Here is my disclaimer that this post is meant to be lighthearted and at most a farce. Violence is always a tragedy, and our modern interest in how one of the most tragic acts of violence affects the culture and history of my city is not an endorsement of violent behavior or an attempt to make a mockery of anything. So to all of the civic leaders, members of the American Camelot that is the Kennedy family and others, I open with these words. And I hope I sound super smart in doing so.
After being born in Dallas and living here for a few years, my family lived across the country and internationally for a while. Being less than 10 years old, I remember people's reactions to Dallas were almost always the same, "That is the city where J.R. was shot," and "That is the home of the shot heard around the world." It put the assassination of JFK high in my interests. Why this president? Why here of all the places in the world? How did something like this possibly happen? Not carrying the emotional weight that my parents and grandparents have had to endure from living through such a tragedy, I've been incredibly interested in the story of what happened on 11.22.63 and everything surrounding it for as long I can remember. The mystery, intrigue and satire will always be there, so I decided early on to embrace it and still can't get enough.
With the 50th anniversary of the event swiftly approaching, there is more to do surrounding this historical day than ever. People will tell you to go to the fancy pants memorial on the day or visit the Sixth Floor Museum, and I would shrug and agree. My top five things I want to do and highly suggest as well are below. They're a little of the grid and weird, but if you are new here, so are we at Pancakes and Beet Juice. Try these out and I think by the big anniversary we will all feel like historians, conspiracy theorists or perhaps just generally over it. At least you'll be educated!
Go see Hotel Texas at the Dallas Museum of Art
Markus and I went to see this last weekend, and it is one of the most interesting art exhibits I've ever seen. The exhibit features the art that was brought together to decorate the three bedroom suite President Kennedy and Jackie stayed in Fort Worth the night before the assassination. You get to see how big of an event this was to be for Texas, how much went into the preparation and the Van Gogh that was hung over the President and First Lady's bed for the last time they enjoyed a night together.
It is a really interesting concept and well done, and the first exhibit where I read every detail and enjoyed the audio version. It is free to the public and up at the Dallas Museum of Art through September 15, so pay them a visit over the next few weeks and get yourself primed!
Talk to the conspiracy theorists on the Grassy Knoll
I have mentioned my love for the conspiracy theorists before, and it bears repeating that these people are my heroes. They freaking know what's up and they stand outside in the heat and against the wishes of many of the button ups to tell us - in their beliefs - what really happened. It is never a waste of time to stand for a few moments and listen to someone passionately speak on something they desperately believe in. I like to take my summer interns here on the first week of their time with me to explain how we are about the education of the whole and looking outside of what the books may teach you. You will either laugh or never believe anything at face value ever again.
Take the JFK Assassination Trolley Tour
This is on my list, because I have heard good things about this experience but have not been able to go yet. Earlier this year when Markus and I thought we were moving, I made him promise this we would rent this out for our going away party. I am looking forward to seeing all the sites in a new way and hearing the juicy tidbits as promised in their positive Yelp.com reviews! And who doesn't love a trolley ride?
Go see a movie at the Texas Theatre
I blogged that seeing a film at the revamped movie theatre where Lee Harvey Oswald hid after shooting JFK and a police officer is one of Markus and I's most pleasant date nights, and I definitely want to go back and see another movie here to put me in the spirit before the 50th anniversary. They are about to start screening "Drinking With Friends," with some of my favorite actors (namely Jake Johnson who plays my completeness aka Nick Miller!).
Read 11.22.63: A Novel by Stephen King
The Steven King time travel book has been interesting me (something I NEVER thought I would say without the historical context in includes), and my friend at Hugs, Kisses and Snot made it her summer reading and did a great vlog review of it. With it apparently being so riveting, I think I am up to the challenge of trying to finish it before the big day. It is sad to have to challenge myself to finish a book before November, but after summer travel my reading accidentally falls by the wayside. I am hoping this book helps me keep the momentum!
This is how I will be priming myself for the anniversary of the day the music died. Are you a history buff like me that is intrigued by it all, not sure what to make of it or not interested?