift, closely followed by Gargantua who was calling for assistance on her radio. I was now – like Oswald – being pursued by the law through the corridors of the Texas Book Depository.

This was turning into a very realistic exhibition. I made it to the lift, got downstairs only to find another guard trying to prevent my exit. I shimmied past him and through the gift shop hawking tasteful toy models of JFK’s limo. I burst through the doors on to the melting streets and ran past the conspiracy theorists who just looked sadly at me with “I told you so” expressions.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Store Manager & Store Supervisor

£19000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Case Liaison Officer / Administrator

£13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist based in Rochest...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Manager / Sales - OTE £45,000

£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a solutions / s...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £45,000

£18000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive is required t...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Kennedy campaign for the Lib Dems earlier this year in Bearsden  

Charles Kennedy: A brilliant man whose talents were badly needed

Baroness Williams
Nick Clegg (R) Liberal Democrat Leader and former leader Charles Kennedy MP, joined the general election campaign trail on April 8, 2010  

Charles Kennedy: The only mainstream political leader who spoke sense

Tim Farron
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific