Sunday, November 25, 2012

DAY 94, 95- Thanksgiving, JFK, & a Birthday…

Day 94- A Day off and Thanksgiving… 
I knew that I would have some of these days where because of the Holidays I would be forced to have “days off” and I will admit that I might have needed a bit of a day off.  That in part was the reason I was pushing to get to Dallas.  I found a great rate over the Holidays here and at that rate I could afford to take a day off and not feel pressured to make the most out of my day.  Sometimes, I push myself more because I want to get the most for my money while I’m traveling.  I basically hung out in the hotel room during Thanksgiving after running down for the continental breakfast.  I did find a Walgreens nearby that was open and grabbed some junk food.  It was junk food and movie day.  I also did manage to start a watercolor but it still needs some work.

DAY 95- JFK AND a Birthday…
It was my birthday and also the largest shopping day of the year.  I wasn’t going to any malls so I figured I would be safe going to the 6th Floor Museum in Dallas.  The 6th Floor Museum is in the Book Depository where Lee Harvey Oswald shot John F. Kennedy as his car turned the corner and went by the grassy knoll.  It’s the same floor as they found the gun.  I drove downtown and found a parking lot space for the cheap price of $5 for the whole day.  Then I walked to the 6th Floor Museum to discover that there was a line out the door and around the corner.  The day after Thanksgiving is the busiest day of the year for this museum.  They were expecting about 2000 people to go through the museum that day.  Go figure that's the day that I decided to go too.  I got in line and it was moving slowly.  I was told it was about an hour and 15 minute wait from where I was at.  Okay, I didn’t have much else planned and really wanted to see this.
Photo- Book Depository building in background and an "X" marking
on the street where the first shot was fired at JFK.

I finally got to purchase my ticket from a black woman that was calling everyone Sugar.  “How are you today Sugar?”  “Well, thank you Sugar!”  There were two guys from New York in front of me in the line and I asked them if that was a southern thing to call everyone “Sugar”.  They laughed, but the line wasn’t over yet.  There was a line for the audio that they handed just before you went in the elevator and waiting for people to come down the elevator.  There was a limit as to how many were allowed on the 6th floor because of the fire codes.  No photography was allowed except for the 7th floor which you could visit.  There’s art and etc. up there I was told.

Up in the elevator I went and arrived among a gaggle of people with audio tour devices on their heads.  Things were moving slow.  I inputted the first number and looked at the photos as they talked about it.  There were excerpts from newscasters and quotes from people used in the recordings.  The museum first went over Kennedy’s family life and then his campaign.  Then they covered the things that were going on while he was first in office.  It was all the background of what built up to the time when he got assassinated in Dallas.  They had televisions with newscasters and video from the time. 

Just before we got to the famous window corner area they did the shots and showed time lapsed photos of the assignation.  Then, they had boxes on display in a windowed off area where Lee Harvey Oswald had been with the gun.  You could look out of the windows next to it and the most of the way down on to the grassy knoll area.  It was all very fascinating. 

Next, it went into the story of what happened and showed video of the aftermath.  Walter Cronkite talked about how he had to announce on the news about Kennedy’s death.  They showed the video of Oswald being shot.  They went on to explain the process of the investigation and why some still believe to this day that Oswald was not the actual man that pulled the trigger.  At the end of the 6th floor you are given the opportunity to make comments about the museum or your memories of Kennedy’s death.  Kennedy died before I was born but I did write a short comment about my experience and thanked them for the museum.  It was a powerfully moving experience.
Photos- Large photo of John F Kennedy and upclose this large photo
is a series of smaller photo images of him...

I walked up the stairs to the 7th floor where there were two cool large photos of John F Kennedy and Jackie.  The photos were made up from a series of smaller photos of John F Kennedy.  It was pretty cool but unfortunately my camera wasn’t working right at the time and I couldn’t get photos of them.  I also tried to take some photos from the same window as Oswald shot from but a story up.  I had to figure that the trees below have grown taller since the 1960’s.

 Down the elevator I went and the exit goes through the gift shop, of course.  I’ve discovered that this is common with most museums to have the exit through the gift shop.  I purchased a couple of postcards and asked directions for the Dallas Holocaust Museum which was nearby.  In fact, it was almost right across the street.  I went across the street and around the corner and there I was at the Dallas Holocaust Museum.

I went in and paid the entrance fee and got an audio tour devise.  A gal explained how to use the audio tour and then I was off on a self-guided tour through the Holocaust Museum.  The first picture is one of Albert Einstein and says his quote about the world being too dangerous to live in—not because of the evil men do but because of those that stand by and let them do it.  This was rather the theme of this museum.

 It then started off with an over view of the time period from late 1930’s to the mid 1940’s.  There was an area where there were cement columns to represent how many Jews died during each year.  The tallest cement pillar was 1944.  The next tallest year was about 1/3 shorter and that was 1943.
Photo- Photos from the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising inside the Dallas Holocaust Museum.

Then the museum focused on three different events that occurred on the same day during WW2.  The first event was when three men armed with one gun and a hanging lamp stopped a train bound for a death camp.  They saved about 200 lives that day.  They risked their lives for others.  The second event was when the Jews in Warsaw’s Ghetto had HAD enough and rose up in revolt against their oppressors fighting asserting their human dignity with every ounce of their being up to death.  

Then the third event in sharp contrast was a conference by British and American diplomats in a plush Bermuda hotel that was meant to stonewall and placate protesters about the Jews in Germany.  This conference hid their inaction and deflected questions about what they were doing about these poor people’s plight.  This was a show that inaction can do more harm than help.
Photo- You could place a candle or rock in memory of someone that died in the Holocaust.

Next I went into a room where you were invited to take a rock or a candle to place on a large memorial tablet surrouneded by short stone like pillars.  It was very quiet and people were whispering prayers.  The next room was a theater area where they were showing a series of parts of interviews from holocaust survivors.  Some of these I found very powerfully moving; one especially had my heart in my throat when the victim told of how he would eat each day with his dad in one of the camps.  The dad would not eat and wait for his son to finish eating.  Then, he would ask his son if he was still hungry.  The son would tell his dad no because he knew that his dad would give his whole meal to his son.  But the son knew that his dad also needed the food too.  The son said he argued with his day like this for everyday that they were in the camp and he said it was very hard because they (both him and his dad) were very hungry because the Germans didn’t give them enough.  I had to leave shortly after that because I just couldn’t handle it emotionally.
Photo- The JFK Memorial in downtown Dallas.

After exiting the Holocaust Museum, I walked over a couple of blocks to the John F Kennedy Memorial.  It was this strange boxy semi-enclosed area.  The plaque gave the description that it was to symbolize and open coffin like area only with an opening to a life that could never be contained in a box because it affected so many other lives.  Okay.
Photo- This is the place to "cowboy up" in Dallas. 
It has everything a cowboy or girl could ever need.

Next, I walked around the Dallas downtown area.  I went by restaurants, shops, bars, and look at Christmas lights.  The Christmas lights were very fun in downtown Dallas.  I ended up going into a couple of the shops.  One in particular, I found rather interesting was Wild Bill’s Western Store where you could purchase any cowboy or cowgirl gear that you needed from custom leather boots to custom hats; they had you covered.  I grabbed a beer and a steak in one of the restaurants in the area that didn’t run you an arm and a leg.  I enjoyed my steak and beer while watching two different football games simultaneously.  Now this is the life and a wonderful way to end a birthday!
Photo- Christmas Lights in downtown Dallas.

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