Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Texas Tidbits: Lee Harvey Oswald

On the list of famous Texans, in addition to the good guys, there are a few low life bottom feeders. Today's entry on Three States Plus One is about one of the bottom feeders. The man we'll talk about today was once a member of one of our country's most revered institutions, the United States Marine Corp. Something then happened and this man went from being in service to his country to betraying it by renouncing his US citizenship and applying for citizen status in the Soviet Union. In short, he was a coward and a traitor. This young man of a mere 24 years, then committed one of the most horrific crimes this country had seen up to that point. He murdered the President of the United States of America. Now you know who I am talking about. Lee Harvey Oswald.

I personally know the man who took Oswald to work on that fateful day in November of 1963. His name was Bill. I won't give Bill's last name for obvious reasons. At the time, Bill lived down the block from Oswald and just across the street from one of the elementary schools I would later attend when I moved to Irving. When Bill picked up Oswald to head off to work that fateful morning, Lee was carrying a long, paper wrapped object. The story goes something like this:

Bill: What do you got there, Lee?
Oswald: Curtain rods.
Bill: OK, let's get to work.
          End of Coversation

Bill would later learn, just like the rest of us, that the man he drove to work on November 22, 1963 murdered the President of the United States and severely wounded the Governor of Texas. Then, just two days later in the basement of the Dallas Police Department while being escorted to the Dallas County Jail, Oswald himself was shot to death by a local night club owner, Jack Ruby. Oswald had declared himself to be "a patsy" in a grand conspiracy in the assassination of John Kennedy, and when he was gunned down by Jack Ruby, the conspiracy theories began and haven't slowed down over the last 47 years.

While Lee Harvey Oswald has secured a place in History, he also has a reserved place in Hell for not only crimes (sins) against God, but for the crime he perpetrated against a whole nation when he killed JFK. From my point of view, the United States grew up that day in 1963, thanks to Lee Harvey Oswald. At that time, we were just a few years past the time of Leave It to Beaver and  I Love Lucy. An innocence was taken from us all on November 22, 1963 and it was taken from us by a coward of man who, had he stood trial for murdering the President, would have received no mercy from a jury of his peers. But that was taken from us, too, when Jack Ruby killed Oswald. The country as a whole got no closure from events of that day in Dallas. We did, however, learn about the "Grassy Knoll" and a thousand other conspiracy-related "evidence".

So there you have it. A brief look at a small, small man who set an entire nation to grieve the death of a young, vibrant President and the end of this country's innocence. Lee Harvey Oswald, murderer, traitor, coward. Rot. In. Hell.


  1. One of my most vivid memories of that period, was when when I watch live on TV, when Jack Ruby stepped forward and shot Harvey Oswald. A great post, Toby


  2. Bob,I was 7 years old when it happened. Even though my after school cartoons were cancelled for several days, I watched the TV a lot and Ruby blasting Oswald was one the things I remember. From time to time around the anniversary of the assassination of JFK, PBS runs uninterrupted footage from the time JFK was shot till I don't know when. Incredible stuff.

  3. I was almost part of a field trip from my junior high to go see the President in Dallas. I or my friends didn't really care about why, but the opportunity for many hours of fooling around on a big yellow school bus was all we were interested in.
    However, the field trip was canceled, not enough parents would sign the permission slips. He was a Democrat, after all.
    Good thing we didn't go, to. Might have caught a ricochet.
    Like Bob, I was watching live as Jack Ruby popped Oswald. What an event. I hadn't been that surprised by a live event ever before, and it was years before had an experience like it.
    Even at 13, I was already more than a fair country shot, I had been deer hunting since I was 9. Later that year, some of my friends and I all went out to shoot our guns. Most of had gotten surplus rifles for a pittance from Montgomery Ward or Sears, a fine collection of Springfields, Remingtons, my Mauser and one oddity, an Italian Carcano, the same rifle Oswald allegedly used. The Carcano was supposedly based on the famous Mauser action, but I can tell you for a fact, it was the clunkiest and crudest rifle I had ever fired. My buds Carcano didn't have a scope, only the iron sights and since our targets were 50 and 100 yards, we tried to see how many accurate shots we could get off in the shortest time possible. The Carcano was the absolute worst.
    Years later I actually read the Warren Commission Report. I still consider that pathetic tome to be the best work of fiction classified as non-fiction I've ever read.
    Like I said, I was a fair country shot at 13, by the time I read the WCR, I had fired well over a million rounds of ammo, having spent several years firing service match competition. Not only do I KNOW I couldn't get off three accurate shots in 6-7 seconds with a scoped Carcano, I'm no sure I could do it with a match grade AR-15.
    Who shot JFK and why are still a mystery to me. Maybe Oswald did it or was involved, but I doubt he was the only shooter, not with that POS rifle, he wasn't.

