Thursday, February 28, 2019

JFK Assasination

Location: East Fork Park (Corps of Engineers Campground); Wylie, Texas : Near Dallas

All pictures taken with Nokia Lumia Icon 929 Cell Phone

The freedom of full time RV'ing allow travelers to see many wondrous natural surroundings such as mountains, canyons, oceans and lakes. These are great and I've enjoyed many of them over the years. But for me, that freedom also includes man-made surroundings such as Washington D.C., the Golden Gate Bridge, Hoover Dam just to name a few. This second freedom is what brought me to this campground. I searched for a campground that was close enough to downtown Dallas to where I could camp in a somewhat rural setting, but get downtown kind of quickly. At first I planned to stay in a State Park just south of town, but decided against that when I read reviews and official warnings about he campground being infested with Argentine Ants. I didn't need that problem, so I found this Corps of Engineers campground which is located about 13 miles from the end of the DART Red Line which is Dallas's light rail service. 

I made it from the campground to the train station in about 20 minutes and for $2.00 I was able to take the train downtown. The distance was 20 miles one way and took about 40 minutes. It is a very good way of seeing a lot of a place in a short time period. It was cheaper than driving plus I didn't have to worry about finding parking. 

Destination: West End Station, about 3 blocks from Dealey Plaza. I wanted to see the place where President Kennedy was assassinated. I wanted to see the Grassy Knoll, the School Book Depository, the Triple Underpass. I had seen all of these things in photographs and movies (Zapruder film) over the years but I wanted to put them all together. I wanted to see them all in relation to one another. But mostly I wanted answers.

I was disappointed in that I ended up with more questions than answers. To discuss all of the events surrounding the assassination would take way more space than this measly little blog, so I won't even try. I will make a few statements, ask a few questions and post some pictures. 

First the pictures:
This is looking back towards the 6th floor window of the School Book Depository where Oswald took his shots. The city has conveniently placed X's where Kennedy was located when he was shot.  

A closer view of the previous picture

This picture was taken while standing on the Grassy Knoll. It gives a perspective to the Book Depository and the locations of the shots.

When I took this picture, I was standing on the corner of Elm where the motorcade had just made the turn onto Elm. The School Book Depository is directly behind me at about 60 feet. I'm standing in line between the 6th floor window and the line of sight Oswald would have seen. The fatal shot was about 100 yards from Oswald. This also give a good view of where James Tague was standing when he was shot.

This is standing across Elm Street looking at the Grassy Knoll. The distance from the Grassy Knoll to the location of the fatal shot is about 50 yards. The white structure and wood fence are as they were in 1963. Directly behind the Grassy Knoll is a large parking lot and train yard, just as in 1963. 

This is a panoramic picture of the area. To my back is the triple underpass where the motorcade passed under when fleeing the scene. 

My first impression of the area was the size. In my mind, it had always appeared much larger. Perhaps that was my mind putting size to the place in relation to the size of the event (pretty deep uh?)

Everything surrounding the assassination is convoluted and complicated. There are literally a hundred or more conspiracy theories about what happened in Dealey Plaza on November 22, 1963. The Warren Commission headed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court was supposed to answer all the questions and get to the bottom of who did what and how did they do it. Sadly, after 10 months of investigating, the commission issued their report and it left so many questions unanswered. That just left the door wide open for all the wild ideas people had as to what could have happened. I believe, the Warren Commission was the beginning of the distrust in the Deep State we hear about so much now. The 60's was a wild decade. Besides the assassinations of two Kennedy's, Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, there was Vietnam, the Hippie movement and moon landings. It shouldn't be surprising that trying to understand what happened back then is dang near impossible. 

A couple of things make me go,,,"hmmm, I wonder?"

One "hmmmm" is the "magic bullet". Is it possible for a shot from the 6th floor of the School Book Depository to hit Kennedy in the back (about 5 1/2 inches below the collar of his jacket), come out his neck (between his adam's apple and the knot on his tie), then hit Governor Connally in his right ribs, come out his chest, then go through his wrist before finally coming to rest in the Governors thigh???? Then have the bullet found on a gurney that the Governor was on at the hospital. Oh and by the way, if that isn't enough of a "hmmmm", the bullet looked as if it was just removed from the cartridge (pristine condition). 

