Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Lee Harvey Oswald Is My Neighbor

This coming November it will be 46 years since Lee Harvey Oswald was shot and killed by Jack Ruby. The JFK Assassination remains controversial with way too many unanswered questions. Or things that don't make sense.

I have mentioned before that had you told me 15 years ago that in 2009 I would be living within walking distance of the gravesite of Lee Harvey Oswald I would not have been able to imagine a scenario where that would make sense.

But, here I am.

Last week I finished a book titled Oswald Talked by Ray and Mary La Fontaine. It was a rather difficult read, hard to follow the minute details at times. This was no conspiracy nutjob book, it was more of a looking back at investigations and conclusions and running them through the filter of new information released in the 1990s.

Reading this book, now that I'm living in Fort Worth, I recognize the places mentioned, like Ridglea West Elementary or Arlington Heights High School or Montgomery Ward.

When Oswald made it back to America after trying out the Soviet Union and finding it not to his liking, he returned to Fort Worth, with his Russian wife, Marina. They moved to a little house near Montgomery Ward, just west of downtown Fort Worth, near what Fort Worth calls "The Cultural District." I believe that house was destroyed in the 2000 Fort Worth tornado.

One of the key characters in the Oswald saga, one who later contradicted the "official" FBI version of the assassination and Lee Harvey Oswald, was this well-off Russian emigre' named George DeMorenschildt. Years later George DeMorenschildt committed suicide, but not before writing down his opinion about Oswald. George DeMorenschildt felt guilty about betraying Oswald by sort of throwing him under the bus to the Warren Commission. So he wrote "I am a Patsy."

There is an amusingly descriptive paragragh in I am a Patsy that describes DeMorenschildt's first trip from Dallas to Fort Worth to meet the Oswalds.

"Someone gave me Lee's address and one afternoon a friend of mine, Colonel Lawrence Orloff and I drove to Fort Worth, about 30 miles from Dallas. We drove over the dreary, sewage-smelling miles separating the two cities. Texas does have lovely open spaces, but here they were degraded and polluted. After some searching, we found a shack on Mercedes Street in a semi-industrial, slummy area, near Montgomery Ward."

So, in 1962 the drive between Dallas and Forth was like he describes it? Dreary, stinking of sewage? Polluted open spaces? I first set eyes on Dallas and Fort Worth in 1981. On that visit I drove between the two towns. By that point in time I would not have described it like DeMorenschildt does, so there must have been a lot of improvement over the 2 decades that separated my drive and DeMorenschildt's.

Who wants to meet me for a beer at the Ozzy Rabbit Lodge? That's a cozy little bar down by Lee Harvey's gravesite. When my mom was here she was appalled that someone would open a bar and name it after Lee Harvey Oswald.

Was anyone reading this blog, there at Dealey Plaza, that infamous November day? Anyone see JFK and Jackie in Fort Worth that morning?


cd0103 said...

Oh - there is a stretch of what is now I-30 between Dallas and Fort Worth that just stinks. It is worse in the summer. Just west of Dallas.

Interesting. Thanks for sharing.

cd0103 said...

Let's meet at Ozzie's on a Wednesday when they have Jack or Jim Specials!
Too fun!

catmandu57 said...

Just before the 80's, Highway 30 was a toll road. When you got on at the start from Dallas, the were several large sewage treatment pounds a few miles from the toll booths just north of the highway. But, what he was probably referring to was just before getting to the Fort Worth Toll booths, there was a gigantic pig/hog farm that smelled like crazy. It was there for years and probably closed before 1980.

Anonymous said...

Erick Rogers 4907 magazine st said that Mrs Oswald
seldom left her apartment stay home most of the time.
Erick Rogers 4907 said Oswald would go get family ice-cream
at the confectionary (store)corner Magazine & Dufosset.
but was the icecream for Oswald or was for wife baby too?
Erick Rogers 4907 said Oswald usually rode bus Magazine &
UpperLine but only rarely walk to where he needed to go.
Erick Rogers 4907 Magazine front part of building he said
drawing unemployment office -601 camp street and
didn’t find employment til October -Meal a Minute -1000
canal street -parttime work as a waiter.
Mr Jesse J Garner corroborated his wife testimony.
Jesse James Garner a taxi cab driver Toyebros
which taxi cab driver drove all kinds of people
all over New Orleans probarbly big wigs &mobsters?
Mrs(Lena) Jesse Garner her husband Jesse J Garner.
In her testimony in warren commission compared to utube.
This woman testimony says that she saw the Oswalds.
Mrs(Lena) Jesse Garner said Oswald older woman came
to see the apartment but Oswald was the one that rent it
and he said his wife was coming in a few days, may9th.or so.
Then a woman with a station wagon came brought Oswald wife.
She claimed that a man and a woman came to Oswalds apt.
The man was middle age with grey hair woman middle age.
She said the man came twice the woman only came once.
She said the time the man came Oswald gone a week.
Mrs(Lena) Jesse Garner Said Oswald read little pocket books.
He sat on his back porch behind side house read his books.
Mrs(Lena) Jesse Garner Said she didnt think that Oswald
didnt work no more than 3 weeks cause he was home all time.
Mrs(Lena) Jesse Garner Said the station wagon came ,
pack boxes stuff in stationwagon with babybed tied top car.
She said the woman that drove station wagon stay few days.
Mrs(Lena) Jesse Garner Said I'm sure it was [November 22]..
.He said 'I'm David Ferrie...What's all this? I come to see
about this.' He said they found his library card on Oswald'.
.It wasn't his fault that he [Oswald] borrowed it to use....I said'Get out'...
She made him leave without answering his question. She states that she had not seenthis person before, but noticed his unusual appearance, wig and false eyebrows."
Foot note : the middle age man that came to pick up Oswald wasn't
david ferrie or else she would of mentioned it to her investigators?
The woman she didn't describe but she was in her middle age.
Lena Garner said that when man pick him up he was gone a week.
So that proves that Lee left Marina alone a lot at Magazine St .
Lena Garner said He was home but she admit he did come n go.