This web page is an attempt to connect some [personal] dots regarding events in Dallas during October, November, and December 1963.

I have nothing to "prove" or to argue for - or against - regarding the assassination.

I trust that dozens of investigations - 

judicial (e.g. The Warren Commission Report)

speculative (e.g., scores of books)

and forensic-scientific (e.g. PBS NOVA's "Cold Case")

have done their fact-finding with diligence and honesty.

I have no other informed opinion than agreement with the conclusions of the Warren Commission. 

*  *  *  *  *  

However, 50 years later, I still have some simmering emotional issues.

Some of my "issues" have been aroused by recent investigations of original documents -

instantly available to everyone through GOOGLE searches.  I will provide several of those links on this page.

John F. Kennedy, Jackie, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Ladybird

all walked roughly ten feet in front of where I was standing at Love Field's Gate 28

less than half an hour before the President was murdered.

(WFAA-TV news video of the Love Field arrival)

[click photo to enlarge]

In November 1963 I was a senior at Southern Methodist University

and had skipped an 11 a.m. philosophy class to welcome the President to Dallas.

I recall hearing a female student - seated behind me in a 9 a.m. Greek History class - say,

"I hope Kennedy gets shot today."

Astonished, I turned around and asked her if she realized she was talking about our President.

"Yes, I do.  Someone has to kill him, and it might as well be here."

(That's when I decided to skip the philosophy class and drive just a few miles west of campus to Love Field.)

 Later that afternoon, sitting at a booth in the Humphreys Student Union with that same philosophy instructor, 

I listened to him explain how the day's events had been "a textbook classical tragedy,"

and I told him how glad I was that I'd skipped his class.

*  *  *  *  *

I now see that my "issues" had probably begun at least a month earlier:  October 24th,

when I'd taken June Hunt ( a music-major friend at SMU and daughter of H. L. Hunt

to the United Nations Day speech given by Adlai Stevenson,

ambassador to the U.N. for the Kennedy administration.

The very next day, Lee Harvey Oswald attended a meeting of the A.C.L.U.

(the Dallas chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union) 

at Selecman Hall, in the Perkins School of Theology complex at S.M.U.

[click photo to enlarge]

Also attending that [small] meeting were the president of the ACLU chapter, GREGORY OLDS, 

and my friend and mentor, BYRD HELLIGAS - whom OLDS mentions in his testimony to the Warren Commission:

[ Image of GREGORY OLDS' full testimony ]

[ Close-up of OLDS' testimony ]

In that document (December 19), Byrd says that he "certainly did not hear [Oswald] say anything [at the ACLU meeting]."

Yet, in a December 1st interview for the Washington Post, Byrd had characterized Oswald as

"erudite,"  "intellectual," and "calm" -- "having a good vocabulary" -- using "no dangling participles or split infinitives."

*  *  *  *  *

Now it gets personal.  Although I did not attend the ACLU meeting, I did sit in BYRD HELLIGAS' church office 

[ Dallas' First Unitarian Church ]

sometime during the month between the ACLU meeting and the assassination.

(Curiously, the Dallas U.U. Church's website's history pages make no mention whatsoever 

of Byrd's having been an associate pastor there,  

and SMU's 1963-64 yearbook - "The ROTUNDA" - makes no mention whatsoever of the assassination.)

Byrd wanted me to apply to the Starr King School for the [Unitarian] Ministry in Berkeley.

I distinctly remember sitting in Byrd's "Wizard Chair," 

an over-stuffed dark-green leather-upholstered sofa chair

to the left of which an enormous bumble bee dangled comically on a rubber band.

That face-to-face session with Byrd - just a week or so before the assassination - 

seems, now, like a continental divide in my life.

After the assassination, Byrd seemed un-typically anxious and preoccupied.  

He said mysterious things, like,

"I can't imagine what Lee was thinking. . . I just can't imagine what he was even thinking!"

Then, everything about the assassination became unapproachable between us - in conversations between Byrd and me.

It now seems that MARK LANE (and others?) had somehow connected with Byrd 

after his Washington Post  interview (December 1st) but

prior to GREG OLDS' testimony before the Warren Commission (December 19, 1963.)

As I stated above, in a Washington Post interview with Byrd on December 1st - only 9 days after the horrific event -

Byrd had given a very different account of "Lee's" presentation at the ACLU meeting:

[ December 1st interview for the Washington Post ]

[ Close-up of OLDS' testimony ]

[ Mark Lane's website ]

[ Testimony of MARK LANE before the Warren Commission ]

*  *  *  *  *  

Fast-forward one year:

I was a student at the Starr King School in Berkeley (fall of 1964).

Byrd came to visit the seminary - and wanted to see me.

By this time I'd heard rumors at Starr King about Byrd's involvement with "Lee," so I asked him about their "relationship."

Byrd told me that Lee had "counseled" with him in his church office soon after the ACLU meeting, as had I.

Knowing Byrd's engaging personality and vital curiosity about WHAT makes folks WHO they are,

what Byrd told me in Berkeley was readily believable:

After meeting "Lee" at the projector, Byrd probably invited him to the UU Church.

[ Unitarian Universalist Newsletter - Winter 2009 ]

[ Byrd's Obituary ]

And, perhaps, in his interview with the Washington Post, Byrd may have been remembering

 how Lee had presented himself in the office,

rather than at the ACLU meeting.

But, then, why didn't GREG OLDS even hint at such a relationship 

between Byrd and Lee in his Warren Commission testimony?

I can only speculate, now - across these five decades - but it seems to me

that both Byrd Helligas and Greg Olds were trying to protect us.

By "us," I mean the individual members of Dallas' [tiny] Civil Liberties Union

as well as those, like myself, who were involved with the Unitarian Church.

By "trying to protect us," I mean trying to guard us against the wrath of Dallas' right-wing "indignation":

[ A recent Dallas Morning News article about conditions in Dallas at the time of the assassination ]

[ Another Dallas pastor speaks - during the very same hour that Jack Ruby killed Oswald:

  "In the name of God, what kind of city have we become." ]

*  *  *  *  *

If you've made it to this point on this page, I sincerely appreciate your compassionate attention.

Although putting this page together opened a few wounds for me,

it also enabled some long-overdue healing of those same wounds.

Please send along an email if you'd care to respond to anything I've written.

THANK YOU!

hermitdog42@gmail.com