My Visit To Dealey Plaza

If you are of a certain age you know exactly where you were on November 22, 1963. In my case, I was in Mrs. Rimpson’s first grade class at what was then named Park Street School in Asheboro, North Carolina. I still vaguely remember the teachers leaving the classrooms to congregate in the hall to discuss something of importance. We later learned that President John Kennedy had been assassinated in Dallas.

I spent a good part of last week in Dallas attending the Dallas Safari Club Convention. Looking out from my hotel room I saw a plaza and a six story brick building about a block and a half away. Then it hit me that this was Dealey Plaza and the building was the Texas School Book Depository. Before I left on Sunday I took some time to walk around the plaza and take a few pictures.

Dealey Plaza has two colonnades which are bisected by Main Street. The left colonnade has a statue of George Dealey who was the publisher of the Dallas Morning News and for whom the plaza is named. The right colonnade shown below is dedicated to the late President Kennedy. You can see the American flag in the background which is perpetually at half staff.

The map displayed below shows the layout of Dealey Plaza. The Kennedy motorcade approached the plaza on Main Street and then took a right turn on to Houston Street. Then it took a final hard left turn on Elm Street on which the Book Depository fronts.

This is behind the colonnade looking across to Elm Street and the infamous “Grassy Knoll”. It is infamous as many witnesses said they heard gun shots coming from there.

This is the Texas School Book Depository. There is now a museum in it.

The sixth floor window from which Lee Harvey Oswald shot is the square window on the far right. Why Oswald didn’t take the shot as the car turned on to Elm from Houston when it was almost stopped will never be known.

One thing that strikes a visitor to the location is that the distances involved are much smaller than the impression given by the many TV shows and films on the assassination.

The is what was named the Dal-Tex Building. The name stood for Dallas Textiles as it held offices for many small clothing wholesalers and manufacturers. New owners now have renamed it to 501 Elm Place. This building has figured in a number conspiracy theories on the assassination as the location of an alternative sniper.

One of the best examinations of the assassination in my opinion from a shooter’s perspective is actually a novel. The Third Bullet by Stephen Hunter features his sniper protagonist Bob Lee Swagger. He is asked by a widow to investigate it as her late husband was murdered while working on a book about the assassination.

I read the book when it came out and just re-read it after getting home from Dallas. Having actually visited Dealey Plaza and walked the plaza, this made parts of the book come alive. If you have any interest in the Kennedy Assassination I highly recommend it. You can find the Kindle version here. Note, I do earn a commission on it.

DSC Convention Day 1

DSC or Dallas Safari Club is holding their annual convention in Dallas. Of course, where else would they hold it! This is my first time attending it so I didn’t know what to expect.

First impressions is that it is a lot like the NRA Annual Meeting exhibitions but without the mega-booths from the major gun makers like Ruger, S&W, SIG, and the like. Having attended the NRA Annual Meeting here at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Dallas Convention Center just a few years ago, I have a decent appreciation for how the space is filled. I would put it at about 3/4 of what I saw at the NRA exhibition.

The gun makers were off in a section by themselves and the mix here is widely different than what you’d see at either SHOT or the NRA Annual Meeting. While SIG and Savage both had booths, they were much smaller. Moreover, instead of seeing S&W, you got Rigby, Holland and Holland, and a slew of custom gun makers. The American Custom Gunmaker’s Guild had a section to themselves and their work there would take your breath away.

You of course had outfitters from around the world. There were the US outfitters with hunts for everything from brown bears in Alaska to guide whitetail hunts in Indiana with the western elk and sheep hunts thrown in for good measure.

The African contingent covered the continent from east to west and north to south. In terms of value, a 5-7 day hunt in the Eastern Cape of South Africa goes for $4-5000 plus or minus. For that you’d get upwards of five animals. By comparison, a guide whitetail hunt for archery in Indiana goes fro $4500.

You also saw some interesting things for sale such as this swamp buggy from Argo. I think I heard the sale rep say that the tires can be used for extra fuel storage. I didn’t ask the price. I think it probably is in the range of “if you have to ask the price, you can’t afford it”.

Finally, while I have much more to write about the DSC, I’ll save it for another time. I just want to add this last picture taken this morning from my room. I didn’t realize until I look at a map and then looked out the window again that the Texas School Book Depository and Dealey Plaza were a mere block away. I am of an age that I do remember where I was when JFK was assassinated.

Traveling For You In January

It looks I will be doing some traveling in January in an effort to bring you interesting news and posts.

The Complementary Spouse and I both got our credentials for the SHOT Show today as well as for Industry Day at the Range. It did come with a lot of legal language and waivers of responsibility as you might well imagine. I had booked our hotel reservations back in June. I still need to book our flights.

Yesterday, I also applied to the Safari Club International on behalf of both of us for media credentials for the SCI Convention which will start a day later than the SHOT Show and go on to Saturday. Keep your fingers crossed that we get approved.

Finally, I booked my room and flight today for the Dallas Safari Club Convention which is being held January 6th through 9th. As soon as they open registration for media I will be applying. I did speak with the person who has coordinated it in the past yesterday and gave her my information.

I have a couple of goals in attending both the SCI and the DSC conventions. First, they are different and I want to be able to provide a comparison between the two. Second, as I am intending to take my first hunting safari to Africa in 2023, I want to be able to give the perspective of the first time attendee as he or she goes about planning that trip of a lifetime. As my friends David Cole and Michael Bane have said, once you’ve been to Africa it gets in your blood and you have to go back.

I don’t think Big Pharma nor Dr. Fauci have come up with a vaccination for that. Thank god!