Dealey Plaza In Dallas, TX To Louisiana Downs At Harrah's In Bossier City To Bonnie And Clyde Historic Marker In Gibsland, LA To Vicksburg, MS
We were a few hours ahead of schedule as we woke up on day 6 in our 12 day road trip across America. We had planned to stop in Oklahoma City for the night, but had continued on for a few hours extra and now were a little more than an hour outside of Dallas, Texas though still in Oklahoma.
I'm a bit of a John F. Kennedy assassination nut having watched just about everything imaginable on the events of November 22, 1963 in Dallas at Dealey Plaza, so I was very much looking forward to the day.
We continued on our way down I-35 south and into the Dallas area.
It's quite the tourist attraction as there were vendors everywhere and we had to pay for parking at the Book Depository which now houses The Sixth Floor Museum. I walked around with the camera shooting a bunch of pictures of this well covered area.
Being in such a historic place that you have learned about for 30 years, but never been to was electric. I couldn't believe I was actually there in Dallas.
They have ominous X's on the street where the first and second shots hit John F. Kennedy that day.
|First X||Second X||Both X's|
|Click Images To Enlarge|
You can see both X's in the third picture above, the first X is hard to see, but there are also marks on the curbs on both sides of the street that you can see.
One of the first things I noticed was that going into the street and standing on the first X it was a clear shot from the Book Depository, but not from the grassy knoll. The trees are a little taller than they were back then.
However the second X was a very easy shot from the grassy knoll and not much more difficult from the Book Depository.
The picket fence, where some famous Dallas photos (see below) seem to show someone, can be seen in the picture above. It is almost directly behind the light post in the picture above up on the knoll, behind the fence.
I wandered up to the grassy knoll and around the fence to to take a look and here's what I found.
|Grassy Knoll From The Street||Grassy Knoll Picket Fence||You Can See The Second X From Here|
|Click Images To Enlarge|
The X on the street that can be seen through the tops of the picket fence in the third photo above is shot number 2. Along the picket fence you can find carved graffiti with stuff such as "who cares" and "X marks the spot".
Some people had a theory about shots coming from the sewer drain at street level and up towards John F. Kennedy, but I made a fool of myself and went ahead and looked down in there. I can assure you that no one was shooting from in there. Also from the angle of the sewer looking up with the height of a car I don't see how a shot could be made to hit him from there.
We went into the The Sixth Floor Museum. I forgot how much it cost, but you can go right up to where they claim Lee Harvey Oswald shot from. They have the corner blocked off from floor to ceiling with plexiglass and boxes staged how they were found that day, but you can see the X's from the window right next to it.
You can also see the path they claim that Lee Harvey Oswald followed and the place they found the weapon stashed.
Most of the museum follows John F. Kennedy's election and has a lot of documentary type movies running. They have a lot of original film equipment that was on the scene that day and a lot of the original papers headlines from the day after. They also have coverage of Jack Ruby shooting Lee Harvey Oswald and a history of Oswald. Nothing you couldn't see by watching documentaries on the Discovery Channel.
The thing that makes the museum special is just being in such a historic spot and seeing for yourself what is claimed to have happened.
Unfortunately the museum will not allow any photography, so I couldn't take pictures from the windows up there showing the X's on the street.
After annoying my family with a prolonged stay -- and an overabundance of John F. Kennedy knowledge -- we headed out of Dallas taking I-30E and I was shocked to find that the way we left took us right through Dealey Plaza and we drove straight over both X's on the way out. I said "Wow!" as we did it and my wife was like "huh?". She didn't see the big deal of driving the same path John F. Kennedy took as I did. We drove down and under the overpass, as we did I gave a casual glance to the sides of the overpass where some have theorized another shooter was located.
We took US-80E and merged onto I-20E driving for about 4 hours towards Shreveport, Louisiana which was our planned stop for the day.
We ended up passing Shreveport and into Bossier City where my wife spotted a Harrah's casino. We stopped by and they had valet parking. I was a little nervous as I handed the guy my keys since our whole life was in that car and we'd be screwed without it. We went in and looked around. They had slots and games on one side and Louisiana Downs race track on the other. We took the kids out to the track and sat there for about half an hour before realizing they had just run the last race even though the post seemed to indicate there was one left.
|Welcome to Louisiana||Louisiana Downs||Crawfish Hole #2|
|Click Images To Enlarge|
They didn't seem to have a hotel there because I knew my wife was dying to play some slots. We were both extremely nervous about the car and decided to take off. We hopped back in and followed the nice leisurely US-80E, which parallels the I-20E, and crisscrosses it throughout the state. It was a nice little ride and not as hurried as the highway.
While in Louisiana I made it a mission to treat the family to some crawdads. We stopped at a place called Crawfish Hole #2 (I was wondering where the Crawfish Hole #1 was, but never asked). Crawdads turned out to be out of season, but we did have some frozen ones in our meal.
It was getting dark and there was still one last stop for the day. About 45 minutes east of Shreveport is a place called Gibsland.
We came to Gibsland and hopped on HWY-154 south. I set the trip odometer because 8 miles down this dark winding road in the middle of nowhere is where Bonnie and Clyde were ambushed and killed in 1934 by law enforcement. There was a little sign on the edge of the road that said "historical marker 1 mile" and I slowed. In the pitch dark I couldn't see anything as we drove along.
I saw a little pull-off to the right, but passed by it. As we kept going I was watching the trip meter and realized we had gone too far. I asked the kids to look back as we passed another sign on the left side of the road. It said "historic marker 1 mile", so we had driven a mile too far. I turned around and went back. It was the little pull-off we had gone by earlier.
It was solid pitch black out in a swampy-forested area in the middle of nowhere. When I turned the headlights off you couldn't see your hand in front of your face. I broke out the flashlight and we got out. You could hear the chirping in the trees and the sound of frogs. The monument was made of stone and had worn down over the years. There was grafitti all over it
I turned my flashlight on the monument and took a picture and it came out looking like crap. After a few more experiments I posed next to the monument in the pitch dark with the headlights on the car off, my flashlight off and set the camera on full flash. The kids took a picture and finally it came out good.
After taking a few more pictures with the kids at the Bonnie and Clyde historical marker, and listening to my wife's nervous calls to go, we wrapped things up and headed back up HWY-154 towards Gibsland.
We got onto I-20E and drove the 2 and a half hours across the rest of Louisiana -- without stopping -- through the night.
We crossed the Mississippi River and into Vicksburg, Mississippi where we stopped for the night. I don't remember what motel, probably a Super 8 or Motel 6 or something.
Thus ended a long Day 6.