Dallas Lesson (Ch 17)

Welcome back to the Fairy Blog Tale – where our Aussie Bush family takes on America in a Trip of Storybook Proportions.  Please excuse the author, as this is the second time she has written this post in her epic (and ongoing) battle with WordPress, which has taken to unlogging her instead of saving draft as requested.  (If the computer survives to the publish stage it will be a minor miracle.)  Now where was I? Oh yes, leaving New York City (after four days visit and an epic 12 chapter-visit) and heading for Tayk-suss. If you could continue reading in your best Southern accent, it would be appreciated. (Note – for those just joining us, the earlier chapter are listed at the end of this post.  Make a big cuppa and put aside three hours – it’s more fun than it sounds!)


The Father and the Mother were a little jaded when they arrived at their hotel – after all, the trip from The Big Apple to the Big D (that’s Dallas for those about to google it) had resembled more of a hop-scotch game than a flight between two major airports.  With no less than three stops en route, they finally tumbled from their South West airlines flight into the Dallas airport just on dark.  And seeing as how they left their fabulous New York digs just on daylight, they were a bit annoyed to find an entire day had vanished from their American Adventure. Then the rental company handed them the keys and Sat Nav device for a car and sent them on their merry way – into the darkness and on the wrong side of the road.

The author thinks it best not to dwell on the hotel pre-booked for this part of the journey for two reasons.

A. Because there are no photos (*gasp*) and

B. Because the Father was sure the chlorine smell indicated management had recently removed some bodies from their designated room. The Mother thought it more likely the eye-watering chemical fumes were caused by the indoor pool on ground level, but he would not be convinced.

Nonetheless, the Family survived their first night in Texas (and cheap Chinese takeaway food) before fleeing packing up to venture out on their First Real Day in Dallas.

The Mother requested they visit this place…


A place she had always wanted to go.  Not so much for fun but for information and experience.  Do you know this address dear reader?

It is a place which changed the course of modern history in America really.  The Texas School Book Depository. Where this took place.  dallas_1575

This innocuously-named building now houses a great museum which documents the assassination of JFK – and Our Family took the audio-guided tours through the place.


The Mother was delighted to note that children were given a different headphone-related tour to the adults, as the footage and images housed here are pretty confronting – she has never been able to clear her mind of the sight of Jackie Kennedy helplessly climbing along the back of the open-top car after her husband was hit.  She was about ten when she first saw it. It remains one of the most disturbing scenes she has ever seen.

This is the place that Lee Harvey Oswald is said to have been hiding when the killing took place.


And this is the view he might have seen as he did it.



And where a cross would be painted onto a road on the place a young and exciting President would be dealt a fatal shot.


As the Family solemnly left the museum to visit that X-marks-the-spot, the Mother thought about the America of today. And how the events of that fateful day in 1963 seemed to first send a nation into shock and mourning, and then steel it to fight even harder for the civil rights and equal opportunity that young President had begun to get behind.  And how the awful intrigue of finding the killer, and then the killer’s killer would forever steal the innocence of his people.



She felt a bit closer to understanding the America of today.


And she acknowledged and admired the understated pride and peace of this tragic, pivotal, strangely inspiring place.  A place that seems to house almost as much mystery today as it did 48 years ago.


And she knew that even though the Prince and Princess were far too young to fully comprehend the intricacies of the story told here to them, that in years to come, whenever this event was discussed, they would have a special head-start in picturing and understanding it.   Even if it just made the Prince very sad and unable to raise a proper touristy smile that morning…



Luckily the parents had something a little more uplifting also planned for that day. Okay. Not so much PLANNED as CHANCED UPON.   But that is another story for another blog post/Fairy BlogTale chapter.


For those who missed earlier chapters:

CHAPTER 1 (The Endless Day)

CHAPTER 2  (LA Rodeo Drivin)

CHAPTER 3 (LA Santa Monica Forrest Gump)

CHAPTER 4 (LA Venice to Hollywood)

CHAPTER 5 (LA Universal Thrills)

CHAPTER 6 (Flights of Fancy)

CHAPTER 7 (NYC Rousing Reception)

CHAPTER 8 (NYC How’s Them Apples)

CHAPTER 9 (NYC F for Friends)

CHAPTER 10‘ (NYC Screens & Scenes)

CHAPTER 11 (NYC Cold Outside)

CHAPTER 12 (NYC 2 Giant Ladies)

CHAPTER 13 (NYC Top of the World)

CHAPTER 14  (NYC Walk in the Park)

CHAPTER 15  (NYC Audrey & Mia)

CHAPTER 16 (NYC final hours)


Questions for you, dear Reader:

1. Did you know the significance of 400 Elm St, Dallas before you read this chapter?

2. Have you ever been there? Your impressions?

3. Can you guess where the Family tripped off to next?

11 Responses to “Dallas Lesson (Ch 17)”

  1. Looks like you all had a great time. Hubby is a handsome guy, I think he might give the Marlboro Man a run for his money. :) shhh don’t tell Ree.

