Arrived to see the sun rise over a frosty and frigid Dallas…Horrible red eye flight from Honolulu…Went to the Sixth Floor Museum, dedicated to the presidency and assassination of JFK (Nov 22nd 1963), which occurred in Dallas and from which floor the shooting (sniping) is thought to have taken place. A very informative, thorough and fascinating exhibition; incredibly moving, utterly sad but perhaps above all, inspiring. JFK might not have been a great President – the Bay of Pigs, Vietnam, etc – but he was a great man, he did great things for civil rights, nuclear agreements, space exploration, and Peace Corps.
As a young, upbeat, idealistic and optimistic president with a family, he reminds me a lot of Obama, though I hope fiercely he does not meet the same fate. The tragedy of it all made me want to cry – it was not even the loss of JFK, nor the way in which it may have impacted subsequent administrations, but what might have been the potential of a great man to lead a great country to do great things.
One thing that struck me throughout the exhibition was the relationship between Jackie Kennedy and John. They seemed to be strong, passionate, and very much in love. I cannot imagine what she suffered.
Texas seemed to be steak, cowboys, boots, belt buckles, big hats, swagger, mustangs, churches, guns and platinum blondes (oh, and the drawl.) We walked through the Thanksgiving Square which was beautiful, at which point I observed how much Americans seem to have religion (everywhere – influential). Papa replied that this hasn’t necessarily been a bad thing – it is a nation founded on religion and it is a source of support, security and charity for many. Australia by comparison is fairly unreligious – Catholic/Christian for the most part, but not largely so.
We drove past cotton farms (stripped), and oil wells, wind farms stretching for miles and towering over us, ranches and churches, abandoned houses and fast food chains.
Drove past Billy the Kid’s grave near Fort Sumner…the countryside started to look like Australia – bare, dry, expensive, barren. Except for the feedlots right next to the road, which were huge, full and smelly.
Buddy Holly statue, Lubbock
Billy the Kid's grave