Friday, November 22, 2013

JFK and Jack Ruby

Uncle Berle loved the mystery surrounding the JFK assassination. He lived in Ft Worth for many years both before and after November 22, 1963. Oswald's Mom lived not far from him and one day while I was visiting in 1964 (maybe '65) he took me to her house and I talked to her through her door as she wouldn't open it. He was embarrassed by my behavior but I was just 20 on Nov 22, 1963 (which was the second anniversary of our marriage). On that visit we also went to Oswald's gravesite, Ruby's nightclub (Berle used to drink there), Dealey Plaza, and the other sites. Hubert Humphrey was in town and spoke at the Texas Hotel (or Hotel Texas as I'm not sure of the exact name). I had an 8mm camera and I took some footage of Hubert and of all of the cops. Berle didn't want me shooting scenes because this was the first time the prez or vice was in town since the assassination and everyone was really nervous. Snipers and cops were all over the area. The white people lined up in front of the hotel and the black across the street. When his limo pulled up in front of the hotel he got out on the right side (white people) but he went around the car to first shake hands with the blacks. This is all on my film which is now on DVD. I shook his hand and smiled at him although I was a big-time Goldwater man (still am). Our third son, Doug, has lived in the Ft Worth area for over 30 years and we have spent many a Thanksgiving and  anniversary with he and his family over the years. I would always go to Dealey on the 22nd. I've met a lot of people there to include James Lavelle the guy handcuffed to Oswald when he was shot. This is a picture of us in '93, we talked for a while and his autograph is on to the famous picture. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Dillinger Picture

This picture of Dillinger (in the vest) reminded me of Uncle Berle.

Dillinger Movie

In the first few minutes of the movie "Public Enemies" a picture of this old house flashes on the screen. My grandparents used to live in the house known as the Cote Place in the 1940's. I took this picture, the house is now gone.



John Dillinger escaped from the Crown Point, IN jail 3 March 1934, Mom was 14. She told us many stories as kids and then when she was older we would drive the roads of Kankakee and Iroquois counties and talk about everything. Dillinger was one subject. Her Dad hated the banks and liked Dillinger and often said if he was on the run and came to his house he would hide him in his barn. John was seen coming in from Indiana crossing into nearby Wichert several times then he went north on to Chicago. When he broke out of the jail he broke federal law for the first time by transporting a stolen car across a state line. He went through St John, IN and crossed over the state line on the Kankakee/Will County Line road going west. Uncle Nels Nelson lived on his Dads farm on that same road near to the spot the hostage talked about in this newsreel. The Area Police Command Center for the Dillinger search at this time was in Bradley. The cops all reported in to their jails because Dillinger had previously raided some jails for their weapons. Grandpa said they really went there to hide out! Mom told these family stories many times. Many years later the movie about Dillinger, "Public Enemies", had a very brief flash of a big old house just south of Wichert that oddly, Grandpa used to live in back in the 1940's. It was the Cote Place, named after the family that owned the Tile Yard, a few other business and many, many acres of farmland. The scene is in the first few minutes of the movie and I'm posting a picture I took of it a few years ago. I remembered it well from my youth. It's gone now. We used to live in Ohio and I have an old newspaper from there, an EXTRA EDITION about the killing of Dillinger, hanging on my wall.