  2. Oh BB….you are filling me with anticipation! Not only for your next chapter, but for my own upcoming trip to Tayk-suss! I CAN’T WAIT to take it all in and soak it all up! Thank you and I REALLY look forward to the next chapter! xox

  3. As many times as I’ve been to the Dallas area (I have a fair amount of family there and my daughter went to college an hour north) I’ve never visited this spot, so I enjoyed your tour.

    Sorry to hear of your blogging woes. After so much trouble at Blogger, I’ve been totally happy since I made the switch to WP. The only problem I’ve encountered was with linking and they’ve since resolved that. Hope things get better for you!!
    Kelly´s last blog post ..Family, Friends, Food, and the Beatles

  4. I’m so glad you’ve fought the good fight with WordPress and continued on with your travel writing. For me Dallas has been just a monster airport always with the next flight gate far, far away. Last time so far we missed our connections and had to re-book.

    It was good to be reminded of that dark day in history. We often get so caught up in day to day that we don’t appreciate the struggles that have brought us here.

    Looking forward to the next installment.
    Leenie´s last blog post ..ANALYSIS

  5. Gave me goosebumps and smiles. You write so well!
    Fleur McDonald´s last blog post ..A normal Saturday…

  6. A national news program did a piece on Jackie Kennedy this week. It was about her taped interviews and daughter Caroline was on the show. Brought back lots of memories of that time in our history.

  7. I remember this day. I was five, and I was in kindergarten. I remember that my teacher cried. I also remember that we all said a prayer.

    Quite a difference from that awful September 11th, when my youngest were high school students, and the principal refused to allow them to watch the coverage. History was happening that day, and the principal seemed to feel that it was only important in hindsight, after it was printed in a history book to be studied.
    debby´s last blog post ..Tonight I Won

  8. Oh, and PS: I’m so glad they removed the bodies from the room BEFORE you all got there. That was a very nice touch, almost as nice as a mint on the pillow. :)
    debby´s last blog post ..Tonight I Won

  9. BB – I very much enjoy your blog.
    As another commenter already noted there was a special on Jacqueline (“Jackleen”) Kennedy this week concerning audio tapes that she made with history professor Arthur Schlesinger just four months after her husband was killed. Her words echoed from a time before political correctness was obligatory, and from a time before feminism meant women could express independent opinions and run for president themselves. Regardless of the restrictions of her era, Jacqueline was a natural ambassador and diplomat, fluent in several languages, and with a deep understanding of history and cultures. It would be interesting to know how many of your readers actually remember her, or the day that her husband was killed. Or even know the story.
    I’ve just done a couple of postings about her on my blog and in writing and gathering information realized even more what a treasure she was and what a treasure she left to history with those tapes.
    By the way if you flew Southwest, you landed at Love Field, which is where Air Force One was parked when the famous photo of her standing next to Lyndon Johnson being sworn in as the new president was taken.
    Most people flying in from New York choose a non stop, any of which would have landed at the larger airport, which is called DFW. NEXT time you will know.

  10. I remember the day very well, from the wilds of the then Territory of Papua New Guinea. I had just arrived at Rabual in this Australian territory a week or so before Friday, November 22,. The World was on tender hooks – Cuba and the grab for power in Indonesia for the then Dutch West Papua, plus of course Vietnam, an Iron Curtain still dividing Europe, Mao at his best, Khrushchev rattling swords – a really terrible time for so horrendeous a crime to take place!
    I still have my doubts on the so-called verdict. BB has my e-mail address if any American viewer of this great and fascinating blog wishes to correspond.
    Yes, Constance, Jackie was without doubt the most intelligent first lady ever in that “White House”.
    A good report BB

  11. How interesting!I did see the J Kennedy audio tape program on the tv but they only showed bits and pieces.I bet you had goosebumps in that room where he took the shot. Are there still doubts about who shot JFK or are they certain it was him?
    Good read – now back to vacuuming dried up apple cores!

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