The reason for the "magic bullet" theory is there could only have been three shots fired. If there were four shots fired, then that would have meant more than one shooter which meant a conspiracy. That would have been bad news for the commission. The timeline of the number of shots and where they went goes like this (remember, 3 shots and 3 shots only or there is more than one shooter):

December of 1963: The FBI reported 3 shots. One hit Governor Connally causing all of his injuries, One hit Kennedy in the back and One hit Kennedy in the head (the fatal shot). Neat package tied with a bow.

Ut oh,,,,, in June of 1964 it is unexpectedly made public that private citizen, James Tague, was wounded while standing by the triple overpass. This was a problem since it meant a fourth bullet. They solved that problem by coming up with the path of the "magic bullet". Now they reported still only 3 shots with one hitting James Tague, one following the "magic bullet" path and one hitting Kennedy in the head. 

Another "hmmmm" that always bothered me was the fatal shot to Kennedy's head making his head go backwards when the commission says he was shot from the back. A shot from the Grassy Knoll would have been from the right/front side. And what was Jackie reaching for when she climbed backwards onto the trunk of the limousine. Some say she was reaching for parts of her husband. 

Another "hmmmm",,, the commission says after shooting the president, Oswald left the Book Depository and walked 2 1/2 miles in 45 minutes where he then shot Dallas Police Officier, J.D. Tippit. Tippit supposedly recognized Oswald from a description put out over the police radio of the Kennedy assassin. This description was issued less than an hour after the shots. After killing Tippit, he runs away from that murder scene, takes his jacket off along the way and throws it on the sidewalk. Finally ends up in a movie theater. I wonder where Oswald was originally going when he killed Tippit. To make a plan to kill the president, he sure didn't plan his escape very good.

"Hmmmm", I wonder why so many people at the scene of the assassination ran towards the Grassy Knoll after the shots. Many said they were going to where the shots came from.

"hmmm, I wonder why the commission never interviewed the four motorcycle policemen that were riding close by the limousine at the time of the assassination. 

"hmmmm", I wonder why both the government and Governor Connally's family refused to allow the coroner to remove the bullet fragments remaining in the Governor's body after his death??? I guess there may have been a problem if the weight of those fragments added to the weight of the previously found fragments was more than the weight of one bullet. That would mean a fourth bullet again,,,,ut oh.

"hmmmm", was Oswald a good enough shot to fire 3 shots in 8 seconds and hit a target that was angled downwards 13 degrees while traveling away from him and going downhill? Oh, and also do it with cheaply made Italian rifle with a 4 power scope. 

Too many questions. I don't think we will ever know what really happened back then. Maybe it was just one man that changed the direction of the country by firing three shots from a rifle.

Oh well, it was a nice day with the train ride and walking around the plaza. Well worth the trip here. 

Ya'll take care of each other. I'll Cya down the road. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

No Bad "Vibes" This Time

Location: East Fork Park (Corps of Engineers Campground); Near Dalles, Texas

All pictures taken with Nokia Lumia Icon 929 cell phone

Well there were no bad "vibes" that stopped me from pulling out this time. I woke up early on Monday and waited for them to show up. I looked around for them inside and outside of Liberty. None were to be found, so I got to work getting Liberty ready to go. Luckily, a lot of stuff had already been done last month before the bad "vibes" encouraged prompted suggested forced me to not leave as planned. Everything went well during the prepping and hitching. I went extra slow since it had been six months since I had hitched up. Even in 'grandpa speed', (wait a minute, I need to change that expression since I'm a grandpa). Even in 'great-grandpa speed' I was still able to finish everything and pull out at 9:00 am with a 220 mile tow ahead of me. The weather was great with the temperature in the 40's while hitching up and the low 60's when I got to my destination. It was a good traveling day. 

I headed west to a Corps of Engineers campground on Lavon Lake in the little town of Wylie, Texas. The nearest city that most people would recognize is Plano which is about 10 miles away. Oh, also Dallas is about 20 miles away. The campground is a little run down with potholes in the roads and places that hold water way too long. But even after dodging potholes, my campsite was level and dry. It is an electric/water only site. My surge guard told me the electricity was good and the water looked fine, but I chlorinated my fresh water tank, just to make sure. The other good part of the campground is the camp hosts. Very nice and efficient couple from Illinois who are full-time RV'ers.