  4. Sorry for the bad hyperlink.
    I'll do better here.

    Also, forgive my post above, my thoughts were running faster than my plum wore out body from a long day.

  5. No problem, n2l, that's a GREAT comment and it things in perspective as far as the weapon Oswald used. Even a dumbass like me understands. Thanks, bro!.

  6. Thanks Toby.
    What I failed to emphasize, as I was dog-assed tired when I commented, was a couple of things.
    I've already mentioned how crude and clunky the bolt action was on the Carcano. As for the 6.5mm round it used, not a bad round at all, comparable to a .270.
    Consider this, he was allegedly firing from an elevated position, at a moving target, using a low magnification optic on a very clunky military surplus rifle.
    When you fire from an elevated position, you can't put the cross hairs directly on the target, you have to aim a little low...I can show you the math on this, but trust me.
    Then you have the matter of a moving target, only it isn't moving in a straight line, it is altering its speed as the road curves to the left, as it is going down hill. Are the gears clicking as to all the considerations the shooter is having to factor instantaneously?
    Then you have the low mag scope. Each time the rifle is fired there is recoil and muzzle flip, not a tremendous amount, but certainly enough to require a new target acquisition after each shot, while it is moving away and downhill, at an unknown speed. If it had been me firing at a target less than 75yds away, I would have used iron sights, the target acquisition would have been much faster and the time involved is a factor in this.
    Then we have the crude bolt. I would have to check and see, but I can't remember if the bolt handle had been altered to accept an optic. Military surplus rifles had a very straight bolt handle that had to be curved so it wouldn't strike the optic while ejecting spent brass. I had a gun smith work on my Mauser for the very same reason.
    One last thing. If you have ever put the sights of a gun on another human being with the intention of doing them harm, it is one hell of a thing for a decent person to do. Maybe not for a nut job, but I can only speak of my own experiences. Dropping the sights on someone is mind bending, actually making the conscious decision to fire on another human being(irrespective of the circumstances) is a tsunami of emotions, thoughts, synaptic enzymes and adrenaline.
    Imagine the adrenaline surge from knowing you are trying to assassinate the most powerful man in the world, you have to aim low each time you fire, at a target that is moving down and away from you, while you are trying to find him in your scope each time, while also working a bolt that may or may not function smoothly each time.
    You can't control your breathing or your heart rate because the overdose of adrenaline is surging through your body to the point where you need to take a crap and throw up simultaneously.
    With all this going on, he fired one perfect shot and two fairly accurate 6-7 seconds?
    I'm not saying it is impossible, only that considering all that I have mentioned, I consider the likelihood of his acting alone dubious.

  7. n2l...thanks for the insight. I, too, have always been somewhat skeptical (I'm being polite here) of the whole damn episode. I'd take your word over any bullshit I hear from a D.C. insider. Another great comment btw.

  8. Thanks, dude.
    One thing we can agree on and be certain of, that Oswald fella was one messed up critter.
    I just hope that one day we can know everything there is to know about what happened that day.

  9. n2l...I wholeheartedly agree. The 50th Anniversary of the killing of JFK is coming up. Maybe we will learn something new.

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