It was during the 2010 Garden Writers Association Symposium in Dallas, that I skipped breakfast and walked a few blocks to Dealey Plaza. It was my first chance to get a closeup look at the place where JFK was shot on November 22, 1963.
I spent time walking through the park at Dealey Plaza, the birthplace of Dallas. That’s where the first house was built, and it served as the first courthouse, post office, store and fraternal lodge. I took pictures of the street Kennedy’s motorcade traveled, the Book Depository, the Grassy Knoll and The 6th Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza.But of all the images I captured that day, the most poignant one was the framed photo of the Connally family on the wall near my room in the Hyatt Regency Hotel.
The photo, taken in 1962, shows a smiling Texas family. A year later, Governor Connally would be seriously wounded while riding in Kennedy’s car. I can only imagine if the family ever felt the same way they did the day this picture was taken. The moment I saw this picture, I was drawn to it. I felt then–and even more so today on the 50th anniversary of the shooting–that it symbolizes how we felt as a country before that terrible day in Dallas. And I wonder if we’ve ever felt the same way since.