I traveled to Dallas last week to visit Baylor University and the Sixth Floor Museum to view the Gus Russo, Dick Russell, and Patricia Lambert papers. Right after my research, I met up with a bunch of Facebook friends for our annual tour of Dallas sites.
Visit to Baylor University
Baylor University, located in Waco Texas, is accumulating a large collection of papers related to the JFK assassination. Jack Armstrong, R.B. Cutler, Gus Russo, Dick Russell, and Penn Jones have their papers there. The Gus Russo papers are a treasure trove of material - most of which were generated from the Frontline show on the life of Lee Harvey Oswald. This was my second visit to Baylor University.
2. Sixth Floor Museum
The Sixth Floor Museum has the papers of Patricia Lambert, author of False Witness, one of the best books on the Jim Garrison investigation. This is my second visit to examine her papers, and I wanted to make copies of all the notes of Anne Dischler - the investigator who looked into the Rose Cherami case, and the Clinton witnesses.
Scenes from the lobby of the Sixth Floor Museum
3. Facebook Meetup in Dealey Plaza
We all met in Dealey Plaza on Friday, September. Here is a view from the knoll looking at the Hyatt Hotel:
On Saturday, Robert Groden was at his usual spot on the knoll. Here is a picture of my friend Freda Dillard talking to Robert:
I asked Robert Groden if he has a new book coming out, and he said he had nothing planned. I told him that he should write a memoir of his experiences over the years regarding the JFK investigations.
4. Meeting with Mary Moorman
Six of us drove out to visit with Mary Moorman who took this famous photo right after the assassination:
Here I am with Mary Moorman:
It was a delightful afternoon. Mary is now 89 years old and is in great shape, both mentally and physically. She patiently answered questions for over two hours. She remembers three shots being fired that day and, at first, she thought they were firecrackers. She could not determine the source of the shots, and she did not see a gunman on the grassy knoll.
Mary was with Jean Hill that day who was one of her best friends. But their friendship was never the same after the assassination. Ultimately, Hill would go on and write a book about her experiences. She sent a copy to Mary. Mary wrote her a thank you letter, but told Jean that their memories were quite different.
People write Mary from all around the world. They send her copies of her picture and want autographs - they also include self-addressed stamped envelopes. She lets them pile up and every now and then she will go through a pile. Unfortunately, some people then put up their signed photographs for sale on e-Bay.
Mary also has a collection of JFK assassination books. All of them were sent to her, but she has no intention of reading them. She believes the assassination is a mystery and that we might never know the full truth.
Ms. Moorman is also a pretty good painter. Several of her paintings are on her walls, and here is one:
Mary sold her famous photo at auction about 20 years ago. She does not know who bought it.
5. Oswald's Grave
We all went out to see Oswald's grave:
Right next to Oswald is a stone for "Nick Beef."
6. The Paine House
We drove out to the Paine House. Unfortunately, it was after-hours and it was closed but we were able to walk around to the back yard.
Last year, some of the lucky people in our group visited the Paine Home with Ruth Paine. Who better to give a tour?
We then walked a few houses down to Linnie Mae Randle's home. Oswald did not have to walk very far that morning to get to her house.
This is the Randle house. You can see the window from the kitchen in which Linnie Mae saw Oswald walking towards the car port. The garage doors have been added. Frazier's car would have been parked in the space on the left side - it was just an open area. The house has just been sold and is currently unoccupied.
7. Rose Cherami's Grave
8. Dallas Police Museum
We were very fortunate to get a private tour of the Dallas Police Museum. Here are some pictures:
Jack Ruby's business card.
A highlight was going into some of the storage rooms. Here I am with Will Fritz's Tommy Gun:
It was surprisingly heavy.
Here is the group at the Police Museum (courtesy of Laura Pasley)
9. Rays Gun Shop
This is where Jack Ruby bought his revolver used to kill Oswald. I believe this is the original sign.
Four of us at Rays (courtesy of Freda Dillard)
10. Sonny Bryan's Smokehouse
No visit would be complete without some barbecue. You gotta love these neon signs:
Several people had a sweet tooth, and so we would go to Braun's for ice cream most nights. As a Canadian, I am amazed at the size of things in the United States - look at this sign about the shortage of supplies of various cups. Do people really need a 44 oz. cup?
On the last day, we had drinks at the Texas Theater:
(Texas Theater photos courtesy of Freda Dillard)
Our last stop was a dinner at Campisi's, the restaurant where Jack Ruby used to eat. We are in Jack Ruby's booth.
From left to right (Joseph Landwermeyer, Steve Roe, Freda Dillard, Frank Badalson, Bill Brown, Dave Ledbetter, Fred Litwin, Ed Murray)
We are now planning to meet in New Orleans in March of 2022. Hope you can make it.