I chose this campground to be as far away from Big Dallas but at the same time making it an easy trip into the big city. I plan to use Dallas's DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit). They have a series of light rail trains that criss-cross the Dallas area and outlying towns. One of their train stations is about 12 miles away in Plano. For $2.00, I can catch a train and ride it into downtown Dallas thereby avoided the busy traffic and parking problems downtown. When I visited Washington D.C. back in 2014, I used their train system the same way and it worked out great. My first trip downtown is to see Dealy Plaza where President Kennedy was assassinated. The train will get me within a couple of blocks of the plaza and it looks like the weather should be good walking weather. 

The rest of this post is pictures. I'll proof read this post after I publish it since I'm in a hurry to catch a train. 

Typical Louisiana four lane highway. I took this route to avoid some very rough sections of Interstate highway.

This picture is of those two "dark contrails" in the sky. Later on I saw a dark one with clear blue sky and a plane following it as it was putting out a white vapor trail. Being curious I googled "dark contrails" and it is suppose to be caused when a vapor trail in roughly lined up with the sun and you see the edge of it. Called an "Edge Shadow Contrail". I can't believe I've never seen one in my life. 

The tunnel effect of the trees along the edge of I-20.

If you leave the roadway, don't go into the median here, or you may be introduced to some trees.

Wispy clouds with a blue sky. Pretty.

This was on a two lane road after leaving the interstate. I could see this picture for a couple miles since it lined up with a straight section of the road and it was big enough to where you could make out a face. Sadly, the lettering explaining what the billboard was all about was too small for me to read it as I passed by at 50 mph. I have no idea what they were selling or saying. It's an eye catcher though.

Liberty set up but slides not out yet. That is the lake in the background.

Looking behind, toward the interior of the campground.

I liked this scraggly tree.

I passed this place on my way to the campground. It smelled great so after setting up camp, I went back to try it. I got some sausage, smoked turkey, potato salad and cole slaw. I was disappointed in all of it, include their bottled sauce. Oh well, perhaps my expectations were too high.

After getting back from eating and driving around a little bit, I walked around the campground and found this tree.

Looking back at Freedom and Liberty after walking a bit.

Ya'll take care of each other. I'll Cya down the road.    

Friday, February 22, 2019

Maybe Take A Little Trip

Location: New Rockdale RV Park; Mansfield, Louisiana

Well, well, well. It's time for another update to the blog and like last time, the weather is cold and rainy while the coffee is hot and black. I think I've worn out my latest coffee brand and will be searching for a new one or resort to an old reliable one. Surprisingly, I got hooked on Great Value's (Walmart) Donut Shop coffee a few months ago but it is wearing out its welcome. Oh well, as with life, something will come along to take its place.

Brandon is doing well with visits to the doctors and bloodwork occurring once a month. The blood tests have been in the normal range since December and his medicine has remained unchanged since then. The doctors have been successful in finding that balance between anti-rejection meds and antibiotics. With his seven month "transplantversary" coming up in a week, he continues to get stronger daily. He has had so many miracles in such a short time period. 

The grandbabies and my other babies (ages, 43 and 36) are all doing fine so I figured it may be a good time to take a little trip somewhere.

I was ready to go a couple of times since the first of the year but the "vibes" didn't feel right. The last time was at the end of January. I had Freedom and Liberty ready to go and made reservations at a campground when the "bad vibs" hit me the day before I was due to leave. It may sound a little crazy, or in southern lingo, "a little touched", but I have learned over my life to always listen to my "vibs". So here we are again with the campground rent due on Monday and me deciding to go or stay. As always, I'll make that decision right before I back Freedom up to Liberty. If I hear that "click" as they hitch up, then down the road we go. If not, then I cancel the reservation at the campground again and pay up another month's rent here.

There are a couple of new things and places I want to see, so I hope the vibs are with me come Monday. Dang, now I have that old song, Come Monday, running through my mind. Maybe another cup of coffee will take care of it.

January sunrise over New Rockdale RV Park. 

As a final note: The RV'ing community said goodbye to two of their own over the last few weeks. Both had been on the road for well over a decade and both pioneered the combination of RV'ing and blogging. Go in peace, Tioga George, of "The Adventures of Tioga and George" and Malia Lane of "Malia's Miles". The freedom of the open road has been opened wider for ya'll. See ya'll down the road. 

Ya'll take care of each other. I'll Cya down the road.