It is hard to believe but our massive 3 week, 7000 mile Highways of August tour around America is winding down. Tomorrow we start the last leg back. I actually have a work related event on Tuesday and the next day my friends from the United Kingdom – @daren140 & Louis(12) – catch a plane back to Europe. At the moment we are in Dallas, staying with some great people. I’m actually writing this while sitting next to their pool (I know, tough gig right?) and recovering a bit from the hot tub party which didn’t end until dawn and that involved me being forced to down a bottle of grappa, a first for me.
However, yesterday, a major highlight for me was visiting the 6th Floor Museum in Dallas. This is the building where Lee Harvey Oswald worked and used to fire upon and slay President John F. Kennedy. The museum is very well done and moving in its experience. If you know this blog then you know I am a fan of both JFK and RFK. People forget how turbulent those 1000 days were in JFK’s term: The Bay of Pigs, Marshals in showdowns with the likes of Gov. Wallace in Alabama, an economic fix, the nuclear standoff in Cuba often called the “13 Days of October”, the creation of the Berlin Wall and the airlifts to save the city, the call for the space program. It was a time when leaders were just that – leaders. It was a time when we still had promise.
I will post pics of the visit at a future date but I did notice one thing that stood out to me although I am still sorting through how exactly. Everyone pretty well assumes the assassination was part of a greater conspiracy (even at the time they did) and that when Lee Harvey Oswald was gunned down a couple of days later that it was just part of said conspiracy. Still, in spite of the tragic event (the gun was bought for $12 and change – ponder how much that $12 changed the world for a second) Oswald remains an isolated figure that seems to be have been cast-off by the universe itself. Maybe it is his record of going from Marine to defector to the USSR and back again. Maybe it is his troubled marriage and the consequent loneliness he expressed at every turn or maybe it is the picture I found at the end of one of the displays.
The photo was of Oswald’s funeral. There was no one there and so the Press had to serve as pallbearers. Is there anything that reveals how much the life of Lee Harvey Oswald had been discarded than that fact? I don’t know, but it seems to me even an assassin shouldn’t be that alone in the end, after all even Brutus got a speech after the evil act. It is hard for me to explain but the photo was contradictory in that it showed how inconsequential Oswald’s life was and yet the plot he participated carried the most dire of consequences. I ponder this knowing that the shroud of mystery remains, hiding the truth we desire so badly but the dark depths of an abandoned soul stand out even in a display like the 6th Floor Museum.